Creamy, Crunchy Vegetable Bake

veggie bake with panko
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Samantha Jones/Vaughn Communications
The Editors
Makes 8 servings as side dish and 6 servings as main dish.
Elizabeth Jahn, Lee Center, IL
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Here’s a delicious way to get in more vegetables, including carrots and summer squash! The creamy cheese and crunchy panko crumbs turn your garden bounty into a feast. 

Congratulations to Elizabeth Jahn on her second-place win in the Garden Guide carrot recipe contest.

2 cups carrots (baby or sliced large)
3 cups sliced red potatoes
2 cups sliced summer squash
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup refrigerator-style cheese spread (aka pub cheese), softened
1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish. 
  2. Boil carrots in water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain. Toss with potatoes, squash, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside. 
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in flour until combined, being careful not to brown or burn the mixture. Add in broth, half-and-half, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, whisking until smooth. Whisk in cheese spread until smooth. Remove from heat. 
  4. In a bowl, toss veggies with sauce until coated evenly. Spread in a prepared baking dish and cover with cheddar jack cheese. 
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the cheese. Bake for 1 hour.
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