Yellow Squash and Zucchini have some noticeable differences.
Both zucchini and yellow squash fall under the category of summer squash. It’s not just zucchini and yellow squash that are considered to be summer squashes and fall under this particular category of squash. Pattypans and a variety of different kinds of yellow squash all fall into that same listing.
The difference between yellow squash and zucchini can be subtle in some ways and more obvious in others. You can often use them in the same dishes and even cook them the same way, but the taste, texture, shape, color, and other characteristics help to set them apart. Lots of people use the term squash, summer squash, and even yellow squash interchangeably, but not everything that falls into one category could be classified under all of the other names as well.
Distinguishing between different kinds of squash and knowing the difference between zucchini and yellow squash helps you to use them properly and make the most of what sets them apart.
What Is the Difference between Yellow Squash and Zucchini?
Telling the two kinds of squash apart from a glance is usually easy. Zucchini is usually green and straight, whereas yellow squash is yellow (of course) and can be slightly curved. They tend to last the same amount of time on the shelf and ripen about the same time, so they are often used together, but they aren’t quite the same.
Yellow squash tends to have a wider low end, and zucchini stands in contrast by being about the same width all throughout. They are both usually oblong throughout most of their bodies, but the yellow squash has more of a gourd shape to it at one end.
Both kinds of squash have seeds in the flesh, but yellow squash tends to be seedier.
How about the taste? Is there a difference between golden zucchini and yellow squash in their flavor? They do have different flavors, but they share the same kind of flavor profile. That means you could describe the taste of both of these squashes in the same way- mildly flavored with a delicate vegetable sweetness to them. Someone who has extensively used both for cooking might be able to tell which is which when they take a bite, but most people will not be able to distinguish between the flavor of the two very easily. That’s how similar the taste is.
Can I Substitute Zucchini for Yellow Squash?
Yes, you can choose one or the other in any recipe that calls for either. It doesn’t matter which you use, in most cases. They are interchangeable in the way you cook them, prepare them, and eat them. The portion sizes and the seasonings you use to flavor them would be exactly the same. They can take each other’s place with ease, making either on a good substitute for the other.
If you are wondering what’s the difference between yellow squash and zucchini when it comes to cooking, the answer is that there isn’t a difference at all. You can use yellow squash in a recipe for zucchini squash bread. That is one of my favorite bread recipes, and substituting out yellow squash for the zucchini really doesn’t make a difference. They taste the same when baked in bread, so why not try switching up the recipe?
You can switch out yellow squash for zucchini as well, changing up the look of your kebabs and stir fry. I like to mix the two together to make a colorful salad or other veggie dish. They complement each other well by being basically twins in every way but the color once they are cooked up and sliced up. One great way to pair them up is to make spiral squash noodles.
These veggie noodles are so delightfully colorful and tasty and you can mix in tons of other ingredients in there to give them flavor and to fill out the dish.
What’s the difference between yellow zucchini and squash when you are cooking? Not much, really, so use them interchangeably and use them together to add some color to your food. They pair well with other squashes as well, even if the flavor and texture may be a bit different.
It’s not unusual for people to mix up zucchini and yellow squash since so many people cook them together and add them to the same dishes. Who can tell the difference if you have only ever seen them together, sliced and mixed in food? It’s understandable then that some people would have a hard time telling the difference between yellow squash and zucchini.
What about the difference between yellow squash and yellow zucchini? The term yellow zucchini is a mistake, since zucchini do not turn yellow. That is just a name that some people call yellow squash, especially when they are more familiar with zucchini at first.
Storing Yellow Squash and Zucchini
How do you store these two types of squash? Like I said earlier, they store pretty much the same way. You can buy them at the same time and store them together if you want. If you would prefer your squash to be tender, buy them when they are very young and small. Yellow squash is tender and seedless when it is young.
To store them, wash the squash first and then place them in the fridge. Keep them in the vegetable drawer, where you can store them naked, or place them in the main part of the fridge in a plastic bag. Zucchini and yellow squash can store in the fridge for up to three days, but if you bought them after they had been out for a while, they may not last as long for you.
When you buy squash in the grocer or market, check for firmness. If they are fully ripe and ready to use, they should be firm in your hand, and when you squeeze them, they should not have any give to them.
Before placing the squash in the fridge, it is a good idea to cut off the ends. This preserves them for longer. You do not need to peel them at all. Their tough flesh helps them to stay fresher for longer and should not be removed for storage.
You can store squash frozen for up to three months. Just wash them, cut off the ends and place them in a freezer storage bag after you empty the air out of the bag as much as possible. You can slice the squash before freezing it for easy use later on.