Sautéed Yellow Squash

A crispy panko topping and fresh herbs add bold flavor to this sautéed yellow squash recipe. Easy and delicious, it's a perfect summer side dish.

Sautéed yellow squash

Who else loves yellow squash? Like zucchini, it starts to take over my fridge at this point in the summer, but I really can’t complain. This tender, sunny summer squash is versatile, nourishing, and super easy to cook. I love to grill it, roast it, and even eat it raw, but lately, I’ve been hooked on this sautéed yellow squash recipe.

Yellow squash itself has a mild flavor, so I toss it with a bright herb oil as soon as it comes off the heat. Then, I pile on a savory panko topping for crunch. Just a heads up – this topping is seriously addictive. It’s totally vegan, but thanks to my easy vegan Parmesan, it tastes rich and cheesy. Topped onto the tender, herb-flecked squash, it makes this simple recipe irresistible.

Yellow squash

How to Select Summer Squash

Anytime you’re making a simple, produce-forward recipe, the quality of your ingredients counts. You can’t make a great Caprese salad without sweet, tangy tomatoes, and peach cobbler falls flat without juicy peaches. Here, it pays to use the best yellow squash you can find.

Look for small or medium-sized yellow squash at the farmers market or grocery store. They should have vibrant, glossy skins and be firm to the touch – soft spots are a sign of rot. Avoid buying summer squash that are particularly long or thick. They’re often bland, with a spongy, seedy, and watery texture. When in doubt, choose the smallest squash available. They’ll have a lightly sweet flavor and firm/tender interior.

Vegetables, herb oil, and panko topping

How to Cook Yellow Squash

Right now, sautéing is my favorite method for how to cook yellow squash. I love how the veggies become slightly soft and sweet but still retain a nice bite. Here’s how I do it:

First, slice the squash into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. If your squash is particularly large, cut the rounds into half-moons.

How to cook yellow squash

Then, cook! Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and sauté the squash for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until it softens but still has a nice bite. You don’t want it to become mushy!

Finally, season it. Remove the summer squash from the heat and toss it with the herb oil. Sprinkle it with the panko topping and fresh herbs, and enjoy!

Yellow squash in a skillet with herbs and bread crumbs

Yellow Squash Recipe Serving Suggestions

This sautéed yellow squash recipe is a simple, delicious summer side dish. Serve it with your favorite protein, homemade pizza, eggplant Parmesan, or one of these summer pasta recipes:

Round out the meal with homemade focaccia or good crusty bread to sop up any herb oil left on your plate. Enjoy!

Sautéed summer squash recipe

More Favorite Summer Squash Recipes

If you love this sautéed yellow squash, try one of these summer squash recipes next:

Sautéed Yellow Squash

rate this recipe:
4.67 from 9 votes
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves 4
This sautéed yellow squash is one of my all-time favorite summer squash recipes! A crispy, nutty panko topping contrasts perfectly with the tender, herb-flecked squash.


  • 3 yellow squash
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Fresh basil & thyme for garnish, optional

Herb oil

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bread Crumb Topping

  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup Vegan Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional


  • Slice the squash into ¼-inch rounds. If the squash is large, slice the rounds into half-moons.
  • Make the herb oil: In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper and shake to combine.
  • Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the panko, Vegan Parmesan, parsley, salt, several grinds of pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a few drizzles of olive oil. Add the squash and sauté for about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that all sides get cooked. I like to cook mine until it’s soft, yet still has a firm bite, but before it becomes too watery and mushy. Remove from the skillet and toss with the herb oil. Top with the panko mixture, and fresh herbs, if desired.


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  1. Lalla

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was easy and really good! I added extra red pepper flakes. Preparing the herb oil and the bread crumb topping in advance makes this no stress dish. I will be making this every summer. Thank you, Jeanine!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lalla, I’m so glad you loved it!

      • Rose

        5 stars
        Loved this recipe. It’s a keeper!

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          I’m so happy to hear!

  2. Ka Davis

    Really good info. I’m going to try a couple of your recipe’s

  3. June Bennett

    2 stars
    Bought fresh, tender small squash from a farmers market. I do love the taste of lemon, but it was overpowering in this recipe. I would either make this recipe again without the lemon or only do about 1 tsp or less. I did like the combination of the other ingredients.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi June, thank you for your feedback.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.