Green Chile Calabacitas Recipe

Cast iron pan full of diced squashes and corn placed on top of a folded yellow napkin.

Calabacitas time! Add green chiles and corn to your Mexican squash for the perfect fall side dish.  This diced vegetable medley is fast, simple, and a great accompaniment for any meal!

Calabacitas Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green zucchini squash
  • 1 yellow summer squash
  • 1/2 can sweet corn, drained
  • 4 ounce can of diced green chiles
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

In a large skillet or cast iron pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Thinly slice both the green and yellow squashes into rounds and then quarter the rounds so you have 1/4 inch wide chunks. 

Reduce heat and sautee the squash pieces in the olive oil until tender, about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained corn kernels, green chilies, and salt and pepper to taste, heating thoroughly.

Just before serving, top with cheddar cheese and allow it to melt– yum!

About This Green Chile and Squash Recipe

Believe it or not, I had never heard of calabacitas until a few years ago. We went to a popular New Mexican restaurant and I saw the dish on the menu as an appetizer. It was described as a squash casserole with Hatch green chilies. I ordered it for fun and have bee enamored ever since.

I love to make this recipe year-round, but especially when green chiles come into season here in Colorado- this dish can’t be beat! I make it with cheddar cheese on top, but without the cheese this can be a great vegan side dish too.

Translating to “little squashes,” calabacitas is a celebrated Mexican recipe and an ideal vegetarian dish. This delicious hash consists of chopped and sauteed vegetables and is topped with shredded cheese… kind of like a Costa Rican picadillo!

 This diced vegetable medley is fast, simple, and a great side dish for any meal!

Related Recipes You’ll Love:

Substitutions

Fresh corn on the cob and frozen corn can be exchanged for the canned corn. If the flavor of green chiles is too intense, 1/2 cup of chopped bell peppers is a milder alternative. 

You can swap parmesan or cotija cheese for cheddar cheese. 

You can use poblano peppers in place of the green chiles.

Variations

One way to add extra flavor to this recipe is by incorporating a small can of diced tomatoes during the sauteeing phase. They’ll cook down and generate a nice sauce. I also like to sautee a bit of crushed garlic with the other vegetables right before taking them off the heat. 

The Mexican rendition of this recipe, calabacitas con puerco, involves sauteed onions, tomatoes, and pork in addition to the ingredients listed above. You could add some pork carnitas to the mix.

I also sometimes dice up some white or yellow onion. Add the onion to the olive oil just before adding the squash for some extra flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your calabacitas warm with shredded cheese on top. I love it with a dollop of sour cream or queso fresco and some chopped cilantro as well!

Warm tortillas, quinoa, and rice are all great pairings.

You can place calabacitas into a warm corn tortilla and douse with Salsa Lizano for a Costa Rican gallo (sort of like a Mexican taco!).

FAQ

  1. What are the nutritional benefits of calabacitas? – Since it’s composed mainly of vegetables, specifically zucchinis, calabacitas is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin A. Zucchinis are also thought to improve digestive, bone, and thyroid health. 
  2. What does “calabacitas” mean in English? – Calabacitas is a variation on the Spanish word for squash, calabaza. “calabacitas” means “little squashes” in English. 

Printable Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Calabacitas

Close up of cheese topped diced vegetables in a cast iron pan.

This 6-ingredient calabacitas recipe is simple, healthy, and ready in under 15 minutes. It's a wonderful vegetarian meal loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin A.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green zucchini squash
  • 1 yellow summer squash
  • 1/2 can sweet corn, drained
  • 4 ounce can of diced green chiles
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. In a skillet or cast iron pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Slice both squashes into rounds and then quarter the rounds so you have 1/4 inch thick chunks.
  3. Sautee the squash pieces in the olive oil until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Add the drained corn, green chilies, and salt and pepper to taste, heating thoroughly.
  4. Just before serving, top your squash hash with cheddar cheese and allow it to melt.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 106Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

Pin it!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

No Comments