Recipe | Stuffed Pattypan Squash with Quinoa and Fresh Corn

Stuffed Pattypan Squash with Quinoa & Fresh Corn

Stuffed Pattypan Squash with Quinoa & Fresh Corn
Last month, my husband’s parents visited us for a few days. We decided to stop by the state farmers market in Raleigh before going to Chapel Hill for the afternoon–the farmers market is HUGE and full of fun local products like muscadine grape slushies and sweet potato syrup. Oh, and there’s the produce too–lots of produce!

Pattypan Squash
As we were strolling through the produce section, my mother-in-law pointed to the pattypan squash and asked what they were.

“They’re pattypan squash! They taste like zucchini.”

“What do you do with them?”

“You can stuff them…”

…and that was all I had. You can stuff them. That’s pretty much the extent of my pattypan squash repertoire. Of course, there are other things you can do with pattypan squash, the rounder, squatter, UFO-looking cousin to zucchini. In fact, you can really use it in any dish where you’d use zucchini. Cut into rounds, it’s perfect for grilling. You can also cut out the stem and flower ends, cut the squash in half, and then cut each half into slices. I did this with a pattypan squash I got from the garden this weekend and I sauteed the slices with long beans and corn (also from the garden!). Summer veggie saute, y’all!

Pattypan Squash Saute with Long Beans & Corn
So yes, you can do lots of things with pattypan squash. But it’s still best for stuffing. It’s the perfect shape and the perfect size. Somehow it feels like a wasted opportunity to do anything with a pattypan squash other than stuffing it. Oh sure, it was good in that saute, but it could have been stuffed!

Because the flavor of pattypan squash is so similar to zucchini, you can use just about any zucchini stuffing for pattypan squash too (perhaps Parmesan panko, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes?). This particular stuffed pattypan squash recipe has a protein-packed filling consisting of quinoa, fresh corn, and queso fresco. There’s a little bit of chipotle in there too to add some smokiness and heat.

This is what you do with pattypan squash.

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Stuffed Pattypan Squash with Quinoa and Fresh Corn

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes

Total Time

50 minutes




  • cooking spray or oil mister
  • 6-8 pattypan squash (6 if they’re large, 8 if they’re smaller)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked quinoa (which is about 1/2 c. uncooked)
  • 1 chipotle pepper (the canned kind), seeds removed and chopped + 1-2 tsp. adobo sauce from can
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 c. crumbled queso fresco, divided
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 11 baking dish with an oil mister or cooking spray.
  2. First, hollow out your pattypan squash. Slice off the stem end, then scoop out most of the insides. You want about a quarter-inch shell remaining. Discard as many of the seeds as you can, but reserve 1/2 cup of chopped squash insides. Place the pattypan squash in the baking dish.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and oregano and cook 1 minute more. Add reserved squash insides, tomato, and corn and saute for 3 minutes, then stir in broth, quinoa, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce (1 teaspoon for a milder filling, 2 teaspoons or more if you want it spicier). Continue to cook on medium-high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of queso fresco and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Divide filling into pattypan squash. Pour 1/4 cup of water into bottom of baking dish, then cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Top with cilantro and remaining queso fresco before serving.


I’ve never tried pattypan squash before but I’m very curious now! I’ve had a similar recipe bookmarked for a while for a baked tomato stuffed with quinoa, corn, and chiles, but I think I’d like stuffed squash even better!

Thank you! Pattypan squash is the same price as zucchini at the farmers market & since I’m a big fan of novelty, I find myself buying them instead of the more boring squash. 🙂

I tried my first pattypan squash last summer – the main reason I bought it was because its just so darn cute! But I also like to have different options from zucchini in the summer. I love the sounds of the stuffing you made – great use of summer veggies!

I have two of them and didn’t know what to do with it thanks for giving me something to do with ingredients I already have in my house.


I just tried making the recipe and WOW is it hot. I relooked at the recipe and realize you wrote “1 canned chipotle pepper, seeded and chopped + 1-2 tsp. adobo sauce from can” and in my speed reading I thought that meant 1 can of chipolte peppers, not one pepper. Tasting it now I think you must have meant just one pepper. Perhaps you could clarify this in your yummy recipe!

I’m sorry about that! A whole can of peppers would definitely be spicy! Yes, by 1 canned chipotle pepper, I meant a single pepper. I’ll go in and reword that to say “1 chipotle pepper, from a can.”

This is just what I’ve been looking for. I call these “sunburst” squash which I believe is the other name they go by. I can hardly wait to try it. I will make one substitution and use the diced, canned Ortega chilis. They are not hot and I love the flavor. I have stuffed zucchini many times and it was just OK. I think these extra spices will zip it up a notch. It is interesting that all the other recipes I looked at say to bake the squash first. I have never done that and I don’t see any reason to, which is why I like your recipe. Tomorrow or Tuesday. I already made zucchini-cheddar muffins that turned out great! There is most likely one out in my garden waiting to be made into a boat! Thanks!

Some people like their squash to be softer and either bake or boil it first (my mom always boiled it–it was so mushy and watery!). But for me, I like it a little more firm. 🙂

Smack! Smack! I can hardly wait. I’m going to make these tomorrow. Since I have too many big ones, I will stuff them, cook them, and freeze them. I know that will make them mushy, but that’s OK. I refuse to throw them out! Thanks for the reply.

Just made this tonight and my hubbie and I loved it! The chipotle pepper gives it a wonderful smoky filling-just wish I had bought more squash at the farmer’s market!!

Made this tonight. Very good! Don’t skimp on the spices as they fire it up. We used red quinoa and the last of last years frozen corn and some liquid smoke as we were out of chipotle peppers. Filling, delicious and one squash was plenty for each of us. Thanks for a great recipe!

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