Last updated on November 14th, 2018.
This Thanksgiving Chickpeas with Butternut Squash 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.
Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2015, but I updated it with new photos and a lightened up version of the recipe (but just as delicious!). This post contains affliate links. See my disclosure.
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 vegetarian side dish and I am not willing to wait until Thanksgiving every year to eat it.
Sounds good! How do I make this Baked Chickpea & Butternut Squash dish??
To make this recipe, I first roast cubed butternut squash and garlic cloves to bring out their sweetness and aroma. This makes for an extra flavorful casserole. Here is a great tutorial on how to peel and cut butternut squash.
You’ll use half the roasted butternut squash for the sauce, and leave half the roasted squash in cubes to combine with the chickpeas.
The sauce is super easy to make – just throw the butternut squash, milk, half-n-half, roasted garlic, and herbs into a blender and pulse for a few seconds.
To arrange the casserole, combine the chickpeas and roasted butternut squash in a baking dish, cover with sauce, and mix. And here comes the best part:
The casserole is topped with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese and baked in the oven until the sauce gets all bubbly and delicious. I really recommend using a block of Parmesan cheese and grating it fresh for this recipe.
You’ll get the most flavor and an amazing Parmesan crust this way. It won’t turn out the same if you use powdered packaged Parmesan cheese.
After baking, 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.
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 Fall day.
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Thanksgiving Chickpeas with Butternut Squash Casserole
- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1.5 lb butternut squash , peeled and cubed into ½ inch pieces (about 4 rounded cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup half n half
- 3 garlic cloves , peeled
- 6-8 fresh sage leaves , roughly chopped
- Salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon), freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme , divided (about 10-15 sprigs)
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the cubed butternut squash and peeled garlic cloves 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 food processor or blender, combine the milk, half and half, roasted garlic, chopped sage leaves, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Add half of the roasted butternut squash (about 2 cups) and pulse for a few seconds until smooth.
- Add the chickpeas and the remaining 2 cups roasted butternut squash to a small-medium casserole dish (1.5 - 2.5 quarts). Pour the butternut squash sauce over the chickpeas/butternut squash mixture and stir to combine. Top generously with grated Parmesan cheese and the remaining fresh thyme leaves. 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.
- A small butternut squash typically weighs around 1.5 - 2 lbs. You can use up to 2 lb butternut squash in this recipe.
- You can use any kind of milk you prefer for this recipe - 1%, 2%, or whole milk. You can use unsweetened almond milk or soy milk as well.
- The amount of Parmesan cheese will depend on how large your casserole dish is and how much you like cheese. 🙂 Just make sure that the casserole has a nice layer of shredded Parmesan cheese on top before baking.
- These are the casserole dishes I use for this recipe: 2.5 quart Corningware or 1.3 quart Pyrex dish.