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How to Can Squash

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020 by Renee’

Here are step by step instructions on How to Can Squash for long term storage. A great way to preserve all the summer squash. #canning #preserving #squash #aip #paleo #whole30 #glutenfree #summersquash #pressurecanning #thehealthnutmama www.thehealthnutmama.com

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 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! 

garden

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

Ingredients:

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Easy step by step instructions on How to Can Squash for long term storage. #pressurecanning #canning #summersquash #squash #yellowsquash #zucchinisquash #longtermstorage #preserving #stepbystep #howto #thehealthnutmama www.thehealthnutmama.com

 

 

Tools Needed

Easy step by step instructions on How to Can Squash for long term storage. #pressurecanning #canning #summersquash #squash #yellowsquash #zucchinisquash #longtermstorage #preserving #stepbystep #howto #thehealthnutmama www.thehealthnutmama.com

 

Directions:

  • 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 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.

Easy step by step instructions on How to Can Squash for long term storage. #pressurecanning #canning #summersquash #squash #yellowsquash #zucchinisquash #longtermstorage #preserving #stepbystep #howto #thehealthnutmama www.thehealthnutmama.com

  • Put jars of squash into canner using a jar lifter
  • Put the pressure canner’s lid on & tighten 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. 

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Easy step by step instructions on How to Can Squash for long term storage. #pressurecanning #canning #summersquash #squash #yellowsquash #zucchinisquash #longtermstorage #preserving #stepbystep #howto #thehealthnutmama www.thehealthnutmama.com

Recipes for Canned Squash:

Also great in soups.

More Canning & Freezing Recipes:

*Scroll down for the printable recipe.

Disclaimer:

  • 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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Easy step by step instructions on How to Can Squash for long term storage. #pressurecanning #canning #summersquash #squash #yellowsquash #zucchinisquash #longtermstorage #preserving #stepbystep #howto #thehealthnutmama www.thehealthnutmama.com

More info on canning & preserving here & get your free guide to canning here.

Yield: 7 qts

How to Can Squash

How to Can Squash

Ingredients

  • Yellow Squash (enough for 7 quarts)
  • Sea Salt (optional) 1 tsp. per quart
  • Filtered Water (I use a Berkey filter system)

Instructions

  1. Sterilize Jars. My dishwasher has a sterile cycle, so I just make sure to run them on the sterile cycle ahead of time.
  2. Wash Squash & cut off ends.
  3. 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.
  4. Put the squash in stainless steel bowl until ready to put in jars.
  5. Add filtered water to large pot & bring to a boil.
  6. 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.
  7. Put the lids with bands into a pan of boiling water.
  8. While filtered water is heating, Pack jars with squash.
  9. Add 1 tsp of sea salt to each quart (optional)
  10. Pour boiling filtered water into jars of squash. Leave 1" of headspace.
  11. Remove air bubbles with the handle of the wooden spoon by sliding it down the side of jar.
  12. Wipe jar rim with a clean cloth
  13. Use tongs to put the lids on the jars. They will be very hot. Tighten.
  14. Put jars of squash into canner using a jar lifter
  15. Put the pressure canner's lid on & tighten according to canner's instructions.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Remove jars & allow to cool for 12-24 hours before moving.

 

 

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34 comments

  1. Mike says:

    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! 😁👍
    Mike

    • Renee' says:

      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.

  2. Christine says:

    Hi,
    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.
    Thank you

  3. CAROLE FRAZIER-RHODUS says:

    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!

  4. Fannie says:

    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?

    • Renee' says:

      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!!

      • Shirley says:

        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.

      • MFP Talia says:

        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!

  5. Vickie says:

    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.

  6. Beverly Bodden says:

    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?

    • Renee' says:

      Hi Beverly,
      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?

  7. Cheri says:

    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.

    • Renee' says:

      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.

    • john says:

      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.

      https://nchfp.uga.edu/questions/FAQ_canning.html#24

      • Renee' says:

        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.

  8. Jo Lilley says:

    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?

    • Renee' says:

      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.

      • Vickie says:

        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.

    • Beverly Bodden says:

      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.
      Good luck!

  9. Tami says:

    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?

    • Charles Dill says:

      Tami,
      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.

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