Southern Fried Yellow Squash

Ready Set Cookl Fried Yellow Squash close up Phillips


2 cups vegetable oil (varies with pan size)

6 small yellow squash straight or crookneck

1/3 cup cornmeal (I prefer yellow)

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (Optional: Many people like to add flour)


Pour enough oil in a high-side skillet (not nonstick) or large saucepan to reach a depth of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Bring temperature up to 375 degrees over medium high heat. I use a digital thermal thermometer you can buy online and at hardware stores for a quick and easy way to measure the heat. Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal and salt on a paper plate. Cut the squash into  1/4-inch-thick slices and immediately press the cut sides into the cornmeal. If you choose to add the flour, simply stir the two together on a paper plate for easy clean up. I find that the flour prevents some of the cornmeal from sticking to the squash. When the oil is at 375 degrees and all the squash is coated, gently drop them into the oil one by one. Be sure they are not touching each other. If there are too many slices in the pan, the temperature may drop too quickly and take too long to come back up to 375 degrees. Cook the squash about 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Turn the slices over with tongs and cook a little less than 1 minute on the second side. Drain on paper towels. Total Time: 13 minutes!

Tip: Try frying zucchini if you have more of that in your garden or it is on sale. Handheld mandolins are super cheap and make quick work of slicing squash evenly.

Kathleen Phillips

-Kathleen Phillips, “Fried yellow squash, or summer squash as I’ve always called it, is a must on my table every summer. It can’t get much easier than slicing and pressing the squash into cornmeal and frying in a little bit of oil for a minute.” Philips is a food stylist, recipe developer, cookbook author, and event planner loving life in Gardendale, Ala. Drawing upon years of experience as the test kitchen director at Oxmoor House, she takes traditional Southern recipes and makes them with a shortcut to get you in and out of the kitchen. Visit for more of her delicious recipes. Learn from her in person August 9 at free event at the Gardendale Library. 

Submitted by: Kathleen Phillips

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