Calabacitas Recipe {Cheesy Mexican Zucchini}

A bowl with steamed cilantro rice with calabacitas on top of it sitting on a blue napkin.

Zucchini is anything but boring when when given the Mexican treatment of a quick sauté then a showering of melty cheese like this classic Calabacitas recipe.


1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 large white onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

2 medium zucchini, trimmed and chopped (about 1 pound)

2 summer squash, trimmed and chopped (about 1 pound)

2 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cups shredded Queso Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese

Cilantro leaves, for garnish


Sauté the onions. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until onion just starts to become tender.

Fry the garlic and poblanos. Add garlic and poblanos and season again with salt and pepper. Cook until peppers are starting to become tender.

Briefly cook the squash and tomatoes.  Add zucchini and summer squash, cook a few minutes, then add tomatoes, oregano, and cumin. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until zucchini is just tender, but still has some bite and tomatoes have broken down a bit. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Melt cheese over the top. Sprinkle cheese all over the top covering evenly. Remove from heat. Cover and let cheese melt, about 2-3 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve!

Keywords: calabacitas