Squash patties. Those of you with a vegetable garden know that late summer brings a bounty of summer crops. Perfect tomatoes. Maybe some beans. A pepper or two. And squash. So. Much. Squash.
Every year I make a list of recipes to use up all that squash. Ratatouille. Breaded squash. Squash galettes. Squash pickles. This recipe for fried patty pan squash patties is the one that has gone on repeat this summer.
This base recipe is easily adaptable. Use a different type of summer squash. Add something in the onion family like onions, shallots, garlic, or green onions. Add some minced jalapeño peppers. Change up the herbs and spices. Or add some cheese.
Or try all of these variations, because, if you’re growing squash, you’ll have the opportunity.
Tips and tricks for fried squash patties
The thing about summer squash is that they grow so quickly and so well that you can get quickly overrun by them and have a multiple pound squash by the time you pick it. It’s always best to eat or cook most produce as soon as you pick it.
Just be aware that huge summer squash seeds can be bitter and change the texture of these patties and other dishes. I just avoid grating the center of a large squash.
More importantly, summer squash are mostly water. Just like with potato latkes, if you don’t squeeze out all the liquid you’ll get watery patties that don’t fry well. At least grated squash doesn’t turn brown like potatoes do.
So you can let the squash drain for a while, but you will still need to actively squeeze out the water. I will sometimes do this by using my hand to push the squash against the sieve. But it is more effective to use a clean kitchen towel.
I put the grated squash into the center of the towel. Pull up the four corners and twist into a ball.
Squeeze the squash. You will be surprised how much water comes out. Squeeze some more. Rest your hands and squeeze. Give it to someone else and have them squeeze.
When you think you’re done, give the ball one more squeeze, unwrap the towel, and put the squash into a bowl with the flour, salt, pepper, and any spices you are using. You’ll now have less than a cup from a one-and-a-half pound squash.
Use a fork or your hands to pull apart the grated squash so you can get an even mix with the flour and other spices before adding the egg.
I use a large cookie scoop (one quarter cup) to scoop out the mixture onto a griddle that has been heated with a thin layer of vegetable oil.
FAQs about summer squash patties
Very easily, it seems. Every year we get overrun with summer squash, and every year I say I’ll plant fewer the following year. Summer squash seeds like to be planted in mounds in sunny spots of the vegetable garden. Water deeply once or twice a week, and try to avoid getting water on the leaves.
There is a lot of overlap among these words. A fritter is deep fried rather than fried in a thin layer of oil as in this recipe. “Latke” means pancake in Yiddish, so those two are perfectly overlapping. Finally, Merriam-Webster defines “patty” as a little pie or a small, flat cake of chopped food.
There’s no need to peel summer squash. Just give it a great wash, slice off the ends, and grate the flesh until you get to the seeds.
We have had so many of these this summer. You could serve them with sour cream and applesauce as if they were potato latkes. They work as a side for roast chicken or sausage or scrambled eggs. Or serve them with my corn soup to celebrate the end of summer harvest.
Yup. You could sub in any other summer squash here.
Absolutely. No need to adjust. Just mulitply up for however much squash you want to use.
Absolutely. Let them cool on a paper towel to absorb any oil, and then layer them in a freezer bag. Warm them again in a single layer on a baking sheet in your oven.
Fried Patty Pan Squash Patties
- 1 ½ pounds patty pan squash one large or two medium
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored vegetable oil like corn or safflower
- Use the large holes of a box grater to grate the squash. Discard any seeds, and put the squash in a sieve in the sink.1 1/2 pounds patty pan squash
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, thyme, and black pepper.1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- Squeeze out as much of the water in the squash that you can by wrapping up the squash in a kitchen towel and twisting and squeezing (see tips and tricks above).
- Add the squash to the bowl with the flour mixture and use a fork or your fingers to pick apart the squash ball. Stir until the squash is evenly coated with the flour.
- Add the beaten egg and stir until the egg is fully combined into the mixture.1 egg, lightly beaten
- Heat a frying pan or griddle over medium-low heat and add a thin layer of the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, use a large cookie scoop, 1/4 cup measuring cup, or spoons to scoop batter onto the pan or griddle. This recipe will make three or four patties, depending on how generous you are with your scoops.1 tablespoon neutral-flavored vegetable oil like corn or safflower
- Cook 3-5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Extra squash patties can be kept in the refrigerator for one week or in the freezer for three to six months.
- Use a different type of summer squash.
- Add something in the onion family like a quarter of an onion, a chopped shallot, minced garlic clove or two, or one or two sliced green onions.
- Add some minced jalapeño peppers.
- Change up the herbs and spices.
- Add some cheese – like a half ounce of cheddar or Parmesan.
If you make these squash patties, please leave a comment here or share a pic with me on Instagram!