This Thanksgiving Chickpeas with Butternut Squash Sauce Casserole combines two of my favorite ingredients – hearty chickpeas and tender, sweet butternut squash – for a side dish that the whole family will love!
This recipe was created in partnership with Randall Beans.
I originally created this recipe for Randall Beans as a Thanksgiving side dish recipe, but the more I make this Chickpeas and Butternut Squash Casserole, the more I want to eat it all year long. It is just the perfect side dish and I am not willing to wait until Thanksgiving every year to eat it.
For this recipe, I make an easy roasted butternut squash sauce, and the sauce is combined with chickpeas and cubed roasted butternut squash. The casserole is then topped with Parmesan cheese and baked in the oven until the sauce gets all bubbly and delicious. Then the casserole gets popped under the broiler for a few minutes to really melt that Parmesan cheese topping and make a golden-brown cheesy crust.
The Parmesan cheese crust is AMAZING – one of the best parts of this dish! There is also fresh thyme sprinkled in with the Parmesan cheese, and when it is broiled the lovely fresh essence of the thyme really comes through to give this dish even more flavor.
You’ll love the butternut squash sauce in this recipe too – the roasted butternut squash tastes so good in the creamy sauce.
This Butternut Squash and Chickpeas Casserole is perfect for Thanksgiving because it is a hearty, filling dish that is great for vegetarians or those who simply don’t want to fill up on turkey. But as I said, it’s a great casserole year-round, especially when butternut squash is in season in the Fall and Winter.
You’ll love the aroma of this dish filling up your house on a cool day.
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- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 lb butternut squash , peeled and cubed into ½ inch pieces (about 3 rounded cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup milk (1%, 2%, or whole milk will work)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
- 6-8 fresh sage leaves , roughly chopped
- Salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon), freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the cubed butternut squash to the baking dish in one layer, and drizzle with the other tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the butternut squash is fork-tender. Set aside to cool down.
In a small food processor, combine the milk, heavy cream, minced garlic, chopped sage leaves, salt, and pepper. Add half of the cooked butternut squash (about 1+1/2 cups) and process for a few seconds until smooth.
Add the chickpeas and the remaining cubed butternut squash to a small baking dish (I used this Pyrex 1.3 quart dish. A similar 10 x 6 inch 1-2 quart dish would work just as well). Pour about half of the butternut squash sauce over the chickpeas/butternut squash mixture and stir to combine. Pour the rest of the butternut squash sauce over the top of the chickpeas. Top generously with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh thyme. Add a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.
Bake for 10 minutes until the casserole is heated through and the cheese starts to melt. Turn on the broiler and set the casserole under the direct heat of the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the Parmesan cheese turns golden brown. Keep and eye on it, since the broiler can burn food quickly.
Remove the casserole from heat and cool 10 minutes before serving.