Last Updated on December 2, 2021 by Renee’
What to do with all that Summer Squash? Well, you can freeze it or you can Pressure Can it. I have done both, but what I have found is that I never have enough freezer space not to mention “freezer burn” plus it keeps much longer by canning it. I’m still eating on squash I canned 2 years ago.
One of my favorite recipes is my Paleo Squash Casserole. Just like my grandmother used to make but healthier. My daughter’s favorite is to put it in my Breakfast Sausage Hash.
My mother gave me her canner that is almost as old as I am. I can’t believe it but it still works! I started canning a few years ago because I hated to see all those veggies go to waste that my dear sweet Dad was growing in his beautiful gardens. Yes, he has three! All organic too! I am very blessed to be a recipient of all this greatness!
My dad is 81 years young & still going strong! I don’t know many young people that could keep up with him! I know I can’t!
How to Can Squash
- Yellow Squash
- Sea Salt (optional) 1 tsp. per quart
- Filtered Water (I love my Berkey filter system) Do not use Tap Water due to fluoride & chlorine.
- Pressure Canner (I love this one. It is the newer version of what I have. It has a “metal-to-metal” sealing system for a steam-tight seal; No gaskets to crack, burn, replace or clean)
- 7 Quart Jars with Lids
- Jar Lifter
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
- Large Stainless Steel mixing bowl
- Wooden Spoon for removing bubbles (I use the handle or you can use a butter knife)
- Med-Large Pot for boiling filtered water
- Large Pan with hot water for rings & lids
- Sterilize Jars. My dishwasher has a sterile cycle, so I just make sure to run them on the sterile cycle ahead of time. It’s not required for pressure canning. Just make sure they are clean.
- Wash Squash & cut off the ends.
- Cut Squash into cubes or you can slice if preferred. I like to cut in thick slices then quarter them. They fit better in the jars.
- Put the squash in stainless steel bowl until ready to put in jars.
- Add filtered water to a large pot & bring to a boil.
- Fill the canner about 1/4 – 1/3 way full with hot water (it will rise when you add the jars of squash) & turn on low to med. heat.
- Put the lids with bands into a pan of boiling water.
- While filtered water is heating, Pack jars with squash.
- Add 1 tsp of sea salt to each quart (optional)
- Pour boiling filtered water into jars of squash. Leave 1″ of headspace.
- Remove air bubbles with the handle of the wooden spoon by sliding it down the side of the jar.
- Wipe jar rim with a clean cloth
- Use tongs to pick up the rings & lids to put them on the jars. They will be very hot. Tighten.
- Put jars of squash into canner using a jar lifter
- Put the pressure canner’s lid on & tighten it according to the canner’s instructions.
- With my pressure canner, I turn the heat up to med-high until steam starts coming out the vent then I close the vent & let it start building pressure. Make sure to follow your canner’s instruction manual.
- Bring pressure up to 10 lbs. Cook 25 min for pints or 30 min for quarts. Make sure to check your canners manual to adjust for your altitude.
- Once it is done, turn off the heat & let the pressure come completely down to zero. This is very important. Do not attempt to relieve pressure manually. Once the pressure has completely come down, open vent & lid.
- Remove jars & allow to cool for 12-24 hours before moving. You can remove the bands at this point since they are not necessary anymore since they are sealed under pressure. This prevents the bands from rusting & being hard to remove later.
Recipes for Canned Squash:
Also great in soups.
More Canning & Freezing Recipes:
- How to Can Okra
- How to Can Bone Broth
- How to Can Green Beans
- How to Can Potatoes
- How to Can Beef
- How to Can Tomatoes
- How to Freeze Squash
- How to Freeze Okra
- How to Freeze Green Beans
- How to Freeze Tomatoes
*Scroll down for the printable recipe.
- I had a reader very concerned that it is no longer recommended to can squash this way. This recipe was gotten from several “old-timers”. I haven’t had any issues & we are still eating what we canned two summers ago. If you are concerned, you can freeze your squash. If you do choose to can it this way do so at your own risk.
- Please refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation for pressure canning info.
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More info on canning & preserving here & get your free guide to canning here.
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How to Can Squash
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Thanks for all this info. I have canned yellow and butternut squash, I followed the instructions here but some of my jars spilled out some liquid but still sealed. Are they still ok? Also, can we can all kinds of squash this way, I mean just process for 25-30 minutes?
That is called siphoning. You may have had too much water. Make sure to leave 1 in. headspace. I have had siphoning before when canning meat & they still sealed. As long as they sealed, they should be fine. Keep a check on them to make sure they stay sealed. I assume you can can other squash the same way, I personally have not.
Hi Renee. If I’m using an ordinary water canner, not one like a pressure cooker, would the boiling time be the same?
Hi Linda, Great question. From what I understand if it’s not acidic you should pressure can. I wouldn’t feel comfortable water bathing squash. That being said, I can okra using the open kettle method & I just add vinegar. I’m not sure if that would work the same with squash. There is a lot of controversy over canning squash. If you do water bath, I would definitely add vinegar to each jar. I add 8 Tbs. to 7 cups of filtered water when I can my okra. Hope this helps.
Can you tell me how the texture of the squash is when you open it? I’m new to canning and doing research on canning squash but have been fearful of it being soggy/mush when opened.?
I did this tonight as a first time can and none leaked they are all cooling. I used half pints but followed the 25 min cook time and let them cool. Removed rings and did a grab test. All are well. As a first time canner with this I will be on the look out but they seem great and it’s only added to my fuel to learn more! Thank you!
Kelly, That’s awesome!
Just canned my squash for the first time I guess I didn’t pack the jars full enough quart jars that is the squash shrank lots of water left over will that affect anything they’re sitting on the counter now cooling and it looks good just curious
They will be fine. You are right, they do shrink. Just pack tighter next time. Not a big deal. I usually shake my jars as I’m putting in the squash, then pressing down as I go. I think the first time I did squash I did the same thing.
Can you use this recipe for green zucchini also?
I have canned both yellow squash & zucchini together before with no issues.
I have an overabundance of zucchini & was looking for a way to can them similar to Apple pie filling. My canner manual has instructions on how to can zucchini, but looked to the internet for verification from somebody who has done it & found you. To the naysayers, my rule is if it’s in my canner manual, then it’s totally safe to do. They probably wouldn’t approve of me reducing the time I do tomatoes of any kind (whole or sauces) from the recommended 15 mins to 8 mins either. Have been pressure canning for 35 yrs and have never had a problem with anything spoiling or making anybody sick. Thanks
How many lbs squash does it take to fill 7 qt jars?
Wow! Great question! I really don’t know. Never measured it. My dad always gives it to me in grocery bags & I cut it up & put in a large stainless steel bowl. I fill up my jars as I go until I have 7 qts. I know that is not an answer. I just never thought about it. I looked it up & from everything I have read, around 11 lbs. I hope this helps!
Read the comments………..
After the fiasco with the “vaccine”, I would trust word of mouth from an experienced canner long before trusting anything the “Government” said. The Government will have Americans eating Soilent Green soon. All approved by the FDA and USDA.
Yes, I do can summer squash.
I just wanted to address the USDA thing as well…
Do you buy canned milk? But you’re not supposed to do it .
Canned meat? But that’s a no-no.
Canned squash, pumpkin, or cheese ? All of these have been canned by home cooks for over a century. But just since 1988 it has become wrong? Do you see a pattern?
I can EVERYTHING I just mentioned. Never had anything fail that was sealed properly. Just as with store-bought canned goods, you must keep an eye out for spoilage, rust, etc. And rotate, FIFO
Not only that, there are certain groups of people worldwide who can just like it was done before there was such a thing as a pressure canner.
Sad thing is the government says that if you can like these people, you are “REBEL” canning.
You don’t hear about tons of people dying due to them canning this way.
All the products you named that can be bought in stores are canned in a retort canner. Is your canner large enough for you to walk into? Commercial retort canners are. That’s why some foods are not safe to can in a home kitchen. Commercial canners have access to processes and equipment that can not be duplicated in a home kitchen.
I once had a recipe for tomato and zuchinni combo with onions and bell peppers, used it for soup starter it was great, lost the recipe can’t remember any other ingredients was wondering if anyone has this thanks, Mary
We canned our first today. I was hoping I could add a picture. They look good, hope they are.
Awesome! Let me know how they turn out! Sorry about not being able to add a picture. You can go on my Pinterest pin & add one. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/211950726201964033/
Thank you, I am glad to know how to do this!
Wow…Rene…30 minutes for quarts? Winter squash is 1 hr and 30 minutes….plus density issues with summer squash make it questionable to can at all.
I understand you have done it tthis way for years and that is awesome but with botulism you only have to be wrong once. Kind of like Mushrooms…all of them are edible….some only once.
Great site otherwise but maybe do some further research from some Universities that have done research on this and see what they have to say.
Have a great day! 😁👍
Thank you for your comment. I have updated the recipe with a disclaimer. Of course, I wouldn’t want anyone to do it this way if they weren’t comfortable. This is an “old-timers” recipe, I have been doing it for years with no problem. Of course, I always cook it again when I open the jars. I would never eat it without cooking it again.
She is using a pressure canner. That length of time you suggest would be over kill.
I don’t know if this has been asked or not, so please forgive me if it has. If I was to can the squash in pint size jars would that change the time or anything? If so to what?
I am new to pressure canning and I have a bunch of squash on hand lol.
I learned to can from my maternal Grandma Frazier over 55 years ago. Have lived off a garden pretty much our entire lives. This is a really good site for canning. Those concerned about USDA advising AGAINST canning squash, you need to understand that;;s because they’re erring on the extreme side of canning safety. If you PROPERLY handle low acid veggies, prep them as instructed here, sterilize jars/lids, etc. Process per instructions, adjust for altitude ( I used to live at 7800ft AMSL in Colorado – so 10 # became 15 # for me) follow your pressure cooker instructions EXACTLY, you can SAFELY can just about ANYTHING. Grandma even canned salmon fished from Salmon reservoir in Idaho. Also, when you reheat, make sure you heat/boil your veggies – which will ALSO eliminate any botulism risks. Use common sense, follow instructions, don’t get sloppy, be VERY meticulous in your cleanliness while canning – I even use medical type exam gloves while packing veggies. You will be fine. Nothing beats home canned veggies – picked & then just canned. Which I just did with my yellow squash, patty pans, & Sunburst squash. Have NEVER had food poisoning from my canned foods or home cooked foods – can’t say the same for eating from restaurants. We’ve pretty much quit eating out because of food safety issues at many restaurants. Don’t sweat the small stuff & have fun!
Thanks for the info!!!
I have a Question, I pressure cooked and I guess didn’t pack tight enough and didn’t have as much water as I thought. Is the food still safe if it processed the whole time big is now not covered in water?
Hi Jen, Can you send me a picture? I would think it is okay as long as they are sealed. I haven’t had that happen. If you are worried, just put in the fridge & use within a few days. I had some bad lids (couldn’t find brand names) that I bought on amazon & they bulked up (not sure if that’s the right word) but they didn’t seal properly. I put them in the fridge to use this week. Lesson learned. Make sure to buy Ball or Kerr lids, not an off-brand.
Hi, you can always put it in bags and freeze. I’ve done that when they don’t seal. I had beans that didn’t seal but I think I didn’t tighten the lid enough.
Thanks for sharing! How long does it keep after the jar has been opened?
You are welcome! I would use it within a couple of days. To be honest I always use same day.
This is such a great idea! Its so nice that it can all be prepped and ready! Soups sound like a great way to use this squash!
I use a bread and butter recipe to can them they are delicious
After taking ny canned squash out of the canner i have about two inches if just water at the bottom of jars. Did i not pack enough?
Probably didn’t pack it tight enough. It does shrink. I shake my jars tapping them on the counter as I’m filling them then I push with my fingers/thumb to pack as tight as possible. It shouldn’t affect it, but I understand you want as much in the jars as possible. My first batch was the same way. It gets better with practice. Oh, & BTW, My grandmother’s name was Fannie! I’ve never known anyone else with that name. Love it!!
I’ve done a lot of canning,but have never canned squash. I’m gonna give it a try today…..BTW my grandmother’s name was Fannie, also.
Awesome! Let me know how it turns out. I had never heard anyone named Fannie except my grandmother. That’s awesome to hear of others.
There are no USDA recommendations for canning summer squash. The consistency of the product is not guaranteed and the heat may not penetrate the product properly to kill all botulism spores. Be safe when canning!
Canning summer squash or zucchini is NOT recommended by USDA.
Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of USDA bulletins have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar. It is best to freeze summer squashes or pickle them for canning, but they may also be dried.
The usda stoped squash canning recommdations in 1988 due to problems with process.
I am new to using a pressure cooker. I have tried using your method (putting in raw squash and then adding boiling water) and then using the pressure cooker. So far, so good, but it seems alot of the water comes out of my jars. And then the squash isn’t covered anymore. Are they going to be okay?
Great question? You said you used a pressure cooker. Is it a pressure canner? I haven’t had this problem using the pressure canner. It seems something didn’t work right for the water to come out. Did they seal?
Jars sitting directly on the bottom of the pressure canner or pressure cooker may boil the water inside the jars causing loss of water. Also, relieving the pressure in either type of canner before the temperature is near room temperature will cause boiling over since the water in the jars is over 212F, boiling temperature at normal atmospheric pressure.
Hi. Is there any crisp left to them when you open? I just bought a canner pressure cooker and have never done it before. We planted squash and lots of other things, but it looks like we’re going to have squash coming out our ears.
Hi Cheri! Unfortunately, they are not crispy. I use them in my Squash Casserole, my Sausage Breakfast Hash, soups, stews or as stewed squash with onions. I haven’t tried them battered and fried. I do, however, freeze them & fry them. They are awesome. I put the paleo flour on them before I freeze them.
Do not can summer squash. Pressure or not. Freeze, pickle, or dehydrate.
Why is canning summer squash or zucchini not recommended?
Recommendations for canning summer squashes, including zucchini, that appeared in former editions of So Easy to Preserve or USDA bulletins have been withdrawn due to uncertainty about the determination of processing times. Squashes are low-acid vegetables and require pressure canning for a known period of time that will destroy the bacteria that cause botulism. Documentation for the previous processing times cannot be found, and reports that are available do not support the old process. Slices or cubes of cooked summer squash will get quite soft and pack tightly into the jars. The amount of squash filled into a jar will affect the heating pattern in that jar. It is best to freeze summer squashes or pickle them for canning, but they may also be dried.
Thanks for the info. I have heard this before, but my family have been canning them for years. I haven’t had any problems. I guess those that are worried should definitely freeze them.
Can you use a regular canner? If so how long do you let them boil in the bath for?
Hi Cherie, From what I’ve read, you shouldn’t can squash in a water bath.
I just canned 7 quarts of yellow squash. Now I’m being told by others that it isn’t safe. Have you ever had any problems with it?
Hi Jo, Why did they say it wasn’t safe? I still have squash that I canned 3 years ago that we are eating. I’ve never had any problems! I’m curious as to why they say it isn’t safe.
USDA withdrew canning recommendations for squash because the density of could not be consistent enough for testing time required to reach temperatures inside the jar to 240 degrees F – the temperature required to kill bacteria that causes botulism.
Yet milk is pasteurized at 160.
Different process. Milk isn’t stored in a container, long term, without oxygen. The lack of oxygen is a key factor for botulism.
Jo Lilley, did you can it with a pressure cooker/canner or just canned them like you can everything else? If you use a pressure cooker or canner, it should be fine. Just watch that even after a week, your jars have not unsealed or have bubbles coming up. I have canned everything under the sun, but when i tried to can squash, i had problems since i did not use a canner or pressure cooker. Squash are a low acidic specimen and unless you are using vinegar or pickling them, you have to use pressure.
How did you can the squash without using a canner or pressure cooker?
I canned mixed quarts of yellow squash & zuchini yesterday. My pressure canner was leaking steam and the weight never rocked. I let it cook for more than 20 mins but maybe closer to 30 mins. I was not aware of the potential for botulizum. Is there anything I can do to be certain there is no bacteria in my squash?
I haven’t had that happen before. Did the lid’s seal?
You need to get a new gasket for your canner and perhaps cover the canner with towels if your stove is electric and a little weak for canning purposes, don’t set the towels on fire. Once you get your new gasket, you might reprocess your previous batch if a sample still tastes ok. Reprocessing might affect the texture of the squash.