When looking for a summer squash to add to your meal, you have quite a few selections to choose from, such as zucchini, yellow squash, globe squash and chayote. Harvested while still immature, all summer squash can be eaten from the skin, to the flesh to the seeds. If you don’t have any summer squash on hand for a specific recipe, you may be able to substitute the squash with a similar vegetable.


This large, purple vegetable has a similar look to summer squashes such as yellow squash. Eggplant has a spongy, meaty texture and is low in calories. Eggplant must be cooked, but it is versatile and can be sauteed, grilled, fried or baked. When choosing eggplants, select those with a shiny texture and unbroken skin. Good eggplants should also be firm to the touch.


Although summer squash is most often cooked, you can eat it raw, sliced in salads for instance. Cucumbers are an ideal stand-in for summer squash in salads. The long green vegetable is usually peeled because the skin can be bitter. Cucumbers need to be kept cold in the refrigerator crisper.

Winter Squash

If you don’t have any summer squash on hand, use a winter squash, which has more varieties than summer squash. Select a winter squash that has similarities closest to the summer squash that you had wanted to use. Popular winter squashes include butternut squash, pumpkin, spaghetti squash and banana squash.

Bok Choy

If you were planning to use your summer squash in a stir fry, an acceptable substitute would be bok choy. Although bok choy is a cabbage, the stem section of this cabbage has similarities to a summer squash such as zucchini when cooked. Expect a more cabbage-like flavor, but bok choy is commonly used in stir-fry dishes so it should fit right in.