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Author Notes: This is the most basic version of a dish that is found all over the Southeast in meat 'n threes. It varies widely, but always contains squash, onions, and crackers; sometimes you'll find cheese, mayo, breadcrumbs, pimentos, or bell peppers mixed in, too. My grandmother wrote this recipe and it has been served at our restaurant for decades. —HMMessinger
- kosher salt
- 3 pounds summer squash
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 1 1/2 cups diced onions
- 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup cracker crumbs
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt per quart. Chop squash into 1-inch pieces and boil until tender, but not mushy, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a pan and sautée onions until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Drain squash well and rinse under cold water. Set on a dish towel to dry. Preheat oven to 450° F and butter a 9- by 11-inch baking dish.
- Whisk together milk, eggs, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar if you are using poor quality (or out of season) squash.
- Layer squash and buttered onions in a baking dish and pour milk mixture over it. Top with cracker crumbs (I am partial to cheese crackers, but Ritz crackers are the traditional choice), and drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons butter over top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until custard is set. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!