My mom often brings me recipes and ingredients out of the blue, and recently she brought me these strange white squash from a friend’s garden. They were round, hard, and shaped kind of like flying saucers. She said they were called pattypan squash.
I’ve never seen them at a grocery store (but, then again, my neighborhood King Soopers is so unfancy that there are 7-11s with a bigger produce section).
In case you ever see pattypan squash at a grocery or farmer’s market and want to try your hand at cooking them, here’s a recipe you can try. Tested for you by yours truly!
Stuffed Pattypan Squash
4 adorably strange pattypan squash
1 lb ground chicken or ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
½ cup rice (dry)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
- Fill a big pot about a quarter of the way with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the squash to the boiling water and cover the pot, but don’t turn the heat down.
Cook the squash for 10 minutes. Then uncover the pot and poke the top of a squash with a fork. If the fork goes in easily, the squash is done, and you can take it out of the pot and put it on a cutting board.
If the fork bounces off the top of the squash, or it feels like you’re trying to dig the fork through a rubber tire, the squash is not done. Recover the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.
Repeat as necessary until the squash is finally done.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a different pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until softened, about a minute. Then add the garlic and the ground chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is browned. If the chicken starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a little more oil or a tablespoon of water.
- When the chicken is all brown, add the rice, chicken broth, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Bring the broth to a boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes (unless you’re using brown rice, in which case set the timer for 45 minutes and go watch some TV or something).
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Now it’s time to cut the tops off the squash. Grab the squash with one hand and a sharp knife with the other. If you burn your hand, the squash is too hot and you need to let it cool off for a few minutes before cutting it.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, cut a circle into the top of the squash, just like when you’re carving a pumpkin. Pry off the top and set it aside.
Now scoop out all the goopy insides of the squash with a spoon. The goop is all edible, so put it into a bowl to add it to the rice mixture later (unless the goop looks gross to you, in which case you can just throw it away).
Be careful while you’re scooping not to pierce the bottom or the sides of the soft squash. Also remember that any liquid inside is still really hot, so don’t touch it and accidentally burn your hand again.
Put the scooped-out squash bowls in a lightly greased baking pan and sprinkle the insides with salt.
- When the rice mixture is done, stir in the goop from the squash and cook for about 1 minute. Then stir in the parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Put the rice mixture into the squash bowls. Cover the baking pan loosely with tin foil, then bake for 15 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Or, if all this has taken a really long time and your burned fingers hurt and you’re so hungry you don’t care whether the dish is bubbly or not, you could just pile the mixture into the squash bowls and eat as is. Everything is cooked all the way through, and it’s perfectly tasty as is.
Nutrition information (per serving):
Prep time: 10 minutes in advance, plus a ton of work in the middle checking squash, burning hands, cutting squash, etc
Cooking time: supposedly 35 minutes. Mine (what with my squash and brown rice refusing to cook) took more like 45 minutes, and that was without me putting the squash bowls in the oven at the end.
Overall appropriateness for Lazy Chefs: Meh. The squash bowls were tasty, but there was definitely work involved.