Using the Produce Box Summer Squash

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Got zucchini or other summer squash and not sure how to use it all up? Check out these recipes to help you use up the garden or produce box bounty.

zucchini and summer squash

Ah, zucchini, squash, you are my summer nemesis. Well, you and your evil twin, eggplant. Whatever am I to do with you?

Now, honestly? I love zucchini, his summer squash cousins, and eggplant. However, it seems like feast or famine. In winter, these veggies are out of season, making summer time the time of abundance.

The problem? Summer is hot, the time when you don’t really want to heat up the kitchen. Since there are few raw or uncooked applications that I know of for squash, this means that you need to cook this prolific seasonal fruit while you have it.

What’s a girl to do?

Here are some of the things that I’ve chosen to make good use of the abundance of summer squash: zucchini, patty pans, and crookneck that come my way. (We’ll save eggplant for another day.)

What to Do with Summer Squash

Bake it.

My kids aren’t the biggest fans of cooked squash, so the stealth method works well for us. I shred zucchini and bake it into all kinds of things.

Zucchini Waffle

Cinnamon Zucchini Waffles

Zucchini Muffins with Streusel Top

Bulk Batch Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Hide it in soup.

Some folks don’t love soup in the summertime. I do. If you don’t want to eat it on a hot day, just cook it up in the cool of the day and then freeze it in individual portions. Then, when a Soup Day arrives, you’re all ready!

Cheese Soup 3

Cheddar Cheese Soup with Zucchini, Broccoli, and Carrots

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Turkey Soup 2

Chicken Noodle Soup

Vegetable beef minestrone

Minestrone Soup

Cook it.

Though my kids might balk, I still make them eat their squash. Mean mom.

Seasoned Beef and Vegetables

Sauteed Yu Choy with Mushrooms, Onions, and Squash

Vegetable Bolognese with Eggplant, Peppers, and Zucchini

Easy and Versatile Rice Bowls

Grill it.

Grilling gives you the benefit not only of an earthly, smoky flavor, but also the coolness of the kitchen stays cool. There are lots of ways to include summer squash in your grilling endeavors.

Vegetable Kabobs 3

Grilled Vegetable Kabobs

Freeze it.

Believe it or not, you can shred zucchini and store it in ziptop freezer bags in the freezer until a later date when you want to add it to baking or soup. Be sure to thaw and drain it well before using.

Got a trick for zucchini and other summer squash?

Looking for tips on how to use all the items in your produce box this summer? Check out this post for help.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. We’ve been baking zucchini in an “easy zucchini bake” recipe I saw on Pinterest. It’s basically zucchini sliced lengthwise, layered with sauce and cheese. Similar to a zucchini lasagna, if you will. It’s tasty and uses up at least 3 big zucchini in one dish!

  2. Season with Not Yo Mamas seasoning, add onion and sauté until soft. add 1 can fire roasted chiles, some diced jalapeño (fresh or pickled, and garlic..warm through. Add cheese and let melt. Sometimes I will do all those steps but transfer to a baking dish, crumb 3 Ritz on top and bake for 20-25 minutes more.

  3. Jenny says

    I recently had an amazing salad that I duplicated at home. I used raw zucchini, squash, red onions, and julienned carrots (the other included canned artichoke hearts, peppers, celery, and maybe some others which I didn’t have on hand). I marinated those overnight in a honey lemon Dijon vinaigrette with tons of fresh herbs like dill, parsley, basil, chives. The veggies soften up just a little and it is my new favorite side dish!! I am not a fan of cooked zucchini, it is a texture thing. So I’m totally excited about this!

  4. Carla says

    If I don’t bake or saute with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, & Parmesan or puree for soups, spaghetti, etc., I have a couple fall back recipes. Zucchini bites that are sliced rounds with pizza sauce, sprinkle of cheese and cut up pepperoni, if available. Zucchini pizza boats with hamburger mixed into the sauce and sprinkled with cheese and baked (the hollowed out can either be minced and put back in the meat/sauce mixture or frozen for another use). I planted late this year so still looking forward to a good harvest—I hope! 🙂

    • Zucchini pizza boats sound great. Do you cook them before you top them?

      • Nope. They don’t take long to bake. The only thing that I didn’t like is the one time I only had pepperoni with the sauce—too drippy. So I always use hamburger or sausage in the sauce to give it some body. Now that I think of it I have once or twice microwaved the boats a bit first before baking—-but that was only because I was in a BIG hurry. Normally I bake them and they taste great in no time. (I do NOT use the recipe on my pinterest board, but it shows the steps rather well.)

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