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Zucchini and Squash Recipes

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Summer is the time of year when you can find a plethora of different zucchini and squash recipes like; zucchini bisque, sautéed zucchini and carrots, and grilled summer squash pizza.

Both squash and zucchini can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be chopped up for salads, stir fries or as the main ingredient in soups or pasta dishes. Squash can also be baked in the oven to make delicious dishes such as pumpkin pie, vegetable tian or roasted acorn squash.

A collage with 8 different zucchini and squash recipes with title graphic in the center.


What is squash?

Cucurbita, Latin for gourd, is part of the genus herbaceous in the gourd family native to the Americas that were growing here long before humans arrived. All squash varieties contain seeds and come from the flowering part of plants. The blossoms are also edible and can be used as a garnish or part of a recipe.Squash is botanically considered a fruit and not a vegetable as most people think; just like eggplant, tomatoes, avocados, and cucumbers. They are not as sweet as fruits and generally used in recipes as a vegetable.

You can usually find squash in most grocery stores and farmer’s markets year-round, not just during your local growing season.

How long does it take for squash to grow?

Most varieties of summer squash will be ready to harvest 60 days after planting. They can be harvested when young and tender, or you can wait until they reach their full size, about 6 to 8-inches in length. If you wait too long, they will become less tender and flavorful.Winter squashes take a bit longer, 60 to 100 days after planting. They ready to harvest once the rind of the fruit is hard enough to not puncture with a fingernail.

How do you store squash?

Summer squash, like zucchini, should be stored in the refrigerator, but thick skinned winter squashes should be stored at room temperature.

Summer Squash

When we say summer squash, what do we mean? Zucchini/courgette is one of the most common types of summer squash; right up there with straightneck yellow squash, but there are many more varieties to choose from like crookneck, scallop, patty pan, and more!

Summer squash are typically in season from June to September and can be stored for up to 4 months if properly stored in a cool (between 50 and 55 degrees), dry place with good air circulation. It is often used in salads due to its edible skin and delicate flavor that pairs well with other ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, and onions.

Summer Squash Collage with zucchini boats, bisque, sautés with carrots and onions .

Summer Squash Recipes

Zucchini and yellow squash can be prepared on the grill, sautéed in a pan, stuffed, baked, or fried. Zucchini is also incorporated into many dishes zucchini bread, muffins, soups, and soufflés.

Winter Squash

What about winter squash? This is a type of squash that is typically harvested in the fall after the first frost. They are available from early fall into late spring, and can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Winter squash varieties include butternut, acorn, spaghetti, hubbard, delicata, and pumpkin.

Winter squash varieties have a harder skin than summer squash, and are usually steamed, baked, boiled or roasted.

Winter Squash Collage with images of roasted acorn, butternut soup, pizza, and Brussels sprouts.

Winter Squash Recipes

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash grows on a vine and has a sweet, nutty taste similar to pumpkin. The skin is a tan-yellow color with an orange, fleshy pulp. When ripe the orange color will continue to deepen and the flesh will become sweeter and richer.

Acorn Squash

Also know as pepper squash or Des Moines squash is considered a winter squash, although it belongs to the same species as summer squash. It has deep ridges running from top to bottom, and the flesh inside is yellow-orange.

The flavor has been described as nutty, almost sweet, and mild. Acorn squash is typically baked, but it can also be steamed or sautéed.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash known for its mild, slightly sweet flavor and stringy texture, which resembles spaghetti when cooked. Its flesh pulls away in ribbons or strands, making it a popular low-carb substitute for traditional pasta.


Pumpkins are round with slightly ribbed, deep yellow to orange colored skin on the outside. If you have ever carved a Jack-o’-Lantern, you know that the thick shell contains the seeds and pulp. They generally weight 6 to 18 pounds, but larger varieties can reach over 75 pounds.

Most parts of the pumpkin are edible including the flowers, seeds (usually roasted), and the flesh mashed to be used for pies and soups.

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What zucchini and squash recipes should I try next? Do you have any favorites? Let me know in the comments if you do!

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