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Spicy Yellow Squash Dressing with Leftover Corn Bread and Green Chiles

Preview: Make this Spicy Yellow Squash Dressing with leftover cornbread, yellow squash, green chiles, mushrooms, and corn.

What do you do with the leftovers if you’re a cornbread lover? My father-in-law used to stuff leftover cornbread into a glass and pour buttermilk over it. 

But more often than not, I throw leftover cornbread in the freezer and save it for this recipe. It’s the perfect excuse for making too much cornbread. If you do not love this, I promise to help you eat the leftovers.

Many years ago, I tasted a version of this Squash Dressing made with leftover cornbread. It was so delicious that I never forgot about it.

Over the years, I’ve perfected and tweaked the recipe. It’s like a marriage between cornbread dressing and a Tex-Mex yellow squash casserole. The green chilies, corn, and shredded cheese take it over the top.

Close-up of spicy squash and leftover cornbread casserole

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • YELLOW SQUASH: Yellow squash is considered a summer squash. It is somewhat sweeter than zucchini.

    Try to buy the smaller yellow squash in the store. If you grow them yourself, be sure to pick them before they get too big and tough. Peeling is not necessary. In case you have more squash than you know what to do with, check out these Simple Squash Patties, Baked Yellow Squash Soufflé, and Baked Parmesan Squash.
  • ONIONS: Yellow or white onions would both be appropriate in this recipe.
  • BELL PEPPERS: Use red, yellow, or orange peppers. Green peppers are not as sweet as the other colors and have their own distinctive flavor. Suit yourself. Using many colors adds visual appeal to this recipe.

    ***Did you know you can chop and freeze bell peppers? Wash, seed, and chop. Place them into a plastic bag and drop them into the freezer.
  • MUSHROOMS: White button mushrooms are the easiest to come by in my area, so that’s what I use. Canned mushroom bits and pieces are the cheapest way to go. Leave them out if you don’t like or can’t buy mushrooms.
  • MILK: Use fat-free, low-fat, whole milk, or evaporated milk.
  • CORN: This is a very important ingredient in my book. Fresh corn cut off the cob is the best, of course. But I rarely have that. Frozen corn is almost as good. Use canned corn as a last resort.
  • GREEN CHILES: Green chiles add spice to this recipe. Start with a 4 oz. jar of chopped chiles (or less if you’re a bit timid about chilies). Add more chiles if you like spicy food. A dash of Sriracha sauce will also add some quick spice.
  • CORNBREAD–DRIED AND CRUMBLED: Use cornbread made from a mix like Jiffy if you don’t have leftovers. As mentioned earlier, I pull cornbread out of the freezer because my favorite cornbread recipe makes too much for the two of us.

    See the notes in the recipe for how to dry and crumble your cornbread.
  • CHEESE: The recipe calls for one cup of shredded Cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack. Use Pepper Jack if you want more spice.
Baked Squash and Cornbread Casserole in a serving dish.

How to use leftover cornbread in this recipe for Spicy Squash Dressing:

Fill a microwave-safe glass Pyrex container with chunks of squash. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid. Cook in the microwave on HIGH until tender. (Times will vary. Start with 8-9 minutes.)
Press on the cooked squash to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
Cut up onions and your choice of bell peppers.
Throw into a skillet and sauté until softened.
Add mushrooms cut into small pieces to the skillet and continue frying. Add cumin after the mushrooms soften.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables in the skillet and stir until flour disappears.
Add milk.
Stir until smooth and thickened.
Add corn, green chilies, and cooked, smashed, and drained yellow squash. Stir lightly.
Add salt and pepper and check the taste.
Folding in shredded cheese and leftover cornbread
Fold in dried leftover cornbread and shredded cheese.
Pour into a casserole dish and bake in a 400˚F preheated oven.
Green Chili and Squash Dressing--ready to eat
Optional: Sprinkle more cheese on top if desired 5 minutes before the dressing is ready to take out of the oven.

FAQ about this Spicy Yellow Squash Dressing:

Can I make this yellow squash dressing ahead of time?

You can make this earlier in the day, refrigerate and bake. However, I prefer to bake it the same day I assemble it so the cornbread won’t get too mushy.

Can I freeze this recipe?

Yes. Because of the cornbread, I recommend you use it within a month. For myself, we love the leftovers, so I hardly ever freeze it. Leftovers taste even better because the flavors blend and meld.

How spicy is this recipe?

The spiciness level depends on the green chilis. Some are much spicier than others. Reduce the number of chiles or leave them out if you’re not a fan of spicy food.

If you never have cornbread leftovers, you might want to make a double batch next time. I know you’re going to love eating your vegetables this way.

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the comment section below. No comment is required.

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

Green Chili and Squash Dressing--in a serving dish ready to eat

Spicy Squash Dressing with Leftover Cornbread and Green Chiles

This is a spicy mixture of yellow squash, corn, green chiles, and cornbread. Southern cuisine combined with Tex-Mex flavors makes a memorable side dish or vegetarian entree.
Paula Rhodes
4.25 from 4 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Vegetables and Side Dishes
Servings 10 servings


  • 4 cups yellow squash - chopped (3 small squash or 2 medium squash)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ medium onion - chopped
  • ½ cup red or green bell peppers - chopped
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms - cut into small slices
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 4 ounces chopped green chiles - more or less depending on your taste
  • 2 cups dried cornbread - crumbled (See note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup 4 ounces Cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese, shredded


  • Cook the yellow squash with a small amount of added water. Cover and microwave on HIGH for about 8-9 minutes. Mash squash with fork or masher and drain well. Set aside.
  • While the squash cooks, sauté chopped onions (half an onion) and ½ cup of bell peppers in 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. After the vegetables soften, add 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of flour to softened veggies. Cook and stir for about two minutes, then add 1 cup of milk to make a sauce. Stir and cook on medium-low until thickened like gravy.
  • Add 1 cup of corn, 1 4-oz can of green chilies (drained), and cooked, drained, squash. Season to taste with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Fold in the dried cornbread and cheese. If you prefer, save half the cheese to sprinkle on top in step 5.
  • Place into a greased 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Place into a 400˚F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top during the last 5 minutes.



How to dry out cornbread: Crumble cornbread with your hands and let it dry on the counter for a few hours. You can hasten the process using an oven at 300˚F until the cornbread is dry. It isn’t easy to specify a time as it will depend on how moist the cornbread is. Mine usually takes 15 minutes.


Serving: 1gCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 9gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 549mgPotassium: 384mgFiber: 3gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 625IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 188mgIron: 2mg
Keyword leftover corn bread recipe, spicy squash with green chiles, yellow squash casserole, yellow squash dressing recipe
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recipe Rating


Tuesday 29th of December 2020

It sounds good, but I don't understand why the title says spicy. There is nothing spicy in the recipe. Is something missing??


Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Hi Theresa,

Green chilis can be quite spicy. Use the hot ones if you want really spicy. We prefer the mild ones.


Saturday 10th of October 2009

Now that sounds good. Too bad I only make cornbread at Thanksgiving to put in the dressing.


Thursday 8th of October 2009

looks good! What do I do with leftover cornbread? Well, we usually don't have any leftover, so I wouldn't know. :)


Thursday 8th of October 2009