Mom’s Summer Squash

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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

  • DAE

    I think ‘sliced’ squash really should say 1/2 slices? If sliced too thin it will be mushier, however it still tasted great! I love this recipe. It’s the only yellow squash recipe I will use and eat yellow squash! Great recipe, thank you!

  • Elisha

    I wish mine browned, instead, it turned straight to liquid with no chance. However, I went on with the recipe and it did turn out great … just more like a soup instead. :) I’ll try it again sometime. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Ryan

    Great dish. Instead of the tomatoes I poured some tomato sauce over the dish. Will definately make again.

  • Michelle Honey

    Hi, I wanted to throw out the suggestion, since the blog author mentioned looking for ways to use up an abundance of summer squash, for those of us who have diabetes, or those who just want to reduce their carb intake, slicing zucchini thinly and using it in place of pasta, is a great way to enjoy the various pasta sauces and reduce or remove the high carb noodles. You do not boiling them like noodles, I make the sauce have it all ready and right before I’m ready to serve, I have a little olive oil, very little, in a pan, pretty hot, not smoking, and quickly stir fry the strips of squash, not to cook fully, just to cook enough to soften them, and make them hot to match the sauce. It is really a great way to enjoy ‘pasta’ and keep one’s blood sugar in the safe zone.

    This bread recipe sounds yummy and I may try it to take to share a work for those who are able to eat flour. Thanks for great recipe ideas.

  • Caroline

    This recipe is delicious! I have no experience cooking squashes and tried about 6 recipes before this. All that were failures. This one was just sooo perfect! I’ve cooked it 3 times in 1.5 weeks already. I did not add cheese (I’m lactose intolerant), and used beet roots instead of green peppers (I can get local organic beet roots and I hear that peppers are among the produce with the highest amount of pesticide/insecticide/herbicide residue when bought at “big” grocery stores). It was just delicious. I always want to eat squash because it just looks sooo beautiful, but I always burnt and ruined it. Now it just tastes sooo good! I’d recommend this recipe to anyone anytime.
    Yummmmmmmmmmmmm! :D

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