My favorite yellow squash recipes

Yellow squash harvest

Yellow squash harvest

This year I planted my first vegetable garden in many years. My motivations were to save money on food and be able to eat nutritious organic vegetables within minutes of harvesting. One of my choices was yellow squash because it’s low carb, easy to grow and has lots of vitamins.

I was so excited watching the little sprouts rise out of the ground and couldn’t wait for my babies to start bearing fruit. I resolved to keep on top of the situation by picking the squash while they were still quite small.

Every day I got such satisfaction watering the plants and charting their progress: the first leaf, the first blossom, the first tiny squash developing. I longed for the day when I could start harvesting.

Well that day finally came and nearly every day afterward I’d pick four or five little squash and sauté them up for my dinner. Things were under control. I got this, I thought.

Then the inevitable happened. Not content to stay neatly in their little plot, virtually overnight my babies had grown into monsters, seemingly bent on world domination. They began choking out my other vegetables, spilling out of the garden and marauding across the sidewalk.

And with it came squash. Lots and lots of squash. I gave away as much as I could but was still left with a small mountain. By this time I was ready to find some new recipes for all that squash, and here are my favorites—roasted yellow squash and jalapeño soup, tamale squash pie casserole, and pepperoni pizza squash.

Roasted yellow squash jalapeño soup

Roasted yellow squash jalapeno soup

Roasted yellow squash jalapeno soup

Ingredients

1½ lb yellow squash, cut into ½” slices
3 jalapeños
1 chopped onion
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
1T ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1½ cans of chicken broth
4 to 6 oz half and half
olive oil
salt and pepper
sour cream and chives to garnish

Instructions

Place the squash, jalapeños, onion and garlic and in roasting pan. Drizzle with olive and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 425° for 30 to 45 minutes, until they look like this.

yellow squash jalapeno soup2

Roasted squash, jalapenos, garlic and onions

Peel the skin off the jalapeños. You can also scrape out the seeds if desired. Put all the vegetables in a saucepan with cumin, oregano and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Purée the vegetables with an immersion blender. Add the half and half. Turn the heat back on until soup starts to bubble.

Pureed yellow squash jalapeno soup

Pureed yellow squash jalapeno soup

Serve with a little sour cream on top and a sprinkling of chives.

Spicy yellow squash jalapeno soup topped with sour cream and chives

Spicy yellow squash jalapeno soup topped with sour cream and chives

Tamale squash pie casserole

For this recipe I used squash instead of corn and it came out great! This tamale pie is a little bit spicy and very cheesy.

A slice of tamale squash pie

A slice of tamale squash pie

Ingredients

1 lb hamburger
1 chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
black pepper
1 to 2T chili powder
1 lb yellow squash, sliced
1 7-oz can green chilis
1 lg can olives, sliced
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp cayenne pepper
olive oil
grated cheese

For the corn meal topping:

¾ cup corn meal
2 cups water
½ tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder
1T butter
grated cheese

Ingredients for tamale squash pie

Ingredients for tamale squash pie

About a pound of squash for tamale pie casserole

About a pound of squash for tamale pie casserole

Instructions

Cook the onions in a large skillet with olive oil. When they start to brown add the hamburger, garlic, salt and pepper. I also threw in a few jalapeños for good measure.

Browning the meat, onions and garlic with a few jalapenos

Browning the meat, onions and garlic with a few jalapenos

When the hamburger is cooked, add the chili powder and cook for about a minute. Then add the squash, green chilis, olives, tomato sauce, sugar and cayenne pepper.

Vegetables added to browned meat

Vegetables added to browned meat

Simmer for 25 minutes then stir in a generous amount of grated cheese.

Adding grated cheese to tamale squash pie

Adding grated cheese to tamale squash pie

Ten or 15 minutes before the meat mixture is done, start cooking the corn meal in a pot with water, salt and chili powder. Stir constantly until it starts to thicken up. At that point add butter.

(I actually used organic polenta because I couldn’t find organic corn meal. The polenta is a coarser grind than corn meal and has more texture. Why organic? Because it’s non GMO.)

Adding butter to cooked corn meal

Adding butter to cooked corn meal

Add even more cheese.

Putting cheese into cooked corn meal

Putting cheese into cooked corn meal

Spread the corn meal over the meat.

Note: If you’re not using an oven-proof skillet, you’ll need to transfer the meat into a buttered casserole dish.

Cooked corn meal goes on top of meat mixture

Cooked corn meal goes on top of meat mixture

Top with—yes—more cheese. I probably use about 8 oz of cheese altogether.

Cheese goes on top of the corn meal

Cheese goes on top of the corn meal

Pop the casserole in the oven at 375° for 40 minutes. This is what it looks like when it’s done. Saucy with a thin crunchy shell on top from the melted cheese.

Tamale squash pie casserole

Tamale squash pie casserole

Let it cool for a little bit before serving.

A serving of tamale squash pie casserole

A serving of tamale squash pie casserole

Pepperoni pizza squash

This is by far my favorite recipe with all the flavor of pizza and none of the carbs. It’s so good I don’t even miss the crust, and the quickest to put together of the three recipes. The amounts are left off because you can make as little or as much as you want.

Pepperoni pizza squash

Pepperoni pizza squash

Ingredients

yellow squash cut into slices
marinara sauce (my favorite one is Bertoli Organic Olive Oil, Basil & Garlic)
quattro formaggio grated cheese
pepperoni slices
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh basil leaves (optional garnish)

quattro formaggio and pepperoni

Quattro formaggio and pepperoni

Instructions

Sauté the squash in a frying pan with olive oil, salt and pepper until browned.

Sauteed yellow squash

Sauteed yellow squash

Transfer to a baking dish to cover the bottom in one layer.

First layer: squash

First layer: squash

Put enough marinara sauce on top to cover the squash.

Second layer: marinara sauce

Second layer: marinara sauce

Then sprinkle with cheese.

Third layer: cheese

Third layer: cheese

Top with pepperoni.

Fourth layer: pepperoni

Fourth layer: pepperoni

Bake in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Baked pepperoni pizza squash

Baked pepperoni pizza squash

Garnish with basil leaves torn into pieces if desired.

I’m eating this whole thing!

The perfect bite

The perfect bite

Heaven!

Turkey soup from leftover turkey

homemade turkey soup from turkey carcassUse Thanksgiving leftovers to make turkey soup

Thanksgiving’s over and you’re left with a few turkey scraps and the carcass. You might be tempted to throw it out, but don’t! That bird still has one more trick up its wing. Here’s an easy soup recipe you can make with your leftover turkey and carcass.

If you’re just too tired to think about cooking something else right now, no problem. Just wrap up the turkey carcass and scraps and put them in the freezer for a couple of weeks and come back to this recipe. Otherwise, let’s get started making a hearty turkey soup.

My original recipe from Thanksgiving leftovers

Stretch your food dollars and make homemade turkey soup

I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to make Thanksgiving dinner, and even luckier that my hostess sends me home with the carcass and some leftover meat. So I came up with this turkey soup recipe that’s foolproof and tasty every time. And you wouldn’t believe how wonderful it smells while it’s cooking! Savory poultry seasoning is the key.

And you’re not limited to just using turkey leftovers at Thanksgiving. This is a great recipe to make year round using leftover chicken carcasses. Think about those yummy rotisserie chickens you can get at the market, Costco or Sam’s Club. Wrap up the carcass and stick it in the freezer. When you get two or three of them, go ahead and make this recipe. You’ll get a few extra meals from those $5 chickens. How’s that for stretching a buck!

homemade turkey soup from carcassIngredients

  • Turkey carcass and leftover turkey (cut into chunks)
  • 12 oz carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1½ onions chopped
  • 5 stalks of celery sliced
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2½T poultry seasoning
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 6 chicken bouillon cubes
  • ½ stick of butter (2 oz)
  • ¼ to ½ cup of regular or whole wheat flour

Instructions

  1. Place the turkey carcass in a large pot along with the vegetables, rice and seasoning. (The leftover turkey meat, butter and flour will be used later.) Put enough water in the pot to nearly cover the turkey carcass. Bring to a boil and cook for about an hour. The veggies should be tender.
  2. Remove the turkey carcass from the pot and take the meat off the bones. Put the turkey scraps back in the pot along with the leftover turkey meat.
  3. In a small frying pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook 3 to 5 minutes to make a roux. Gradually add some broth into the roux and stir all the lumps out. When the roux is about the thickness of gravy, gradually add it into the soup. Mix well and cook until the broth is thickened, about 15 minutes or so. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Poultry seasoning, the key to a flavorful turkey soup

Poultry seasoning, a blend of sage, marjoram and thyme, makes a tasty soup with leftover turkey. Here’s a good recipe to make your own poultry seasoning blend with spices you probably already have in your cupboard.

Pictorial for making turkey soup from a carcass

Put the turkey carcass, spices and vegetables in the pot with enough water to almost cover the carcass.

Turkey carcass prior to making soup

Turkey carcass prior to making soup

Remove the carcass after boiling for an hour and take the meat off the bones.

meat removed from turkey carcass

Meat removed from turkey carcass

Make the roux. This is what it looks like after cooking for about five minutes, prior to adding broth.

Making the roux for turkey soup

Making the roux for turkey soup

Add broth to the roux until it’s about as thick as gravy, then mix the roux into the soup.

Roux with broth added

Roux with broth added

Cook the soup for about 15 minutes after adding the roux.

Homemade turkey soup

Homemade turkey soup

Time to eat!

Savory turkey soup from leftover turkey

Savory turkey soup from leftover turkey 

Cream of carrot soup with pie spice

cream of carrot soup with warm spicesA warm and spicy cream of carrot soup recipe

Here’s a simple recipe I invented for carrot soup seasoned with pumpkin pie spice. I thought the naturally sweet carrots would go well with the warm blend of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in the pumpkin pie spice. And they’re perfect together!

By itself this cream of carrot soup is a good appetizer or you can serve it with other sides to make it a more balanced meal. I’ve served it with a grilled cheese sandwich, or three-bean salad or a piece of broiled chicken.

It’s easy to make and you can whip it up in no time. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try.

Here’s what you need for cream of carrot soup

ingredients for cream of carrot soup with warm spices

Carrots, onion, chicken bouillon, sour cream, white and black pepper and pumpkin pie spice. I get the pumpkin pie spice from Trader Joe’s.

The cream of carrot soup recipe follows:

Ingredients

1 lb carrots peeled and sliced
1 onion chopped
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1T pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp white pepper or more to taste
water to just about cover vegetables
1 cup sour cream
salt to taste

Instructions

Cream of carrot soup with warm spices

Cream of carrot soup with warm spices

  1. Combine everything except the sour cream into a pan and cook at least 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or regular blender.
  2. Then add sour cream and blend again. You may need to add a little extra water if the soup is too thick. Heat the soup to bring it back up to temperature (almost boiling).
  3. Serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired. Enjoy!

Step by step pictorial for cream of carrot soup

Cook the vegetables in broth with spices.

Cooked vegetables for carrot soup

Cooked vegetables for cream of carrot soup

Use an immersion blender to purée the cream of carrot soup. You can also use a blender but this is easier.

Puree carrot soup with immersion blender

Puree carrot soup with immersion blender

Purée until it looks like this.

Carrot soup after it's pureed

Carrot soup after it’s pureed

Add sour cream and blend again with immersion blender.

Blending sour cream into carrot soup

Blending sour cream into carrot soup

The finished cream of carrot soup.

Cream of carrot soup with sour cream blended in

Cream of carrot soup with sour cream blended in

Garnish with sour cream and serve!

 

Cream of carrot soup with pie spice

Cream of carrot soup with pie spice

The finished cream of carrot soup is smooth and creamy, warm and comforting.