Looking for an easy side dish? This New Mexico calabacitas recipe filled with fresh squash, corn, onions, and green chile, will be your new favorite on the table.
My mom used to make calabacitas (call-ah-bah-see-tas) all the time as a side dish, and now I know why: it’s super easy, we tend to almost always have the ingredients on hand, it’s perfect on Taco Tuesday nights, and it tastes delicious. WIN!
Green Chile Calabacitas Recipe
My biggest tip for making this calabacitas recipe is this: Make sure to caramelize those veggies; cook them almost to the point where you think they’ve been cooking a few minutes too long—that’s when the flavors really mingle together and become amazing.
You get the sweetness from the caramelization, the saltiness from the cheese, and then the pop from the chile. It’s perfect.
Enjoy these calabacitas con queso—adding that pop of sharp cheddar cheese gives the side dish a creamy addition.
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 zucchini chopped into quarters
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- pinch 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 can of corn drained
- green chile about 4 ounces diced, pealed, drained
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese cheddar, Colby/Jack, Swiss, etc.
- Heat oil in a medium skillet on medium heat.
- Add onions; saute until fragrant.
- Add zucchini; mix with onions.
- When zucchini starts to get soft, add salt, pepper, garlic powder. Cook until veggies are caramelized (about 3-5 minutes).
- Stir in green chile; once chile is heated through, mix in corn.
- Cook, stirring occasionally; sprinkle cheese over veggies; stir to combine.
- Turn off heat; move to serving dish and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Serve and enjoy!
Other ways to eat calabacitas
You can obviously eat this as a side dish, but here are some other ideas:
- Add leftovers to an omelet in the morning
- Roll it up in your enchiladas
- Put an egg on top
- Scoop it up with chips
- Mix with some taco meat or shredded chicken and stuff into a pepper; bake with some cheese on top
- Make nachos and add calabacitas to it
- Eat it out of a bowl with a spoon.
- Extra cheddar for a calabacitas con queso style.
Tools to help you make calabacitas
Making this calabacitas recipe is pretty straightforward since all you have to do is chop up your veggies, but here are a few of my go-to tools to get the job done.
If you don’t wanna deal with chopping your onions, get yourself a Food Chopper to save the day. You have to cut them into quarters, but that’s it; the chopper will do the rest. A great knife and a Flexible Cutting Mat are two essentials to help ease your time in the kitchen.
Make it now!
After you make this New Mexico version of calabacitas, come back and tell me how it is and how you ate it. Enjoy!