A New Thanksgiving Dish to Add to the Mix

Looking for a fresh side to add to your holiday dinner lineup or to bring as a dish to pass? Try this savory casserole! It has plenty of flavor and fall color without the baggage of unhealthy fat and excess calories – so you can save room for that taste of pumpkin pie!

Serves: 9

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours


  • 6 cups butternut squash (about 1 ½ squashes), peeled and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups (about 3 parsnips), peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt, divided (or more to taste)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (or about 1 bunch) of fresh kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • ¼ cup smoked (or plain) almonds, chopped 


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F. In a 9×13-inch baking dish, toss together the chopped butternut squash and parsnips, olive oil, sage, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and the thyme. Bake the mixture until the squash and parsnips are tender, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Keep the bacon grease in the skillet to sauté the onions, coming next. When the bacon is cooled, crumble it with your hands into large pieces and set it aside.
  3. Add the onions to the bacon drippings in your skillet and cook the onions over medium heat, stirring, until softened and golden, about 25 to 35 minutes. Add the kale, butter, apple cider vinegar, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover the skillet and cook until the kale is wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Add the kale mixture and the bacon to the butternut squash mixture in your baking dish. Gently mix everything and spread it into an even layer. Top your dish with cheese.
  5. Sprinkle with almonds and garnish with sage and thyme leaves (if desired). Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Enjoy and happy holidays!

Nutrition Information

Estimated Amount Per Serving: 1 cup

Calories: 271

Total Fat: 17.9g

Sodium: 1039mg

Total Carbohydrates: 20.1g

Total Sugars: 4.3g

Protein: 10.3g

Recipe adapted from thepioneerwoman.com