Though pattypan squash is my top choice, you can use any summer squash you have on hand to make this bright, bold late summer panzanella.
Hold your pumpkin bread – I have one last super summery recipe before this season really ends. You can use any summer squash you like here (zucchini or yellow squash are both great), but I found pattypan squash at the farmers market and had to try it! I considered making a totally different pattypan squash recipe by stuffing and baking it, but I didn’t want to turn the oven on.
Then I noticed that I had some really stale bread, so this hearty, delicious pattypan squash panzanella was an obvious choice. I’m a HUGE fan of panzanellas, or Italian bread salads (see here, here, and here), so don’t know why it took me the whole summer to think of this one.
How to Make this Pattypan Squash Recipe
If you’ve never cooked with pattypan squash before, they’re a little different from other summer squash. They have a funky shape similar to that of flying saucers – short, squat, and round – and their texture is a bit more firm.
Because of the squash’s funny shape, cutting it uniformly can be tricky. Do the best that you can – I usually opt for chopping them into small wedges. Once your pattypan squash is chopped, toss it on your grill or grill pan. You can also roast it in the oven if you like. Either way, cook it until your pieces are lightly golden brown around the outside.
Then, cut up some stale crusty bread! Sourdough is my preference, but a multi-grain bread would work too.
Toss the cooked squash and bread together with juicy halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, creamy mini mozzarella balls, garlic, olive oil, and a big drizzle of sherry vinegar. I garnish it all with sliced basil and toasted pine nuts for crunch.
Dig in! Or better yet, let your panzanella sit at room temperature for a few minutes. That way, the bread will have a chance to soak up the flavorful juices.
What to Serve with Pattypan Squash Panzanella
Whether I’m eating it as a main or side dish, I love to enjoy this pattypan squash salad with a summery glass of rosé. As the bread absorbs the vinegar and tomato juices, this panzanella only gets better, so it’s a great one to make ahead to take to a picnic. If you’re hosting, serve it alongside any classic picnic fare – veggie burgers, black bean burgers, BBQ sandwiches, or grilled portobellos are some of my go-tos.
Alternatively, embrace the Italian flavors in this pattypan squash recipe and serve it as a starter with pasta pomodoro or summer vegetable lasagna.
And if you have summer squash left over, make chocolate zucchini cake or zucchini bread for dessert.
Looking for more pattypan squash recipes?
Try them in this roasted vegetable pasta, this summer squash pasta, these veggie tacos, or this zucchini pizza next!
Pattypan Squash Panzanella
- 5-6 small pattypan squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
- olive oil, for drizzling
- 1½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 small cucumber, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- ½ clove garlic, minced
- sherry vinegar, for drizzling
- ½ cup mini mozzarella balls, sliced in half (skip if vegan)
- 4-5 slices stale sourdough bread, sliced into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- big handful of torn fresh basil leaves
- generous pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a grill pan to medium. Toss the squash pieces with a drizzle of olive oil, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Place the squash onto the grill pan and grill each side until the squash is tender and char marks form (about 2 minutes per side).
- Place the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in a large bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, the minced garlic, a drizzle of sherry vinegar, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss again.
- When the squash is done, add it to the bowl along with mozzarella, bread, pine nuts, and basil.
- Add more olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper as needed.
- Let the salad sit at room temp for about 15 minutes so that the bread has the chance to soak up the flavorful juices.
Hi there! Do you think homemade croutons could work in this? I’m completely burned out on regular salads and still have some croutons left. Thank you! PS-your eggplant parm recipe changed my life. Eggplant is my new favorite thing now!
I have crohns, which means lettuce, spinach, kale, etc… Are MAJOR no nos for me. I have spent the better part of 10 years missing salad with fresh ingredients. You have opened my eyes and options with this recipe! I cannot wait for summer to start trying it! And now, to go through and dance all the other Panzanella recipes you offered!! Thank you so much!
This recipe was a great way to use my pattypan squash! I probably used about half of the ingredients and it was still plenty for 2 meal-size servings. I didn’t have sherry vinegar but had red wine vinegar on hand and that worked just fine. I love caprese salad, and this has all of those components. Delicious, will be making again!
I just made this and its excellent. I made sure to add enough salt and pepper to the grilled patty pan. I didn’t have any pine nuts so I went without. The bread is so good if you let it soak as the instructions say. I have a very small 3-4 person CSA in my backyard and now I’ll include this recipe along with the patty pan squash thats in their baskets. Thank you. Five stars.
Hi Snibb, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
This was lovely! We had this together with your broccoli and cheese frittata, and it was such a treat. I adore panzanella but had never thought of adding zucchini, or bake some of the vegetables first. It turned out way sweeter and softer than the crunchy raw version of panzanella, and it was lovely! This is gonna be on my summer salad rotation for sure, and fall/ winter probably too as it was so nice. Thank you!
I love this combination of colorful vegetables! What a healthy dinner this would make on these last few warm nights of summer.
Wow, that looks fantastic! With the bread, it reminds me a little of Fattoush, which is really delicious. However, I love squash, so this is definitely something that I will try! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
This looks beautifully vibrant – very nutritional!
I love your pasta bowls/plates too, where are they from!?
Becky at http://zerosugardiet.co.uk
Thanks Becky – they’re from the food52 shop (online)…
Sourdough is my favorite bread! 😀 Bookmarking this recipe for later 🙂
So colourful, healthy and delicious.
Beautiful salad! I love pattypan squash but have never had them in a salad. Can’t wait to make this!! Pinning!
looks amazing!!! and super refreshing 😀
That is one vibrant, fresh and mouth watering bowl of salad! I can already imagine those bread pieces soaked in all of that goodness. 🙂
Believe it or not, I first tried pattypan a few months ago. As much as I love squash and zucchini, I cannot believe I hadn’t tried it sooner. I had never seen it before stumbling upon it at a little organic farm in our area. I’ll be stocking up next time I come across it. This is a great recipe to use it in!
Looks perfect! Will definitely be making this this week before the sun disappears!
Yes, please! I am super into panzanella lately, but I haven’t added in summer squash before. Definitely something to try while the summer harvest is in full swing!
Another summery recipe sounds GREAT to me!! This salad looks so good!
I made a very similar salad just the other day! Love the use of fresh tomatoes and herbs. I also love how clean and minimalist your photography and styling is!
So simple and so tasty looking. I’ll have to go see if I can scrounge up some stale bread.
This looks so fresh and healthy.
xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com