Delicious sauteed yellow squash recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style with sweet onions, bell peppers, garlic and a warm Eastern Mediterranean spice combination. A seriously bright and healthy vegetarian side dish that comes together in minutes! (Gluten Free. Vegan if you omit the feta) 

You can serve this versatile side dish next to your favorite protein  like, Mediterranean lemon chicken; baked fish; fish gyros; or kofta kabobs! Or for a vegetarian dinner, serve this yellow squash as part of your grain bowls!

Sauteed Yellow Squash with Sweet Onions and bell peppers. Served with a garnish of feta cheese, olives and parsley

Yellow squash is one of my favorite ingredients.  Like zucchini, it's of the summer squash variety--super mild in taste with a hint of sweetness.  Both yellow squash and zucchini are used regularly in Mediterranean-style cooking, they’re versatile and easy to work with.

Some of my favorite summer squash dishes include: Greek Briam, ratatouille, and this zucchini casserole.

But in a pinch, I’m all about a quick skillet of sautéed yellow squash (or zucchini) in some excellent Greek extra virgin olive oil. The perfect side dish in minutes!

Mediterranean Sauteed Yellow Squash with Sweet Onions, Bell Peppers and Garlic in Cast Iron Skillet

Mediterranean-Style Sautéed Yellow Squash

Let’s get to the gist of this yellow squash recipe.

Sautéed yellow squash with sweet onions, garlic, and bell peppers. You can use any combination of spices you like; I went a little Middle Eastern with a warm and earthy combination of Za’atar, Aleppo pepper, and cumin. (BTW, if you live in the U.S.A. you can find these spices right here at our online shop.)

Tip: Personally, I like my yellow squash on the tender side and a little caramelized, if you will, but still maintaining a bit of a bite. So, I may turn up the heat for a portion of the time to get some of that color on.

To finish, I like to add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of za’atar (I like a little more of that wild thyme and sesame combination on top.) Crumbled feta (omit if vegan), a few slices of olives, or a handful of chopped fresh herbs are all great for garnish, totally optional.

Ingredients for sauteed yellow squash

What to look for when selecting yellow squash or zucchini?

Both yellow squash and zucchini are available pretty much year-round here in the USA, but they shine most during the warmer months. (Be sure to pin this recipe for when you have an over abundance of summer squash!)

When selecting yellow squash, I've learned that maturity has the biggest impact on flavor and texture.

Large, more mature yellow squash will have larger seeds and a more watery flesh. That’s why, you should go for small to medium (young to middle-aged) yellow squash because they will offer prime texture and flavor — thin, crisp skin and tender, mildly sweet and nutty flesh.

Mediterranean sauteed yellow squash on serving platter with garnish of feta, parsley, and olives

Recipe Variations

This is a super forgiving recipe and is meant to be tailored to your taste.

You can mix things up and use a combination of yellow squash and zucchini. Or, like I said earlier, you can try a different combination of spices. For example, go the Italian route with a little dried oregano and thyme. Or try a sprinkle of Ras El Hanout for a Moroccan twist.

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Mediterranean Sauteed Yellow Squash with Sweet Onions, Bell Peppers and Garlic in Cast Iron Skillet

Mediterranean Sauteed Yellow Squash Recipe


  • Author: Suzy Karadsheh
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x

Description

Easy sautéed yellow squash recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style with sweet onions, bell peppers, garlic and a warm Eastern Mediterranean spice combination. You can totally tailor this recipe to your liking, check out the notes for recipe variations.


Ingredients

Scale
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used our Greek Early Harvest olive oil)
  • 1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 medium yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • Pitted marinated olives, sliced (optional)
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Spice Mixture


Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add sweet onions and cook for about 4 minutes until translucent (you can raise heat to medium-hot and toss onions regularly.)
  2. Add garlic, yellow squash, and red bell peppers.  Drizzle a little more extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, and spice mixture. Toss with a wooden spoon to make sure vegetables are well coated with the spices. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until squash and peppers are nice and tender (I like my squash to have some carmalized parts, so it helps to raise the heat for a little while.)
  4. Transfer to a serving platter. Add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of za'atar. If you like, add a sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese, pitted olives, and a handful of chopped fresh herbs like parsley. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Cook's Tip: Cooking time will vary depending on how tender you like your squash. Personally, I like to get a little caramalization/char on my yellow squash, so, I turn up the heat for a short while to accomplish that while maintaining some bite to the squash.
  • Recipe Variations: This is a super forgiving recipe and is meant to be tailored to your taste. You can mix things up and use a combination of yellow squash and zucchini. Or try a different combination of spices. For example, go the Italian route with a little dried oregano and fresh thyme.
  • Serve it next to your favorite protein such as Mediterranean lemon chicken; baked fish; fish gyros; or kofta kabobs!
  • Visit The Mediterranean Dish online store for our Greek extra virgin olive oils (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives), and browse our selection of all-natural and organic spices, including Za'atar, Aleppo Pepper, and Cumin.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Vegetarian/Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: yellow squash recipe, sauteed yellow squash, stovetop summer squash

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Love your recipes!
    We are hosting a pot luck dinner in 4 days and I would love to make a vegetable medley with fresh veg from our garden. Do you think I could add green beans, Swiss chard and potatoes to this recipe? Or can you recommend another recipe of yours?
    I believe I cooked and loved all of your vegetable recipes

  2. Sooo good! I started the mediterranean diet about a month ago and love it! The food is soo flavorful! The recipe won’t disappoint.

  3. I’m new to trying the Mediterranean recipes and I want to know the difference between your Private Reserve and Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil. Thank you.

    1. Hey Beverly, I'll share the links for both oils below. They are both from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives. They come from two different estates, but each from a single estate. The one major difference is that with Early Harvest, the olives are picked earlier in the season while still green to produce the prized ‘early harvest’ oil, known in Greece as ‘agoureleo.’ Once harvested, the olives are crushed within hours to preserve the quality, taste and aroma of the olives.
      Early Harvest: https://shop.themediterraneandish.com/product/private-reserve-extra-virgin-olive-oil/
      Private Reserve: https://shop.themediterraneandish.com/product/early-harvest-extra-virgin-olive-oil/

  4. Exquisite! Made a mini version this morning to serve with a mushroom and spinach frittata. Gorgeous plate and wonderful flavors. Love your za'atar and the Aleppo pepper added another wonderful layer. Will make for friends at my next dinner party. Thanks, Suzy!