Sweet Cherry Candy Made From Excess Garden Squash

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Did you know you can make a sweet cherry chewy candy from excess garden squash? It’s TRUE! Making the candy is simple, we loved the cherry flavor best.

What can you do with all that garden squash? Make sweet cherry-flavored gummy snacks for your family with overgrown zucchini or squash! #TexasHomesteader

(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)

What To Do With Too Much Garden Squash

Squash is a prolific vegetable. Summer gardens are often overloaded with zucchini & yellow summer squash. You anxiously enjoy it the moment it’s harvest-able in the spring.

Meat & cheese stuffed Squash Boats are always a fun way to enjoy excess squash.

Zucchini boats are zucchini stuffed with ground meat, onions, garlic and cheese. #TexasHomesteader

I also enjoy including squash / zucchini as part of a healthy Roasted Vegetable Medley.

Roasted fresh vegetables in an easy, healthy dish. #TexasHomesteader

And surprise of surprises I’ve even made BANANA PUDDING from excess garden summer squash! (spoiler alert: It’s delicious!)

Banana pudding made with yellow squash, bananas, vanilla wafers in mason jar. #TexasHomesteader

But soon your family tires of squash every night. Still that squash harvest keeps coming.

Every.  Single. Day.

You can’t stand to see that beautiful garden produce go to waste. But “What’s a girl to do?” you wonder to yourself as you slowly disappear beneath the growing squash harvest pile… 

Can You Make Candy From Squash?

RancherMan is a grazer, and he loves to grab a handful of something to snack on throughout the day. Lately he’s really enjoyed dried fruit such as cranberries or raisins. But, you know, that gets expensive after a while.  

I made sweet cherry gummy chews from excess garden squash to satisfy RancherMan’s sweet/chewy snack urge. 

Use Yellow Squash or Zucchini To Make Gummy Chew Candy?

I’ve used both yellow summer squash as well as zucchini to make this sweet cherry gummy chew candy. Both are delicious. But I prefer to use zucchini when making the gummy chews.

I use garden zucchini to serve healthy meals. #TexasHomesteader

Zucchini is uniformly shaped and easy to just peel and slice ½” coins for a more uniform batch of candy.

Can You Use Overgrown Squash To Make Sweet Cherry Chew Candy?

I’ll use overly mature squash if that’s all I have, but I much prefer to use squash that are not overgrown as the larger seeds must be scooped out of overly mature squash.

Cherry Flavor Candy Syrup

We loved a stronger-flavored cherry candy. So I made cherry-flavored syrup:

Simple Syrup made with 1 part sugar, 4 parts water,

Cherry Flavoring – two packets of unsweetened cherry drink mix. 

What can you do with all that garden squash? Make sweet cherry-flavored gummy snacks for your family with overgrown zucchini or squash! #TexasHomesteader

I simmered the syrup stirring until all sugar was dissolved and then turned off the heat.

Preparing Squash For Gummy Candy

      • Wash, trim ends & peel squash. (Scoop out any larger seeds with a spoon.) 

      • Cut the squash to ½” – 1″ chunks

      • Cover squash chunks with cherry-flavored syrup.

      • Simmer squash for 20-30 minutes or until lightly tender.

Dehydrating Squash Cherry Gummies

After simmering I thoroughly drained the cooked squash and laid it onto my *Excalibur Dehydrator trays. But you can use a regular household dehydrator and it works just fine.

I tried to evenly space them on the trays without allowing them to touch each other.

What can you do with all that garden squash? Make sweet cherry-flavored gummy snacks for your family with overgrown zucchini or squash! #TexasHomesteader

      • Dehydrate flavored squash until tacky but no longer sticky.

The time for this step varies based on your your humidity level, how thick you cut your squash chunks, etc. It can be anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. 

For my Excalibur dehydrator I set the temperature to 135 degrees. Mine were about right in 8 hours.

I make sweet cherry gummy chew candy from excess garden squash. It's delicious! #TexasHomesteader

Make Sure Cherry Gummy Candy Is Dry

When the cherry candy was dehydrated I turned off my dehydrator I left them on the trays inside the dehydrator overnight. That just helps assure the pieces are completely air dried.

Finally, I put them in jars but left them on the counter for a couple of days with the lids loose in the event any moisture remained.

What can you do with all that garden squash? Make sweet cherry-flavored gummy snacks for your family with overgrown zucchini or squash! #TexasHomesteader

Now that my cherry chews are done I can store them in the fridge to enjoy over the next 30 days or so. But mine never even got there!

RancherMan raved and kept coming back again and again grabbing handfuls of these treats until they were GONE.

We Love Cherry-Flavored Gummy Chews Candy

I’d say this was certainly successful – he’s still raving! I’m able to provide RancherMan’s sweet chewy treats but I’m not having to purchase them. 

What can you do with all that garden squash? Make sweet cherry-flavored gummy snacks for your family with overgrown zucchini or squash! #TexasHomesteader

Plus this cherry-flavored gummy chews candy is making delicious use out of my mountains of garden squash (both yellow summer squash and zucchini).

And, you know, my friends and family no longer run from  me when they see me approach with more garden squash! LOL Here’s the recipe as I made it:

Did you make this sweet cherry chews candy? Please rate the recipe in your comment below!

Sweet Cherry Gummy Chews

Is your garden giving you TONS of squash?  Have you ever heard of making a sweet treat with it?  OMGosh y'all - you're gonna love these cherry gummy chews made from squash! #TexasHomesteader

Course Candy
Cuisine American
Keyword candy, cherry, fresh zucchini, fruit, squash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Dehydrating time 8 hours
Author www.TexasHomesteader.com


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 envelopes unsweetened cherry drink mix


  1. Prepare squash by washing, trimming ends, and peeling. Cut larger squash in quarters longways & scoop out any larger seeds with a spoon. Cut squash into chunks of about ½" - 1".

  2. Make enough simple syrup in a ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. (For a medium-large saucepan - dissolve 1 cup sugar into 4 cups water) Add 2 packets of unsweetened cherry drink mix. Simmer while stirring to thoroughly combine & completely dissolve sugar.

  3. Add prepared squash to cherry syrup until squash pieces are just barely covered by syrup. Simmer 20-30 minutes until squash is lightly soft. Remove with slotted spoon into colander. (see note below about additional soak time)

  4. Place cooked & drained squash onto dehydrator trays, spacing evenly without pieces touching each other. Place trays in dehydrator set to 135 degrees. Rotate trays every couple of hours for even dehydrating. Gummy chews are ready when they are soft and lightly tacky but no longer sticky.

  5. Store in glass jars in the refrigerator and consume within about 30 days or so.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: You want to only make as much simple syrup as will cover however much squash pieces you have to keep the syrup flavor as concentrated as possible.

TIP: In the past when I didn't feel the squash pieces were strongly enough flavored (used generic drink mix that wasn't as strongly flavored) I cooled the stockpot of squash/syrup in an ice bath and allowed the squash to stay in the cherry syrup for an hour or more to soak up more flavor.


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Tagged in A list of our posts about cooking with the garden's harvest. #TexasHomesteader  Save money by dehydrating food. #TexasHomesteader  All our favorite cherry flavored recipes. #TexasHomesteader  Our best snacks recipes. #TexasHomesteader   

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7 thoughts on “Sweet Cherry Candy Made From Excess Garden Squash

  1. Barb Reineke

    My dehydrator is a dinosaur……….would you happen to have instructions for oven drying, or dehydrators with no heat regulators?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You don’t have to have a heat regulator for dehydrating these gummies Barb, I’d suggest using your dehydrator and just dry until it was still tacky but no longer sticky. Based on your humidity & how thick you cut the squash it’ll still be about 8 to 12 hours so start checking around 6 hrs & gauge from that. But if you really wanted to use your oven instead – I’ve never done that so I can’t speak from experience or knowledge. I know some folks place their heat-proof trays or rack in an oven set to about 200 degrees and prop the door open to allow moisture to escape. Ugh, that sounds like it would make the house miserably hot though. I’d suggest your dehydrator set outside during daytime hours. Critters should leave it alone during daylight hours and no heat in the house. I typically set my dehydrator up on our back porch during the day and bring it in at night if it needs further drying. Good luck! ~TxH~

  2. Linda Primmer

    Not sure where my comment went. I think this is a fabulous way to get kids to eat squash. Awesome recipe. We thank you for sharing your creativity at DI&DI.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ve got another double batch of gummy chews in the dehydrator right now Linda. I find they’re easier made with overgrown zucchini instead of overgrown squash since it’s easier to scoop the seed section from zucchini. Next year I’ll over-plant the zucchini & see if I can just slice & dehydrate instead of using overgrown zuchs. I’ll be sure to report my findings. ~TxH~

  3. Katy SkipTheBag

    I have such a sweet tooth! This is a way to satisfy that and actually get more veggies. Win-win! I just wish we still had squashes that were producing. I’m going to keep this in mind for next year! Thanks for sharing on the #wastelesswednesday blog hop!

  4. Jenny

    This is the neatest thing! I can’t get anybody to eat squash anymore… And the thought of using those Franken-Squashes that seem to mutate overnight – I’m so excited to try this!


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