Summer squash are some of the easiest veggies to care for, and they grow incredibly fast. One day they are just a few inches long, and after a soaking rain they seem to double in size overnight. Sometimes they go unnoticed until they are huge. It can become a real problem when the veggies begin producing and growing fast, especially since many people only use it for sweet bread and fried appetizers.
Instead of breading and frying squash or giving most of it away, try these easy ways to use it in main dish meals. Some of the very best recipes that use summer squash do not require flour and oil, and they were my grandmother’s summertime favorites. Squash can help stretch food dollars while satisfying a craving for meal that is completely different and absolutely delicious.
Cheesy Summer Squash
To make cheesy summer squash you will need six cups of peeled summer squash, two cups of cracker crumbs, four large eggs, two cups of milk, one stick of butter, salt and pepper to taste, and grated American cheese for the top. Also required is cooking spray or shortening and a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. This is one of the best ways to use large quantities of summer squash, and it is a very filling meatless summertime meal.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl with the exception of the grated American cheese. Spray or grease the pan, and spoon in the summer squash mixture. Top this tasty summer meal or side dish with the grated American cheese, and bake it for approximately thirty minutes or until it begins to brown around the edges. The cheese should be hot and bubbly, and the summer squash should be tender.
For added flavor and appeal, this summer squash meal can be topped with crisp crumbled bacon as well. Serve it with hot crusty rolls and genuine whipped butter. Chances are you will never have too much summer squash once you try this tasty way to use it. The family might not even realize it contains summer squash.
Tasty Summer Casserole
A combination of summer squash can be used to make a flavorful casserole that is very filling. You will need two pounds, or approximately four heaping cups of diced and peeled summer squash, one-fourth of a cup of chopped sweet white or yellow onion, one can of condensed cream of chicken soup, one cup of sour cream, one cup of shredded carrots, one eight-ounce package of herbed seasoned stuffing mix, and one-half of a cup of melted butter. I use Pepperidge Farm brand herbed seasoned stuffing mix.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, cook the onion and summer squash in salted water. Just as it begins to soften, drain the mixture and set it aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup (undiluted) with the sour cream and shredded carrots. Gently fold in the summer squash and onion mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the stuffing mix and melted butter.
Spoon half of the stuffing mixture into a 9 by 13-inch baking pan that has been greased or coated with cooking spray. Make sure it completely covers the bottom. Spread the creamy squash mixture over the stuffing. Top the filling with the rest of the stuffing, and bake it for approximately twenty-five minutes or until it begins to brown around the edges.
My grandmother regularly made both of these tasty squash recipes in the summer when it was plentiful. They were a great way to use the abundance of summer veggies the garden provided. Give the aforementioned recipes a try. Chances are they will become your summertime favorites too.