Gardening Preserving/Canning

Cooking Squash In Appalachia

The typical way to cook squash in Appalachia-is fried. The actual procedure of frying is varied from cook to cook. Granny cuts her squash in circles-rolls it in cornmeal-and fries it in vegetable oil. She stirs it around in the pan and it becomes more of a scramble than individual fried pieces of squash.

The Deer Hunter and I fry our squash slightly different. We cut the squash in length wise pieces, dip it into a milk-egg-salt-pepper wash, roll the squash in a cornmeal-flour-salt-pepper mix, and finally-fry it in either olive oil or vegetable oil.

Our method takes longer than Granny’s-but the pieces stay intact-and retain more of a squash flavor. One of the Foxfire Books details frying squash-the little lady interviewed in the book, fried her squash in larger pieces like we do-but since it took more time to stand over the pan and turn each individual piece of squash-she told her children she’d fry one pan of squash-but if they wanted more they’d have to fry the next pan.

After getting a few tips from Matthew Burns, I fried a few squash blossoms. They tasted good-with a delicate squash flavor-but I probably won’t be making them again. They did look very pretty-might be nice for a special meal.

Growing up-I never knew you could eat squash any other way than fried. As an adult I’ve discovered I like squash boiled-steamed-stuffed-grilled-and perhaps my favorite roasted. We dice up squash, zucchini, and onion-toss it with olive oil, sprinkle oregano-salt-pepper, and roast it in the oven (450) for about 7 minutes-YUMMY.

Did you grow up eating Granny’s version of ‘scrambled fried squash’ like I did? If you’ve ever been to a summer time church gathering in the south-I’m sure you’ve seen it on the table.


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  • Reply
    Joyce B Freeman
    July 8, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    Tipper, you made my heart cry. My Grandma and Mama cut there,squash into tiny pieces and scrambled them like you would eggs. I have had squash like you fix it but I have never had squash as good as my Mama and Grandma cooked. That’s also the the way I cook my squash. Isn’t it funny how we all follow what we were taught by our Mama’s and Grandma’s.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    I grew up eating squash sliced into chunky circles with coarsely cut-up onion, cooked in a small amount of water with salt and black pepper. My favorite is fried exactly the way you do it, but it’s a lot more trouble and mess. Most often these days I slice very thin rounds and saute it in a little butter with thinly-sliced onion, finely-chopped fresh hot pepper, and sea salt.

  • Reply
    Pollie Robinson
    June 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Just joining ya’ll,and wanted to make a comment. Several years ago,a couple from Ohio moved across the road from us. They had several acres of land and had a garden. The man commented to me that okra wasn’t fit to eat! I asked “How are you cooking them?” He answered “Cook them?” We just cut them up and use them in salads!” So I introduced them to fried okra,boiled okra,and soup mix,tomato,corn,and okra…..We had a good laugh over that for years!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I like to cut up potatoes in thin slices, start cooking them in some butter, salt and pepper then add sliced onion and sliced squash with more butter salt and pepper. Put a little water in the pan and put a lid on and finish cooking stirring frequently until tender. So good!

  • Reply
    April 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Fried squash like how your Granny makes it is a staple at my Mom’s in the summer – with bacon and cornbread patties usually. She picks them when they’re fairly small so they don’t have as many seeds, and generally she uses the bacon grease for frying instead of some other oil. (Bacon grease is a whole ‘nother topic too. lol)

  • Reply
    July 28, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Fried squash is probably my favorite. Sauteed in olive oil with worchestershire sauce (or soy sauce) is also good.
    A new “favorite” of mine is squach, zuchinni, carrots, potatoes, brocolli and any other vegetable, throw into a zip-loc with a little balsamic vinagrette (if I can spell it), then grilled. Don’t leave the veggies in the zip-loc long – 5 minutes will do it.

  • Reply
    July 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Checking back for some squash and zucchini ideas. I’ll have to try cutting mine lengthwise like that. That looks yummy!

  • Reply
    July 14, 2009 at 6:20 am

    This is only the second time I heard of anyone eating squash blossoms. One of my husband’s aunts fried them many years ago. I think they fried the winter squash blossoms that were too late in the summer o set usable fruit.

  • Reply
    Dean - Laughing Owl Farm
    July 12, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I love fried squash, grew up eating fried squash. My wife from Wisconsin had never heard of it till she moved down to NC. She now makes fried squash as good as my mom. Sliced a 1/4″, dipped in flour seasoned with salt and paprika, and fried in vegetable oil in batches.
    We have only grown Zephyr squash for the last 7-8 years.
    Our new favorite squash recipe is Cajun squash Casserole.
    Starts on the stove in a cast iron frying pan and ends up finishing in the oven. Awesome!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Just fried up some zucchini last night. I never make enough! A combo of yours and Granny’s with a twist, cut in rounds (the squash was barely six inches long) dipped in egg and panko bread crumbs with seasoning and fresh grated parm., they were terrific! A twice or more a week summer happening!

  • Reply
    tracy bruring
    July 11, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Momma’s famous squash casserole
    boil zuchinni and onions until crisp tender
    melt 2 sticks of butter and pour in a large bag of pepperage farm seasoned bread crumbs
    mix a large container of sour cream and two cans of cream of mushroom soup
    now layer these starting and finishing with bread crumbs
    bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until it is bubbling in the middle.
    To me this is summer!

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    July 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    When I was growing up I didn’t much care for squash. Mom cooked it like Granny and she also cooked it just with sliced up onions. As I got older I learned that squash and zucchini were not only good fried up with onions and a bit of butter, but fried like you fix them and just cut up raw in a salad.
    I think I want some squash for supper.

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    July 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Oh yummy!! My Appalachian dad used to do Granny’s recipe with okra. Fried okra was his specialty. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    I think I will try your recipe for yellow squash as soon as we have some ripen. Looks delicious!!!

  • Reply
    Brenda S 'Okie in Colorado'
    July 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    That’s really making me hungry! My squash is almost ready. They are about 3 inches, so maybe next week. I can’t wait. I have prepared mine like your Granny but prefer like you make it. It does take time, but so worth it. My Granny and Mom both made theirs like your Granny. Have you ever made it like your Granny but at the end add beaten eggs, onion and cheese to make a frittata? Very good.

  • Reply
    July 9, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I grew up eating like Granny makes it. But I’m gonna try your way.
    And Louise’s receipe looks good too. I’ll have to try that one too.

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    July 9, 2009 at 11:11 am

    My parents only grew Zucchini but it was always fried, and we never liked it! Now I like it raw or roasted just fine 🙂

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 9, 2009 at 9:13 am

    I like squash best fried crisp, but then I like anything fried. With that said the truth is I rarely fry things because of the oil.
    I also favor stuffed squash with a little Parmesan cheese in it.
    Growing up we had a lot of stewed squash with onions.
    Like raw squash in a salad.
    Guess I just like squash most any way!

  • Reply
    July 9, 2009 at 9:02 am

    We now prefer our squash any way but fried, but I definitely grew up eating fried squash and zucchini. I still love it. Actually, I never met a squash I didn’t love!

  • Reply
    July 9, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Good Morning!
    I like to put my squash in the microwave. Slice it how ever you like.Put it in a microwave bowl with a lid , a small amount
    of olive oil, salt, pepper (garlic powder, onion powder, if you want too). Cover and seal. Microwave about 1 min ( for one normal cut up squash.)
    Then eat it. It comes out al dente. If you want it softer, microwave it longer. It’s ridiculously fast to do it this way.

  • Reply
    July 9, 2009 at 7:41 am

    I have never eaten fried/scrambled squash.And I’m hard-pressed to remember more than a few times eating yellow squash fried. Usually we fry zucchini.
    This post just made me remember a summer recipe we love (we’ll have to wait for our tomatoes, and I’m ashamed to saw we’ll buy the squash because we don’t have room to grow it), but if you like squash, you’ll love this:
    Yellow Squash and Tomatoes
    -2 med. yellow summer squash, coarsely chopped
    -2 Tbls olive oil
    -16 cherry tomatoes, halved
    -2 Tbls minced fresh basil(or 2 tsp dried basil)
    -1/8 tsp salt
    (It also calls for pepper, but I’m not a pepper fan, so never use it. You can pepper to taste.)
    In large skillet, saute squash in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 1-2 minutes until heated through.

  • Reply
    July 9, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Georgie-it’s just regular milk-but I bet buttermilk would be good too : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk

  • Reply
    July 9, 2009 at 5:41 am

    The first time I had eaten squash Granny’s way was when I visited some relatives in Missouri. It was sure good. I have a squash casserole that uses green chilies and is topped with cheese. Delicious. The pictures of your fried squash look so good.
    Blessings, Annie

  • Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Never had fried squash. Your recipe definitely looks like something to try. I like the idea of using olive oil. The milk you have for the first dip, is it regular milk or buttermilk?

  • Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    That’s it; I’m frying it. Sounds so very good!

  • Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I’m like you and have had squash virtually every way there is to cook it. I sometimes cut it in circles, add onion, and fry in a little olive oil with no coating at all. I put a lid on it and steam it part of the time. It gets mushy but seems to retain so much of the flavor! blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Most of the time we stewed the squash with sweet onions and butter. My mom also had a squash casserole recipe that was yummy. I could have it for a meal all by itself.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    July 8, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I have never had fried squash. How odd. My family fries everything else. I can’t imagine why we never fried squash. I need to try that.

  • Reply
    Greta Koehl
    July 8, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    I’ll eat squash fixed any old way – raw in a salad, fried, made into soup, chopped up and cooked in a casserole, whatever. Your fried squash looks reeeally tasty.

  • Reply
    Julie Curtis
    July 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Fried squash is our favorite method of preparation, but like everybody else we are trying to avoid fried food. Our “health” squash is prepared on the Geo. Foreman grill (indoor grill). I slice it in circles, spray it with Pam and season it up. Sometimes I only use seasoned salt. Pile it on the grill and cook until it gets done. I add some chopped up onion, too. Mmmm. It’s very good! Our other summertime favorite is fried okra. I haven’t figured out how to fry it without frying it, so I fry it!!!!! LOL!!! A little fried food every once in awhile won’t kill us!!

  • Reply
    Emily Cole
    July 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I’ve had it scrambled-fried and sauteed with onions and some bread crumbs… then there’s squash casserole of course – for Thanksgiving usually! I have loved it all of the different ways… I will have to roast some soon!

  • Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Your squash looks really yummy. I am not sure if I have ever had fried squash. I know I would like it, because I like all things fried. 🙂
    I like my squash steamed or roasted.

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    July 8, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I pretty much like all kinds of squash too! I usually fry it myself, but we love eating the casseroles too!

  • Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Now that I have never heard of and plan to mention to my wife. I would be willing to try it that way if it comes out as good as yours does.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I make squash like my mamaw. I cut them in circles, salt and pepper, then dip in cornmeal and fry. I don’t stir them around. I like them thin and crispy so I cut them that way and turn them over, not stirring. Before my mom passed she began to fry them like your granny.
    I would be interested in a stuffed squash recipe. My grandmother also made a squash casserole that NO ONE ate! lol

  • Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    That looks soooo good- my mouth is watering. We like it any way but I’m on the South Beach Diet now so I stir fry it in olivr oil. My Mama and Mamaw fried it Granny’s way. Have a good evening.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    We do it both ways. It gets pretty tiring standing over the stove turning those little circles of squash. Sometimes I fry mine in butter. Sometimes I’ll just chop them up and fry them with potatoes. I have a squash casserole recipe that is very good, I top the casserole with a cornbread batter, the casserole is done when the cornbread is done. It’s very good!

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