Sautéed Patty Pan Squash

Here is a very easy recipe using the interesting space-ship looking patty pan squash. These squash are from my garden last year and I’m planning ahead this summer with recipes for using more of these squash. The scalloped-edge squash are mild-flavored, somewhat firm and work well in so many recipes. An easy way to prepare them is simply to sauté the squash in a little butter/olive oil combination and seasonings. What a great way to add vegetables a person’s meals! If you have never purchased patty pan squash, I do hope you take a chance, and try out this recipe.

How to you serve these patty pan squash? Last year, I posted a recipe where I stuffed the squash with a shrimp filling for an entree. It was delicious but involved a some prepration time. Sautéing the squash is an easy route and it makes a delcious side dish to go along with chicken, beef or pork chops.

For this dish, I decided to use the largest squash which I found hiding under on the large leaves of the squash plant growing in my summer garden. By the time we located it, the squash weighted almost one pound!

These squash plants can grow to be quite large in my garden. These plants make lots of large, green leaves and the small squash hide underneath the leaves. It is so easy to overlook the squash. The rind if the squash is tender, so no need to peel the squash prior to cooking. There may be seeds in the center of the squash, after slicing the squash in half, use a spoon to scrape out most of the seeds.


I devised a simple recipe for preparing the patty pan squash. (This recipe can also be used with other varieties of summer squash such as zucchini and yellow squash.) Here are the ingredients. The recipe uses a generous amount of onion and garlic — perfect for seasoning these bland squash. I added dried basil, salt, pepper, fresh parsley and a tiny bit of lemon juice. If you have fresh basil, that’s even better.

To make the recipe, core and slice the squash. (No need to peel them. Remove seeds in the center of the squash.) Add the butter/olive oil to a large skillet. Add the onion and cook. Then add the squash, garlic and seasonings. Lower the temperature on the stove, partially cover and cook until the squash is tender. This can take from 5 minutes to 10 minutes depending on the size of the squash slices. Add fresh parsley at the end of cooking and, if desired, sprinkle on a few drops of lemon juice.

I was hoping that the cooked squash would look like pieces of the “space ship.” But not really.

This is a delicious dish and the two of us ate almost the entire one-pound squash for supper. Say, we’re certainly getting our vegetables! It is a simple “garden to table” recipe. I have to wonder why we don’t see more of this particular variety of squash in grocery markets because it is mild favored and very easy on the palate. Enjoy!.

Sauteed Patty Pan Squash

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 large (1 lb)  patty pan squash, or 3 small squash*
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 sweet white onion (such as Vidalia), chopped
  • 3 cloves, garlic, crushed, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or substitute Tbsp chopped fresh basil)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Method and Steps:

  1. Rinse the squash to remove dirt, debris. Use a small knife slice off the stem. If the blossom end is tough, gently cut it off too. Cut squash in half and use a spoon to scrape out most of the seeds. Then slice halves into bite size slices and chunks. 
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until foaming, about 1 minute.
  3. Sauté the chopped onion in the olive oil-butter until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes. Lower stove temperature, if needed, so that onion does not burn.
  4. Add squash and garlic; sprinkle on dried basil (or fresh basil). Season mixture with salt and black pepper. Sauté mixture to coat the squash with the seasonings. Lower the temperature on the stove, partially cover and simmer until the squash is easily pierced with a fork, 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Mix in fresh parsley. 
  6. If desire, sprinkle on 1 tsp lemon juice.

*NOTE: Zucchini and/or yellow squash can be substituted for the patty pan squash. Use small squash. Cut in half lengthwise. Then, after sautéeing the onion, push it to the sides of the skillet and add the  zucchini and/or yellow squash, cut side down, in the center of the skillet. Sprinkle garlic, basil, salt and pepper over top of squash (do not turn squash) and onion. Partially cover and cook about 5 to 10 minutes until squash is tender. Spinkle on fresh parsley and, if desired, lemon juice.

Here are my sautéed zucchini and yellow squash from this year’s summer garden. I used the same recipe as for patty pan squash. Another tasty “garden to table” dish. These are delicious, too!

2 thoughts on “Sautéed Patty Pan Squash

    • Hello, Unlike zucchini and yellow squash which are easy to find year-around in grocery stores, patty pan squash is more of a “novelty” squash and is in season for just several months a year when sold as fresh from a farmer’s market or store like Sprouts, Whole Foods or Albertsons. In Louisiana, this is May and June. Of course, in the West, the harvest would be much later in the summer. I checked stores on the West Coast. The closest I could find was Speciality Produce in Seattle, WA and Southern California. I couldn’t tell if the patty pan squash they advertised was actually available to be sold either in their markets right now or on-line. It is one of those recipes which you sort of have to file somewhere in your brain, and when you see the patty pan squash in a market in earlier summer (or really anytime), purchase the squash and use it in a recipe. I have made this recipe plenty of times using either zucchini or yellow squash (it is one of my “go to” recipes — just don’t overcook the zuchini or yellow squash). It does taste different but is still great. (For stuffed with shrimp, I would substitute eggplant.) I wish patty pan squash was available more of the year as I do enjoy this squash immensely. Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Maylee

Leave a Reply