Did you ever wonder what life was like before zucchini? Well, a different summer squash reigned before zucchini was around: Crookneck Squash!

Zucchini might’ve come along and knocked Crookneck off its throne, but this prolific, lemon-yellow squash deserves some of the limelight too. Here are a couple of quick facts about delicious Crookneck Squash; then keep on scrolling for lots more pics and info!

TASTE: Smooth, mildly buttery and a tiny bit peppery; similar to zucchini

FAVORITE PREPARATIONS: Sliced and sautéed – simple is often better! Or grate some up for fritters – the perfect light summertime meal.

Three crookneck squash on a board.

In this Article

About Crookneck Squash

Crookneck Squash, a member of Cucurbita pepo (Crookneck Group), is a prolific summer squash also known as yellow squash. Bulbous on one end with a small, curved neck at the other, Crookneck Squash is essentially a more old-fashioned version of yellow squash, the yellow form of zucchini found in grocery stores pretty much everywhere. Crookneck squash is what yellow squash was before the crooked neck and bulbous bottom were bred out of them.

Crookneck is very similar to Yellow Straightneck Squash, with similar color and one end being larger than the other, but Crookneck has a curved neck whereas Yellow Straightneck does not. Crookneck is usually a yellow bumpy squash with somewhat “warty” skin, though the skin tends to be more smooth when it’s picked young.

Three crookneck squash on a board, photographed from above.

With tender, bright yellow, edible skin – sometimes warty, sometimes smooth – and barely detectible, edible seeds, crookneck is super easy to prepare. No need to peel off the rind or scoop out seeds. Just like zucchini, it’s pretty much a grab-and-go squash. Gotta love summer squash!

Crookneck squash dates back to the early 1800s in North America, possibly going all the way back to the early 1700s. A staple crop in America, in the early 1800s it was was grown both by the Arikara tribe along the Missouri River in what is now North Dakota, and by the Cooper family in Camden, New Jersey (source).

Nutrition & Benefits

Crookneck squash is very healthy! It’s high in fiber, low in calories, and rich in nutrients and minerals such as Vitamins A & C, manganese, and lutein.

Sliced crookneck squash on a wooden cutting board

How to Select Crookneck Squash

Like other summer squash, crookneck is best harvested when it’s still small and immature, before it develops a tough rind such as with winter squash.

Crookneck squash should be picked at around the 6-inch mark, while the squash is still young and tender. If you’re growing crookneck, be sure to keep your plant harvested for a bounty of squash – it’ll just keep producing!

Favorite Crookneck Squash Recipes

This versatile yellow summer squash can be enjoyed in so many ways!

Crookneck squash fritters on a plate with a napkin and a fork.
Crookneck Squash Fritters

Do you have a favorite way to prepare this tasty squash? Please share in the comments below!

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