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Turkey Butternut Squash Casserole


posted: 11/18/14

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Turkey Butternut Squash Casserole is delicious, and the perfect thing to throw together for a weeknight meal.

This Turkey Butternut Squash Casserole is delicious, and the perfect thing to throw together for a weeknight meal.


My kids have been asking me a lot about my mom lately. {If you are a new Wine & Glue reader, my mom passed away almost seven years ago, the same day my oldest was born after a five year battle with stage four breast cancer.}  I’m not sure exactly what has been inspiring it . . . maybe as we watch them get older we are missing her more, so we are talking about her more?

Anyway. The other day, Gavin started asking me about finding out that she had died. He wanted details. How did I find out? When did I find out? I found out about seven hours after he was born, while I was nursing him. My brother called me. I knew the second after Nathan answered the phone, before he even handed it to me.

After I told all this to Gavin, and told him how close I had been to her, he looked at me and said, “Mom. That’s sad. That’s really really sad.” Like he got it for maybe the first time (well as much as a seven year old can get it), the gravity of holding your first born and learning your mom has just died. He got up from the table where he’d been eating breakfast and came over to me doing dishes to give me a big hug.

This Turkey Butternut Squash Casserole is delicious, and the perfect thing to throw together for a weeknight meal.

Quinn was there for the conversation, so she heard it all, and grasped it in her three year old way. She’s been asking about my mom in different ways, little Quinn Betty who is named for my mom.

Often as I put Quinn to bed or down for a nap, after I tell her I love her, she’ll say something like, “Well. I love you all the way to the moon, back down, to the sun, and over to China.” The other day when I put her to bed she said, “I love you all the way to your mom.” It simultaneously melted my heart and was like a small tiny pinch as I realized that she is referred to as “your mom” and not “grandma.”

As we go into the holidays, and each day as my family talks about what we are grateful for, it is hard for me to not say my mom every other day. She wasn’t perfect, but she was an amazing mom. I miss her daily, and especially at the holidays. She made this time of year so special.

What does this have to do with Turkey Butternut Squash Casserole? Well, nothing really. Except that it was comforting and delicious and heart warming. All things my mom was too . . . except the delicious part, that’s just weird. It is the perfect flavors for this time of year, and absolutely perfect to make for your family with all that left over turkey.

This Turkey Butternut Squash Casserole is delicious, and the perfect thing to throw together for a weeknight meal.


Okay, a few things about this recipe.

  • I pretty much used what I had on hand plus a butternut squash. But this would be fine with a different type of noodle, a different flavor cheese, and sweet potatoes in place of the squash.
  • The thing that makes this recipe super awesome is the seasoning on the squash. It ends up flavoring the whole dish so beautifully.
  • In my experience, when tweaking with recipes that have a roux, you don’t want to go down in milk fat, but it’s fine to go up. Since this is made with skim, just use whatever milk you have.
  • If you like your casseroles to have a cheesy bubbly top, throw more mozzarella on there (maybe a little parmesan too) and bake it for longer, about five more minutes.


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Turkey Butternut Squash Casserole

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  • 4 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1/2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp sage rub
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 oz mezzi rigatoni
  • 2 TBSPs unsalted butter
  • 2 TBSPs all purpose flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 1/2 shredded mozzarella divided
  • 2 cups cooked turkey


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the butternut squash in olive oil, salt, sage, thyme, and garlic.
  • Bake on a silicon lined baking sheet for 35 minutes. Leave the oven on after removing the squash.
  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  • In a sauce pan, melt the butter. Once it is completely melted, whisk in the butter. Continue cooking the butter/flour mixture until it is light brown, then slowly whisk in the milk, being careful not to add too much too quickly.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, and mix in 1 cup of the mozzarella until it is fully melted. Toss with the cooked pasta, the roasted squash, and the turkey, until it is all fully coated.
  • Spray an 9 by 9 casserole dish with cooking spray. Put the whole mixture into the casserole dish, top with 1/2 cup mozzarella.
  • Bake for 10 minutes in the 425 degree oven.
Author: Lisa Longley

did you make this

Turkey Butternut Squash Casserole

I'd love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!
What else to do with your left over turkey?

Turkey Cranberry Pesto Paninileft_over_turkey

Need more baked pasta?

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, and Mushroom

This Turkey Butternut Squash Casserole is delicious, and the perfect thing to throw together for a weeknight meal.

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


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  1. Julie | This Gal Cooks says

    Oh yum. This is totally happening if we have leftover turkey. Which we will, since it will just be my SO and I this year!

    • Renee says

      Do you think this would work with Rice instead of RIgatoni?

      • Lisa Longley says

        I’m sure it would, but I can’t give you the details on how to make that happen.

  2. Allie | Baking a Moment says

    Oh Lisa, you had me in tears over here. I can so relate! My dad also passed away 7 years ago. It was 2 months before my first was born. He had cancer too, also stage 4, and also battled for 5 years. We talk about him a lot here, but I brought my kids up knowing him as “Granddad.” He told me that was what he wanted to be called. The holidays can be such a tough time of year when you’ve lost a loved one, but it’s so wonderful that your family keeps her memory alive. You should be so proud of Gavin and Quinn for having such understanding and empathy and love, for your mom and for you. God bless!

  3. heather @french press says

    I can only imagine that you are just like your mom :) and this dish totally make me want to make an extra large turkey to make sure we have leftoers

  4. Stephanie @ Back for Seconds says

    Oh, Lisa. You have me crying over here. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to become a mom…without your mom. I’m so sorry. How wonderful that your children wonder about her. They know she was someone very special.
    Oh, and this casserole looks perfectly delicious. Definite comfort food!

  5. Brandie @ HomeCookingMemories says

    I really love that you talk about your mom and keep her memory alive — it’s very clear, by the sweet things your children say, that she is very much a part of their lives and that’s the important stuff in life. My Dad passed away suddenly almost 3 years ago and I am constantly talking about him and don’t imagine I will ever stop. I miss him terribly…the holidays are especially hard.

    Your casserole looks wonderful — I thought that from the first photo but when I got to the one with the stringy cheese, you definitely had me sold.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oh, Brandie. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. And that you lost him suddenly. I can’t even imagine that. And yes, the holidays are the worst. Hang in there!

  6. Teresa says

    This casserole looks so heavenly, it’s on my “soon to make” list. Pinning.

  7. jd wolfe says

    so glad i found your site while surfing pinterest for turkey recipes. i still have my 93 yr old mom! your mom stories here are wonderful. must have been hard to hold your first born knowing your mom had passed. makes me tear up to read that. your kids totally get it! that is not a surprise. my two youngest were only six and eight when my dad died. they had been very close to him, seeing him several times a week. it was especially hard on the eight year old. the six year old was a bit oblivious for several years. the older ones got it quickly of course as they had been warned about his likely demise. he was only 67 and died far too young but it’s a reality we must all deal with at some time.
    thanks for your blog.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for this sweet comment!

  8. PeiChi says

    This recipe is really good. I use salmon instead of turkey. My family love it. Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Chariti Kimbir says

    Oh, this is really yummy food. Thank you so much lisa! You have given delicious recipe with all items and method to cook this is. Besides, I am emotional to read top part of this post. Overall, this post is really mesmerizing.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you!

  10. Jerri says

    What is sage rub? I have ground sage spice. Will that work?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Yes! That will work perfect!

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners