The Very Unusual Patty Pan Squash

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If you ever run into a Patty Pan squash you will surely not forget it, it’s shaped like a miniature alien spaceship, and can be seen in white, yellow, and green, and solid, mottled, or striped. Sometimes known as the Scallop Squash, Sunburst Squash, Button Squash, and a host of other names, it most commonly seen in yellow or green.

The renewed interest in local foods has proven to bring the Patty Pan Squash into the spotlight! This type squash is as versatile as they come. From it baking in the oven to grilling it and stuffing it, you can prepare Patty Pan in a variety of ways. It has an even texture throughout and a mild flavor, allowing you to dress it up however you want. It is very similar to summer squash; the two are interchangeable in recipes.

Oven Roasted, Seasoned Patty Pan Squash


  • ½ pound patty pan summer squash, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the squash, shallot, thyme, olive oil, and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Spread the mixture out onto a sheet pan. Bake 15 to 25 minutes or until the squash is tender. Monitor it periodically by testing it with a fork. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 4.

Italian Stuffed Patty Pan Squash


  • 4 medium-small patty pan squash
  • ¾ pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, sage)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil and boil the squash for 15-20 minutes just until barely fork tender. When cool enough to handle, cut the tops off and scoop out the seeds and a little of the flesh to make a cavity for the filling.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and cook the sausage until no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, herbs, white wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 7-8 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. While the mixture is simmering, prepare the squash. Fill the cavity of each squash with ½ of the mixture and top with 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Place the “lids” on top of each squash.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the squash feels tender when squeezed or a fork can be easily inserted through the flesh.

Serves 4.

Patty Pan Parmesan


For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 basil sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt, to taste

For the Parmesan Crisps:

  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

For the Patty Pan Parmesan:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds baby Patty Pan squash, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup Parmesan, grated
  • ½ cup mozzarella balls
  • Parmesan crisps, for garnish
  • Torn basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Make the tomato sauce: In a medium sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until the paste begins to caramelize, 2 minutes. Add the remaining tomato sauce ingredients and stir to incorporate. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the Parmesan crisps: Preheat the oven to 300ºF. On a silpat-lined baking sheet, spread the grated Parmesan into a very thin layer. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, then break into shards and set aside.
  3. Make the Patty Pan Parmesan: Preheat the broiler to high. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the squash and sear until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, then top the squash with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and scatter with mozzarella balls. Place the skillet under the broiler and cook until the top is golden brown, 6 minutes. Garnish with the reserved Parmesan crisps and fresh basil, then serve.

Serves 4-6.

Baked Patty Pan Squash and Eggs


  • 8 Patty Pan squash (4 yellow and 4 green, each 5 in. across)
  • About 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 8 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut tops (stem ends) off squash and reserve. Scoop out and discard insides of squash, leaving a shell at least ¼ in. thick. Brush squash and tops with about 1 tbsp. olive oil, set on a baking sheet, and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and ¾ tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add thyme and cook, stirring, until combined

Serves 8. Each serving contains Calories 165, Protein 10g, Carbohydrate 14g, Fiber 3.9g, Sodium 366mg, Cholesterol 212mg.

Patty Pan Squash Gratin


  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups red potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces gorgonzola (goat cheese, gruyere or your favorite soft cheese)
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in medium skillet and sauté onions until caramelized. Place in bottom of large casserole dish or gratin pan.
  2. Alternate slices of potato and squash on top of the onions creating a single layer. Mix the salt, pepper and nutmeg and sprinkle half over the first layer of veggies. Sprinkle the Gorgonzola cheese over the spices.
  3. Repeat with another layer of alternating potatoes and squash. Sprinkle the remaining salt, pepper and nutmeg over the final layer. Pour the half and half over the vegetables.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and mix with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake in a 400° F oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve warm.

Serves 8.