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This New Mexico style Calabacitas is made with zucchini, squash, sweet corn and green chilies, and garnished with queso fresco
Back during my high school and college years, I worked at a “Mexican” restaurant called Pancho’s. It was probably more of a Tex Mex restaurant…but either way it was the first place I ever tried calabacitas.
Deliciously tender and flavorful, I was hooked. It became one of my go-to break time foods. And although I ate it almost every day, I never tired of those delicious flavors.
Related Recipe: Lemon Garlic Zucchini
Typically served as a side dish, calabacitas is traditionally made with zucchini, squash, green chilies, corn and onions, and topped with melted cheese. I have seen versions made with tomatoes, but I prefer it without. If you like tomatoes, feel free to add them right in!
Lard is used as the cooking fat in this dish, but for a healthier option, substitute olive oil for the lard. Serve this dish with tamale pie, Southwestern egg rolls, or just plain with some fresh tortillas.
Extremely easy to make, this recipe will take you less than 30 minutes to make. Start by heating the lard in a skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and squash and cook until tender.
Then add the corn and diced chilies and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add the salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and add a generous helping of queso fresco. The more cheese the better, right? The light, fresh flavor of the queso fresco complements the dish perfectly too…if you were wondering. Serve the calabacitas as a side dish or with fresh tortillas and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Related Recipe: Southwestern Egg Rolls
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know how it came out!
Calabacitas RecipePrint Rate
- Heat the fat in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onions until they are translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add zucchini and squash and cook until they start to tenderize, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the corn and diced chilies and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- Add queso fresco, mix and serve.
- Add the corn and green chilies just as the zucchini starts to get a little brown around the edges. You don't want to overcook the vegetables;
- The tomatoes are added at the end so they don't break down;
- The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of cheese, but add as little or as much as you'd like.
Looking for some great vegetable side dishes? Here are some other simple and delicious recipes: