Monday, August 23, 2010

Cheesy Stuffed Summer Squash

Summer squash, stuffed with bell pepper, onion, tomatoes and pepper jack cheese, and topped with a sprinkle of panko bread crumbs.
Summer squash, stuffed with bell pepper, onion, tomatoes and pepper jack cheese, and topped with a sprinkle of panko bread crumbs.

Cheesy Stuffed Summer Squash

This is another great recipe to use those prolific summer squash, garden fresh tomatoes and even some of those bell peppers too. I just had to show the image below, which shows the pre-breaded squash because the stuffing is just so fresh looking.

The flavor is wonderful and I especially like it with the Pepper Jack cheese, since it provides a nice, spicy kick that I think is a perfect accent to this dish. Of course if you prefer to go a bit milder, any cheese will do such as regular shredded Monterey jack cheese, Cheddar or whatever is your favorite cheese.

I used panko as my crumb topping, but regular bread crumbs or even crumbled saltines will also work. I really like the contrast of the crunch from the panko bread crumbs with the tender vegetables though, and they are finally readily available at most stores now. You could also make this completely vegetarian if you'd like, or you could add in cooked crumbled sausage or ground beef to make it a more substantial main dish meal.

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Recipe: Cheesy Stuffed Summer Squash

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 40 min |
Total time: 50 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 4 to 6 large yellow summer squash
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup of sliced green onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups of shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an oblong baking pan with non-stick spray. Trim ends off of squash, place into a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil until tender, about 8 to 9 minutes. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp; set aside. When cool, chop.

Saute the bell pepper in the bacon fat until tender; add the green onion and garlic, cook another minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer mixture to a bowl. Slice squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds from the squash and discard. Add tomatoes to the pepper mixture, add the cheese and bacon. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir to mix.

Place squash shells into the prepared pan. Use a slotted spoon to fill the shells of the squash with the tomato stuffing. Sprinkle tops with panko bread crumbs and drizzle each with the melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes, or until sizzling and golden brown on top. Use a wide spatula to transfer to plates.

Cook's Notes: Substitute dried or fresh bread crumbs, crumbled saltines, potato chips or tortilla chips for the panko. Add in cooked, drained and crumbled sausage or ground beef for a more substantial main dish meal.


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Posted by on August 23, 2010
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  1. I've done this with zucchini, but never with summer squash. I'll have to try it. Also, I've never tried the panko breadcrumbs.

  2. Omg that looks AWESOME!! Beautiful, colorful and healthy (well, if you don't count the bacon but what fun would that be?). Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  3. Eva, you're right same concept. I am such a huge fan of summer squash - especially the yellow crookneck. It's my favorite over zucchini and with all these goodies tucked inside, this is just incredibly delish! The panko is an excellent contrast - try it!

    LB you "could" use turkey bacon I suppose, but like you said what fun would that be LOL!! ;) Seriously, it'd be good even without any kind of bacon!

  4. what a beautiful summer dish! you've got a lovely blog here!

  5. Those are brilliant! And you're right, the stuffing does look amazing. I love all the color in it. There'd be no way I'd replace the pepper jack, I love an extra kick. thanks so much for sharing!

  6. We love squash. Question though? Does boiling them before hand (since they are baked for 40-45 minutes) make the squash mushy (we don't like mushy squash!!!)?

  7. Thanks Teresa!

    Julie I think you'll enjoy these - and yes, the pepper jack works great with this dish to kick it up!

    Hi Susan! Well, since these are stuffed and baked, boiling them makes them soft enough to easily scoop the seeds out and make a boat to hold the stuffing.

    The bottom picture shows the squash cooked and while they will be soft after baking, they aren't what I would consider soggy. If you're looking for a crispness to the squash like with a quick skillet stir fry, that's not going to happen with baked squash, but they are firm enough that you will need to cut bites out of them. Course, as a disclaimer, I'm not sure what your definition of mushy is either. :)

  8. Wow..this looks amazing! I love summer squash! Yum!

  9. I love stuffed squash and peppers. I've never thought to add bacon to mine, but I bet that is a delicious addition! Looks great!

  10. Oooh those look so tasty, thanks for the recipe.

  11. Yum! I adore summer squash, but haven't stuffed it yet. I always use zucchini for stuffing for some reason. I love your addition of panko to the tops Mary; I like a bit of crunch to my food.

  12. OOOOoooEEeeeeee. This sounds great. Thanks for all the great recipes. I'm off to collect the ingredients from the garden for the stuffed summer squash. Lisa

  13. Did you halve the squash before or after you blanched them?

    Please add the crumb step to the directions for less experienced cooks.

    1. Hi Nan! It looks like some of the directions dropped off into internet outer space somehow. Thankfully they were on the printable copy, so I've corrected the recipe & clarified things a bit better I hope! Sometimes I am sure that I could use an editor, but it's only me, myself & I running this recipe site, so thanks for understanding & for letting me know!

    2. Oh and you do blanch the squash whole, then split them to remove the seeds.

  14. I'm trying this tonight! Looks absolutely scrumptious! Do you have any grilled squash recipes too?

    1. Hey Leigh! The only thing I do is slice the squash or zucchini lengthwise kinda thick and toss it with a little olive oil, then season with salt and pepper sometimes a little Cajun and grill until soft. Doesn't take long!

    2. Hi Mary, my hubby grills squash this way and sprinkles parmesan on top while it's hot. So Good!

    3. Love it! Wish I could get my hubby to cook, well.. anything LOL!!

  15. Made this using 2 yellow squash and 2 zucchinis and sweet 100 cherry tomatoes fresh from my garden. Also added Italian sausage. It was so yummy. Thank you Mary!

    1. Oooo, how are those cherry tomatoes? I tried growing some before and the skins were so tough I just couldn't eat them. Glad that you enjoyed this summer favorite & thanks so much for stopping back by and letting me know!!


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