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28 Aug

Shrimp, Sausage and Summer Squash Casserole

Two words in the seafood recipe submitted by Rachel Virden for the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook Contest caught our eye immediately: Summer and Squash.

Yes, we loved the combination of shrimp and sausage (who wouldn’t?) and the intensely savory flavor that only comes from sautéing with bacon fat. We were amazed by the way a few simple ingredients baked up into such a rich and satisfying dish. But what made us really happy was discovering a new, inventive way cook up summer’s seemingly endless bounty of squash.

If you have a garden, you know that varieties of summer squash are famously prolific. This time of year, farmers’ markets are also overflowing with zucchini, crookneck and pattypan squash. Just when you think you’ve prepared summer squash in every possible way, a recipe like Shrimp, Sausage and Summer Squash Casserole comes along that transforms a simple crookneck into a rich, flavorful meal.

As you begin cooking, the shrimp, sausage and squash seem like three separate ingredients in the pot. But when you spoon the trio into a pan and bake for 30 minutes, the three meld together into a voluptuous casserole with a buttery texture and rich, meaty flavor.

As much as we loved the shrimp in this recipe, we can imagine that other types of seafood, like salmon or halibut, could be substituted with equally delicious results. However you make it, Rachel’s casserole is a one-dish meal that will make you glad summer, along with its endless supply of squash, is not quite over yet.


  • 5 individual yellow crookneck squash (or zucchini), sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage (spicy or regular)
  • 1 pound raw shrimp (peeled/deveined/tails off), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • Butter, if needed for sautéing
  • Optional seasonings: salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning or hot sauce, Parmesan cheese


Preheat over to 350° Fahrenheit.

Cook the bacon and sausage together in a large soup pot or other deep pot. When fat begins to render, add the onion. Sauté until bacon is slightly crispy, sausage is crumbled and cooked and onion is soft.

Add the sliced squash (it may be easiest to add it in several batches) and stir to coat with meat and rendered fat. Turn the heat to high. This is necessary to quickly cook off any moisture the squash releases so that the squash can brown and caramelize, rather than “boil” in its own water. If the sausage and bacon have not rendered enough fat to cook the squash, then add some butter to the pot. The squash is done once it is slightly browned and there is no liquid sitting in the pot. By this time, the squash will have reduced by about half. Season with your choice of salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and/or hot sauce.

Remove the pot from the stove and let it cool slightly.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl and pour over the squash mixture.

Add the raw shrimp and 1-2 handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese (optional).

Stir to combine all ingredients then pour into a casserole dish.

If you like, top the dish with a few pats of butter or a sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly, approx. 30 minutes.

(It is important to not cook the shrimp prior to baking the casserole. The shrimp will get overcooked and rubbery if you do.) Enjoy!

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. What an unexpected and amazing dish! I like the way the flavors sounded, but some of the techniques made it impossible to brown the bacon or the zucchini. Event so the dish was just fantastic. The rest of this is very rambly about ways I would like to try to give it different texture, BUT I want to make it clear, I thought this dish was unbelievably good as is.

    To rid of the extra liquid, before the cooling step, I used a slotted spoon and removed the mixture from the pot into a bowl first, then continued with the eggs, shrimp and cheese. I did use Tobasco for flavoring in addition to salt and pepper and of course the Parmesan shreds.

    The texture of the shrimp were just perfect cooked this way, I would love to find more shrimp casserole recipes to experiment further.

    Some thoughts for next time, the bacon is never going to brown as well when immediately mixed with the sausage, I was thinking cooking the bacon pieces separate to get it crispier, and in the meantime could the sausage and onion in a separate pan to start, then combine the bacon with the sausage mixture. The For more browning on the squash, I may be better off sauteeing it all on it’s own in olive oil.

    Jenn wrote on June 18th, 2011
  2. You can also roast the squash slices in the oven first on baking sheets which is how I cook squash a lot. They brown nicely with very little attention.

    Catharine wrote on November 1st, 2011
  3. Can we make this healthy without the meat? What about the Tofurky veggie Italian sausage? Also, as far as the other guys question on the shrimp–here in Florida we get great local healthy wild shrimp! We never buy farmed–and when we’re in CA we get fresh too–fresh is always best right…?

    Miller wrote on September 21st, 2013

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