Ideas and recipes to help you make the most of a windfall of summer squash

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen
Shaved Zucchini and Toasted Corn Salad

This is the time of year that the seeds you planted at the beginning of the season really begin to bear fruit. If you overzealously planted too much summer squash this year, you may be a little overwhelmed by the fruits of your labor. You can only foist so many baskets of zucchini and crooknecks on your neighbors.

For an overabundance of squash, we have recipes and suggestions. Besides the ubiquitous pies and casseroles, you could also buy an inexpensive spiralizer and have zucchini "noodles" all summer. Just salt those noodles before you cook them to release the water and toss them in a hot pan with pesto and some cooked shrimp.

Stuffed squash:A Cherokee chef turned to tradition for this stuffed squash recipe

Street food:Bourbon Lime Chicken Tacos

Grilled squash is also great with pesto. Or, you could shave ribbons of summer squash and dress it with your favorite vinaigrette. Add some edible flowers for garnish and you have the perfect summer side. 

Next, try these recipes on for size. 

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie

Sweet Corn and Zucchini Pie

This herbed summer squash casserole is both savory and sweet from fresh summer corn. 

Serves: 8

Hands On Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large zucchini squash, thinly sliced

1/2 large Vidalia onion, chopped

2 ears sweet corn

1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

3 large eggs, beaten

2 ounces cream cheese


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie plate.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the zucchini and onion. Cut the corn off of the cobs and add it to the pan, cooking until the vegetables soften (do not allow them to get mushy), 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir in the cheddar, eggs and cream cheese.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate. Arrange the top slices of zucchini so that they lay flat and the dish looks nice. Bake until bubbly and browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve in wedges.

Southern Succotash

Southern squash succotash

This recipe comes from Southern From Scratch, by Ashley English.

Succotash can bring to mind mushy lima beans and dreary canned corn. But it doesn't have to. This summer version is full of seasonal produce, including okra, bell peppers and, yes, summer squash.

Serves: 6 to 8

Hands On Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes


3 strips bacon

1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

8 ounces okra, cut into bite-size rounds

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound yellow summer squash

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved if small, quartered if large

5 ears corn, shucked and cut from the cob (about 2 1/2 cups kernels)

1 pound baby lima beans, cooked al dente

2 teaspoons sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


Warm a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Place the bacon into the pan and cook just until it starts to get crispy. Remove the cooked strips to a plate lined with a paper towel. Once cooled, crumble or chop the bacon into small pieces.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and okra to the bacon grease in the pot. Sauté for 10 to 12 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown around the edges.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the squash and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved bacon pieces. Add the butter, stirring until melted.

Stir in the cherry tomatoes, corn, lima beans, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the basil. Let sit for a few minutes, and stir before serving.

Squash Casserole

Cheesy summer squash casserole

This is the quintessential cheesy Southern squash casserole.

To get the right texture, use a potato masher to squish your squash after cooking. The result: a creamy and savory side dish that helps you make the most of summer abundance. 

Recipe courtesy of The Lovett School.

Serves: 12

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

10 small yellow squash, cut into large cubes

1 large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add squash and onion and cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain off any excess liquid and mash slightly. Transfer mixture to a baking pan and stir in grated cheddar. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Sprinkle on top of casserole and dot with butter. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is bubbly and browned.

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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