18 Ways to Enjoy Summer Squash

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. 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 more than 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.

18 ways to enjoy zucchini and summer squash

Angi at Schneider Peeps adapted her usual vegetable lasagna recipe to this dish that uses zucchini instead of pasta. She says "it's NOT about going low-carb!" Her zucchini lasagna is an innovative (and delicious) idea.


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!


If you're grilling, be sure to add a healthy side with these Foil-Packet Grilled Vegetables from www.drugstoredivas.net.

Another super-easy dish that can also be adapted to other vegetables, just assemble these foil packages of squash and zucchini and cook them on the grill, from Drugstore Divas.


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.


Tomato sauce with zucchini over pasta

When you just can't eat another zucchini, make some of this incredible zucchini pasta sauce to top some whole-wheat spaghetti noodles, from It's Garden Thyme. 


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

Hillary at 918 Plate makes Greek veggie zucchini boats.


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.  Here's how I make my recipe: 

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.


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).


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. 


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.


 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 squash 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. 


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. 


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. 


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.

Some zucchini snacks

Turn zucchini into a super healthy snack food!

You can even turn zucchini and squash into snack foods that are super-healthy as well as delicious. Try these paleo, gluten-free and grain-free zucchini chips as a substitute for potato chips and crackers. Your family will love these chips from Amber at My Homestead Life.


homemade zucchini gummy candy on white plate

Here's an unusual way to use zucchini - make gummy candy with it. You'll appreciate Common Sense Home's method that doesn't use sugar or Jello. 

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.


20 ways to enjoy summer squash and zucchini

Turn your small zucchini into pickles! It's easy with this recipe from Healing Harvest Homestead.


Whether you're looking for a quick side dish, a main dish, a delicious quick bread or snack, 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?

Are you overrun with zucchini and summer squash? Here are some delicious ideas to serve squash - maybe you'll find a new favorite?

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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