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ways to make yellow squash interesting (without cheese)

I'm trying to find interesting dishes to use yellow squash in. DH and I find it a rather boring vegetable, even with a sauce on it, and I desperately need ideas for how to pump it up. But, most of the recipes I can find involve cheese, which I do not eat (no dairy at all, actually). So, any good yellow squash recipes you can recommend? They don't have to be mainly squash recipes -- they can be meat or veggie entrees that happen to have some squash in them. I just need ideas for how to use it up in a yummy way!

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  1. This may be too boring, but I like to sautee onions (maybe try red onions) in some olive oil or butter with fresh thyme, and then add the yellow squash. I like the sweetness that the onions add.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      I do the same thing actually! Or for variation Ill do parsley and garlic and yellow sqaush, and sometimes I add in some crushed red pepper flakes as well. Even more boring- I eat a lot of yellow squash just raw in salads.....

      1. re: fmcoxe6188

        I do something similar, just saute in olive oil with ginger and garlic, then add chives and a dash of soy at the end. Delicious!

        1. re: daily_unadventures

          We love it sauteed like that too but no ginger- I use chopped onions, garlic and olive oil- maybe a lump of butter, tons of black pepper. The other night I did it and topped with melted butter drizzled bread crumbs and grated parm (zomigi can skip that part) then tossed it in the oven to get happy.

      2. re: MMRuth

        Boring or not, I just steam yellow squash, then squeeze all the water out of it, add butter, S&P, just as my mom still does...so I guess I am even more boring, but it's my favorite way to eat squash. The trick is removing all the water. And is that a new member of your family--or the same dog minus the snow? Cute pic. :)

      3. I like to make a gratin with sliced squash, onions, and Very thinly sliced potatoes... Yukon Golds to be exact. Lots of freshly chopped herbs: parsley, oregano, thyme, chives. Minced garlic, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper with some cayenne. Each layer drizzled with a bit of EVOO and the herbs. No need to use cheese... just add about 1/2 cup 1/2&1/2 and freshly made seasoned breadcrumbs. Bake in 375F oven till top is nicely browned and everything is cooked through. (Make sure to slice the potatoes as thin as possible so they'll be cooked when everything else is.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          That sounds yummy, Gio...of course, I'd want the cheese, too. Does it not get sort of watery b/c of all the moisture in the squash?

          1. re: kattyeyes

            That just helps the potatoes cook to a nice creamyness.... that and the addition of those seasoned breadcrumbs.

        2. Have you tried it cut into thin discs (or ribbons --easier with zucchini) on a Benriner or mandoline, then dressed with a spicy vinaigrette and served raw? That preparation really sort of transforms the texture -- it's almost like a wholly different vegetable.

          You can also do that one with a soy/vinegar dressing, or even a Vietnamese nuoc cham.

          2 Replies
          1. re: dmd_kc

            I saute yellow squash simmilar to mmruth, with sweet onions(vidalia, texas, whatevers avail.)add a red bell pepper, season w/ salt,pepper,and sweet paprika.But Iike to use a little bacon grease instead of oil.Throwing fresh herbs in the last few minutes. My total cook time is about 20/25 min.

            1. re: dmd_kc

              Transforming the texture of raw even further, I make a panchan with thin rounds. First salt the slices heavily with kosher salt then set aside for an hour or so until they weep. Then squeeze them in a fist to crush and squueze out some moisture. Rinse off the salt and squueeze again to get as dry as you can. Then spread out to air dry or use a towel. Marinate with rice wine vinegar, peanut oil, minced garlic, and a couple drops of sesame oil (just enough for an elusive fragrance). You can also add a little sugar. This is very pretty if you use an equivalent amt of zucchini for a mix of yellow and green colors. Refrigerated it will keep for a week or more. Sprinkle a little blk sesame seed when you serve.

            2. I just love summer squash sliced, dredged in seasoned flour and pan fried until crispy. I also enjoy slicing it and brushing with a little olive oil then grilling.
              It works well cutting julienne strips of yellow squash along with zucchini, onion and carrots and then placing the veggies under a salmon fillet with a little white wine in papillote.

              1. I like to marinade in olive oil and S&P for about 15 minutes then grill with some homemade jerk seasoning

                1. Yellow squash croquettes

                  3 squash, grated
                  1 small onion, chopped finely
                  1 egg
                  1 tsp salt
                  1 tsp cayenne pepper
                  1/2 cup flour
                  combine all ingredients, dollop into about 1 inch hot vegetable oil, turning occasionally until lightly browned w/ crispy edges.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Veggo

                    That sound divine! Will be doing that soon - maybe tonight.

                    I make a squash casserole with sliced squash and chopped onions that get cooked down, add some crumbled, cooked bacon and egg. I use cheese but you wouldn't have to. Bake at 350 til brown and bubbly.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      I have tons of patty pan squash. I usually grill them in 1/2 inch slices or saute them with onion or garlic and perhaps.... a little meat.
                      Your recipe sounds really good, so I will try it.
                      Veggo, you are so good, so smart and so wonderful!!
                      On second thought, lets go out back and have a cook-off, como mano para mano combate.

                      1. re: Scargod

                        I would gain the most knowledge in a cookoff with you. The squash croquettes are the invention of a close friend's mom in Lufkin in east Texas. At 4' 11", and 81 years, Sybil still works her own garden. Her Sunday dinner, for which I am grateful for having been a frequent guest, was usually fried chicken, cornbread, and about 7 or 8 vegetable dishes. She knew how I loved her squash croquettes, and she always sent me home with a plate of them. For country cookin' , it don't get better.

                    2. For something quick and easy, try filling the hollow of the squash with fresh salsa and popping that in the oven.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: graydyn

                        Summer squash don't have "hollows." You don't throw that part out, do you???

                      2. Not necessarily exciting, but I've been marinating slices in balsamic vinaigrette, then grilling over a high heat- I really like the charred parts, and the marinade keeps it from getting that dried out leathery texture that squash can sometimes get on the grill. I did this twice this week with a medly of green, yello, and Ronde de Nice (lime green) summer squash, along with grilled onions. Very nice

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: happybellynh

                          I just slice a yellow crookneck in half lengthwise, brush with olive oil, s&p, and grill. Perfect and easy and doesn't heat up the kitchen.

                        2. I just made a nice salad of roasted (I'd grill if it were an option) yellow squash, eggplant and green beans tossed with a tangy vinegrette. Put on lettuce and topped with leftover chicken. Good for a hot night and used a whole squash.

                          1. cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. Cut it in chunks and saute with chopped onions, celery and garlic. Season, and put the "stuffing" back into the squash "boats." Top with herbed breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 F. until the top is nice and brown. ;)

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: ChefJune

                              Sounds delish!!! I recently enjoyed some typical down home yellow crook neck...cooked down with onions sauteed/browned in butter and sugar etc....The cook had added thin sliced celery...What a delicious variation on a theme!!!

                              1. re: ChefJune

                                My variation on June's:

                                scoop out flesh. Also trim the crooked part of the neck to yield a fusiform shape. Then trim the round part of the squash with one slice, to give a flat base so that it will rest flatly rather than rolling. Then proceed a la June (as long as she uses butter!).

                                Yields a nice stuffed boat that works well as a finger food.

                                1. re: ChefJune

                                  I think I must use MUCH smaller squash than you - 4-5" max? I don't think there would be enough to cook up. But it sounds great just using whole squash also. I especially like the addition of celery.

                                2. I make a soup out of them. I boil potatoes, onions, and the squash together (cut into hunks first). Drain most of the liquid off, salt and pepper, and then blend it with the emersion blender. You can make it as chunky or smooth as you like. I usually put butter and cheese in mine, but of course, not necessary. It's just as good cold as it is hot. I see all the other posts with garlic added and that sounds great. I think I'll add some roasted garlic next time.

                                  1. I cut them into long planks, grill them on the barbecue, and then dress them in a sauce made from roasted red peppers.

                                    1. Brush squash planks with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. After grilling, sprinkle some oregano or lemon thyme on top.

                                      1. One of my favorite dishes is equal parts yellow squash, zucchini and Roma tomatoes, plus a red onion, sliced and arranged in layers in a pie plate or similar baking dish. Usually a layer of squash, mixed, a little salt and pepper, then tomatoes, some onion, more salt and pepper plus a bit of thyme, then repeat. Sprinkle with vinegar or lemon, drizzle olive oil over, bake @ 400º until done to your satisfaction. That's the fancy version. Just for a quick and hearty dish, put all the sliced or slivered vegetables into a bowl, season with salt, pepper and herbs of choice, add some oil and vinegar or lemon, toss together and let sit for a while, then sauté or roast it, whichever you want. You can use just one kind of squash or a whole bunch of kinds; you can add chopped up sweet pepper or poblano, whatever. This is very good served with pasta, either spread over like a sauce or mixed in.

                                        At the other end of the spectrum, if you want to add some interest to plain steamed squash, throw a big pinch of dried rosemary in the steaming water. You can do the same if you sautée it, too, only don't add so much. Rosemary is lovely stuff but it wears out its welcome easily.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                          Here's a roasted vegetable recipe on Epicurious that features squash. I skipped radichio and used baby portabella mushrooms. The recipe is going to work even if you use just yellow squash as long as you like garlic!
                                          google epicurious.com for Roasted-Vegetables-with-Garlic-Tarragon-Butter

                                          Last weekend I made the Zuni Cafe zucchini pickles which I found referenced on Chowhound. It's a small batch, overnight store in the frig kind of recipe. Kind of spicy. Makes only one large jar. I used an old pickle jar. I think the pickles would be great on burgers.
                                          The gratin recipe I made last weekend (borrowed my DIL's mandolin) was terrific. It did contain some cheese which I think you could skip. An herb paste containing garlic, fresh oregano, fresh parsley and EVO was mixed with whole wheat bread crumbs. Summer squash and thin slices of pototo were layers with rhe crumb mix. Made me very glad to have an herb garden outside my kitchen door. I would not sub dried oregano.

                                          I haven't tried a recipe for grated squash and carrots with lemon and orzo yet. If you get really desparate, grate the squash and use in any zucchini recipe for muffins or quick bread. I freeze extra grated squash in 2 cup portions for fall and holiday baking.

                                        2. I completely forgot - my mom also used to deep fry them. Peeled, sliced into rounds, dipped in flour, then fried in oil. I didn't want to try them until my dad told me it was a cookie, then I tried it and loved it. I don't remember how old I was.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: GenieinTX

                                            We fry them too - so bad, but so good.

                                          2. I add squash to almost every stir-fry - they're particularly good in with szechuan beef & vegetables.

                                            1. Thanks for all the ideas folks!

                                              1. Sometimes I cook it the way I cook dirty rice/rice dressing, with the squash taking the place of the rice.

                                                1. I just posted this on another board but hey, it doesn't need cheese ... Good luck!

                                                  Some roasted "good with Italian-type food" squash:

                                                  Adapted from a recipe for roasted broccoli by America's Test Kitchen ...

                                                  Start oven heating to anywhere from 450 to 500 degrees F.

                                                  Cut squash into 6 cups of1/4 or 1/8th inch thick slices.

                                                  Put squash in a bowl. Mix together 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic, and a tad of olive oil. Pour over squash and toss really well with. Sprinkle with a tiny bit more sugar. (Here you can put a sprinkle of some grated Romano or Parmesan on it ... but you don't have to :-) )

                                                  Put the squash in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and bake on the very bottom rack of your oven for about 10 minutes.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: NameCake

                                                    The salt and sugar are 1/2 tsp each, not 1 tsp.