Southern Fried Squash and Zucchini

This recipe….I mean, wow! This is my childhood. I have so many memories of my mother cooking squash and zucchini rather together or separately. I always tell my mother that one of my favorite meals that she makes is fried squash, seasoned rice, and meatloaf. Mmmm, memories!

In the South, we love to fry things; however, methods of frying vary. We have deep frying, which means the ingredient is typically battered and submerged in hot oil and comes out super crispy, crunchy, and golden. Then, we have shallow frying which means a small amount of oil is placed in a hot pan and the ingredients such as pork chops, cube steaks, or hoe cakes are fried in a shallow amount of oil.

And then, there’s my favorite. What I like to call “pan frying” which is very similar to sautéing. In the South, you will see many vegetables such as cabbage or okra pan fried and that is the method used for this squash and zucchini. In the South, pan frying vegetables usually begins with some sort of fatty meat ranging from butt meat, bacon, or pork sausage. Then, your vegetables are added in with seasonings and other flavorings. Everything gets “pan fried” and comes out full of flavor!

Squash and Zucchini –  What we consider in the south fresh garden vegetables, squash and zucchini are often coupled together but can be highlighted separately in other dishes such as squash casserole or zucchini bread. I remember as a child going to my aunt’s garden and seeing different vegetables such as green bell peppers, juicy green tomatoes, and banana peppers growing up out of the ground. In the lowcountry, there’s always somebody close that has a garden filled with the most fresh vegetables. Potatoes, collard greens, cabbages, mustard greens, onions, watermelons, and more! And, in true Southern hospitality, these garden goodies were always distributed amongst the neighborhood. And, yes you guessed it – fresh squash and zucchini were in the mix.

Smoked Sausage – In the lowcounty, baby, we love our meats! Trust me, there aren’t many vegans around here! Sausages can come in many forms: pork, beef, chicken, smoked, fried, or grilled. If you’re lucky, you may have a local fresh market dealing out fresh meats from neighborhood farms. Smoked sausage is special. It has a distinct, noticeable flavor. It’s juicy, succulent, and filled with deep smoky notes.

Onion – I mean, onions are like in the Southern Bible right?! They’re a pantry staple and a very vital ingredient seen withing Southern cooking. There are many types of onions: sweet vidalia, yellow, white, or red. Yellow onions are typically the most popular and are often used in smothering meats such as pork chops or cubed steaks, baked chicken, and of course “pan fried” vegetables. Such a simple ingredient, yet so important!

The taste of this squash and zucchini brings one word to my forefront  – home. It tastes like home. The smoked sausage, yellow onion, squash, and zucchini all pan fried and seasoned – creating the most simple, yet delicious dish.

Pair this recipe with:

Seasoned Baked Chicken

Honey Cornbread


Seasoned Rice

Baked Mac and Cheese

BBQ Ribs

Tips and Tricks:

Season each layer – I always say flavor is created in the beginning. Therefore, as you are cooking this dish, begin seasoning from the start to ensure that the entire dish is flavorful!

Do not add any water – Nope, no matter how bad you want to do it. Squash and zucchini creates tons of water, so you don’t want to add more water and turn it soggy. It’s called pan frying for a reason rather than steaming, the intent is to cook it in oil not water.

Do not over crowd pan – The less space there is in the pan, your vegetables will steam rather than fry and that’s not what we want. So, use a big pan!


½ link smoked pork sausage
2 medium zucchini
3 medium squash
½ yellow onion, sliced
1 tbs butter (optional)
2-3 tbs vegetable oil
½ tbs and 1 tsp onion powder
½ tbs and 1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
Lawry’s seasoning salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

*Heads up! Please use your tastebuds when seasoning and cooking! Above, I have general amounts of seasonings (onion powder, garlic powder, etc.) for you to add; however, if you desire more of these ingredients…add more! If you desire less…add less! This dish is for you and your family so add your desired amount of seasonings or other ingredients to your taste!*


  1. Place a large pan over medium high heat and add in 1 tbs vegetable oil. Let pan heat for 1 minute and add in sliced sausage. Allow sausage to fry for 2-3 minutes. Add in 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, and ½ tsp paprika. Mix well to distribute seasonings and continue to fry for and additional 5-6 minutes or until sausage has browned.

  2. Remove browned sausage from pan and DO NOT DISCARD OF ANY REMAINING OIL. Leave all oil inside of the pan once the sausage is removed. Add in sliced onions and fry for 5-7 minutes or until onions have changed in color but still have texture. (Think of al dente pasta – cooked but not soggy or mushy!)

  3. Remove onions from pan and add in 2 tbs vegetable oil along with the sliced squash and zucchini. Add in ½ tbs onion powder, ½ tbs garlic powder, ½ tsp paprika. Fry the squash and zucchini for 9-10 minutes or until they have softened.

  4. Add in the cooked smoked sausage and onions. Mix well. Season to your taste with Lawry’s seasoning salt, black pepper, and a pinch of table salt.

  5. Add in butter and continue to fry in pan for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remember, do not overcook your vegetables (see tips and tricks). Taste your food to ensure that the flavor is there! Adjust any ingredients to your taste or liking! Once everything tastes amazing, remove from pan and add to plate or serving dish.

  6. Eat & enjoy!


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