Monday, August 12, 2013

Smothered Summer Squash and Onions

Young, tender, yellow summer squash, prepared simple and basic. Sweet Vidalia onion and bell pepper is first sauteed in bacon drippings and butter, the squash is added, and slowly smothered down.
Young, tender, yellow summer squash, prepared simple and basic. Sweet Vidalia onion and bell pepper is first sauteed in bacon drippings and butter, the squash is added, and slowly smothered down.

Smothered Summer Squash and Onions

Yellow squash is plentiful in our Southern summers and this is pretty much my top favorite way to enjoy it. It's the same basic way many of our other favorite squash recipes begin anyway, from creamed squash to squash dressing and casseroles, though it sure stands pretty well all on its own too.

I start mine off with a little bit of bacon drippings and butter, always some sweet Vidalia onion and sometimes a little sweet bell pepper, then let it all simmer covered, over low heat, until tender. I finish it with just a little more butter, some simple seasonings and when I have them, some fresh garden herbs are nice too.

The key is not to let the squash boil, but to allow it to low simmer, so that it still retains its shape and color and the flavor of the squash shines through. If you prefer it more stewed down, cook it longer, mashing some of the squash as you occasionally stir it.

If you don't save bacon drippings, you should! There are many ways to use the drippings to add a load of natural flavor when you're cooking. If you have to cook off some bacon to get some drippings though, chop it up and leave it in the skillet along with the drippings to smother down with the squash, or remove the cooked bacon and add it at the end to the finished dish. Either way, you just can't go wrong adding in some bacon, though you can certainly just increase the butter too.

While you can't beat the added boost of flavor provided by butter and bacon drippings, you may certainly lighten this classic dish up by using olive oil for sauteing and substitute chicken broth for cooking instead. I hope that you'll try it my way at least once though. Here's how to make it.

See more of my favorite squash recipes on Pinterest!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Smothered Summer Squash and Onions

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings
  • 3 tablespoons of salted butter, divided, or to taste
  • 1 cup of chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped sweet green bell pepper, optional
  • 2 pounds of yellow summer squash, chopped or halved and sliced
  • Pinch of granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and Cajun seasoning, to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs, optional, to taste

Melt the bacon fat and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large lidded pot or deep skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes until tender. Add the chopped squash and sugar, toss to coat, cover and cook over low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender, stirring several times.

Taste, season as needed with salt, black pepper and Cajun seasonings. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and toss in fresh herbs if using. Stir and serve in small bowls, along with some of the simmering liquid.

Cook's Notes: For 2 pounds of squash you'll need about 4 to 6 medium sized squash or about 5 cups chopped. May also use a mixture of yellow and zucchini squash if you like. If you have a little V-8 juice in the house, add in about 1/4 cup with the squash and seasonings. If using dried herbs add those in earlier. Pass freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the table. May also use this recipe for pattypan squash; just cook it a little longer.

Caramelized (Stir-Fried) Squash and Onions: Use only bacon drippings or oil, cooking onions first over medium high heat until lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove onion and set aside. Add sliced squash and cook until browned, turn and continue turning and cooking until squash and nicely browned and caramelized. Return onions to skillet and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I also like to add in some chopped pickled jalapeno.

For the Instant Pot: Add 1 cup of chicken broth to pot. Slice squash fairly thick, add to a strainer basket if you have one and place into pot. Season with salt and pepper and whatever your favorite seasonings/herbs are. Top with onions. Toss and add more seasonings as desired. Seal and set for 3 minutes on high. Quick release and toss with melted butter. Taste and adjust seasonings; serve immediately.


Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.

Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

Summer Squash Dressing
Old Fashioned Creamed Squash
Summer Squash Casserole
Stuffed Summer Squash

Posted by on August 12, 2013
Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, please do not copy and paste to repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.