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!
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.
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-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.
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.
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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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.
- 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)
- 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.)
- Add garlic, yellow squash, and red bell peppers. Drizzle a little more extra virgin olive oil.
- 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.)
- 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!
- 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