Carolyne Kauser-AbbottProvencal RecipesSide DishTaste

Butternut Squash Gratin de Courge a Side Dish from Nice

Like many traditional recipes considered part of Cuisine Nissarde, gratin de courge is a dish you might find just as easily on a restaurant menu as in a grandmother’s kitchen in Nice. The recipe calls for courage, which is butternut squash. You can use other varieties of pumpkin, but best to stay away from spaghetti squash for this recipe. We translated the recipe from French and reproduced it below with the permission of the Office de Tourisme Métropolitain Nice Côte d’Azur.

When visiting Nice, you may find this dish on menus at one of the 32 restaurants* that have received the Cuisine Nissarde label for quality food that follows traditional methods. Also, gratin de courge and many other recipes appear in a cookbook called Carnets de cuisine du Comté de Nice, which is available at the Tourism Office or on Amazon.

Butternut Squash Gratin de Courge

Gratin de Courge (Butternut Squash Gratin)

Carnets de cuisine du Comté de Nice
A Niçoise favourite casserole (tian), this side dish made with squash - gratin de courge - originates from Roman cuisine. It requires a minimum of work and a bit of skill. This tian is even better when reheated in a low oven and then grilled for about five minutes the next day.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 8 People



  • 3 1/2 lbs Squash roughly 1.5 kg, butternut or any other type
  • 2 Onions
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 1/3 cup Camargue Rice a short grain red rice
  • 7 oz Salted Pork (petit salé) or bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 oz Parmesan or sbrinz rape
  • 3 large eggs
  • milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 sprig of Thyme
  • Grated Nutmeg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Olive Oil


  • Cut the onion into small pieces, brown in some olive oil over medium heat, and add salt. Add salt, pepper, thyme, chopped parsley and three pinches of grated nutmeg. Leave to cook on medium heat for ten minutes.
  • In salted water or milk, boil the rice for ten minutes (or according to directions). Drain and set aside.
  • Peel and dice the squash and steam with a sprig of thyme for 12 minutes in a pressure cooker or twenty-five minutes in a saucepan. In a large deep dish, mash the squash with a fork. The squash should not be a purée or in pieces but rather in strands. Add the rice, the cooked onion and the salt and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • Break the eggs into this filling, add the grated parmesan or sbrinz cheese and mix again until the filling is very homogeneous. It should not be too dry or too liquid. You can correct the consistency by adding pumpkin puree or broken rice. Adjust the seasoning. Oil a nice earthenware tian and pour your filling into it. Smooth the top with a fork and cover with a light layer of breadcrumbs.
  • Moisten with a drizzle of olive oil. Bake the casserole in a preheated oven at 400°F (200° C). Cool for five (5) minutes before serving so the juices can return to the heart of the tian.


You can replace the salted pork with a piece of ham.
Cook this tian "au maigre" without the salt.
Add the green of a bunch of chard blanched for five minutes and cut into strips.
Keyword Butternut Squash, Parmesan, Pork
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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