Can Jam: Pattypan Pickles

CanJam July #2: a quick mini-batch of pickles, or an attempt to deal with the metric tons of summer squash currently taking over my refirgerator.

Do you know Patty?  She’s round & bumpy, bright yellow (or sometimes green), looks like a flying saucer?  Yes, that one. She and her entire extended family have moved into my fridge, lock, stock and two smoking 8-balls. When a house guest over stays her welcome, I say, pickle ’em!

Brine propotions taken from Marisa’s recipe for Garlic Dill Pickles.


Pattypan Pickles


  • 1 and 1/2 lbs pattypan squash, or a mix of yellow & green (zucchini) summer squash (about 4 cups sliced)
  • 2 tbsp pickling salt

Flavoring, per jar:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 quarter-sized slice of fresh ginger
  • 1, 3-inch strip of lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp chile flakes
  • 1 small dried Thai pepper


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp pickling salt
  • 1/2 tbsp raw sugar (organic turbinado)


  1. Scrub the squash and slice into 1/4-inch slices. If the pattypans are large, slice in half horizontally (‘open’ the flying saucer) and remove the seeds before slicing. Layer in a large bowl and sprinkle the 2 tbsp salt over the layers; allow to rest for about 3 hours to leach excess water out of the squash.
  2. Prepare canner, jars and lids. Add brine ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Maintain at a low boil.
  3. Drain the squash and rinse well in cool water. To a clean, cool pint jar add flavorings and pack squash slices in, tightly, but leaving room for brine to permeate the pieces (the amount above should just fill two pint jars).  Pour boiling brine into the jar, filling to 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe rim, affix lid and add to the water bath. Repeat with the next pint jar and then process both jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Yields 2 pints pickles.


  1. You can modify the spices/flavorings at will. Whole spices will keep your brine clearest, but ground spices are safe to use if that is what you have on hand.
  2. For safety, do not vary the proportions of water, vinegar or salt. Always check that your vinegar is at least 5% acidity (if you make your own vinegar, check using an acid titration kit.)
  3. Pickling salt contains neither iodine (present in regular table salt), which will stain pickles a brownish color, nor anti-caking agent (present in most salts, including Kosher) which will make your brine cloudy.  Any salt is safe to use; pickling salt is used for aesthetics.


Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year.  Refrigerated, these will last at least 1 month.




  1. Fantastic. Pattypans are one of my favorite squashes, the shape reminds me of “UFOs”. I like the idea of adding the lemon zest too. Have you tried pickling with brown sugar? I did that last year and really enjoyed the taste… nothing this year though – I’m behind!

  2. How awesome! My father-in-law LOVES patty pans, so I might make this for him. He calls the light green ones “peter pans.” I’ve never heard of that before, but thought it was pretty cute!

  3. This recipe looks fantastic! I’ve been looking for a good summer squash pickle recipe that isn’t loaded with sugar. Would it be safe to omit the sugar from this recipe entirely?

  4. We’ve already discussed the squash thing, so I won’t go on about it, but I do want to say that just about everything you post knocks my socks off. Even the simple stuff. Even the stuff I don’t even *like,* for goodness sake. Beautiful.

  5. @Britt – yes, you can omit the sugar (in fact, there is no sugar in Marisa’s original brine recipe). It’s only here for flavor.

    @Shae – aww, thanks! I’m solidly in your camp on this recipe: I *hate* pickles. Tai *hates* summer squash but loves pickles, so I keep trying to find ways for him to like “the Evil Weed.” We shall see. But they do look pretty, no? Probably not pretty enough to tempt me to eat them but… you never know. 🙂

    @Mangochild – I haven’t used brown sugar in pickling, although I do use raw sugar so I get a little of that molasses flavor. This is the first year I’m really experimenting with pickles, so the recipes are definitely works in progress.

  6. In my experience, when you pickle your guests, they end up staying forever (or at least until the hangover subsides) and then they demand breakfast. Your recipe sounds great though! I’ll have to keep an eye out for the round little cuties at my FM this weekend. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Love the look and promise of this pickle. Still have some yellow ball zucchini (don’t know what you call them) so this recipe would be a great one to try. Fab

  8. Pingback: Pickled Pattypan Squash | susanlaury

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    • It really quite depends: some people will start snacking on pickles after 2 days; others say wait at least 3 – 4 weeks. I say crack a jar when you feel like it and keep sampling them over time to see when they taste the best to you.

  10. Pingback: Patty pan chutney

  11. I had some extra brine from making pickled beets, and one sanitized jar left… but I did not take the time to salt and drain the squash…. do you think it will be utter failure or maybe ok?

    re: sugar… I used a recipe that uses honey for the brine…

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