Calabacitas (Summer Squash, Corn, Green Chile)

Calabacitas-Summer squash, green chile and corn @MJsKitchen

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Calabacitas” is the Spanish word for “little squash”, but in late summer / early fall calabacitas a traditional side dish here in New Mexico. It’s made with local, fresh ingredients: roasted green chile, summer squash, and corn. There are 101 variations of calabacitas, but the one I make is my favorite. It’s simple, easy to make, and can be used as a side dish for just about anything. The amount of green chile that I add to the dish depends on how hot the chile is. Since New Mexico green chile ranges from very mild (almost no heat) to extremely spicy (jalapeno spicy), I always taste the chile before adding it. I don’t want the chile’s heat to be so overpowering that I can’t taste the chile or the other ingredients. With the right mix of fresh ingredients, calabacitas is a delicious little dish and one that I hope you enjoy.

This traditional New Mexico Calabacitas dish was originally shared with my friend Raymund, a Filipino writer and chef at Ang Sarap.   Raymund has turned me on to some of the most unusual and delicious looking dishes that I think you’ll enjoy.  Below I’ve provided some of my favorites.

Wonton and Char Siu Pork Noodle Soup

Japanese Beef Curry

Pork Guisantes (A pork and vegetable stirfry)

Spinach and Mushroom Stirfry

Peach, Bacon, and Ricotta Crostini

Cape Gooseberries and Strawberry Flaugnarde

To learn even more about calabacitas, please head over to to Ang Sarap where I’m serving up this delightfully spicy dish:  MJ’s Kitchen featuring Calabacitas.

Calabacitas (Squash, Corn, Green Chile)
Sauteed squash, corn, and green chile (calabacitas) @mjskitchen #squash #greenchille

A bowl of calabacitas (squash, green chile, and corn)
Print or Save Recipe
Calabacitas Recipe (Squash, Corn, and Green Chile) Recipe
15 mins
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
A traditional fall recipe in New Mexico, using seasonal ingredients of green chile, corn, and squash.  There are many, many variations.  This is mine.

"*"  See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: New Mexico
Yields: 4 servings
Recipe Author: MJ
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil or olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, minced
  • 1 pound yellow squash*, ¼” slices (about 2 medium squash)
  • 1 cup corn, fresh, frozen or canned
  • ½ cup green chile*, roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh Mexican oregano or ½ tsp. dried oregano any kind
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • A couple shakes of pepper
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the squash and sauté for 5 minutes or until the squash just starts to soften. Flip the squash over occasionally to ensure that all of it cooks.
  3. Add the corn, green chile, and oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Taste, add more salt if needed.
  5. Let rest a minute or two before serving.
Kitchen Notes

The Squash – For the squash you can substitute zucchini or any summer squash, or use a combination of two to three squashes.


Green Chile – If you can’t find New Mexico green chile, you can substitute with roasted poblano or other roasted peppers. Just be sure to adjust the amount of chile pepper according to its heat factor. If you don’t like or can’t eat spicy, never fear; just use roasted bell pepper in place of the chile pepper.


Variations – Other variations of calabacitas toss in some fresh, chopped tomatoes or top the dish with cheddar cheese. For a one pot meal, you can start the dish by cooking up some ground beef or chicken and then add the vegetables to the meat.




A bowl of calabacitas (squash, green chile, and corn)


Hope you enjoy!

If you like these calabacitas, then you also like these recipes:

Green Chile Enchiladas with squash and corn

Calabacitas Enchiladas





Chowder made with New Mexico green chile, squash and sweet corn

Calabacitas Chowder





Calabacitas Cornbread - Roasted chile, zucchini and corn all wrapped up in cornbread batter for a hearty and spicy cornbread. |


Calabacitas Cornbread






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41 Responses to “Calabacitas (Summer Squash, Corn, Green Chile)”

  1. devenir riche October 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    Wonderful post! We are linking to this particularly great content on oour site.
    Keep up the great writing.

  2. Nads November 4, 2015 at 5:38 am #

    Did I ever tell you that I made this with fresh kale? It was equally delicious. I also plan on using fresh green beans some time. Infinite possibilities!

  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook August 29, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    Oh I remember this post on Raymund’s! I guess I saw the post first before it was published on yours. I’ve been building up my spice level, MJ! This year I have been working on it, trying to include more in my cooking (not so many Japanese foods include spicy food, unfortunately) and I built up some tolerance, I think! Until then I have to go with mild version, but i”d enjoy this because you make this. 🙂

  4. Javelin Warrior August 27, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    I had to pop over to Raymund’s blog to check out the dish – it’s sounds so tasty, MJ! I love the combination of summer squash with green chiles and the addition of corn sounds wonderful… Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Helene D'souza August 22, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Ahh I like your approach of cooking 😉
    Just hopped over to save your recipe. Maybe I can give it a Indian twist since we don’t get those chiles here?

  6. Swathi August 20, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Looks it is a wonderful dish, love the squash, corn and chilie yumm, I will try it if I can get hold of yellow squash.

    • mj August 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      Wish I could send you some Swathi! We have tons over here. 🙂

  7. Karen (Back Road Journal) August 20, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    A new way to serve yellow squash. It would go nicely with some of Raymunds flavorful dishes.

    • mj August 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

      It absolutely would! It would definitely stand up to some of his hearty meaty dishes.

  8. Nilu A August 19, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    Wow! Calabacitas sounds delicious.. Off to see your guest post now.. Do visit my blog..

    • mj August 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      Thanks Nilu! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Asmita August 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    Beautiful dish!

  10. Sanjeeta kk August 19, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    Aweee…what gorgeous food pictures, love that Cape Gooseberries and Strawberry Flaugnarde! Thanks for sharing the web page, MJ…your selection of dish is lovely too.

  11. Hotly Spiced August 19, 2013 at 2:12 am #

    You chose a great dish. Isn’t Raymond wonderful! So witty. I always enjoy his fun posts xx

    • mj August 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm #

      I agree Charlie! I love visiting Ray!

  12. Kiran @ August 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    So comforting!! I love the mexican flavors here. Never thought of pairing these flavors with summer squash 🙂

    • mj August 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

      Thanks so much Kiran! Chile and squash is really an excellent combination! Thanks for stopping by to say hello!

  13. Gomo | cHowDivine August 18, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    I love summer squash, sweet corn, and green chile! I know I’m going to love this. I’m heading over to Ang Sarap to check it out. Thanks MJ!

  14. Lori Lynn August 18, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    OK, I made it last night, this dish rocks. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • mj August 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      WooHOO!!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know!

  15. Raymund August 18, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    Thanks for sharing this at Ang Sarap MJ, truly appreciated

    • mj August 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      You are most welcome Raymund and thanks for the invitation!

  16. Sissi August 17, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Your spicy calabacitas look fantastic! Another great idea for late summer when all the squashes are at their best (and cheapest!).

    • mj August 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      Thanks Sissi! We eat A LOT of squash this time of year!

  17. Lori Lynn August 17, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Oh, this looks great MJ! I just picked up a bunch of Hatch chiles. I think I will try your recipe!

  18. Debra August 17, 2013 at 5:42 am #

    Heading over there now. The Hubs just brought some green chile sauce home from work. Apparently he nabbed some homemade empanadas!

    • mj August 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

      Hope you’re enjoying the green chile sauce! Making a batch this weekend!

  19. minnie@thelady8home August 16, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Ah spice!! Looks so mouthwatering! New Mexico Chili…need to try that. Checking it out now.

  20. john@kitchenriffs August 16, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Sounds wonderful! Off to check it out right now . . .

  21. wok with ray August 16, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Great to see two of my friends cooking and blogging together. You are such a great guest to have and I’m sure Raymund is thrilled to have you guest posting. 🙂

    • mj August 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      Thanks so much Ray! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  22. Rochelle August 16, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    I have summer squash coming out of my ears! Always love new ideas for ways to cook it and I miss Southwestern cuisine. Thanks for inspiring me to come up with something knew and tasty too 🙂

  23. ChgoJohn August 16, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    If it tastes nearly s good as it looks, this will make a great guest post. Going now to check it out. 🙂

  24. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef August 16, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    You know what? I don’t think I have a recipe with green chile in it. hint hint

    I’m off to look!

  25. Angie@Angie's Recipes August 16, 2013 at 5:34 am #

    It’s delicious!!

  26. Ramona August 16, 2013 at 4:09 am #

    Looks like an amazing dish…. going to check it out at Ang Sarap! 🙂 Have a great weekend MJ!

    • mj August 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      Thanks Ramona! Hope you and your family are having a wonderful weekend as well.


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