Roasted Patty Pan Squash and Herbed Chickpeas Recipe

The patty pan squash (in French: le pâtisson) is a member of the blended summer squash family. Shaped very much like a UFO with undulating edges — each bump a tiny cockpit with an alien inside, presumably –, it can be conical or squat, and comes in shades of yellow, green, or white. The flesh inside is the color of clotted cream, its heart studded with edible seeds like the center of a zucchini.

Like all summer squash, the patty pan squash is best eaten when young and small. I prefer patty pans that are no larger than the palm of my hand, with a buttery and subtly sweet taste and faint artichoke notes.

Patty Pan Squashes

If you do find such specimens — at the farmers market or perhaps in your CSA share –, make sure you use them soon after bringing them home: in my experience, they don’t keep as well as your average zucchini, and their skin mottles after a couple of days.

(If you’re only able to find bigger ones, I recommend you make this wonderful patty pan squash soup with pesto.)

Small patty pan squashes don’t need to be peeled: they can just be cut into slices or sections, and steamed, sautéed, braised, grilled, or roasted. It is also traditional to stuff them, which I’m sure is lovely, but also a tad more involved than I’m ready for these days.

Mini Cookbook of Vegan Staples

Making roasted patty pan squash

What I like to make with the patty pan squashes that cross my path is this warm-to-cold salad, a summer counterpart to one of my favorite winter salads: patty pan squash segments roasted till golden, al dente chickpeas, and a slick dressing of herbs and anchovies whizzed together with lemon peel and olive oil. I like to eat it on its own for a light yet filling lunch, but it can also be served as a side to roast chicken or grilled fish.

Any patty pan inspiration of your own to share?

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Roasted Patty Pan Squash and Herbed Chickpeas Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side

Roasted Patty Pan Squash and Herbed Chickpeas Recipe


  • 140 grams (3/4 cup) dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 12 hours and rinsed
  • 750 grams (1 2/3 pounds) baby patty pan squash, about six 8-cm (3-inch) specimens
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • a dozen stems chives
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro
  • 8 leaves fresh mint
  • 4 anchovies packed in oil, drained (substitute 1 tablespoon rinsed capers if you prefer)
  • a good pinch cayenne pepper
  • one strip lemon peel from an organic lemon
  • 2 teaspoons verjuice or lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the soaked and rinsed chickpeas in a saucepan, add cold water to cover by about 2-3 cm (1 inch), and bring to a simmer over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until the chickpeas are tender but not mushy. As the chickpeas cook, add a little more water if the level runs low, and skim any foam or impurities that may rise to the surface. Let cool to room temperature in the cooking liquid, then drain.
  2. (The chickpeas may be cooked up to a day ahead. Once at room temperature, cover and transfer to the fridge, still in the cooking liquid. Alternatively, you can use canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and drained again; you'll need about 2 cups.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Cut off the stem and root ends of the patty pan squashes, and cut each of them into 8 sections. Place the sections in a baking dish large enough to accomodate them in a single layer, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes, until cooked through and browned in places. Let cool.
  4. While the patty pan squash is roasting, combine the herbs, anchovies, cayenne pepper, lemon peel, verjuice, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil in the bowl of a mini-chopper, and pulse until more or less smooth. (Alternatively, you can chop the herbs and anchovies finely by hand, and combine the dressing in the salad bowl.)
  5. Toss the cooled and drained chickpeas with the herb dressing in a salad bowl, and let rest in the refrigerator. When the patty pan squash is cooled, arrange the segments on each plate, and top with the dressed chickpeas. (You can also toss everything together in the salad bowl, but the sections of patty pan may get a bit squooshed then; it doesn't matter from a gustatory perspective, but it will be a bit less presentable.)

Roasted Patty Pan Squash with Chickpeas

This post was first published in August 2009 and updated in August 2017.

  • Thanks for the tip; I’ve only ever had a large patty pan, and gave up on them after eating the bland thing.

    Will be on the look-out for them again, though.

  • They are terrific stuffed with ground meat! That way they can show off their pretty shape at the dinner table! Many variations work, but Beatrice Peltre has a really good recipe for zucchini stuffing.

  • I love the sound of this recipe, especially when the roasted squash is arranged on a dish and then “dressed” with the cooked chickpeas, herbs, and other flavorings. Sounds wonderful.

  • Liz – aka Nutty Gnome

    I’ve never used patty pan sqash as they’re quite hard to get hold of around here …… but I am now hungry as a result of reading your scrummy recipe!
    I’m off up the garden to pick some fruit to hold the hunger at bay till teatime! :)

  • so yummy looking!

  • Anna

    This looks delicious- perfect for todays lunch in fact! I love all of the summer squashes- they make regular appearances on my blog!

  • this looks fantastic! I keep seeing the patty pan squashes at the market, but had no clue how to cook them.

  • This looks so delicious I’ll definitely be trying it

  • You’ve inspired me to find whatever farmer’s market may exist in my summer suburb, just for a taste of these. Summer squash: hated them when younger, love them now.

  • Absolutely lovely! I love to eat chickpeas, so I am very glad to have some new inspiration. Thank you!

  • Ursula

    Odd that everyone seems to find them bland – I’ve tried these squash several times and always been disappointed by the extreme bitterness….? Maybe roasting would take care of that.

    One suggestion that I would love to try with the chickpea mixture would be to used preserved lemon instead of the lemon peel. A local deli makes the most incredible ciabatta sandwich stuffed with tuna and a chickpea mix much like this, and the preserved lemon gives it a wonderful depth & kick.

  • Fantastic description of pattypans! It made me want to buy some next time I go to the farmer’s market. I love all squash (winter and summer) but often overlook the pattypans, mainly because I always thought them to be bland. Now I’ll have to try them again.

  • Sam

    Lovely description, Clotilde! I have been wanting a stuffed recipe for a while. Thanks!

  • NicM

    I’ve seen these little squashes but had no idea how to use them. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kristina

    I think they are called “butternut squash” in Australia.

    I remember during my uni days, when my Thai flatmate cooked this for her curry stir fry…not bad.

  • Sounds delicious! We just used the last of our baby pattypans up (roasted, tossed with egg yolk/cream/lemon juice and chopped olives & artichokes) or I’d make it right now!

  • Q.

    I always wondered what those little things were called. How cute! And they have a cute name, too!

  • I too have had summer squash go mottled and soft in the refrigerator. My backup plan is to use them like zucchini in cake recipes such as this.

    Not as virtuous as a chickpea salad, but chocolaty and delicious. The squash keep the cake nice and moist.

  • Cilantro, mint, anchovies – what a great combination of flavors. I’m looking forward to trying this.

  • I’ve had some in the fridge for several days, so I hope they haven’t lost their freshness. This is just what I was looking for to give my vegetarian sister tomorrow! No chives but shallots should work, non?

  • I usually put them into my grilled italian vegetables, as they taste very well marinated in a little balsamic vinegar when they are still small enough.
    But your version sure sounds intriguing, I’ll definitely try that. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • So easy, yet so complex in flavor.

    Beautiful recipe!

  • I cut them up into small wedges, saute in butter with chopped onions until soft and then add chopped tomatoes and maybe some parsley. It makes a tasty side dish.

  • Caroline

    They are very good sliced, tossed with olive oil, herbs, salt & pepper and grilled on a BBQ. Peter Pan squash are similar, but white, and my new find! They are subtle in flavor with a good texture that stands up to all forms of cooking!

  • Delish- I have been eating pattipans for years and love the new idea for serving them. Also wanted to tell you how much we enjoy eating an old posting of yours- zucchini and fregola with parmesan. Thanks!

  • Thanks for helping my first experience cooking a patty pan squash go so well. Always nice when one can acheive the balace between healthy and delicious! I’d love to know if you have any variations on the recipe that I could try out the next time I make it!

  • This is a fantastic recipe and very timely, I just bought some pattypan and now I know exactly what I am going to do with them. Today I posted a Chocolate Zucchini Bundt cake recipe on my blog and thought of you and your wonderful work! :)

  • Adele

    I so love small things! Stuffing patty pan squash is really no more complicated than scooping out the insides with a grapefruit spoon, chopping roughly and sauteeing with a little bit of chopped onion and garlic (if you so desire; I usually don’t) in olive oil and butter, then adding in a little bit of bread or cracker crumbs until it looks right, then bake in a dish with a little bit of wine or water or broth, covered, until the sides of the squash yield to a fork and the crumbs are nicely browned. Some chopped fresh herbs in the mix are nice, too.

  • Wow… this is making me hungry! So beautiful as well.

  • I have been buying patty pan squash at the farmer’s market like it’s my job this summer. Thank you for the amazing (and original) recipe! I was actually hard pressed to find dishes that were created especially for patty pans when I was first experimenting. Roasting is a great trick for regular summer squash, but I have yet to try it for patty pan–thanks!

    My favorite preparation: just sauteeing the squash with onion and basil and oil until soft and buttery.


  • Well, I haven’t got any patty pan squash, but I’m drowning in zucchini and think this will go on next week’s menu to use them up. I love chick peas and cilantro. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • susie

    These are good sliced into coins and eaten raw with a spinach and toasted walnut dip.

  • Sounds delicious! I also like them stuffed with cooked Puy lentils – dressed with a sharp vinaigrette when still warm – and topped with a little goat cheese.

  • I haven’t had that type of squash, but I go to a big farmer’s market at least once a week and will look for it!

  • That looks delicious. You’ve got an incredible blog. I really like it. Have a great week. Cheers!

  • Last week, I found a pattypan the size of a dinner plate that was forgotten in my garden. I brought it in just simply because it was sculpturally interesting. I love chickpeas, I’ll have to give this recipe a try. Thanks!

  • Brigit Coles

    I cooked this for my boyfriend and we found it quite delicious, thank you for a great easy recipe.

  • Tamsen Reid

    My grandmother from Arkansas use to slice them, dredge them in flour and seasoned salt, and then fry them in a little oil.

  • Karen Spangler

    I tried this recipe and it was amazing! It was also amazingly easy, as I used chickpeas from a can. I work at a farmer’s market and have access to many pattypan squashes, so I predict this recipe will end up in heavy rotation for the nest few weeks.

  • I love all kinds of summer squash, and was excited when I found some patty pan squash at the market last summer. I grilled some of them with other veggies, and then quickly found out that they do go soft and fuzzy within a couple days. I am going to have to look out for them again, because I love chickpeas and this sounds like such a good combo!

  • I tried this recipe and it was amazing!

  • erindsells

    Tried it for dinner tonight! Was unable to find the patty pan, so tried it with a similarly shaped summer squash I found at the local farmers’ market. Delicious and quite quick to prepare. Will definitely be adding this to the repetoire!

  • EllenL

    What a delicious recipe! My sister picked up the mysterious yet surprisingly affordable patty pans at a farm stand – at 2 for $1 who could resist, but what the heck to do with them? Thanks for coming to our rescue (now can anyone tell us how to use the rest of the anchovies?) Do try to keep this recipe under your hat, if it gets out the price of squash will surely skyrocket!

  • gladhearted

    Actually, mature patty pans can be treated as one would prepare and cook a winter squash. Can also be stored for numerous months after the harvest when they reach that large size of maturity. So, if their size balloons unexpectedly in the home garden, all is not lost. They go well from being considered a tender summer squash to a harder rind and able still to be stored, used, etc. (Rinds removed or rinds saved on and the squash oven baked, for example, following oven recipes for winter squashes or pumpkins.

  • That looks really good. It is interesting that I am seeing more and more people cooking with chickpeas. It is good when something so healthy and inexpensive also becomes trendy.

  • I love that almost a year to the day I got patty pans in my CSA box (Aug 10) after you posted this, mentioning getting them in a CSA.

    And I am pretty sure this is the recipe I am going with!

  • We made a modified version of this after a trip to the farmers market last weekend, and it was awesome. We didn’t have mint, chives, or cilantro on hand (strangely), so I substituted green onions and flat leaf parsley. We’re adding this one to the repertoire. Thanks!

    • I’m glad you liked it, Chris, and your variation sounds lovely.

  • Was hoping for a recipe for the big ones. I’m going to use this one for supper and grate the big ones for ‘zucchini’ bread. Hope it works…

  • Sonita Carlson

    As a grower, I try to harvest pattypans when they’re petite and cute. Inevitably, one hides under those big pokey leaves and I find it when it’s grown to be as big as a dinner plate. So I made some turkey sausage (tenderloin in the food processor plus copious fresh herbs), added some cooked white beans and the bottom of the instant stuffing container plus a little stock as binder, and stuffed it. (Simmer the slightly scooped out squash for about 8 minutes to soften.) After about 15 minutes in a moderate oven, it was fabulous. Cheese on top for my kiddo. However–I saved the best for last–the leftovers were FAB with a French lemon-butter sauce. Really FAB. Hope you try it and like it, too!

    • That sounds lovely, thanks for sharing!

  • You ever cook any recipes with coconut oil? I’m trying to reduce my consumption of olive oil personally.

  • Michael

    Grapeseed oil has become my new favourite oil – it’s the healthiest of the high-temperature cooking oils, and has a nice flavour. I only use olive oil (EVOO) for dressings and such now, and grapeseed is my go-to for all cooking. Wikipedia has a nice summary of it.

    • Ursula

      The problem I have is finding organic grapeseed oil. Since fruit store what they absorb in their seeds, non-organic oils are particularly high in toxins. I fear the health benefit of grapeseed oil would be outweighed by the pesticide/fungicide dose if it’s not organic…..

      • That’s a very good point, Ursula, thank you. In France at least, grapeseed oil is easily available from organic stores — it’s called huile de pépin de raisin.

  • Liz Phillips

    I have just cooked this and am eating it for lunch, a delicious recipe, thank-you”

    • That makes me so happy, Liz, thank you!

  • Alan Hopper

    Just made this and brought it to work. After three marriage proposals, I’d say it was a success…

    • Thanks, Alan! Which of the proposals did you end up accepting? :)

  • Barbara Weber

    I’m one of those people who really doesn’t like cilantro. Any suggestions for what else to use in the dressing?

    • You can substitute any other leafy herb you like, such as flat-leaf parsley, basil, chervil, mint… or a mix of those.

  • PurnimaK

    Anchovies are not vegetarian/vegan. Pls change the tags.

    • The recipe is vegetarian/vegan if you opt for the capers substitution, as listed in the recipe.

  • Caroline Feffer

    That’s a great recipe, thanks. all smooth and delicious, very comforting in this early autumn pouring weather (from Ireland east coast… but I hear it’s the same in Paris :))

  • Janet

    I have all these things on hand, including mint and the patty pan squash from my CSA and lemons from our tree. Will try this tonight (though with chickpeas from a can)!

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