What’s Cooking at the Farmer’s Market? Summer Squash

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It’s time for summer squash and you can find many varieties at the local farmers market! Squash and zucchini have a taste and texture that can be adapted to many different types of recipes, from traditional Southern, to Italian or Greek Style. No matter the way you like to eat and prepare your squash, this spring and summer veggie packs a load of health benefits.

Squash is low in calories, only about 36 calories in a cup, and yellow squash is said to be a brilliant source for Vitamin C, A and magnesium, great for eye health too! Much research shows that squash provides antioxidants that aid in the prevention of cancer as well as promoting heart and colon health!

Try these heart healthy recipes!!

Zucchini, Olive and Cheese Quesadillas


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1¼ cups shredded zucchini
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ cup diced tomato, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives, divided
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese, divided


Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add zucchini; sauté for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; stir in oregano, salt, and pepper.

Wipe pan clean with paper towels, and coat with cooking spray. Heat pan over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla to pan, and sprinkle with ¼ cup mozzarella. Top with half of the zucchini mixture, ¼ cup tomato, 2 tablespoons olives, 2 tablespoons feta, and 1 tortilla. Cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Carefully turn quesadilla; cook for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Place quesadilla on a cutting board; cut in half using a serrated knife. Repeat procedure with the remaining tortillas, mozzarella, zucchini mixture, tomato, olives, and feta. Serve warm.

Serves 4. Each serving contains: 235 calories, 7.9 g fat, 8.7 g protein, 23.7 g carbohydrate, 3.8 g fiber, 14 mg cholesterol, 0.7 mg iron, 632 mg sodium.

Tomato, Squash and Red Pepper Gratin


  • 5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped red onion
  • 1½ cups chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 pound yellow squash, cut into ¼-inch thick slices (about 3½ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (about ¾ cup)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 1½ ounces French bread baguette, torn
  • 1 (12-ounce) beefsteak tomato, seeded and cut into 8 slices


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Add bell pepper; cook 2 minutes. Add squash and garlic; cook 4 minutes. Place vegetable mixture in a large bowl. Stir in quinoa, ¼ cup basil, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper.
  2. Combine remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, milk, cheese, and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to vegetable mixture, stirring until just combined. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  3. Place bread in a food processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add breadcrumbs; cook 3 minutes or until toasted. Arrange tomatoes evenly over vegetable mixture. Top evenly with breadcrumbs. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes or until topping is browned. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup basil.

Serves 6. Each serving contains: 235 calories, 12.1 g fat, 12.2 g protein, 21.2 g carbohydrate, 3.9 g fiber, 123 mg cholesterol, 1.9 mg iron, 443 mg sodium.

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

I know summers are hot, but with fresh veggies soup is still a great choice and a good addition to your diet, filling flavorful and lower in calories!


  • 2 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • ¾ cup sliced green onions, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 1 pound yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1 pound frozen white and yellow baby corn kernels, thawed and divided
  • 2¼ cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, and set aside. Add ½ cup onions, celery, and squash to drippings in pan; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Reserve 1 cup corn; set aside. Place the remaining corn and 1 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth. Add remaining 1¼ cups milk, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to blender; process just until combined. Add pureed mixture and reserved 1 cup corn to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Stir in ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  3. Ladle about 1½ cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon bacon, 1 tablespoon remaining onions, and 1 tablespoon cheese.

Serves 4. Each serving contains: 285 calories, 9.4 g fat, 13.3 g protein, 37.8 g carbohydrate, 5.4 g fiber, 20 mg cholesterol, 1.3 mg iron, 605 mg sodium.

Summer Squash Soup with Pasta and Parmesan


  • 6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2¼ cups uncooked farfalle (about 6 ounces bow tie pasta)
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow squash
  • 2 cups finely chopped zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil


  1. Bring broth and water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add pasta, and cook 8 minutes or until almost tender. Add squash and the next 7 ingredients (through pepper).
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until pasta is done and squash is tender. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Serves 4. Each serving contains: 269 calories, 4.6 g fat, 16.5 g protein, 39.4 g carbohydrate, 3.4 g fiber, 10 mg cholesterol, 2.6 mg iron, 912 mg sodium.