I had never heard of patty pan squash until my uncle brought some over for us from his garden this last summer. I wasn’t sure what to do with this strange vegetable and so I had to do a lot of research on how to prepare it. Do I serve it as a side dish? Is it supposed to be incorporated into the main dish? Or is it just supposed to sit on my counter and look pretty?


While I was researching how to prepare this squash, I learned some interesting information on patty pan squash. The term “patty pan” was derived from the phrase “a pan for baking a patty”. It also is known as “scallop squash”, “Peter Pan squash”, “sunburst squash”, “granny squash”, and “custard squash”. This squash comes in a variety of colors including green, yellow, and white. If their interesting shape and name choices aren’t reason enough to try one of these little guys, patty pan squash is also a good source of magnesium, niacin, vitamin A, and vitamin C.  What’s not to love about this funny squash?

After looking through Pinterest recipe ideas and Googling several recipes, I was finally able to come up with my own version of stuffed patty pan squash.

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash


  • 1/2 cup dry barley
  • 6-8 small patty pan squash (mine were rather large so I only used 3)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and cook barley per instructions on the bag.
  2. With a serrated knife, slice a small sliver off of the bottom of the squash to make it flat and then slice off the top of the squash and carefully scoop out most of the inner flesh and place squash on a baking sheet. Dispose of the seeds and dice extra flesh and set aside.
  3. Cook ground turkey, garlic, and extra flesh from the squash in saute pan until turkey is no longer pink and squash is tender. Stir in spinach and cook until tender, add barley and half of the parmesan cheese and mix together. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Scoop turkey mixture into the patty pan squash and top with remaining parmesan cheese.DSCN1616 
  5. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes and enjoy!