Easy Southern Fried Squash Recipe

This quick and easy Southern Fried Squash recipe is one of my favorite things in the summer when summer squash is in season! Tender squash rounds, lightly coated in a seasoned cornmeal mixture then fried!

This classic recipe is ready in minutes! Pair your fried yellow summer squash with a classic Southern meatloaf with old fashioned tomato sauce, purple hull peas, fried catfish and some stewed okra and tomatoes and you’ve got yourself a full-blown Southern meal!

Southern fried squash doesn’t take long to make! Just a few simple ingredients. Serve as a side dish or appetizer with a dipping sauce! You can use this same technique to make restaurant quality fried okra!

Ingredients for fried squash

1 pound of yellow squash, 2 eggs, frying oil, plain yellow cornmeal (not self rising cornmeal), garlic and onion powder, a little salt pepper and paprika (optional).

Ingredients labeled on table.

How to make it

Do the quick and easy prep work first! It makes fried squash a quick and easy recipe!

  • Set up dredging station with lightly beaten egg in a shallow bowl; in a second bowl, (a flat bowl or pie dish) combine the seasoned cornmeal, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add a dash of cayenne if you want spicy Southern fried yellow squash.
  • Slice the fresh squash into 1/4″ inch slices (do not remove the skin)
  • On the stove top, heat oil in heavy-bottom skillet (I use a cast iron skillet) on medium high heat. I recommend a high heat oil like canola oil or vegetable oil. Olive oil doesn’t tolerate high heat very well.
  • (Note: the amount of frying oil you use will depend upon the size of your skillet; you want the oil to be about 1/2″ inch in the frying pan)
Four process shots showing how to pan fry squash.

Dredge the thinly sliced squash in the lightly beaten egg, then in the seasoned cornmeal; place the cornmeal-coated squash in the hot oil in a single layer; cook 3 minutes, flip squash, cook another minute until light golden brown then drain on paper towels or a wire rack to remove any excess oil.

Tips for frying yellow squash

  • The best way to make this yellow squash recipe is to work in small batches. You don’t want to overcrowd the large skillet.
  • The amount of oil depends upon the size of your skillet and the amount of squash you’re cooking. You want about 1/2 ” inch of oil in the skillet. You don’t need a lot of oil in the skillet – this is not “deep frying” where the squash is submerged in the oil.
  • You want the oil temperature to be at least 315°F. One important thing is to make sure your oil is good and hot before placing the squash slices in it! If the oil isn’t hot enough, the cornmeal coating will fall off. I recommend using an accurate thermometer to test the oil temperature. 
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried squash from the hot oil.

How to select the best yellow squash

Look for a firm flesh with few blemishes; the smaller and darker yellow squash are usually the best choice because they’re super tender and flavorful. Generally, you’ll find smaller squash most available in the summer months.

Crookneck squash is generally available year-round; however the smaller ones are more tender and flavorful than the larger sizes.

Three sizes of squash on a table.
Select the smallest yellow squash for best flavor

Make ahead and storage

If you want to make fried yellow squash ahead of time, just fry it according to the recipe directions, then let it cool; store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve (up to 3 days.)

To reheat, set oven to 400ºF, place cooked squash in a single layer on ungreased baking sheet, and bake 10-12 minutes uncovered, until squash are warm.

I do not recommend using the microwave for reheating, as the cornmeal breading gets soggy.

Serving Suggestions

Serve these delicious Southern fried squash patties as you would any side dish, or as an appetizer or snack.They taste even better when lightly salted or sugared, or served with a honey mustard dipping sauce.

If you want to make fried yellow squash “fancy,” garnish it with a little shredded parmesan cheese right after it comes out of the pan!

This is a great Southern classic recipe and a great way to get some fresh summer vegetables in your family’s diet!

    Close up of crispy fried yellow squash garnished with parsley.

    Fried yellow squash is typically served in the summer, but due to its abundant availability year-round, you can make this Southern side dish any time of year!

    More Southern recipes

    If you make this recipe, please scroll down and leave a rating and comment! I love to hear from you!

    Fried yellow squash in bowl.

    Southern Fried Squash Recipe

    How to make crispy, Southern fried yellow squash!
    5 from 6 votes
    Print Rate
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American, Southern
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Yield: 2 cups
    Author: Anecia Hero


    • 2 medium yellow squash sliced into ⅛ – ¼" inch rounds
    • ¼ cup oil (See Recipe Notes) canola, corn or vegetable
    • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
    • 1 cup cornmeal , yellow, all-purpose
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon paprika (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ tablespoon black pepper


    • Slice squash into thin circles (about ⅛ – ¼" inch thick)
      2 medium yellow squash
    • Set up dredging station: 1 shallow plate with beaten egg and another shallow plate with dry ingredients (combine well); See Recipe Notes
      1 cup cornmeal, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 large eggs, ½ tablespoon black pepper
    • Heat heavy-bottom skillet on medium high; add oil; bring to about 300-320ºF
      ¼ cup oil (See Recipe Notes)
    • Dredge squash rounds through egg mixture, then cornmeal mixture
    • Working in batches, place 5-6 squash rounds into skillet with hot oil
    • Cook squash 2 minutes; flip and cook another 2-4 minutes until golden brown
    • Place cooked squash on paper towel to drain; serve and enjoy


    About the oil:
    The exact amount of oil depends upon the size of your skillet and the amount of squash you’re frying. You want about 1/2 ” inch of oil in the pan.
    Use a high-heat oil like vegetable or canola; not olive oil
    Cook squash on medium-high heat in a single layer
    About dredging:
    Sometimes it’s easier to coat everything in a big plastic bag. First, combine your cornmeal and seasonings; then, add sliced squas to a Ziplock bag, pour in the lightly beaten egg and shake it around some. Then add in the seasoned cornmeal and shake the bag again. 

    Nutrition Estimate

    Serving: 1cupCalories: 694kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 18gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 3574mgPotassium: 1021mgFiber: 12gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 2394IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 5mg
    Craving More? Pin it and Share!Mention @SmartyPantsKitchen or tag #smartypantskitchen!
    Join the Facebook group!Mention @SmartyPantsKitchen or tag #smartypantskitchen!

    Similar Posts

    5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.