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20 Ways to Enjoy Summer Squash


Are you overrun with zucchini and summer squash? Here are 18 ideas for using it in delicious ways, including how to preserve it.

Summer squash season is right around the corner.

I've heard stories of people who find bags of zucchini inside their cars, placed there by an anonymous neighbor who is overrun with them.

My plants are often the victim of squash bugs or squash vine borers so I wouldn't be averse to finding a bag-full of squash in my car once in awhile. So far, so good this year though; I planted my squash and zucchini under insect netting to protect them.

Now that the plants are huge from all the rain we've had and are blooming, I need to remove the netting so insects can pollinate the flowers. Last year I wrapped the base of the stems with Vet Wrap (Ace bandages work too) to keep the borers from gaining access, so I will do that again too. The wrap stretches as the vines get thicker so it's a great solution. Squash bugs on the other hand...

Why summer squash and zucchini are so good for you


Summer squash are very low-calorie vegetables, containing 17 calories in a 100 gram serving. They are also an excellent source of protein, vitamins A and C, thiamine, niacin, phosphorus and copper, as well as a good source of fiber, vitamins K and B6, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese. They nourish your eyesight with high levels of beta carotene and lutein. High in antioxidants, squash also keep free radicals at bay.

Summer squash come in many shapes and sizes, from warty crookneck squash to smooth zucchini, in round or oval shapes, and scalloped varieties.

According to Burpee Seeds, summer squash does everything but plant itself. As long as you give it full sun, warm temperatures, well-drained soil and steady moisture, (and keep them safe from those squash bugs!) you'll be rewarded with a bumper crop of squash about seven weeks after planting.

How to enjoy summer squash and zucchini


So, what can you do with this abundance of squash and zucchini?

A few years ago I asked some of my blogging friends for their favorite summer squash and zucchini recipes, and I originally published this post with the ten great recipes they shared with me.

Now I've updated it with contributions from several other friends and have eighteen recipes for you! There's certainly something here for everyone, whether you want to cook it, preserve it, or make it into a sweet dessert.

Photos are used with permission.


Pasta with lemon, zucchini and basil from terristeffes.com; photo used with permission

Terri from Our Good Life enjoys serving zucchini in this pasta with lemon, zucchini and basil dish. I love pasta dishes, and this one is delicious.
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Zucchini quiche from Nancy on the Homefront; photo used with permission.

Nancy from Nancy on the Homefront, who is one of our weekly Simple Homestead
blog hop co-hosts, uses zucchini to make this zucchini quiche.

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Newlywed recipe from True Agape; photo used with permission.

Cassie at True Agape calls this summer vegetable bake her "newlywed recipe" - I'm sure you remember those newly-married days of having little money and having to stretch your food budget to the max, right? This dish will help!

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Squash au gratin from Restoring the Roost; photo used with permission

Megan at Restoring the Roost uses yellow squash
to make squash au gratin. If it has cheese in it, it must be good.

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Sauteed squash and onions

Megan also likes to saute squash and onions together in bacon fat
for a long time over medium heat until it's browned and softened, it's so yummy!

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Greek veggie zucchini boats from 918 Plate; photo used with permission.

Hillary at 918 Plate makes Greek veggie zucchini boats.

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I use a different filling than Hillary does in my zucchini and squash boats; the concept is the same but the tastes are worlds apart. Fry pork sausage and onions, drain the grease and add some spaghetti sauce to the sausage and onions. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds from the middle, and fill up the boats with the mixture. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350° for about 25-30 minutes, until squash are tender.
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Zucchini pizza rounds from Grow a Good Life, photo used with permission.
When you don't have much time, these zucchini pizza rounds from Grow a Good Life are quick and easy to assemble, and your family will love them (even the picky eaters).
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Zucchini Latkes from Practical Self-Reliance; photo used with permission.
You might not have thought of making zucchini for breakfast, but Ashley from Practical Self-Reliance says her zucchini latkes are a great way to start the day. In fact, depending on what you serve with them it's a great lunch or dinner recipe too. 
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Roasted zucchini

Roasted zucchini moons are still my favorite way to put a quick side dish on the table. Simply slice a zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut into "moons" about 1/2" thick. Pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil on a baking sheet and toss the zucchini slices in the oil, then top with salt and pepper. For variety, try adding some onion or garlic powder, or maybe a pinch of cayenne powder, and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425° for about 8-10 minutes, until the zucchini slices are tender.
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 Zucchini Fritters - Super Easy Recipe
Try these zucchini fritters from Lisa at the Self-Sufficient HomeAcre - they're also a good way to use up an excess of homestead eggs. You'll find even more ideas for using up your zuke abundance in her post.

Turning zucchini into dessert

Zucchini-carrot cake
Who would ever have thought that a vegetable would make such scrumptious desserts? Well, besides carrot cake, that is. Lisa from The Self-Sufficient HomeAcre has done just that - and this recipe for carrot-zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting even includes carrots. 
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Zucchini Pineapple Bread
Lisa has also combined zucchini with pineapple to make a delicious bread, which she says is her favorite way to eat zucchini. 
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One of my daughters loves zucchini bread. She manages to grow zukes way up in the Rockies, then grates and freezes it so she can make zucchini bread all year round. 
Chocolate chip zucchini cake from Nemcsok Farms; photo used with permission.
Evelyne from Nemcsok Farms takes her zucchini bread a step further by adding chocolate chips
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chocolate zucchini bread - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre; photo used with permission
Lisa at The Self-Sufficient HomeAcre simply turns hers into chocolate zucchini bread that also has chocolate chips in it. Wow.
20 ways to use zucchini and summer squash.
Heidi at Healing Harvest Homestead makes this incredible chocolate zucchini bread made from giant zucchinis (but small ones work too). I love that deep chocolate color; I bet it's delicious.

How to preserve summer squash for later

Is your garden overflowing with zucchini? Learn the many ways you can preserve zucchini so you can enjoy the abundant harvest during the winter months
When you're truly sick and tired of zucchini and summer squash and your neighbors are locking their car doors so you can't share with them anymore, try these three easy ways to preserve zucchini to use later, from Terri at Grow a Good Life.
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Corn zucchini salsa from Nancy on the Homefront; photo used with permission.

Nancy at Nancy On the Homefront preserves her zucchini by making and canning corn-zucchini salsa.
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Zucchini relish from Nancy on the Homefront; photo used with permission.

Making zucchini relish is another way that Nancy preserves her zucchini harvest to enjoy all year round.
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20 ways to enjoy summer squash and zucchini
Turn your small zucchini into pickles! It's easy with this recipe from Healing Harvest Homestead.
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Whether you're looking for a quick side dish, a main dish, a delicious quick bread or dessert, or ideas for preserving your squash harvest to eat all winter long, you're sure to find just what you're looking for in these recipes from my favorite bloggers.

They all look delicious to me. Which one will you try first?


Have zucchini and summer squash coming out your ears, and the neighbors are hiding from you because they're tired of it too? Here are 18 ways to use it or preserve it.



You might also enjoy:
10 Ways to Use All That Winter Squash



This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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40 comments

  1. I like to sautee squash & beans in a small amount of olive oil with salt, pepper, and garlic. Let the veggies start to brown and they are amazing.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this, April. It sounds simple and delicious.

      Delete
  2. The zucchini relish and cake look so yummy! I will have to try them! Thank you for the feature!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Cassie. Let me know how you like them.

      Delete
  3. I love both squash and zucchini, so I'm really glad that I got to visit with you today. I'm excited to try each recipe. Thanks so much for sharing! GOD bless you, beautiful friend! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you visited today, Tai, and found all these new recipes!

      Delete
  4. fresh from the garden summer squash is the best! there are some great recipes here, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome; I'm so glad you stopped by.

      Delete
  5. Oh wow, thanks for putting together this great list! I didn't plant summer squash this year, now I wish I had. My husband thinks he doesn't like squash, but I think that I could easily change his mind with these recipes ; )

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    Replies
    1. I bet you could too, Michelle. He might not even realize it's squash unless you told him.

      Delete
  6. I've been making zucchini bread for days now! I have 34, 2-pound loaves in the freezer already. Only 20 more loaves to go. After I have 54 loaves frozen, then I can take a deep breath. My husband whines like crazy if he doesn't have his zucchini bread all year long. I'm swamped with zucchini this year. I'll be making at least 25 loaves to share with our new neighbors and friends this summer also.
    We steam zucchini and serve it as a side veggie. We also shred it and serve it to our dogs (mixed in their kibble). Our dogs LOVE zucchini - raw, steamed or grated.
    Thank you for the wonderful recipes. I'll be trying most of these. I also add FRESH zucchini to our spaghetti sauce - it's always a big hit around here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All I can say is WOW, Bobbie! That's a LOT of zucchini! Thank you for sharing your ways of serving it.

      Delete
  7. Great post, I have a friend who thinks zucchini relish is the best stuff ever but I have never tried it!
    Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jamie Marie, now we have some recipes to try!

      Delete
  8. Sauteed in coconut oil with a fried egg and a couple of cherry tomatoes. It's the perfect summer breakfast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very different, Jennifer. It sure sounds good!

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  9. I love making ratatouille with zucchini and a bunch of other yummy veggies. These all look good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ratatouille sounds delicious, Daisy!

      Delete
  10. This is a nice roundup. I want to make some lemon zucchini bread.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can't wait for our summer squash to be ready!!! Thanks for adding this to From the Farm, this is one of this week's favorites!

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  12. I love all the fresh Ideas! I think I'll look at that squash casserole with the cheese first! Thanks for posting this at country fair blog party! Love it!
    Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Jan. I hope you find a new favorite.

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    2. P.S> You were the most viewed post for our link up this month so you will be featured on our September link up as well as posted on all my social media and pinned on our pinterest board! Congrat's and thanks again for joining us!

      Delete
    3. Thank you, Jan! I'm excited! Thank you for all the shares and the pin too!

      Delete
  13. Congratulations on receiving the most-clicked post from last month's Country Fair Blog Party! We can't wait to see what you have in store for this month :) http://www.cornbeanspigskids.com/2016/09/country-fair-blog-party-september-2016.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, that's an honor I'm thrilled to have!

      Delete
  14. Well...I think you’ve succeeded in naming a great variety of ways to use zucchini! Certainly not all the ways, since people have always been rather resourceful at hiding the vegetable.

    I happen to enjoy it, and have just been gifted with a nice big bag! So, time to get cooking!

    Blessings, Laurie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations on your gift, Laurie! Yes, cooks have been hiding squash and zucchini in other dishes for many years. But if you like a dish where squash is the star, this list is for you!

      Delete
  15. Thanks for sharing my zucchini recipes, Kathi! Lots of yummy ideas here!

    ReplyDelete
  16. SO many amazing ideas!! Thank you so much for putting them together for us and for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop. As always, we love everything you write :-)

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    1. Aww, how sweet. Thank you, Kelly!

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  17. Oh my goodness! I think I love every one of these recipes already! We also wanted to let you know that your post has been chosen as one of our features this week on the Homestead Blog Hop.
    Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you featuring my post on this week's hop, Ann! It's always an honor to be a featured post!

      Delete
  18. I used to grow zucchini and summer squash and it did present challenges at times! Your tips are wonderful, Kathi, and this is a great selection of recipes too. Sharing on the Hearth and Soul Facebook page later today. Thank you so much for being a part of the Hearth and Soul community! I hope you are having a lovely weekend!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, April! I hope you're having a fun weekend too.

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  19. My go-to recipe is to stir-fry zucchini, squash and any other veggies I have around (onions, bell peppers, eggplant) and purslane when I have it sometimes even lambs quarters in coconut oil under crisp-tender.

    Then add a splash of balsamic vinegar and Braggs aminos (similar to organic soy sauce) and stir. Yum.

    My most creative, easy way to use them, especially large zucchini that get missed when picking is to back them like a potato. Poke holes with a fork and bake until tender. Then cut into cubes and add to potato salad.

    You can add up to 50% zucchini to the potatoes and it is unlikely anyone will notice because they don't have a distinct flavor.

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  20. Those both sound delicious - and the potato salad idea is ingenious! I'll be trying both.

    ReplyDelete

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