Hey there, Southern cuisine lovers! I’m excited to share with you my mouthwatering and crispy southern fried squash recipe. If you’re a fan of fried foods, then this dish is perfect for you. This recipe isn’t too complicated, so even if you are a beginner cook, you’ll be able to master it with ease.
Summer squash is widely available and cheap during the summer season. Therefore, it’s the best time to create this fried squash masterpiece. The seasoning in this recipe will give the squash a fantastic flavor that’ll leave your palate craving more.
The best part about southern-style cooking is that we don’t shy away from using fat or oil in our recipes. So if you’re looking for a healthy option, maybe skip this one; however, this Southern Fried Squash Recipe is worth every indulgent calorie.
So scroll down and start frying because it’s going to be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside a Southern delicacy that has been perfected over generations.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I’m here to tell you why you’re going to love this Southern Fried Squash recipe. Do you love a good, crispy texture that melts in your mouth with the first bite? How about a veggie that is quick and easy to make, yet tastes like it took hours of preparation? This recipe not only offers both, but it’s versatile enough to work for any summer dinner party, barbecue, or family meal.
We all know fried food can get a bad rap as being unhealthy, but when you marinate your squash in fresh buttermilk, bread it with cornmeal and flour, and fry it golden-brown crispy in vegetable oil, believe me when I say the health concerns go out the window. These are veggies we’re talking about here!
The flavor is even better when you toss some sweet onion in the mix. The combination of the onion’s sweetness and the kick of cayenne and black pepper make for a perfect balance of flavors that will have everyone asking for seconds. So whether you’re looking for an easy snack, side dish or main course, this Southern Fried Squash recipe is sure to satisfy every craving.
Here’s what you’ll need to gather before making this delicious Southern Fried Squash recipe:
- 1 medium sweet onion
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of white sugar
- 3 slices of bacon
- Vegetable oil (enough for frying, approximately 1 inch deep)
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- Fresh yellow squash and zucchini, with 1/2 inch thick slices
- 1 egg, whisked
Make sure to have all ingredients in your pantry and fridge before starting, as it will guarantee a smooth preparation process.
The Recipe How-To
Now it’s time to dive in and actually cook the southern fried squash! Here are the step-by-step instructions.
- 3 medium-sized yellow squash, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
- 1/2 of a small sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 cup of cornmeal
- 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt, plus more for seasoning the squash
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup of buttermilk
- Vegetable oil, for frying
Step 1: Prep the Squash
Begin by washing your squashes thoroughly under running water. Slice your squashes into rounds that are about a half-inch thick. Be sure to use medium-sized fresh squash because they will be easier to slice and they will fry up crispier. Then, sprinkle some salt over each squash slice and set them aside.
Step 2: Prepare the Dredging Mixture
In a shallow dish, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, cayenne pepper, oregano, black pepper, salt, and sugar until well combined. This mixture gives the fried squash its crispy coating.
Step 3: Dredge the Squash in Buttermilk and Flour
In another shallow dish, whisk together the beaten egg and buttermilk. Dip each squash slice into this mixture first, then dredge it in the cornmeal mixture until it’s fully coated. Repeat until all slices have been dipped and coated.
Step 4: Heat the Oil
In an iron skillet or any heavy-bottomed pan, heat up vegetable oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes until it reaches about 350°F. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to fry in batches.
Step 5: Fry the Squash
Once the oil is hot enough, carefully add the squash slices to the hot oil, making sure they’re not too crowded in the pan. Fry each slice of squash until it turns golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Once fried, transfer them onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
Step 6: Pan-fry the Onions
In the same pan or in another pan with a tablespoon of oil added over high heat, fry up diced onions until they are brown and tender.
Step 7: Serve
Serve your southern fried squash hot and crispy, alongside some fresh green vegetables like collard greens or green beans. Don’t forget to add some pan-fried onions on top for flavor!
Substitutions and Variations
Hey, I get it. Sometimes you don’t have all the ingredients you need for a recipe, or maybe you just want to try something different. Whatever the reason is, here are some substitutions and variations that will still give you that delicious Southern fried squash flavor.
First off, if you don’t have yellow squash, try using zucchini instead. It has a similar texture and flavor profile that will work great in this recipe. You can also mix the two for a colorful variation.
For the seasoning, you can switch out the sweet onion for red onion or green onion. Oregano can be substituted with thyme or rosemary, depending on your preference. You can also adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to make it spicier or milder.
If you’re looking to add some crunch to your fried squash, try adding some chopped bacon to the cornmeal mixture. You can also experiment with different flours, such as whole wheat or almond flour, instead of all-purpose flour.
For a healthier alternative, try pan-frying or baking the squash instead of deep-frying it. You can also omit the sugar from the recipe if you prefer a less sweet taste.
Lastly, if you want to make this recipe even more versatile, try adding some other types of squash such as butternut squash or crookneck squash. The possibilities are endless!
Remember that cooking is all about experimenting and making something your own. So don’t be afraid to play around with these substitutions and variations until you find what works best for you.
Serving and Pairing
Once you’ve made this mouthwatering dish of southern fried squash, it’s time to serve and pair it for optimal enjoyment. I recommend serving hot with some crispy strips of bacon on the side for a flavor explosion.
Pairing southern fried squash with sweet onions sautéed in butter or olive oil adds a lovely aroma and taste to complement the flavors in the dish. I love to add cayenne pepper and oregano to my squash recipe for a hint of spiciness that pairs well with grilled steak, roasted chicken or turkey.
Another pairing option is to combine cooked butternut squash, crookneck squash or even zucchinis with your yellow squash for an earthy taste that can be served as a vegetarian side dish, along with some freshly baked bread rolls to complete the meal.
If you’re making this dish for an outdoor gathering or barbecue party, you could try serving it alongside some cold drinks like iced tea, lemonade or perhaps even beer for those who are in the mood. As a final tip, don’t skimp on the sauce! Dipping your southern fried squash slices into ranch dressing or remoulade sauce will take this dish up a notch and leave your guests wanting more.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
If you have leftovers, storing your fried squash is a breeze. Simply transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F and place the cold squash on a baking sheet. Bake for around 10 minutes, or until they are warmed through and crispy again.
While I think it’s best to enjoy the dish hot and fresh, you can also prep your fried squash ahead of time if you’re tight on schedule. You can slice and dredge your squash in advance and keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to fry them up. However, once fried, they should be served immediately for optimal texture and flavor.
When it comes to reheating this recipe, I recommend avoiding the microwave as it will make the squash soggy. Instead, using an oven or toaster oven will help maintain their crispy texture.
One final tip: while butternut squash can also be used in this recipe, it’s best not to store this type of squash after cooking – it tends to get mushy when reheated. So, stick with the yellow summer squash or zucchini for delicious leftover fried goodness!
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you know the recipe and how to cook your Southern Fried Squash, I am going to share with you some tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time you cook this dish. Follow my advice, and you will be sure to impress anyone who tries this dish.
First, make sure the oil is hot enough before frying the squash. You want the temperature to be around 350°F (177°C). If the oil is not hot enough, the squash will absorb a lot of oil and won’t turn out crispy.
Next, slice your squash evenly. It is essential that your slices are all the same thickness so they cook evenly. I suggest slicing them about ¼ inch thick for best results.
When dredging your squash in the flour-cornmeal mixture, make sure to shake off any excess before placing them in the skillet. This will prevent clumping and ensure that each slice gets perfectly coated.
Another tip is to use a cast-iron skillet for frying. Cast iron retains heat very well and ensures even cooking of your Southern Fried Squash. It’s also perfect for achieving that crispy golden brown exterior.
Don’t overcrowd your skillet when frying your squash; this will reduce the temperature of the oil and cause uneven cooking. It’s better to fry in batches than try to fit everything at once.
Lastly, let your cooked Southern Fried Squash rest on a paper towel-lined baking sheet before serving. This allows any excess oil to drain off and ensures that each slice retains its crispiness.
Follow these tips, and you will be sure to make delicious Southern Fried Squash every time.
Before we move on to the FAQ section, let me just say that I’m truly thrilled to share this recipe for Southern Fried Squash with you! It’s a classic dish that brings warmth and comfort to any table, and I’m confident that you’re going to love it. But before we wrap up this article, let me address some frequently asked questions about this recipe to ensure your success in making the perfect Southern Fried Squash each and every time. So, without further ado, here are some answers to common queries about this recipe.
Why is my fried squash not crispy?
When preparing your breaded zucchini or squash, proper oil temperature is crucial. To achieve the best results, the oil should be heated to a temperature between 350-375ºF/176-190ºC. An ideal way to ensure this is by using an oil thermometer or the wooden skewer method. Additionally, make sure not to overcrowd the pan with too many pieces of zucchini/squash at once, as doing so can cause the temperature to drop and lead to a disappointing outcome with soggy breading.
Why is my fried squash soggy?
To ensure that your fried squash turns out perfectly crunchy, it’s important not to overcook it or stack the slices on top of each other before they’ve had a chance to cool and let the oil drain. Even with proper cooking techniques, fried foods tend to become soggy over time, but with a little bit of effort, you can keep your fried squash crispy and delicious for longer.
Do you fry squash in cornmeal?
Using yellow cornmeal to fry yellow squash adds an impressive hue to the dish without overpowering its natural flavor. While any cornmeal can be used for this simple recipe, yellow cornmeal is my personal favorite.
What meat goes with fried squash?
If you’re wondering what to pair with your crispy, golden fried squash, I’ve got some delectable options for you. For the perfect southern-style meal, consider serving it alongside barbecued meats such as smoked chicken legs or meatloaf. Another delicious option is to pair it with some succulent pork tenderloin cooked in a dutch oven. Whatever your choice, you’re sure to have a winning meal with this recipe.
Now that you have all the tools and tips to make an amazing Southern Fried Squash, there’s no stopping you from creating this mouth-watering delicacy anytime you want. Whether it’s for a summer party or just a simple family dinner, this recipe is the perfect addition to your menu.
So, go ahead and slice up some fresh yellow squash and zucchini, dredge them in buttermilk, breaded flour, and cornmeal. Then fry them up in hot vegetable oil until golden brown and crispy. That’s how you make the perfect southern-style fried squash!
And, if you’re worried about soggy squash, just remember to keep the oil hot and make sure to follow my tips on batter consistency and frying time. With that said, there’s no excuse not to make this delicious dish anymore.
So why not bring a little bit of the south into your home with this easy-to-follow recipe? Trust me; it’ll be worth it!
Southern Fried Squash Recipe
- 6 pieces bacon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 sweet onion
- 3 lbs squash
- serve hot.
- Fry Bacon for the fat. use bacon for something else.
- thinly slice squash and onion.
- add to bacon grease.
- cook 15 minutes and add spices and sugar.
- cook till nearly mush.
- Serve hot.