Easy Weeknight Dinner: Gluten-Free Butternut Squash and Chickpea Casserole

September 24, 2014

Gluten-free eating is easy when your diving into this butternut squash and chickpea casserole.  Inspired by the flavors of fall, this casserole is as easy as it is delicious.  Cubes of bright orange butternut squash are cooked into a creamy sauce studded with mushrooms, celery, and onion.  Parmesan cheese adds a savory flavor that's defined as umami.  This casserole can either be vegetarian or not depending on the kind of stock you decide to use and whether or not you want to add meat.

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash and Chickpea Casserole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons potato starch
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup whole milk or other non-dairy milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried sage (or 5-7 fresh leaves finely chopped)
1/8 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2-3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes (or 5-8 ounces raw potato, shredded)  

Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit.

Lightly oil or spray a medium sized casserole dish. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add the onions. Cook until onions soften and appear translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the celery, mushrooms, and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, until mushrooms exude their juices. Add the the butternut squash and two tablespoons of chicken or vegetable stock, cover pan, and cook for 10 minutes, until butternut squash is beginning to become tender. Whisk the potato starch to the cup of chicken or vegetable stock. Add it, the milk, parmesan cheese, thyme, sage, and nutmeg and heat until bubbly. Add the chickpeas and salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the vegetable mixture into prepared casserole dish and top with an even layer of potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake until casserole is bubbly and top is lightly browned, about 30-40 minutes (frozen potatoes will take longer than fresh). If the top isn't golden brown completely brown, place it under the broiler for a few minutes while watching closely so it doesn't burn. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool before serving.

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