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What Is a Crookneck Squash?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Crookneck squash is a type of summer squash with a classically crooked shape and a rich yellow rind. They can be used interchangeably with other types of summer squash, such as zucchini, in a variety of recipes. In addition to being available in many markets during the summer, crookneck, or yellow squash can also easily be grown at home almost everywhere, as long as the summer is reasonably warm. In extremely warm climates, crookneck squash may be induced into growing year round.

The classic yellow squash has a bulbous shape with intensely warty yellow skin. When the bumpy squash is cut open, it reveals pale yellow flesh and seeds. The entire squash, including seeds and skin, is edible, and it has a sweet, slightly nutty flavor. Crookneck tends to taste more like winter squash than some other summer varieties, making it a good choice for summer grilling, gratins, and similar dishes. It can also be eaten raw, and can lend a nice texture to salads when grated.

As a vegetable, crookneck squash is a great nutritional choice. It is high in fiber and vitamin C, and has calories. The rich flavor makes it a great filler in a wide range of dishes, and it is also great on its own or as a side dish. Many other squashes also share these traits, so learning some squash recipes is a great idea for people who are trying to eat healthy.

To pick out a yellow squash in the store, look for a firm specimen with glossy skin which feels heavy for its size. Some varieties of crookneck squash are smooth, while others have the familiar warty appearance. In either case, avoid a squash which is too large, as it may be woody and tasteless. A very small squash also tends to be rather bland, so seek out a nice medium-sized squash. The squash will keep for up to four days under refrigeration.

To grow crookneck squash, clear a sunny spot in the garden and enrich the soil with compost and mulch so that it will drain well and provide lots of nutrition to the squash. Plant seedlings out after the last risk of frost, and keep them well watered but not saturated. The squash blossoms are also perfectly edible, although try to avoid over harvesting them as you will end up with fewer squash. Pick the squash when they are about six inches (15 centimeters) long.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon292944 — On Sep 23, 2012

@anon158005: I have the same question. I had a bunch given to me, and don't know if its gmo or not. I'm wondering if the seed content will show the difference.

Does someone know the answer?

By anon279956 — On Jul 15, 2012

I am just thankful for all the comments. I have grown yellow squash this year and I have mistakenly picked up crooked neck squash that looked warty. This is scary to me but I have vowed to use everything that grows in my garden. I am seeking information about the squash that I have grown.

By anon158005 — On Mar 05, 2011

I have read that some crookneck squash is GMO variety. Are all yellow squash called crookneck squash and is there a way to identify the GMO variety? I will not eat any GMO products and if I cannot identify the variety that is GMO I will stop eating all yellow squash and I urge everyone else to do the same.

By anon131706 — On Dec 03, 2010

Can I can crookneck squash? I canned some pumpkin and it turned out great. I was just wondering how I would do that If I could. Thanks!

By rallenwriter — On Aug 03, 2010

Does anybody have a good recipe for crookneck squash soup? My grandmother gives me a ton of these things every year from her garden, but I don't know how to use them.

The soup idea sounded good, and I'm sure I have enough squash to make a potful -- how should I go about it?

What ingredients besides squash do I need, and how long does it normally take?

Any tips or recipes?

By Charlie89 — On Aug 03, 2010

I really liked how this article included comments on growing crookneck squash as well. So many articles about food just give you the basic information on what the item is, but they don't tell you how to grow it or how to use it!

I really appreciate how the writer of this article covered a lot of different areas, not just the same old repetitive encyclopedia-type information that you get with so many other things on the web.

By FirstViolin — On Aug 03, 2010

Of all the squash varieties, I like crookneck squash the best.

I think it just works so well in so many different kinds of recipes, especially for squash soup.

Something about it just gives that extra little bit of richness to the soup that you don't get sometimes with yellow squash or other squash varieties.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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