colorful skillet squash medley dish

Save Room for Squash

Photos by Julie Bird

UT Extension kitchen divas pictured in their orange floral aprons
From left, Gwen Joyner, Sarah Poole and Tennille Short are known as the UT Extension Kitchen Divas. Each year, they showcase recipes and do cooking demonstrations at the Summer Celebration in Jackson, Tennessee. Not pictured is Amy Elizer, a member of the divas, who could not attend this year’s Summer Celebration.

Seems like there’s a kind of squash always in season. It’s a versatile vegetable and was the star of the dishes prepared by the UT Extension Kitchen Divas at the annual Summer Celebration, the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center’s field day for gardening enthusiasts. The divas are UT Extension agents in West Tennessee with expertise in family and consumer sciences. They shared these recipes for eating squash year-round.

Skillet Squash Medley

colorful skillet squash medley dish

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion, yellow or red
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced about 1/8-1/4 inch thick, in rounds or half moons
  • 1 can Ro-tel
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir constantly so the garlic does not burn. Add the zucchini and squash, tossing well with the olive oil mixture. Saute over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the Ro-tel. Continue cooking and stirring until the zucchini and squash are tender and the Ro-tel has mixed in well, about another 2 minutes. Toss the hot mixture with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Yellow Squash Muffins

fluffy yellow baked muffins on a light blue platter

  • 2 lbs. crookneck yellow squash
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups self-rising flour

Wash squash, trim ends and cut into 1-inch slices. Cook in a small amount of water for 15-20 minutes. Drain well and mash. Measure 2 cups of the squash and combine with eggs, butter and applesauce. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture, and then add squash mixture and stir only until moist. Spoon mixture into greased or sprayed muffin tins, filling about ¾ full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.

Quick Butternut Squash Soup

A bowl of creamy butternut squash soup in a white bowl on a green platter

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh sage, chopped or 1 tsp. ground, dry sage
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 ½ lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Add oil, garlic and onion to large stock pot over medium heat. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add sage, salt, pepper, broth and squash. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until squash has a tender consistency. Use stick blender to lightly puree, leaving some chunks, or puree half of the soup in a food processor or blender and return to pot. Garnish with parmesan cheese and more sage if desired.

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Sarah Poole pulls a tray of squash pizza bites out of the oven

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup marinara sauce
  • ½ cup finely grated mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup pepperoni minis
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to broil. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, add zucchini and cook, flipping once, until golden, about 1-2 minutes on each side.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place zucchini rounds onto a large baking sheet. Top each zucchini round with marinara, mozzarella and pepperoni minis. Place in oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Italian seasoning if desired.