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The Best Summer Squash Gratin Recipe

Published on July 11, 2021 by Sarah Troester
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Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, this summer squash gratin recipe is the perfect side to any summer meal. It is easy to prepare, and serves up bubbly and delicious.

When it comes to entertaining or bringing a side dish to a summer party, you are always going to find me with this cheesy goodness. I have even come to prefer this recipe over a scalloped potatoes recipe.

It’s so fulfilling but light at the same time. I’ve been perfecting this recipe for years and think I’ve truly got the right one right here. Summer squash, cheese, crispiness – what more could you ask for?

This summer squash gratin could be a meal in itself. I like to serve with crispy pan-seared salmon, we use ButcherBox and it is amazing. The summer squash gratin pairs so well with just about anything under the sun which is why we love this recipe so much!

How to make summer squash gratin

The key ingredient to this fabulous summer squash gratin is smoked paprika. Ya’ll I am in love with this stuff! Smoked paprika takes everything up a notch and adds so much flavor. You will want to be sure to cut your yellow squash and zucchini into rounds and then season with smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

Once you make the cheese sauce, it will be thick and cheesy! You want that because naturally squash retains a lot of water and will be brought out through cooking. You will want to layer about half of the squash and half of the cheese sauce in a baking dish. Then add the next layer of squash and sauce. In the end you will want to sprinkle both the cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese on the top and broil for 2-3 minutes so you can achieve this level of crispiness and crunch.

Ingredients for summer squash gratin

Here’s what we are working with for this recipe:

  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • cheddar cheese
  • gruyere cheese (or shredded mozzarella)
  • cream
  • smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper

This is one of those recipes that works great for the summer, but could also be the perfect side or main dish to any fall or winter recipe. We hope you love it just as much as we do!!

Summer Squash Gratin

  • GFGluten-Free
  • LCLow Carb
  • SFSugar Free
  • VGVegetarian
Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, this summer squash gratin recipe is the perfect side to any summer meal. It is easy to prepare, and serves up bubbly and delicious. 
Servings: 6 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced crosswise into 1/4" rounds
  • 2 medium yellow squash, sliced crosswise into 1/4" rounds
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbs butter , plus more for buttering pan
  • 1 tbs garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs all-purpose gluten-free flour, or 1 tbs arrowroot powder
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese (or shredded mozzarella), divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning 


  • Preheat oven to 375° and butter a medium casserole dish. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour and cook until flour is golden and starts to bubble, about 1 minute more. Add cream and stir until mixture comes to a simmer. Boil until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  • Turn off heat and add 1 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese.  Stir until cheese has melted, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • In a large bowl, combine the zucchini and yellow squash together. Add in the smoked paprika, sea salt and pepper to taste. Add a layer of squash to the baking dish, overlapping the slices. Season with salt and pepper and pour about half of the cream mixture over squash. Sprinkle some of the remaining Cheddar and Gruyère on top, then sprinkle the Italian seasoning on top of cheese.
  • Make another layer with remaining squash slices, cream mixture, cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake until bubbly and golden on top, about 25 minutes. Broil for about 2-3 minutes. 

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to tag thetastefultribe on instagram @thetastefultribe if you try this delicious summer squash gratin recipe. We love seeing your version of the recipe! You can also post your pictures to our facebook page!