Overhead shot of Butternut Squash Gratin with toasted breadcrumbs on top

Oh boy. This Butternut Squash Gratin is the new holiday side dish of my dreams! It’s delicious, rich, creamy, and cheesy. A perfect alternative to sweet potatoes. As much as I love Sweet Potato Casserole, I tend to prefer savory side dishes over sweeter stuff, so this gratin is the perfect option and is really not difficult to prepare!

Most of the prep time is spent dicing up the butternut squash which you can prep in advance. In fact, you can prep this entire thing a day in advance if you wanted to which I know I appreciate during the busy holiday season when my oven is working overtime and has limited space to bake things at the same time.

Close-up shot of a scoop of butternut squash gratin on a wooden spoon

To make this gratin, you will start out with peeling and getting your squash cut up. If cutting up a butternut squash intimidates you, I promise it’s really not bad. You just need a large and sharp enough knife to cut through the middle. Once you get the squash cut in half, it’s just a matter of scraping out the seeds and slicing.

Now, like a traditional potato gratin, you want thin slices. I am personally very anti-mandolin after one too many injuries and don’t mind slicing with a knife, but if you prefer to use a mandolin or want to pull out your food processor if it has a slicing attachment. Then you will saute a shallot and garlic in a pan and dump in the squash slices to give them a little pre-cook. Gratins can take time bake, but this helps speed things up a bit (plus, butternut squash just cooks faster than potatoes anyway). Pour in some cream and spices and layer in a baking dish along with some freshly grated Gruyere cheese. I used a cheddar and Gruyere blend and it was glorious!

To finish the gratin off, I also top it with some panko breadcrumbs to add a little crisp to the top. This gratin is sure to impress everyone around your holiday table and is pure comfort food!

Scoop of Butternut Squash on a dark blue plate on a dark wooden board

Recipe Tips and Suggestions:

  • This recipe can be prepped in advance if needed. You can at least prep by getting the squash sliced up, but you can also prep the entire recipe, cover, and bake the next day!
  • For the cheese, I used a block that was a blend of Gruyere and white cheddar. You can change this up however you want. I do love Gruyere in a gratin though so I would recommend using at least that cheese in this recipe.
  • Use a mandolin to slice your squash at your own risk. Personally, I don’t like to use them and prefer to just slice with a good knife. Either way, make sure your slices are as uniform as possible (about 1/4th-1/8th inch thickness) to ensure even cooking.
  • A number of herbs work well in this recipe. Sage and thyme are best for the season, but chives and parsley also work on top. I like to add finely diced thyme to the cream mixture. If using sage, I love to toast it in a pan and crumble on top!

Butternut Squash Gratin in a white casserole dish with toasted breadcrumbs on top

Scoop of Butternut Squash on a dark blue plate on a dark wooden board
Yield: 6 servings

Butternut Squash Gratin

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Butternut Squash Gratin - The perfect side for Thanksgiving and the holidays - thin slices of squash with Gruyere and herbs - pure comfort!


  • approx. 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, and sliced into 1/8th-1/4th inch thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh grated gruyere cheese

Breadcrumb topping

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • fresh chopped parsley, sage, chives, etc.


  1. Prepare butternut squash by peeling and slicing into 1/8th-1/4th inch slices. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat the butter until melted over medium high heat. Add in the shallot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Stir in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add in the butternut squash slices. Season with salt. Cook the squash for about 8-10 minute or until slightly tender.
  3. Remove pan from the heat. Add the cream to a measuring cup and stir in the thyme and cinnamon. Pour over the squash.
  4. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray. Add a layer of the squash slices on the bottom. Sprinkle with about 1/3 cup of the cheese. Layer with more squash, cheese, and then one more layer of squash and top with remaining cheese. Set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, add the breadcrumbs, olive oil, salt and thyme. Stir so the breadcrumbs are moistened by the olive oil. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top of the squash.
  6. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the squash is tender and bubbly. Garnish with additional chopped herbs if desired. Serve.


If you want to prep ahead, you can prepare the dish all the way through step 5 and chill in the fridge overnight.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 542mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g

Butternut Squash Gratin