Yellow Squash

Yellow Squash 101 – The Basics

Yellow squash is a very popular summer vegetable that most of us enjoy. Through the wonders of our modern-day food supply system, many of us can find it in our local grocery store year-round. If you’re not sure what to do with yellow squash, the video below is for you. I cover the basics from what it is, to nutritional aspects, to how to select, store, prepare and preserve the squash. Links to many recipes are also included. So enjoy!

My video notes are available for your personal use. See below the video link.

I hope this helps!

Yellow Squash 101 – The Basics

About Yellow Squash
Yellow squash is a member of the gourd family or Cucurbitaceae, sometimes called “cucurbits.” Winter squashes and melons are also members of this same family. Yellow squash are close cousins with zucchini and the two are easily interchangeable in recipes. There are both straight neck as well as crookneck varieties of yellow squash. Summer squash is native to North America, specifically to what is now the central and southern regions of the United States. Cultivation quickly spread, and is now available worldwide.

Nutrition Tidbits
Yellow squash contains an array of important nutrients: copper, manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, potassium, B-vitamins and more. It also contains the important antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to ward off eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. Although it contains very little fat, what fat it has includes omega-3 and monounsaturated fats. There are only about 20 calories in 1 cup of sliced, raw yellow squash, yet that amount has 1.62 grams of protein. Yellow squash is humble, yet packs a good nutritional punch!

How to Select Yellow Squash
Choose ones that are heavy for their size, and have shiny, unblemished skins or rinds. Also, the rinds/skins should be tender, not tough, which would indicate they are over-mature with hard seeds and stringy flesh. Opt for medium-size squash, as the larger ones will be tough to eat. Very small squash may not be developed enough and may have an inferior flavor.

How to Store Yellow Squash
Store unwashed squash in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

How to Preserve Yellow Squash
Yellow squash is best when used fresh. It may be frozen, but it will be very soft when cooked. To freeze yellow squash, it is preferable to steam it rather than boil it, to help preserve its texture. Steam blanch squash slices for three minutes, then allow it to cool before placing it in freezer bags or containers. Avoid the usual ice bath as this will add more water and make it mushier when being used later.

Fresh vs Frozen
Fresh yellow squash is tender, but versatile, since it can be used raw or cooked in a number of ways. Frozen yellow squash will become very soft once thawed. It should be cooked in a quick method that involves the least amount of water possible to maintain texture and prevent mushiness.

How is it usually eaten…raw or cooked?
Yellow squash can be eaten raw or cooked, although it is likely to be cooked more often than eaten raw.

How to Prepare Yellow Squash
Wash yellow squash well under cool running water. Remove both ends, but do not peel it. Then cut it into desired size pieces.

Cooking/Serving Methods
Yellow squash may be enjoyed raw in salads, spiralized into noodles, grilled, sautéed, steamed, boiled (briefly), roasted, stir-fried, stuffed, added to casseroles, added to egg dishes, and baked into breads or muffins. It may be used interchangeably with zucchini in just about any recipe. Uses for summer squash abound and are only limited to your imagination!

Here are some easy serving ideas for yellow squash, provided by

* Sprinkle grated summer squash on top of salads and sandwiches.

* To Healthy Sauté summer squash, heat 3 TBS of broth (vegetable or chicken) or water in a stainless steel skillet. Once bubbles begin to form add sliced squash, cover, and Healthy Sauté for 3 minutes (1-1/2 minutes on one side, and then 1-1/2 minutes on the other side) on medium heat. Remove from heat and use as desired. Here’s a suggested recipe using either zucchini or yellow squash with this sauté method:

* Enjoy an easy to make ratatouille by sautéing summer squash, onions, bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes and then simmering the mixture in tomato sauce. Season to taste.

* Serve raw summer squash with your favorite dips.

Herbs/Spices That Go Well With Yellow Squash
Garlic and olive oil, chives, dill, basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, rosemary, parsley, mint, thyme

Other Foods That Go Well With Yellow Squash
Pasta, tomatoes, onion, roasted or grilled meat, chicken, seafood, lemon, eggs, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, bell pepper, corn, and more!

Recipe Links
Primavera Verde

5-Minute Healthy Sautéed Summer Squash

Anytime Frittata

Sautéed Yellow Squash with Fresh Herbs

100+ Ways to Use Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Summer Squash Casserole

Roasted Vegetable Gnocchi with Spinach-Herb Pesto

Baked Summer Squash

41 Sensational Summer Squash Recipes

About Judi
Julia W. Klee (Judi) began her journey enjoying “all things food” in elementary school when she started preparing meals for her family. That love of food blossomed into a quest to learn more and more about health and wellness as related to nutrition. She went on to earn a BS Degree in Food and Nutrition, then an MS Degree in Nutrition. She has taught nutrition and related courses at the college level to pre-nursing and exercise science students. Her hunger to learn didn’t stop upon graduation from college. She continues to research on a regular basis about nutrition as it relates to health. Her hope is to help as many people as possible to enjoy foods that promote health and wellness.


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