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Summer Squash: Zucchini and Yellow Squash Recipes

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Baked Zucchini Crisps on
Baked Zucchini Crisps (photo by Angie Mosier)


My grandmother used to stand at the stove and fry slices of squash and zucchini in her cast-iron skillet. She’d dip thick rounds of squash in egg then coat them in a combination of seasoned cornmeal and flour. They’d bubble furiously in the fat, transforming from pale yellow disks to golden brown coins. Using her well-worn two-pronged fork, she would transfer them, one at a time, to layers of split-open brown paper bags to drain. It seems they never made it to the table. My sister, cousins, and I would hover around the kitchen table like little birds with mouths wide open, our greasy little fingers scarfing down the crispy rounds as soon as they would cool enough to touch.

I feel *nearly* the same with these Baked Zucchini Crisps and sure you will, too. Read on for more about a round-up of summer squash recipes — and a whole lot of Zucchini Love.

summer squash recipes on
Pan-Seared Summer Squash with Spiced Lemon Vinaigrette (photo by Angie Mosier)

How to Cook Squash and Zucchini

While old-fashioned fried squash is a classic, garden-ripe summer squash is infinitely versatile. It can be served raw, spiralized, grilled, steamed, pickled, and sauteed. It can be pureed into soup or “casseroled,” covered in cheese.

Here’s a game-changing tip about salting summer squash on Instagram I picked up from my colleague, Chef Ashley Christensen.

Is Zucchini Healthy?

In season, zucchini and yellow squash are some of the finest summer produce has to offer. Yes, they sometimes play second fiddle to uptown heirloom tomatoes and down-home fresh corn, but freshly harvested summer squash recipes are good and good for you. It seems over three-quarters of the year we’re exposed to watery and dull summer squash imported in from all over the world. We forget how fantastic zucchini and yellow squash recipes can be.

It’s widely known that bananas are high in potassium. Did you know that one medium zucchini has 512 mg of potassium, according to the USDA? Compare that to one medium banana that has 422 mg. Mind blown.

Zucchini is a low-carb green squash with a tremendous amount of health benefits that can be used for sweet and savory dishes alike. It’s packed with many important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with a high fiber content and a low-calorie count.

Zucchini Roll-Ups with Feta

Healthy Zucchini Recipes

Here’s a recipe round-up of some of my favorite summer squash recipes:

healthy zucchini recipes on

Zucchini Love

For the absolute ultimate recipe round-up of zucchini recipes, you need to check out Zucchini Love, written by my dear friend Cynthia GraubartHaving been fortunate enough to taste many of these recipes, I have to say that Cynthia has done an AMAZING job of assembling a great collection of tasty recipes I know you and your friends and family will love.

This book is a real value at less than 15$ Starters, main dishes, breads, appetizers, and desserts all made with zucchini — it’s genius.

Her Zucchini Noodle salad has become my go-to for summer. Love it. It inspired my own version I shared with the 5:30 Challenge for the AJC, Ranch Zoodles with Grilled Shrimp. And, LOVE her Zucchini Ricotta Pound Cake. She’s sharing here her Grilled Zucchini and Peach Salad. It is summer on a plate.

Bon Appetit, Y’all!

Virginia Willis

PS Speaking of peaches — super proud of my collaboration with Pearson Farm for Virginia’s Georgia Peach Pound Cake. Use cokde CHEFVA for 20% off anything on

healthy zucchini recipes on

Grilled Zucchini and Peach Salad with Mint

If you can’t find balsamic reduction in your grocery store or specialty food market, you can make your own. Heat 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a small pan over low heat and cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons.
Servings: 4


  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium peaches
  • 5 ounces arugula
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction see Note


  • Cut each zucchini lengthwise into four slices. Brush the cut sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Peel, halve, and pit the peaches.
  • Heat the grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat. Place the zucchini slices and peach halves cut side down on the grill. Cook, in batches if necessary, until the zucchini is soft and the peaches show grill marks.
  • Divide the arugula among four plates. Place two slices of zucchini crossed in the center on top of each salad. Place a peach half, grilled side up, on each. Sprinkle with mint and feta. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve.

Let’s cook something up! If you are interested in hosting me for a speaking engagement, event, cooking class, or a book signing, let me know! Send an email to and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

I am not a doctor, RD, health professional, or WW representative. I am simply sharing what works for me. My blog is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.

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Virginia Willis cookbooks



Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 2 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

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