Mom’s Summer Squash

My mother is the only person I have ever known who can make summer squash taste this good. Often this time of year gardens are overflowing with zucchini and summer squash. This quick and easy recipe is a great way to use up some of the bounty. Note that summer squash varies in tenderness, sometimes you need to cook them a little longer, sometimes a little less.

Mom’s Summer Squash Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 2 lbs squash and/or zucchini, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, sliced
  • 2 smallish tomatoes or one large tomato, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 5 or 6 slices of cheese - jack or cheddar
  • Basil, either dry or chopped fresh
  • Salt and pepper


1 Put onion, garlic, squash, bell pepper into a large saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Put on high heat and brown the vegetables slightly to develop flavor. As you are browning, sprinkle either dried basil or chopped fresh basil on the vegetables. When vegetables are slightly browned, remove from heat, add the slices of cheese, and cover the pan.

2 In a separate stick-free fry pan, put the tomatoes and cook at medium hi heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to let the juice from the tomatoes evaporate some. After 5 minutes, add the tomatoes to the rest of the vegetables and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Showing 4 of 24 Comments

  • Pink Sun Drops

    One word: yum. And I didn’t even follow the recipe as meant to. I burnt the tomatoes (am I the only one that can’t cook and talk on the phone?) and forgot the cheese. I’m sure it would be even yummier with those :) !

  • Irina

    Hi Elise,
    I just made these tonight and loved the combination of flavors. The only problem I had was that in the end it was too soggy. I have very limited experience cooking squash- did I overcook it or what went wrong? Yours look so crisp and good!

  • Elise

    Hi Irina – you may have overcooked them. Squash is variable in terms of cooking time. Some are quite tender and cook up quickly, some are tougher and take more time.

  • Garen

    One thing you can do to keep squash from getting too squashy is to toss the cut pieces with a coarse salt in a colander. The salt with draw out the water from the squash. After 10 minutes or so, rinse away the salt, pat dry, and it will brown quite nicely.

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