16 Ways to Use Summer Squash


Sometimes, impatience is a virtue — at least when it comes to summer squash. Yep, when you pick squashes early, when they’re still tender (but have a much shorter shelf life), you get delicious results. We’re not just talking about zucchini here —  click through to check out fantastic ways to make all sorts of types of summer squash.

Earlier: 6 Less Common Herbs & Spices for the Kitchen


1.  Summer Squash & Lemon Risotto

This is an accompaniment to grilled vegetables and/or a nice big salad full of all of the summer produce bounty.


  • 8 Cups vegetable stock, as needed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup minced yellow onion
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1 Pound various summer squash, diced
  • 1 1/2 Cups arborio rice
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Cups dry white wine
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon zest
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste (1-2 tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. In a saucepan over low heat, bring stock to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Stir in the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender. Stir in summer squash, and add good pinch of salt. Turn heat up to medium high and cook for another five minutes, stirring often, until the squash has turned translucent but isn’t too soft. Add rice and garlic and stir continuously until the rice is separated and begun to crackle. Reduce heat to medium, and slowly add the simmering stock in 1/2 cup increments. You want the stock to cover all of the rice and be bubbling. Stir often until almost all of the stock has been absorbed, and add another 1/2 cup. Repeat until you’ve added most (but not all) of the stock.
2. Cook for about 25 minutes, until the rice is tender but still a little chewy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add another 1/2 cup or so of the stock, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and cheese. Remove risotto from heat and adjust seasoning as needed. If the risotto isn’t creamy enough for your liking, add a little more stock and stir. Serve piping hot.

Recipe Credit: Martha Rose Shulman via the New York Times.

More Summer Squash Recipes:
2. Summer Squash and Zucchini Gratin
3. Summer Squash, Yogurt & Tahini Dip
4. Basil & Summer Squash Soup


5. Summer Squash Ribbons Salad.


  • 1 1/2 Pounds various summer squash, ends trimmed, and cut lengthwise into strips.
  • 2 tablespoons very thinly sliced shallot
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 Cup chiffonade of basil
  • 1/4 Cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 Ounces crumbled goat cheese (optional)

1. In large bowl, toss to combine summer squash ribbons, shallot, olive oil and vinegar. Set aside and let stand for about 10 minutes to marinate.
2. Season salad with salt and pepper to taste. Add basil and pine nuts and toss to combine gently. Transfer to serving plates and add optional goat cheese.

Recipe Credit: The Kitchn.

More Summer Squash Recipes:
6. Refreshing Summer Squash Salad
7. Summer Squash and Corn Saute
8. Cajun Summer Squash


9. Thai-Style Grilled Summer Squash and Zucchini

Here’s your ultimate summer squash on the grill recipe! The key with this is to adjust the herbs and spices of the marinade to your taste. More jalapeno, perhaps, for a spicier twist, or more mint and basil for a cooler take.


  • 1 Medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 Medium summer squash, cut in half lengthwise

For Marinade:

  1. 1/4 Cup vegetable broth
  2. 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  3. 1/2 Teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  4. 1/2-1 Teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  5. 1/2 Teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot
  6. 1/2-1 Teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño
  7. 1 Teaspoon soy sauce
  8. Coarse salt to taste

1. Arrange zucchini and squash in a square baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl, add all marinade ingredients and stir to combine well. Adjust herbs, spices, and salt to taste. Pour marinade over vegetables, cover, and let the marinating vegetables stand for about 2 hours.
3. Transfer vegetables to a hot grill, about 4 inches from medium heat, reserving the marinade. Let grill, covered, for 10-15 minutes, uncovering every 3-5 minutes to brush with the marinade. When the vegetables are tender and golden brown, they’re ready. Quarter vegetables. If there is any more marinade, transfer to a bowl and toss with marinade before serving.

Recipe Credit: food.com.

More Summer Squash Recipes:
10. Stuffed Summer Squash
11. Lemony Summer Squash Soup
12. Summer Squash Strata


13. Squash Blossom Quesadillas.

Squash blossoms may be familiar to gardeners — they’re the flowers from squash plants. They’re very delicate and go bad quickly. I can’t even get them in my CSA box, because, in the 24 hours between when the blossoms are picked and when I pick up my box, they’re already too wilted. Aside from your or a friend’s garden, look for squash blossoms at farmer’s markets.

If you’re making enough for a crowd, transfer the quesadillas to an oven on its lowest setting before serving.


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 Medium white onion, diced
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded & diced
  • 10 Fresh squash blossoms
  • 1/2 Cup vegetable stock
  • 3 Sprigs epazote, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Flour tortillas
  • 1/4 Pound queso blanco, grated

1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Stir in onion and poblano and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in garlic and continue to stir until the onions are translucent. Stir in squash blossoms and vegetable stock, and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in epazote and cooking cooking until the blossoms are wilted, about about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. After the squash blossom mixture has cooled, assemble quesadillas. Arrange 2 tortillas on a flat surface, and sprinkle cheese evenly between the two. Add the squash blossom mixture in an even layer on both quesadillas, and top with remaining to tortillas.
3. Heat vegetable oil in a sauté pan. Add quesadillas and cook until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool for a minute or two before cutting and serving.

Recipe Adapted From: Food Network.

More Summer Squash Recipes:
14. Santa Fe Calabacitas
15. Herbed Summer Squash Soup
16. Confetti Vegetable Sauce


Sue H
Sue H2 months ago

Some good ideas here, thanks.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

I can't wait to try some of these recipes. I may have to go to the grocery to buy some since the squirrels are eating my squash & tomatoes in the garden!

Bill and Katie D.
Katie & Bill D5 years ago

Summer squash zuchinni all so good and healthy!!
Thank you

Pandute A P
Pandute AP5 years ago

And don't forget an omelet or scrambled eggs with squash/zucchini.

Bill and Katie D.
Katie & Bill D5 years ago

Sounds so good will try!
Thank You

GGma Sheila D.
Sheila D5 years ago

Can't wait to try some of these. Thank you.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

Yummy, thanks.

Anne Woods
Anne Woods5 years ago


Anna Undebeck
Anna Undebeck5 years ago

Great :) TY for sharing!

Laura Saxon
.5 years ago

I love squash. Thanks for sharing.