Cooking with Dogs – Squash and Parmesan Bites

Cooking for Dogs

My dogs and I are trying to break our high-calorie habits.

It’s not easy. I am a hungry, hungry hippo. I love to cook and there are few things that satisfy my soul like creating, then savouring a great meal. My love of good food extends to my dogs and there is almost always a virtual cornucopia of treats in our house. Food is love, right? So what’s the big deal if we share an extra snack or two (or ten)?

Well, my big behind ripped a big hole in my pants today, for one thing.

Yeah. That wasn’t embarrassing at all. I could just see Kolchak covering his face with his paws, absolutely ashamed of me. Kol and Felix aren’t exactly looking svelte themselves. Felix is looking just a little too much like a teddy bear. Kolchak is starting to look like a sausage.  We’ve all put on a little winter weight. It might be fine for the dogs; they’ve got those great fur coats to hide the extra pounds, but what about me? I just look extra chunky.

Kolchak  is a wretched trouble maker.

Just a few days ago, the little scamp stole an acorn squash out of the grocery bag and spent an hour playing with it, gnawing on it and trying to get at the tasty flesh within. I assume that like always, he was just trying to drive me insane, but what if he was trying to tell me something.

It’s time to start eating a little healthier.

The hounds and the humans at Casa de Kolchak love winter squash. It makes for a great dog toy and an even better snack. It’s lightly sweet and flavourful with a great texture, plus it’s genuinely good for you. Winter squash is a good source of carotenoids, an antioxidant. It’s got some great anti-inflammatory properties and studies show that it has the power to help stabilize blood sugar levels and inhibit the formation of cholesterol in your cells. At less than 100 calories per cup, winter squash can help fill you up without bogging you down.

Dog playing with squash


The best snacks are for sharing.

I’m a big believer that there is no “dog food” or “human” food. There’s just food and I love when good food is dog-friendly. Squash is an excellent way to share a snack with your dog. This easy recipe is great as a flavourful side dish or served with beans, as a tasty option for a “meatless Monday”. It’s also an awesome choice for a fresh dog snack. Kolchak & Felix go absolutely crazy over these simple treats, proof that Cooking with Dogs doesn’t have to be complicated.


Ingredients for Squash Parmesan Bites

Squash & Parmesan Bites

  • 1 medium winter squash, like acorn or butternut
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350F.

Winter squash can have a tough outer skin, so make sure you use a nice, sharp knife. Too many kitchen injuries are the result of using a knife that isn’t sharp enough to do the job right. Cut open squash and scoop out the seeds.  (You can save them and toast them later, if you like.) Slice the squash into 1” widths and remove the peel. Chop into 1” cubes.

In a medium bowl, combine squash, parsley, garlic powder and cheese. Pour mixture into a baking dish and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until tender, but still firm. Dog treats can be served as is, but the human treats will be even more delicious with a dash of salt and a liberal sprinkling of pepper.


Squash Parmesan Bites

Yum. I had no problem taste testing these “dog treats”.

The real critics around our house, though, are the dogs. Kolchak gives these four very enthusiastic paws up. Here is the before picture:

Squash Parmesan Bites


And here is the after. I said “Take it”, then immediately snapped a photo. Apparently, I was still too there was nothing left on Kolchak or Felix’s plate by the time I could snap the picture

Taste Test


Easy, delicious and nutritious?

That is our kind of treat. We can’t get enough squash. What other tasty Squash dishes could we share with our dogs? We’d love to hear about your favorites.


Jodi Kolchak and Felix

Jodi is a canine nutrition and small animal naturopathy student hailing from beautiful Vancouver, BC. (That’s in Canada, eh?) She loves to experiment in the kitchen, creating tasty (and healthy) treats for her two dogs, Felix & Kolchak and the rest of her family. Jodi’s blog, Kol’s Notes follows the antics of the irrepressible Kolchak as he celebrates good food, good friends and the good life.

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  1. That sounds yummy! Great snack for human and hounds waistline. Thanks!

  2. Willow and Fallon's Mom says

    We’re very excited to try these…we always look forward to new recipes, especially yours!!!

  3. Squash is one of my favorites! It is so healthy for you. THis looks like a great snack for both animals and humans:)

  4. Well, we usually like to eat meat, but Lent is coming up so this is good to know. Pumpkin, squash, things Daddy won’t eat. Must be good for us.

    • Kolchak, Felix & Jodi says

      This squash is pretty tasty, even our Daddy ate it an he lives off a diet of 99.9% pizza. The trick is to give Daddies the cheesy bits.

  5. Karen Schlabach says

    Jodi, that was great! My guys love squash. I use a lot of sweet potatoes as well. Cooper likes them raw and cooked as well. This will be a great blog..please let us know when it appears weekly! Thanks!

    • Hi Karen – This is Felissa from Two Little Cavaliers. Jodi, Kolchak, and Felix will be appearing every Sunday with a new family friendly recipe for everyone to try. Thank you for stopping by to visit.

    • Kolchak, Felix & Jodi says

      I’m glad you liked it! I bet your boys would enjoy these. We love sweet potatoes too! It’s definitely on our list to use for a future Cooking with dogs post :0)

  6. Benny & Lily says

    We have a feeling we would love those things
    Benny & Lily

    • Kolchak, Felix & Jodi says

      You should try it! I bet you WOULD love it a whole lot and it’s sooooo easy!

  7. Matilda says “YUM!!!!!!!!!” And Susie thanks you.

  8. My dog, Ruby Rose, farts when fed dog food … Of any kind! I will check back for more recipes. I now cook for her. And the air is clear! LOL

    • Kolchak, Felix & Jodi says

      LOL, it’s good to hear the gas cleared up! Sometimes, dog struggle with kibble due to the lack of natural enzymes in it. It’s so good to hear that you found a solution that works for Ruby Rose.

  9. Sheri Carpenter says

    This sounds like a great snack for everyone in my house, adults, kids and furbabies alike!!

  10. Interesting posting this evening

    • Kolchak, Felix & Jodi says

      Thank you Kelly! We’ll be sharing a family friendly dog/human treat every week. I hope you’ll come back and check it out!

  11. This is very cute! My dog would love this! 🙂

  12. sound yummy

  13. Elizabeth Owens says

    I love this recipe! It seems so easy. Thanks for sharing

  14. This looks like it would be great for the whole family!

  15. I have two little dogs that would devour this recipe. Stumbled for you!

  16. We look forward to new treats every Tuesday!

  17. We love Koly!!!! Pawesome post!

  18. this is great! thanks so much for sharing.

  19. These sound and look delish. I am not a fan of butternut squash but the acorn squash looks OK. Slater loves most fruits and veggies and I’ve been trying to get more veggies in the diet of the humans in our house, so we’ll have to give this a try. We’ll be looking for your blog post every Sunday – can’t wait!

  20. this is nice – thanks for sharing

  21. Yum! That recipe sounds delicious! Sorry to hear you split your pants, I have had that happen too. No fun. But you’re on the right track with healthy good for you food! Coming from the Hop!

  22. Your pups are so lucky! Yum! Thanks for linking up at the Super Sunday Stumble hop! I’ve liked, +1-ed, and stumbled this page. Hope to see you at the hop again this week! -Christine

  23. Martha Nassauer says

    As the author mentioned, I too felt my pup was just trying to get under my skin when he stole the acorn squash brought over by my gardening neighbor. But as I watched him more closely, it soon became apparent that he was, well…happy! He really loved rolling it around, chewing at it, and seemed to enjoy it far more than any dog toy he had ever gotten. So, I came here to double check, just to make sure it was non-toxic. Much to my happiness, I can allow the little villain to enjoy his stolen treat. Next time, though, so as not to set bad habits, I will willingly GIVE him one. I hope it will be as enjoyable to him though! Thanks for the info, and good read!

  24. Martha Nassauer says

    Additional note: On the “Raising healthy dogs” website, I found this: “The wide use of garlic in commercial dog foods and the sale of garlic tablets for dogs would make garlic appear to be safe for dogs. However, garlic and dogs do not always mix. Garlic has many healing properties, but it also contains a chemical compound called thiosulphate. This compound can be toxic in extremely high levels, causing hemolytic anemia in dogs. This is a serious, life threatening condition for your dog. So, yes garlic can be toxic to dogs.

    But, this too is a matter of dosage. The garlic found in dog treats, dog food, and garlic tablets designed for dogs is not likely to cause this toxic reaction. They would have to eat something like 50 cloves (not bulbs, cloves) for a medium sized dog to get enough to cause a toxic reaction. A clove is one of the little sections. You would know it if your dog ate enough to cause a toxic reaction, you would be missing a lot of garlic! That would equally approximately 10-20 bulbs, depending on the variety.

    This stinky weed can have many positive effects for both humans and dogs. But in the end, the decision of whether to give garlic to your dog is a personal choice. Some dogs are extremely sensitive to various types of food so before giving garlic to your dog for the first time, speak with your veterinarian about dosage and any concerns you may have. As for me, I will continue to give garlic to my dogs.”

    Just thought I would include this in case others had questions about the use of garlic with dogs. Cheers!

  25. Thanks for the recipe! I have a 13 year old Border Collie, and he is our baby! I like finding nutritious homemade snacks to make for him.
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