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In dire need of help making YELLOW SQUASH palatable

  • s

I just picked up my CSA share which contains an enormous amount of yellow squash. I eat almost anything, but have never been a fan, especially when it's mushy and cooked with onions or in a casserole, as is the custom here in the southeast. Does anyone have any good recipe suggestions? Anything non-mushy would be great. Thanks.

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  1. Have you tried dipping in egg wash and cornmeal and frying or just brusing with olive oil, S & P, and grilling.?

    2 Replies
    1. re: vafarmwife

      Concur on the grilling angle. A little brush of EVOO, some salt and pepper (maybe a dash of cayenne if you are daring) and grill until tender. Serve with a splash of fresh EVOO and some balsamic.

      1. re: meadandale

        Add a little minced garlic and fresh herbs to that EVOO and you got yourself something truly wonderful.

    2. Try this recipe from my buddy's mom in East Texas:

      Squash croquettes

      3 cups squash, grated
      1 onion, finely chopped
      1 egg
      1/2 cup flour
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      fry scoops in oil deep enough that they float, turn a couple times until golden.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Veggo

        Those sound yummy. I usually just like yellow squash with most of the water squeezed out, then butter, S&P, but your way is more creative, so I'm saving it!

        Amazing how some people can "do" squash to make it unappealing. Done right, it is summer in a delicious dish...as evidenced by the many tasty ideas on this thread.

        1. re: Veggo

          Similar to your croquettes, how 'bout straight up cheddar fried squash? Yum!

          I love the URL--"Get on the gravy train!" Yessir! :) All aboard!

          1. re: kattyeyes

            In bacon grease! And awful purdy. Those look good.

              1. re: kattyeyes

                What is it about this that says "squash"? Looks, great, but it ain't a vegetable!

                1. re: roxlet

                  Noooo? Well, I'll still think of it as such. Same as eggplant parm. It's not a meat, now, is it?! ;)

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    It looks like pure vegetable love to me, sorry, roxlet.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      Ha, ha. I should try it with my Egyptians -- one of them won't eat vegetables (he's 19), though he loved my DH's squash casserole. He'd probably like that too.

                    2. re: roxlet

                      Jeez, I'm trying to eat healthy and I can't get off the shneid on this vegetable thing. First, corn, and now, squash doesn't count?
                      I give up. There's enough italian parsley in my chimichurri for the sweetbread feast tonight.

                  2. I like grilling them. Either create chunks or slices, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs of choice and toss them on the grill. Chunks do need a basket though.

                    If you want to dress them up.... grill some onions, some eggplant, other csa veggies in planks. Then assemble into a terrine, alternating layers and include a couple of layers of feta or goat cheese. I let this sit in the fridge for some time [usually overnight since it is a take-to-someone's-party dish for me] with a brick on top. Slice and you will have lovely layers of veggie goodness. I find that this dish is good hot, cold or at room temperature.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: smtucker

                      We love them grilled, too. I slice them into maybe 1/4 to 1/2 " slices and brush on olive oil mixed with some mashed garlic, minced herbs, salt and pepper. Grill until softened and a bit brown. After they come off the grill, I sprinkle on fresh grated parmesan.

                      1. re: AmyH

                        Yes. This is stellar. Grilled veggies FTW!

                        1. re: AmyH

                          I agree: grilled yellow squash or zucchini are great with olive oil and some herbs and s/p.

                          1. re: Bada Bing

                            Also great grilled after basting with a little teriyaki glaze.

                      2. I thought I hated yellow squash, but I am starting to like it . My kids enjoyed it (really!) with a light breading & fried in a little oil/butter. I have also been roasting it, along with zucchini & red onion, just brushed with oil and S & P . Sometimes I put the roasted veggies on a flatbread & sprinkle with cheese for a pizza alternative.

                        I'll be interested in the replies, as I would love to try it some other ways.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: elfcook

                          Sounds like the yellow squash would get mushy!

                        2. How about making a squash salad?

                          2 medium zucchini or yellow squash

                          1 shallot

                          1 lemon

                          1 Tbl olive oil

                          Parmesan cheese (optional)

                          salt & pepper

                          Mince the shallot finely and place into a large bowl. Using a vegetable peeler or v-slicer, slice or peel the zucchini or squash as thinly as possible. Use the peeler or v-slicer again for the cheese. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, juice of the lemon, and the salt & pepper. Pour over the zucchini/squash, shallot, and cheese. Toss to combine. Cover and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. If it lasts that long.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: tzurriz

                            So I tried this last night. Forgot about the parmesan, used only 1/2 lemon and let the whole thing sit for some time. Oh and I actually slivered the slices. It was amazing. I used 2 squash and 1 zucchini. This is hands down the best way I've ever eaten squash. Thank you.

                            1. re: suse

                              I'm so glad you liked it. It's my absolute favorite way to eat summer squash.

                          2. Try it in a cream of squash soup..maybe garnish with fried squash blossoms if you can find those. I also used them in a squash slaw using yellow & zucchini squash, red onion, vidalia onion vinaigrette; really good with hot dogs, bbq sandwiches, reubens, etc.

                            1. I like them in kabobs, with either all veggies or a combo with meat. Also, don't know if you do Mexican, but they are great to make vegetable enchildas or even a veggie quesadilla with whatever else looks fresh (and or course, lots of cheese:)

                              1. Squash Casserole. My report of a Virginia Willis recipe:

                                "A Videlia onion is chopped, 3 yellow squash and 3 zucchini are thinly sliced in rounds. The onion and yellow squash are steamed over boiling salted water till "just tender" then placed in a large bowl. The zucchini is steamed over the same water. Brown sugar, 2 slightly beaten eggs, butter, 1/2 & 1/2, 4 slices of whole wheat bread (torn into pieces) a cup of grated cheddar cheese are added to the vegetables. Season with S & P and stir well to combine. This is poured into a buttered casserole and baked in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes till "firm and brown on top." I find that these squashes must be seasoned 'aggressively,' as Mario says, to bring out their full flavor."


                                1. Slice thinly, brush with oil, then cook in a wafflemaker until the marks caramelize. Season or drizzle with your choice of dressing after cooking. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    I like this! with parm, S&P sprinkled over......

                                    1. re: greygarious

                                      That would work with a George Forman grill. I use that grill to make hot pannini-like sandwiches too.

                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        How thick do you slice these to keep them from collapsing? About 3/4" or thicker? I bought some at the farmer's market last weekend and was going to fry them tomorrow.... but this will be so much healthier and probably equally as good.

                                        1. re: CocoaNut

                                          No - you need to slice them no more than a scant half-inch thick, if that. Don't forget that the heat is only on the grid bars, not the recessed squares they create. So the slices have to be thin enough for the squares to cook via the adjacent heat. Vegetables cooked on the waffle iron will be soft but will have extra flavor from the browned lines. My cheap model doesn't close tightly so I weight the top down while waffling vegetables and sandwiches.

                                      2. I'm not a huge fan of yellow squash either, but my husband makes a squash casserole that I love. He usually makes it to go with fried chicken. He boils up a mess of squash until done. Sautes chopped onion in a fairly copious amount of butter and mixes that with the squash that has been mashed. Mix in several beaten eggs, salt and pepper and top with crushed saltines. Bake until the top is browned. He usually puts it into a souffle dish to bake. Very simple, but really delicious.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          This sounds like you are using winter squash. All the other responses seem to assume the subject is summer squash.

                                          1. re: Sharuf

                                            Oh no -- this recipe works very well with summer squash.

                                            1. re: Sharuf

                                              Nope. This is made with yellow summer squash only.

                                          2. Wow. Thanks for the replies so far. I especially like the slaw idea. I never would have thought of using raw squash. I'll have to try several of these options because I certainly have a load of the stuff.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: suse

                                              I don't love summer squash or zucchini either, but I find them both delicious when cooked until very soft, mashed, and used to replace the liquid in cornbread. This works with either sweet New England style cornbread or the salty southern style.The combination of the cornmeal and squash is really magical and squash haters won't have a clue, although they may wonder why the cornbread is so moist! Bonus points if you stir in some grated sharp cheddar and grease the pan with bacon grease.

                                              1. re: Isolda

                                                Ohmygoodness...love this idea (though I'm not a hater, just a cornbread lover!)!

                                            2. Here's my recipe for yellow squash with spaghetti:


                                              I've also grated it and used it in risotto. Saute some of the grated squash with the aromatics at the beginning of the process, then add the rest when the risotto is nearly finished cooking.

                                              1. Roast it! Seriously - it makes it taste sweeter, and there's no need for the extra butter or fat. It really brings out the flavor of fresh squash. Roast it or grill it. Dice it or slice it. And then just olive oil, salt, and pepper. Yum!

                                                1. Here is a recipe I used recently - that involed roasting various summer veggies and tossing them in penne:


                                                  That's a nice way to use them too.....

                                                  1. If texture is a problem, don't hesitate to peel the larger, tough-skinned ones. Don't hesitate to take out excess amounts of seeds and fluff from the soft centers (use a spoon).

                                                    Cook in very hot oil to which you've added some garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Once you get the tricks of preparation and of the stir-fry time for something that cooks as quick as squash flesh, you'll have nice, even, firm squash slices.

                                                    I love to cook peeled seeded squash discs in a tiny bit of water in which I've boiled carrots and an onion; but this way yields squash that typically comes out "mushier" than I think the OP desires.

                                                    A nice fresh squash has plenty of great juices and if you peel, seed and julienne it, then you can dredge in seasoned flour (without aid of egg wash) and deep-fry, you've got a tasty treat.

                                                    1. It's great for stuffed squash. Par boil, slice lengthwise and scoop out the innards. Chop innards and saute in butter with chopped onion and some Italian sausage. Add fresh breadcrumbs, shredded cheese and some sour cream to bind. Stuff squash and bake until filling is golden brown and delicious.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                        I have made this with zucchini. An instead of using the innards, i saute leeks and add smoked salmon and drizzle with cream.

                                                      2. Haven't made this in years due to watching fat grams these days, but... chunk cut the squash, slice an onion and steam both until tender. Grate a large amount of yellow cheese (your preference). Gently mix squash, cheese, sour cream together and place in casserole dish. If desired, sprinkle with bread crumbs and/parmesan cheese. Bake (350-ish) until browned and bubbly or just heated.

                                                        Obviously, this is a very lax, one of those passed down, a little of this and a little of that recipes. If you make it, you will be sure to NOT notice the Yellow Squash. HA! Liking it is dependent on your like for cheese, onion and sour cream. If it's not rich enough, you could always add a bit of butter. Enjoy!

                                                        1. Make it with diced tomotoes and garlic in a vegetable stew, sort of like a simple ratatouille. Yellow squash is not dissimilar from zucchini in a dish like that, even though it has a distinct flavor from zucchini.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: RGC1982

                                                            A favorite summer dish of mine is layers of sliced yellow squash and/or zucchini, thin-sliced onion and sliced Roma tomatoes in a shallow baking dish, like a pie plate, with a bit of salt and pepper and dried herb(s) of choice, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with some vinegar or fresh lemon, then put into a hot oven for about 45 minutes. The leftovers are wonderful either cold, or heated up and used to dress some pasta.

                                                            My most favorite simple thing to do with any summer squash is to cut it into chunks and season it, then steam it over water with a handful of dried rosemary thrown in. The flavor permeates the squash very nicely, and it's delicious either hot or cold.

                                                          2. I really like this easy zucchini recipe with almonds. Very easy and somehow it always tastes better than expected. I think it would work equally well with yellow squash.


                                                            1. Not sure if I can help, because I and my son like it just fine simply cut into half-inch cubes and steamed with a bit of salt. I also tend to present it next to cous-cos, the give a bit a of starchy counterpart. Rice or a pasta could serve the same role

                                                              1. when i have an abundance of zucchini or summer squash to use up (which is every summer!), i shred it - raw - in my food processor, portion it out into ziplock quart-sized freezer bags, squeezing as much air out as possible, and freeze it flat in the bags to use throughout the year in soups, chili, pasta sauces or whatever else i feel like throwing it in :) hth!

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: dreamernowdoer

                                                                  Great idea. I'll do this. Thanks.

                                                                2. Yellow squash is tailor-made for Bittman's any-vegetable Vegetable Pancakes:


                                                                  As he suggests for zucchini, some dill goes really well with yellow squash here, as does adding a TON of garlic or garlic chives. You can cook them in anything from a spritz of cooking spray to a half-inch of oil, depending on how rich you want the final dish to be.

                                                                  Promise: You'll enjoy them like this, especially if the Southern stewed standard doesn't appeal to you.

                                                                  1. It's best when cooked as you denigrate it, IMHO. Al dente yellow squash isn't very good.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: aventinus

                                                                      Sounds like you need to find a better farmer.....

                                                                      1. re: cackalackie

                                                                        Yes, there's nothing better than tender-skinned yellow squash plucked from the garden or picked out at the farmer's market. I do like the squash casserole dish suggested by posters, and have made it with different cheeses, cheddar, jack or Swiss. But my fav recipe is simply sliced and sauteed in butter until tender and seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh chopped dill.

                                                                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                          Dill. Interesting. I must try that. For some reason, I always gravitate towards the fresh thyme with summer squash.

                                                                        2. re: cackalackie

                                                                          The real solution (not applicable here, since the original poster had little choice but to accept what the farm grew) is to switch to Zephyr - it's the only 'yellow' squash I've found that has a significant amount of taste. (it also doesn't get hard on the outside while still at slicing size!) Maybe you can convince your grower for next year?

                                                                      2. This thread is why I love the chowhound Home Cooking board. There are at least 20 ways of preparing the lowly, but in season, yellow summer squash. Of these, suse has found three or four that appeal based on ingredients or cooking methods. But, when the season hits here, there are at least 10 that sound good to me, and they aren't the same ones!

                                                                        Astonishing how quickly we have created a Squash Cookbook.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                            I love it grilled or added to tomato sauces for pasta. I also make a soup.

                                                                            1 sliced link Italian sausage
                                                                            3 stalks celery & some leaves
                                                                            3 carrots
                                                                            1 medium onion
                                                                            1 green or red pepper or combo
                                                                            3 or 4 garlic cloves
                                                                            1/2 C mushrooms
                                                                            1 can tomatoes
                                                                            1 can chickpeas or kidney beans
                                                                            1/2 to 1 C red wine
                                                                            3-4 C chicken stock
                                                                            1\2 chicken breast cut into pieces (can be cooked leftovers)
                                                                            3-4 small summer squash any variety
                                                                            salt, pepper, red pepper flakes & whatever Italian herbs you like.

                                                                            Brown the sausage, then saute all the chopped veggies. Add all rest of ingredients except squash if you want to simmer it awhile. Add squash for last 20 minutes so it doesn't get too soft. This would be good with a small shell pasta too.

                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                              tongue/cheek... poorly done. :-)

                                                                          2. Steam the yellow squash whole. This way you retain 98% of the taste and juices. Lightly mash with olive oil and salt and serve. Little bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar is good. Can also mash them with soy sauce and oil of any kind

                                                                            1. This is really simple and really good- slice and toss in a hot skillet with a really thin glaze of butter or olive oil, saute until it just strts to brown, turn, and barely brown the other side. Add salt and pepper. This brings out the most wonderful flavor without making it watery.
                                                                              Going to the u-pick farms made me realize what a sweet, wonderful treat yellow squash is.

                                                                              You can also use that cooking method to make calabcitas, which you can find lots of recipes for online. Just don't add any water to the squash when you cook it and don't steam it, dry-fry it.

                                                                              1. Squash is fantastic in stir-fry.

                                                                                But honestly, my favorite way to cook yellow squash is to slice & saute in a butter/evoo mixture, served with plenty of salt & pepper.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: shanagain

                                                                                  oh yeah I put any kind of summer squash in stir fry too. Also in Thai styled curry

                                                                                2. Cut to 1" dice, sautee with halved cherry tomatos in olive oil, s & p, add fresh basil ribbons at the end. Yum! It's the only way I can eat it (HATE mushy squash), but my whole family loves it this way, kids included.

                                                                                  1. How about in a southwest frittata? With black beans, red bell pepper, corn, cumin, cilantro/parsley, black beans and feta?

                                                                                    1. Lots of comments about grilling, but no one has specified stovetop or outdoor.

                                                                                      One of the most heavenly ways for grilling zucchini/yellow squash is slicing lengthwise about 1/4" thick, marinating in olive oil/vinegar/touch sesame oil/minced garlic/fresh basil/s&p for at least 1/2 hour, then grill outdoors. The smoked element is what makes this ambrosia (to my taste at least).

                                                                                      Another point - I've had difficulty finding yellow squash that's not bitter....

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: msmarm

                                                                                        I've not had that problem (re bitter yellow squash), but did try golden zucchini for the first time this summer. You might try to look for it instead.

                                                                                        1. re: msmarm

                                                                                          Bitter usually means that it's been kept too long at room temp, but could also come from a bad (too dry) growing season.
                                                                                          I've done grilled squash with rosemary, usually using the calabacitas (fat, gray-green squashes found in Hispanic and Asian markets).

                                                                                        2. I had some leftover roasted yellow squash that I put in a quick quesadilla this weekend. It was delicious and healthy!

                                                                                          1. This one you won't believe. Dessert. I know - sounds strange but it tastes exactly like apple crunch. My squash hating brother had NO IDEA he was eating squash!

                                                                                            I am tech challenged so I can't post a link but go to allrecipes.com. Type in zucchini cobbler. (Summer squash such as zucchini and yellow squash are interchangeable.) I used Don's recipe but I am sure the other one is fabulous as well. There are also links to zucchini pie and zucchini chocolate muffins and cakes.

                                                                                            1. 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. Grate some Pecorino Romano cheese, about 3 or 4 tablespoons (or use parmesan if you don't have Pecorino Romano) and toss it with the squash.

                                                                                              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.

                                                                                              ... At least I think that's the recipe :-) if not, it's quite close. I plan to make it again ... as soon as my squash grows enough more squashes!

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: NameCake

                                                                                                Okay, the salt and sugar are 1/2 tsp each.

                                                                                              2. This squash casserole is incredible. We never have a holiday meal without it. You'll see why, given the ingredients. Very easy to make and you can prep it the night before, as well:

                                                                                                "Aunt Georgia's Squash Casserole"

                                                                                                1 Cup of water
                                                                                                2 tsp salt, divided
                                                                                                1/8 tsp sugar
                                                                                                6 medium yellow squash, sliced
                                                                                                7 TBs unsalted butter, room temp, divided
                                                                                                4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
                                                                                                1 carton sour cream (8 oz)
                                                                                                5 medium green onions, chopped
                                                                                                1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese
                                                                                                1 cup bread crumbs

                                                                                                Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add 1 tsp salt and sugar to water and simmer squash over low heat, covered, 15 minutes. Drain squash and return to pan. Add 4 tablespoons butter and blend with squash. Stir in cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, 1 tsp salt, and Parmesan cheese. Pour squash mixture into greased casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs and dot with remaining butter. Bake 30 minutes.

                                                                                                  1. Am I the only one who eats it raw? I'm not nuts about how quickly it turns to mush when cooked; my favorite way to take care of a lot of it really quickly is to slice it and dip it in hummus or white bean dip. yum!!!

                                                                                                    1. I don't much like the texture of cooked yellow squash, but when I made this salad, raw squash was a revelation. It's so tender and delicate when you cut it into ribbons! Here's a photo: http://whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010/07/...

                                                                                                      Squash Ribbon Salad with Thai Basil and Peanuts

                                                                                                      2 medium yellow squash
                                                                                                      2 T. chopped scallions
                                                                                                      2 T. extra virgin olive oil
                                                                                                      2 T. fresh-squeezed lime juice
                                                                                                      1/2 t. sugar
                                                                                                      1/4 t. salt
                                                                                                      1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
                                                                                                      1/4 c. thai basil chiffonade
                                                                                                      1/4 c. dry roasted peanuts, left whole if small, chopped if large

                                                                                                      Cut the ends off the squash. Using a mandoline, slice it lengthwise into very thin ribbons. (If you don’t have a mandoline, you can use a vegetable peeler.) Place in a serving bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, sugar, pepper and salt. Pour over the squash and let sit for five minutes. Add the Thai basil and peanuts and stir very gently to combine. Serve at room temperature.

                                                                                                      1. I find the best way to cook both yellow squash and zucchini and is slice it lengthwise and then fry in olive oil until well browned on both sides. Salt, pepper and serve. You can also toss it with pasta and cheese at that point or can brown other vegetables--onions, peppers--and mix them all together. Sweet and very good.

                                                                                                        1. I grew up with the sauteed squash and onions too ... and I still don't like it. But I do like grilled fattoush using summer (yellow) squash and zucchini. Let me know if you'd like more of a recipe.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                            just a few weeks late to this (after getting a LOT in the CSA also)...I'd love the fattoush recipe, thanks!

                                                                                                            1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                              Here you go!

                                                                                                              The full recipe is here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                              I tend to use whatever I have on hand -- zucchini and/or yellow squash, cucumbers or not, adding grilled shrimp or chicken, etc. The fresh herbs really make a difference.

                                                                                                              And my pic:

                                                                                                          2. I love yellow squash sauteed in olive oil and then tossed with pesto sauce. Great with egg noodles. I get rid off seeds and the mushy center if the squash needs it but I usually just use the small sizes, seeds and all. The Southwest dish, calabacitas, is another great way to enjoy yellow squash. Saute with onion, garlic, zucchini, red bell pepper, jalapeno,corn and finish with a little bit of cheese and fresh cilantro, maybe a splash of milk. I serve that often and it is very versatile-whatever ratio of ingredients used are whatever are in the refridgerator.

                                                                                                            1. During this COTM, I made Mario Batali's PENNETTE WITH SUMMER SQUASH AND RICOTTA. It really was delicious and for us, it was a different application for summer squash.

                                                                                                              Here's a link to the recipe which appeared in the WSJ:


                                                                                                              and here's a link to my COTM review w some feedback on the process. Caitlin's review appears above mine:


                                                                                                              1. Love them raw, thinly sliced, in salads. Also, cored and stuffed with lamb and rice, in tomato sauce (a la Lebanese).