The summer season is winding down, leaving us with a bevy of squash to make sides and soups for the early, yet still warm, fall days.

While browsing my local farmers market in the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed more varieties of squash cropping up. I’ve seen acorn, pattypan and butternut along with the last of the yellow squash and zucchini of summer.

While a simple steamed squash is quick and easy, and I love crispy, golden fried yellow squash or zucchini, there is so much more we can do with these versatile veggies. Because most squash varieties have a relatively mild flavor, there are a lot of creative ways you can cook with them.

This Stuffed Pattypan Squash recipe is very simple and great for busy evenings. It’s also easy to modify to use whatever meat or vegetables you have on hand.

Made with butternut squash, onion, half-and-half, cane syrup and homemade chicken broth made from locally raised chickens, this Butternut Squash Soup is as fresh and local as it can be. Of course, chicken broth from the carton also will work.

In the fall, we love a warm squash soup or stuffed squash with hearty meat mixtures. Squash seems to be plentiful this year, so feel free to experiment with recipes like the favorites I’ve gathered here.

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Makes 6 servings. Recipe is by Teresa Day.

6 pattypan squash

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus more for greasing pan)

1½ teaspoons salt, divided

1 pound Italian sausage, ground

1 small onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

8 ounces mushrooms

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 cups Parmesan cheese, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. Trim stems off squash. Turn squash over and slice off the bottom, up to the scallops. Remove the seeds and center pulp.

3. Brush squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Brush baking pan with oil then place squash flesh side down on the pan. Bake 30 minutes.

4. While squash is baking, brown sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until done. Drain.

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5. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and mushrooms in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil until tender.

6. Mix in drained sausage, salt and pepper, oregano and thyme.

7. Stir in 1½ cups Parmesan cheese.

8. Remove squash from oven and spoon meat mixture into the hollowed-out squash. Top with remaining ½ cup of cheese.

9. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted. Serve immediately.

Butternut Squash Soup

Makes 8 servings. Recipe is by Teresa B. Day.

4 butternut squash

2 teaspoons salt, divided

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup cane syrup

3 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, diced

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups cream or half-and-half

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Heat oven to 450 F. Peel and remove the seeds from the squash. Cut into 1-inch cubes.

2. Place squash on a roasting pan or rimmed baking pan. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Drizzle with cane syrup then roast an additional 10 minutes. Puree squash in a blender or food processor.

4. In a heavy stockpot, melt butter and saute onions until clear.

5. Add pureed squash. Whisk in broth and cream or half-and-half.

6. Season with black pepper, ginger, cayenne and remaining teaspoon of salt, if needed.

7. Serve immediately warm or allow to cool then refrigerate overnight to serve chilled.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at