If you’re looking for a great way to use up tons of extra summer squash, use our delicious salt & vinegar squash chips recipe!
We love summer squash.
We like grilling it, pickling it, stir frying it, sitting next to the duck pond with it, etc..
However, we don’t always do the best job of planning out how many squash plants we need to start from seed in order to take care of our squash-eating needs.
Over the years, this has led to marital discord, as accusations of being a “squash murderer” or “not loving our squash plants enough” get bandied about.
On numerous occasions, my wife (aka The Tyrant) has threatened to leave me for someone else who appreciates squash more, since I suggested that we might not need 400 squash plants in our edible landscape. (In case you’re wondering, I’m always the voice of reason in these and similar disagreements that arise.)
Susan’s side of the story: There aren’t 400 plants…more like 40. And they’re beautiful landscape plants. Besides, Jackson (the duck) loves squash blossoms and if we don’t plant 40 plants we won’t get squash. Yes dear. You are ever the voice of reason. 😉
Making matters worse, we inevitably have several volunteer squash plants come up in our yard that end up adding to our squash harvest. There is only so much squash you can give away to your neighbors, friends, and family before people mysteriously stop wanting to come over to your house or say hello when they see you out in the yard.
What Would You Do With 4.5 Tons of Summer Squash?
The seemingly rational thing to do would be to grow less squash and seek out a good marriage counselor who has experience dealing with these sorts of vegetable disputes. Maybe we’ll do that next year.
But what do we do with the 4.5 tons of squash we have on our countertops, floors, bedroom dresser, tabletops, etc. this year?
We do a lot of canning and pickling, but we wanted to come up with some other recipes to save our squash (and marriage).
As we were loading up our Excalibur Dehydrator with another round of fruit leather, The Tyrant said, “I wonder if we can make squash chips?” Thus began a new culinary experiment…
How to Make Dehydrated Salt & Vinegar Squash Chips
There are lots of different flavors you can experiment with in making your own squash chips: salt & pepper, BBQ, curry, etc.. The flavor we like the best of the ones we’ve tried so far are salt & vinegar squash chips.
Good news! Salt & vinegar squash chips are very easy to make and can use up lots of squash… Plus they taste great.
Here are a few tantalizing pictures of the final product, The Tyrant’s salt and vinegar squash chips:
Using a Dehydrator and a Mandolin Slicer
Making salt & vinegar squash chips is MUCH easier with two ket kitchen tools: a mandolin to quickly, precisely slice your squash into perfectly-sized squash chips AND a dehydrator to dry them into crunchy perfection for long-term storage.
There are lots of different options to choose from for both of these handy kitchen items. The ones we researched, bought, and have enjoyed using for many years (and many recipes) are these two:
- Excalibur Dehydrator: If you dehydrate food a lot, this is the way to go. We’ve had ours for almost 15 years – it actually predates our relationship. Amazon Link
- De Buyer Swing Mandolin: We absolutely LOVE our De Buyer swing mandolin. It was a birthday present a few years ago and has stood the test of time beautifully. The orange is also a really cheerful color. 🙂 Amazon Link
If you don’t have these tools, fear not! Just do the best you can with a good chef’s knife, a baking rack + cookie sheet, and an oven set on low temp until you reach the desired texture.
Recipe: Salt & Vinegar Squash Chips
Ready to make your own salt & vinegar squash chips and potentially save your marriage too? Below is our recipe!
How to Make Squash Chips and Save Your Marriage
- 2.5 pounds thin sliced summer squash
- 2 cups organic white vinegar
- 4 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons sea salt
Thin Slice Your Squash - The best thing to use here is a mandolin slicer. You can process a lot of squash very quickly and get the exact same thickness on each slice. If you don't have a mandolin slicer, just us a good sharp knife and slice your squash into strips as thin as you can make them. *If our squash are more mature, we'll just remove the seedy parts and add them to our hot composting pile (hot composting, aka the Berkeley Method, ensures seeds and pathogens are "burned out.)"
Brine Your Squash - In a large non-reactive bowl (ceramic or glass), combine all ingredients EXCEPT for sliced squash. Stir together and wait until salt has dissolved before adding squash to bowl. Cover bowl and allow to stand for 12 hours (in the fridge or on the counter).
Remove and Dry - Remove your sliced squash from the salt & vinegar mixture, then place onto dehydrator racks and turn to your dry veggie setting (125° - 135°F on our Excalibur). If you don't have a dehydrator, you can also dry your squash on baking racks in your oven, turned to the lowest heat setting possible (you don't want to cook them, just dehydrate them).
Store - Once your squash chips are dry and crunchy, remove them from the dehydrator. It usually takes about 12-18 hours for us, depending on how thin-sliced the squash are. Store dried squash chips in air tight containers until you're ready to eat them—large jars or ziplock bags work well.
We hope this article helps you use more of your squash and salvage your marriage!