Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Squash Creole

Fresh squash and tomatoes are paired with Vidalia onion and sweet bell peppers, topped with cheese and buttered bread crumbs and baked.

Squash Creole

Vidalia onions, okra, vine ripe tomatoes and green beans, freshly shucked corn, butter beans, southern peas and sweet bell peppers, yellow crookneck squash, zucchini and garden fresh cucumbers. I just love the veggies of summer. Have you gotten your fill yet?

Now... to be honest, we southerners don't stop enjoying our hearty casseroles, chicken and dumplings, pot pies, roasts or even soups and gumbo, just because Mother Nature calls up scorching summer heat. I know. We're a bit crazy like that.

But, it's these beautiful summer vegetables at their flavor peak right now that really draw us in, and I try to find as many ways to enjoy them as I possibly can before summer is gone. In fact, it is not at all unusual that we southerners make a complete meal out of nothing but garden vegetables - with a little sweet tea and cornbread on the side, of course.

Since The Cajun doesn't have the same love of vegetables that I do, this is pretty much a main dish meal for me. To be perfectly honest, that works out just fine because with fresh summer squash, sweet Vidalia onions, garden fresh tomatoes and sweet bell pepper, it is right at the top of my favorites.

Starting with a saute in the skillet, the dish benefits from a quick bake, and once I turn it out into a casserole dish, I top it with some cheese, usually cheddar, but certainly use whatever your favorite cheese happens to be. This time I used pepper jack and I loved the spicy kick it gave.

I also like to finish with a buttered bread crumb topping, and while plain dry or fresh bread crumbs are great, panko is also excellent to finish the dish, as are crushed saltines or Ritz crackers. It is equally delicious when made with cabbage. You'll need about 5 cups of rough chopped cabbage, but let it cook just a tad bit longer - about 10 minutes - before adding the tomatoes and remaining ingredients.

It's a wonderful side dish, very simple to make, and one that really highlights the overflowing bounty of fresh squash and tomatoes available right now. Frankly, you may want to double it because it only tastes better the next day.

Check out more of my squash recipes on Pinterest!

Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Squash Creole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Vidalia onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
  • 2-1/2 pounds of summer squash, sliced or chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • Cajun seasoning, to taste, optional
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup of bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 1-1/2 quart baking dish and set aside. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, add onion and bell pepper and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the squash and cook until it begins to soften. Add the tomatoes, sugar, flour, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning; toss to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the the shredded cheese of your choice, combine the melted butter and bread crumbs and distribute crumbs evenly on top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Cabbage Creole: Substitute 5 cups of roughly chopped cabbage, adding it after you saute the other vegetables, and cooking it about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and remaining ingredients, turn out into the casserole dish, top with cheese and bake until tender.

Cook's Notes: Saute some bacon before adding the butter and and veggies, for added flavor. Use your favorite shredded cheese. I typically use Cheddar but this time I added pepper jack. Use dry, fresh or panko buttered bread crumbs, or crushed saltines or buttery crackers.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on June 26, 2012
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  1. I am all about needing to try this soon!! And we love comfort food any time of the year, I just turn the a/c down lower :) anne

    1. Definitely Anne - though I've already hit the over $200 mark this summer, yikes!

    2. Dang $200! mines never that low in the winter!!! We're at about $450 right bout now. Course I live in a house with 5 adults 3 lg dogs and 3 cats. That's lots of body heat alone. Then there's all the laundry, fans, cooking and the dish washer run a couple times a day. Plus some folks round here think anything over 72 degrees is reason to faint, and when it's 100+ outside... *sigh* you can see why.

    3. Sounds like my house Vikki! I have indoor critters too - could not imagine them having to bear this heat outside - but I'm the one that runs hot these days at my age. We replaced our central air unit about 7 or 8 years ago I guess, so it's relatively new, otherwise I can't imagine what my bill would be now. We don't use much heat down here, but the A/C pretty stays on all year long!

    4. Yep, I'm in Tx so I know a about a/c running all year. And I know all to well bout the hot flashes, I'm always asking people if it's hot or is it me...lol
      Have a lovely day and thanks again for all the delicious recipes.

    5. Yep, that's me too!! And so not fair either!

  2. This is one of the few dishes you have ever posted that I had never heard of before. I'm not sure how I've missed out on this one, the acidic bite of the tomatoes with the squash would be excellent together.

  3. I need squash recipes as our garden is delivering way more than we want to eat - this sounds like a good one.

    1. Sure wish I lived by you Larry! I threw just a couple plants in the garden this year & have gotten nothing but male flowers on them. Happened last year too so I guess I need to research why. Fortunately I've been gifted with some though, which takes away the pain LOL!!

  4. Hey Mary, I feel you on the veggie thing. This would be an awesome main dish for "only me" also!

    1. Yeah, sure wish I could get my husband to love veggies like me, but he's pretty much meat and potatoes!

  5. I've got mine in the oven as I type. Sister has an overabundance of squash and tomatoes from her garden here in NELouisiana, which I gladly took off her hands. Went strait to Deep South Dish to find a yummy recipe and I can't wait to eat!

  6. Oh my goodness! This looks soooo good. I've never had squash cooked like this before. I have to waiting for me in the fridge right now, since I'm the only one that'll eat 'em, I'm gonna pare this down and make myself something delish and it'll be all for me!!! Thank you thank you

  7. I made this over the weekend and it was yummy. A little less salt next time and it will be even better.


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