Did you know there are more types of summer squash than just zucchini or yellow squash?
With summer right around the corner, it’s time to trade in winter squash for summer varieties. So here’s a collection of the best types for you to try.
From green to yellow, squat to crookneck, summer squash comes in various sizes and shapes.
The one thing they all have in common is versatility. That means there are more recipes to try!
From chayote to zephyr, this guide will educate you on the top 10 summer squashes.
Whether you’re grilling or baking, there’s a summer squash here to try.
1. Cousa Squash
Cousa squash is the squat, pale green cousin of zucchini. Thin-skinned and sweet, you can use it just like zucchini, too.
It’s a Middle Eastern squash. In fact, the name cousa is Arabic for squash.
Common in Lebanese and Syrian cuisine, I recommend trying it in a Middle Eastern dish.
Due to the size, they’re also great for stuffing. So pack them full of your favorite savory filling.
For a robust meal, add seasoned ground beef with rice and tomato sauce. Or lighten things up with a vegetable quinoa medley.
2. Chayote Squash
If you haven’t tried chayote squash yet, you’re missing out!
As soon as I had it, chayote squash instantly became one of my favorites.
Luckily, it’s also becoming more and more common on grocery store shelves.
This pear-shaped Mexican squash is starchy like a potato but with fewer carbs. The flavor is mildly sweet.
Technically, it’s a fruit. But like tomatoes and bell peppers, you cook it like a vegetable.
The skin is edible and the seed is soft, so you can slice right through it.
It’s excellent in Mexican dishes and a great potato substitute. Sometimes, I like to use half chayote and half potato in my morning hash.
Zucchini needs no introduction. After all, it’s one of the most popular summer varieties around.
Grilled, baked, sauteed, or stuffed, there are endless ways to enjoy it.
Although, one of the best zucchini summer dishes has to be zucchini fries. Everyone I know instantly devours them!
Zucchini can often grow to massive sizes in the garden. Yet the smaller ones have all the flavor.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use larger zucchinis, though. They’re still good in zucchini-based sweets like muffins, bread, and cakes.
4. Yellow Zucchini
Another popular summer variety is yellow zucchini. It’s just one of many different types of zucchini.
It’s shaped just like regular zucchini, and it can be interchanged with it as well.
What sets it apart, though, is the bright yellow skin and sweeter flavor. So keep that in mind if you’re using it instead of zucchini.
Also called golden zucchini, yellow zucchini is versatile. Eat it raw in a salad or saute it with olive oil and garlic.
Due to the sweeter flavor, it’s also excellent in baked goods.
5. Pattypan Squash
Pattypan is such a fun-looking squash.
It’s saucer-shaped with scalloped edges. Meanwhile, the color can range from green to yellow.
While the appearance is intriguing, the flavor is what keeps you coming back.
These funny squash pack a ton of flavor into their small size.
Grilled, roasted, sauteed, stuffed, or raw, there are tons of cooking options.
They’re fantastic in a summer salad thanks to their crunch.
Just keep in mind the skin is a bit tough, so you might want to peel it off.
6. Luffa Squash
You’re probably very familiar with luffa squash. You just might know it by another name.
Any guesses? Yes, that loofah!
Our favorite exfoliating agent is not from some sea creature. It comes from the luffa squash, which is part of the cucumber family.
They’re not only used as a bath product, though. You can eat young luffa squash.
You just need to pick them before they mature. This can be a bit challenging because this squash grows fast!
If you do get young luffa squash, you can cook them or eat them raw.
7. Yellow Crookneck Squash
You can easily see how this squash got its name. It has a crooked neck!
The bottom is wide and round, which tapers off into a thin neck.
Despite the shape, it’s a member of the Cucurbitaceae family just like zucchini.
The thin skin is edible, and the creamy, white flesh is mild and buttery.
Use it in savory dishes or add it to sweets. It’s great any way you make it.
8. Round Zucchini Squash
If squash had a cuteness award, round zucchini squash would be a prime contender.
These adorable squash are short, round, and fat.
With a shape like that, it’s not hard to understand why it’s also called eight-ball squash.
As for the flavor, it’s just like zucchini, so it’s a great substitute.
The size and shape also make it perfect for stuffing.
Pack it with a savory filling or use it as a soup bowl. Both are great options for a dinner party.
9. Zephyr Squash
Zephyr squash is a hybrid and it shows! The yellow neck and green bottom create a stunning coloration pattern.
It’s part delicata, acorn, and yellow crookneck squash. it’s a sensational variety to add to your cuisine.
Similar to pattypan, the texture is dense with thicker skin.
The firm flesh holds up better than some varieties when cooking. It also has a hint of nuttiness.
If you’re looking to try it, cook it like other yellow squash. You can also use it instead of zucchini for noodles.
10. Yellow Straightneck Squash
Yellow straightneck squash is similar to crookneck. The skin can be bumpy and the color looks about the same.
The flavor is also mildly sweet and the skin is edible.
The difference is obviously the shape of the neck. It makes it a bit easier to work with in the kitchen, too.
So if you like yellow crookneck but have trouble chopping it, try yellow straightneck instead.
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