If you've got crookneck squash overrunning your garden this summer, use up some of that fresh produce by trying this Fried Yellow Squash recipe. It's a delicious, easy side dish that is so satisfying that we have honestly had meals where we just eat fried squash for dinner.
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I grew up on this fried squash, looking forward to it every summer of my childhood and carrying on the tradition of making it every summer when squash is plentiful. Paul did not grow up with this recipe, but is now the person who requests fried squash most often because it's one of his favorite things that I make. Eating fried yellow squash reminds me of my grandparents house in Pocatello, Idaho. We visited them every summer, making the long drive from Nebraska or Southern California all the way to Idaho where hey had a large piece of land with a HUGE garden.
I always loved exploring the rows of corn, climbing the apple trees, picking raspberries off their raspberry bushes, and shelling peas and snapping green beans or shucking corn with my grandpa and grandma on their back porch.
My mom, grandma & grandpa, and her sisters (my three aunts who never married and who we always referred to collectively as "the girls") would spend days bottling peaches, applesauce, cherries, pears, apricots, or putting up green beans or other produce that would then go into the cold storage in my grandparents basement.
That cold storage room was one of my favorites because it was dark and cool in their otherwise sweltering house and the shelves were lined with jewel-like jars of bottled food. I feel sad that my girls don't get that same experience, but we just don't do that much canning anymore since fresh produce is almost always available year round. Plus, our garden isn't nearly big enough to produce that kind of yield.
The one thing that we do get a TON of each summer is yellow squash. We have one crookneck squash plant and it just keeps giving and giving. We share with our neighbors, who in turn give us bags full of plums from their plum trees.
This sharing of summer produce is another favorite summer tradition that makes me glad we have a garden, even if it's a small one.
But even if you don't grow squash in your garden or have a neighbor to share with you, yellow squash is really inexpensive during the summer at farmer's markets and grocery stores. You could even use this same approach with zucchini, which we definitely do although yellow crookneck squash is our favorite.
What is fried squash?
My family's approach to fried squash is a little different from most, I think. Most fried squash recipes I have seen calling for dredging the squash in egg and milk, then in flour or cornmeal, rather than battering it like we do. Apparently fried squash is a Southern dish and that's usually how it's done.
Instead, we make a super simple batter using just flour, egg, and milk, then dip sliced squash into the batter to coat on both sides before frying them in a thin layer of hot oil in the bottom of a large skillet with a little salt and plenty of pepper sprinkled over them as they cook.
The finished squash comes out tender and delicious with a golden exterior and we pile it high on a plate for serving with anything from grilled chicken to meatloaf. It's actually reminiscent of tempura vegetables, but less refined and more homey.
As a kid, this was for sure my favorite way to eat my vegetables. And I always wanted the "baby" slices that came from the neck of the squash. Those were coveted bites because you could pop the whole thing in your mouth.
Clara also loves this squash and is the same way, always snagging as many little ones off the plate as she can.
You can also steam, saute, and grill yellow summer squash, or turn it into squash casserole, but eating it fried like this is by far our favorite approach.
How to Make Fried Yellow Squash
Wash and dry the squash, then slice off and discard the ends. Slice the squash into discs that are somewhere around ⅜-inch thick and set aside.
In a shallow dish, combine flour, an egg, and milk, whisking with a fork until everything is incorporated.
Heat about ½-inch of oil in the bottom of a large skillet until hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles when dropped into the oil to test it (around 350 degrees F).
Dip the squash slices in the batter, turning and lifting with a fork to allow excess batter to drip off.
Gently lay each battered slice of squash in the hot oil, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper (I especially like my squash extra peppery so I'm pretty heavy handed with it). Turn each piece of squash to cook on the other side until both sides are golden brown, then remove from the pan using tongs and transfer to a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towel. You will need to work in batches to cook all of the squash.
More Vegetable Side Dish Recipes
- Southern Tomato Pie (this is SO good and one of the most popular recipes on the blog! it may sound weird, but you've got to try it.)
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- Grilled Corn Salad
- And see all my VEGETABLE RECIPES here!
Green Beans with Bacon & Pine Nuts
Fresh Authentic Pico De Gallo
Grilled Mexican Street Corn
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Fried Yellow Squash
- 3 yellow crookneck squash
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- Salt & pepper
- Oil for frying
- Wash and dry squash, then slice off and discard the ends. Slice the squash into ⅜-inch thick discs and set aside.
- In a shallow dish, combine the flour, egg, and milk, whisking with a fork until everything a batter forms.
- Heat ½-inch of oil in a large skillet until hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles when dropped into the oil to test it (around 350 degrees F).
- Dip the squash slices in the batter, turning and lifting with a fork to allow excess batter to drip off.
- Lay each battered slice of squash in the hot oil, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Be careful not to crowd the pan.
- Cook until golden brown on the bottom, then turn and cook on the other side until both sides are golden brown. Remove the fried squash from the pan using tongs and transfer to a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towel.
- Repeat, working in batches, until all the squash is cooked.
Reader questions and reviews
Oh how I love this, your shared memories of summers with grandparents and aunts, helping with chores that seemed less like work and more like fun ,there is something about that special quality time with extended family that most kids now days just dont get to experience. In reading this my eyes began to burn ,tears brought on by my own memories so similar to yours, only difference is location my summers were spent in Louisiana ,trade your grandparents basement with the waters of Lake saint John to escape the heat, other than that this could have been written by me. Thanks for reminding me of a time and place where summers were full of magic ,family and of course really good food
I had so much yellow squash from my garden. Your recipe was awesome. Quick and easy.👍🏻 Thank you for sharing. Only thing I did different, I used my fry daddy. Next time I’m going to remove seeds and cut in bite size pieces. Delicious!!
Have you tried making these in an air fryer by chance? I've done battered onion rings in the air fryer so I was thinking of maybe giving these a shot but didn't want to waste squash if that's a bad idea. Either way I can't wait to try these!
I haven't tried it since I don't have an air fryer but I would love to know how they turn out!
Can you freeze this recipe?
I don't think these would freeze very well. They wouldn't crisp up well after being thawed.
This was the best fried squash recipe I've ever tried. Most have called for corn meal amd dredging, and the corn meal never seems to want to stick well. The batter was super simple to make and stuck incredibly well to the squash, and it fries up so light and crispy it reminded me of tempura breading. The minimal seasoning of salt and pepper also allows the sweetness of the squash itself to really shine through, which I love in any fried vegetable. I used a deep fryer but otherwise followed your recipe exactly. Definitely a keeper!
It was absolutely delicious and reminded me of my grandmother's fried squash when I was younger. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
I'm so happy to hear that!
Do you fry it with the seeds in it. I’ve never had this kind of squash before and when I sliced it, it had a lot of seeds inside
That's a great question. Yes, you fry it with all the seeds. They are actually very soft and not a bad texture at all. Totally delicious and I wouldn't bother trying to remove or cut around them.
Once again I tried another fried veggie recipe for your August Farmer's Market contest and it came out to be a winner. I think I liked this more than the green tomatoes and that is apparently a southern staple, and I love everything southern soul food. Thanks for posting this.
My squash had a lot of very big bumps and the skin was very tough. I never made anything with squash so I had no idea how tough this very bumpy skin would be. We tried to eat around the skin but just gave up and threw them all away. I should’ve tasted one out of the first batch, then I would’ve known not to waste anymore time. It also should’ve phased me when I was having a hard time slicing through them, lol. I guess I must’ve thought they would soften up when cooking.
This was our first time planting squash. Our garden produced very bumpy skin crook neck squash at the beginning of the season. Now they’re a lot less bumpy. I may try again with these ones.
Do you know anything about very bumpy skin squash? Are those ones always tough, or maybe I waited too long to cook them? I have no idea. I’ll almost want to toss those ones out and wait for the less bumpy ones to grow next year.
I will say the batter was really good. I’m going to try making with smooth yellow skin zucchini this afternoon.
Yes, if they have really bumpy skin you can't let them grow too long or they will be tough.
I've eaten fried squash by making up batter with garlic powder and chilli powder and flour and eggs and buttermilk.