Yellow Squash and Onions

You’ll love this quick and easy Sautéed Yellow Squash and Onions recipe!  Tender summer squash, nestled in butter and sautéed with sweet onions, this is the perfect side dish any time of year.

Yellow squash, also known as “crookneck” or “summer squash” takes less than 15-minutes to make and is a great side dish with fried catfishmeatloaf with tomato saucepurple hull peas , cornbread or pot roast.

In the South, summertime calls for fresh vegetables out of the garden! Now this recipe is not “highfalutin” or gourmet by any means. There’s no added fresh herbs, fancy spices or parmesan cheese…just good ole’ Southern country food. Sometimes the “KISS” method is the best! 

Why this recipe works

This is one of my favorite recipes, especially during the summer months when I can get garden-fresh yellow squash from my local farmer’s market. You can make this recipe with zucchini squash as well, just note that yellow squash has a thinner skin and cooks faster than zucchini.

  • Simple ingredients – all-natural ingredients with no additives, preservatives or yucky stuff. Squash, butter, chicken broth, salt and pepper
  • Healthy and low-calorie – naturally high in vitamin C and B6, low carb and keto-friendly
  • Ready in minutes – easy side dish ready in 8-10 minutes
  • Perfect healthy side dish to just about any entree or main dish – or incorporate it into a veggie plate with some purple hull peas, collard greens, pinto beans and a slice of cornbread!

This easy squash recipe is probably like your Grandma’s sauteed squash recipe! There’s a zillion different names for this recipe – “simmered squash,”  “stewed squash,” or “boiled squash” but no matter what you call it, it’s a flavorful, healthy Southern side dish and a delicious way to get your daily values of vitamins and nutrients!

If you don’t care for the texture of sauteed yellow squash, try this easy fried squash recipe!

Here’s what you’ll need

I’m a firm believer of keeping things simple, especially when you’re dealing with fresh vegetables. This simple dish is made with minimal seasonings, this sauteed yellow squash and onions recipe really allows the sweet flavor of the squash to shine! 

Yellow squash – you can use this sauteed squash recipe with zucchini squash as well, but note that zucchini has a tougher skin, so you may have to cook it a little longer than yellow squash

Sweet onion-I like sweet yellow onion; either a Noonday onion, Texas 1015 or Vidalia onions; you can use white onions as well

Chicken broth – or chicken stock (you can use water if you don’t have either)

Butter-salted or unsalted – your call

Salt and black pepper

A pinch of sugar and garlic powder are optional. 

Ingredients labeled.

How to make yellow squash and onions

Yellow summer squash cooks pretty quickly due to its thin skin, so it’s not necessary to use a slow cooker, crockpot or Instant Pot.

  • Grab a big saute pan (or a large non stick skillet), some small to medium size yellow squash, a big sweet yellow onion (I like sweet yellow onions, but you can use any type of yellow or white onion), butter, salt, pepper and a little chicken broth. 
  • Slice squash into 1/4″ inch rounds and set aside
  • Slice onion into half moons and set aside
  • In a large skillet, saute pan, or Dutch oven, melt butter on low to medium heat; add sliced onions and cook for 3-5 minutes and until slightly translucent. Add sliced yellow squash in a single layer; add salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar (optional).

If you want, you can add a little garlic powder or garlic salt, but go easy on it. The natural sweetness of the sauteed squash is the star of this delicious summer side dish!

Six steps for how to make sauteed squash.

Add in chicken broth, chicken stock or water then cover with lid, reduce heat to low and cook until squash are nice and tender – usually about 10 minutes total time!

Recipe Tips

  • Store fresh squash in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in the vegetable bin
  • Do NOT rinse the squash before storing it
  • If you’re making a lot of squash, use a big pot or Dutch oven
  • Slice rounds about 1/4″ inch thick; try to keep them all the same size so they’ll cook evenly
  • Don’t overcook it! Yellow squash tenderizes in a few minutes, so keep your eye on the stove!
  • Smaller squash are sweeter, more tender and have less seeds than larger ones.
Three sizes of squash on a table.
Select the smallest yellow squash for best flavor

Storage and reheating

You can store sauteed squash and onions in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Freezing is not recommended because the texture of the squash changes.

Reheat sautéed yellow squash and onions on the stovetop or in the microwave. You might need to add a little water before reheating.

I like to serve this easy recipe with purple hull peas, a sliced tomato and Southern skillet cornbread

Sauteed yellow squash and onions is a great side dish with fried catfish, meatloaf, purple hull peas , cornbread or pot roast.

More Southern recipes

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

Sauteed yellow squash and onions in white bowl.

Sautéed Yellow Squash and Onions

A Southern Classic! Tender yellow squash nestled in a buttery broth with sweet onions
5 from 6 votes
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 8 1/2 cup servings
Author: Anecia Hero


  • 2 lbs yellow squash
  • 1 cup yellow onion , sweet, sliced into half moons (medium to large onion)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth , low-sodium
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional) , granulated
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt , table
  • 2 teaspoons pepper , black



  • Rinse and dry squash
    2 lbs yellow squash
  • Cut into ¼ inch slices; do not remove the skin; set aside
  • Slice one medium – large onion into half moons or strips; set aside
    1 cup yellow onion

Cook the squash

  • Melt butter in skillet on medium heat
    6 tablespoons butter
  • Add sliced onion; cook for 2-3 minutes
    1 cup yellow onion
  • Add sliced squash and add broth
    2 lbs yellow squash, 1 cup chicken broth
  • Season with salt, pepper and sugar (optional) and garlic powder (optional) cover and cook for 8-12 minutes or until it's semi-tender
    2 teaspoons sugar (optional), 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • Serve with slotted spoon


Do not remove skin ; just cut off the ends and slice into 1/4″ rounds
Add more salt if you prefer
2 lbs. of small to medium squash yields about 4 cups of cooked squash and onions. 
You will get about 8 1/2-cup servings out of this recipe. 

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1cupCalories: 108kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 476mgPotassium: 359mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 493IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg
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  1. I cook a lot of yellow squash because my partner planted waay too much. Your recipe is perfect for daily sides. But I am thinking about red onions sliced super thin instead of sweets. Any ideas on reds vs others?

  2. 5 stars
    Just fixed your recipe bc neighbor had excess yellow squash she shared . Easy and delish eating it now only added some fresh chopped garlic when cooking for more gut health with the great onions but no added sugar NOT NEEDED SQUASH SO SWEET ITSELF PICKED ABOUT AN HOUR AGO !! Fresh ground pepper is the best !!!
    I will make my neighbor some fresh cornbread in my cast iron skillet this afternoon and beg her for more squash !!!