Sautéed Patty Pan Squash

Show off the summer's cutest veggie in this easy patty pan squash recipe! Seasoned with lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs, it's a delicious, easy side dish.

Patty pan squash

If you love a cute, colorful veggie as much as I do, head to the farmers market and buy yourself a box of patty pan squash. These adorable summer squash tend to be small in size, and their shape varies. Some are round, others are tulip-shaped, and still others look like little flying saucers with fun scalloped edges. You’ll find them in a variety of colors – dark green, light green, yellow, or a mix – but they all have a similar texture and taste. Their flavor is close to that of yellow squash, but they have firmer, denser flesh. If you like zucchini, chances are you’ll be a fan of patty pan squash too.

You can cook patty pan squash in all sorts of ways, but this sautéed patty pan squash recipe might be my favorite. It’s super simple, bright, and fresh, and it really shows off the squashes’ unique colors and shapes. Try it the next time you need an easy side dish to round out a summer meal!

Patty pan squash recipe ingredients

Patty Pan Squash Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • Patty pan squash, of course! Use just one variety, or seek out a mix of colors and shapes.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It helps the squash brown and soften as it cooks.
  • Garlic – It adds delicious bite.
  • Lemon juice – For brightness.
  • Fresh parsley and basil – They add fresh, aromatic flavor to this simple summer side dish. Other fresh herbs, such as mint or thyme, would be great here too!
  • Red pepper flakes – For heat.
  • And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Chopped summer squash on wooden cutting board with knife

Start by cutting the squash into similar-sized pieces. I like to aim for 1-inch chunks, though they always vary a bit based on the squashes’ shapes.

Then, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and cook until the pieces are tender but still have a nice bite. Stir only occasionally so that the squash has a chance to brown around the edges.

When the squash is just tender, turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. Transfer it to a serving dish, and top with the fresh basil and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Sautéed patty pan squash in a cast-iron skillet

Patty Pan Squash Serving Suggestions and Variations

This sautéed patty pan squash recipe would be a perfect side dish for almost any summer meal. We often pair it with a pesto pizza or Margherita pizza. It also goes nicely with any of these pasta recipes:

We love this recipe as written, but I hope you’ll feel free to make it your own. Add toasted walnuts or pine nuts for crunch, dollops of basil pesto, or shaved Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan for a salty, umami kick. Let me know what variations you try!

Patty pan squash recipe

More Favorite Summer Squash Recipes

If you love this recipe, try one of these summer squash recipes next:

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Patty Pan Squash

rate this recipe:
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4
Seasoned with lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs, this sautéed patty pan squash recipe is a delicious summer side dish. Serve it with pasta, pizza, or any protein you like.



  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squash, salt, and several grinds of pepper and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the squash is tender but still has a firm bite.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, garlic, and parsley. Transfer to a serving dish and top with fresh basil and red pepper flakes, if desired.

Sources: Johnny’s Selected Seeds


5 from 8 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Jan

    5 stars
    I had never made this type of squash before but I tried it and it was so good. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe.

  2. Lily

    Why don’ t you cook the garlic? Do people really like raw garlic on their pattypan squash?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lily, it’s not raw once you stir it into the hot squash in the pan. Since it’s grated it cooks quickly and I don’t like to risk it burning to the bottom of the pan. If you prefer the garlic cooked more, you could add it earlier.

  3. ống thép luồn dây điện imc

    5 stars
    Cette recette est super, je vais essayer.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.