Mexican zucchini and corn (calabacitas con elote) is a fun and easy recipe to make. Along with the zucchini, you can also use peppers, onions, or any other vegetables in season. The corn adds sweetness and texture to this dish- It's very delicious. This Mexican side dish takes less than half an hour from start to finish!
Do you love vegetables? I do (a lot)!
I grew up learning how to really appreciate all kinds of vegetables when we used to visit my Abuelita at her farm in the state of Veracruz.
This time was also a “vacation” for my mother because having 8 kids must have been crazy, not to mention a lot of work. I didn’t realize at that time that we were learning valuable life lessons, like how to find dry wood even though there were rainy days.
My brothers would go fishing and hunt with my cousins. Meanwhile, I spent a lot of my time at the kitchen helping grind the corn and watching how the women of the house worked in an orchestrated rhythm preparing the meals for the workers that would come back at noon for lunch.
But of all those things, one of my most cherished memories was going with my Abuelita to the riverbank, a few yards from the kitchen where she had her vegetable garden.
We would pick up zucchini, squash, peppers, tomatillos, and herbs for the midday meal. She would place them on her apron and go back to the kitchen to cook them for lunch.
What could be fresher than that?
Sometimes, I think this was one of the secrets of why she lived a long life as all of my uncles did. All of them passed away in their mid 90’s.
Frequently Ask Questions About Calabacitas A La Mexicana
To this day, I still make this recipe for calabacitas con elote and now my family loves it too! Before I share this recipe, here are a few questions I've been asked and wanted to answer.
What is the difference between calabacitas and regular squash?
Mexican calabacitas are more like a cross between zucchini and squash. Where regular squash, there are many different varieties, such as summer squash, winter squash, acorn squash, etc.
In Mexico, the variety that is more popular is from the Cucurbitaceae family of squashes, we call the elongated form squash "Calabacita Italiana", and the small round squash "Calabaza Pipiana".
Can I make this recipe without corn?
Yes, you can completely leave it out. But, it would be called "calabacitas a la Mexicana" (Mexican zucchini with tomatoes) in this case.
You can really mix in any vegetables you like.
What else can I add to this recipe?
Thankfully, this recipe could be a side dish or a main dish if you want. That means it's very versatile and it has many variations in Mexico.
Some may add cream and cheese while others add roasted poblano pepper strips or diced pork.
The combinations are endless! A perfect Vegan or Vegetarian Mexican dish.
Can I use frozen vegetables?
Yes! You can replace the fresh ingredients in this recipe if you want to save time or don't have access to them.
Mexican Zucchini and Corn Recipe
It's very easy to make this calabacitas recipe at home!
Here's what you need:
- Mexican Squash or Zucchini, buy the smaller ones for better flavor and tender texture.
- Fresh corn kernels, if using frozen corn, drain well.
- White onion
- Garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- Serrano peppers (chopped)
- Oil (vegetable or canola)
- Tomatoes (diced)
- Cilantro (or epazote- chopped)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!
How To Make Calabacitas Con Elote: Step By Step Tutorial
This vegetable side dish is very delicious. Here's how you can make it:
- Saute the chopped onion and garlic in oil for about one minute. Add the zucchini and cover the frying pan.
- After about 5 minutes, add the corn and chopped peppers and stir to prevent browning. Keep cooking for 3 minutes and add the tomatoes.
- Stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until zucchini and corn are tender.
- Garnish with cilantro or epazote.
Serve and enjoy!
What To Serve With Mexican Zucchini and Corn
One of the best things about this recipe is that it works as a side dish OR it can be the main dish.
More Authentic Mexican Recipes To Enjoy
If you enjoyed this recipe for calabacitas con elote, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:
- Mexican Squash With Cheese
- Cream Of Corn Soup
- Avocado Tomato Corn Salad
- Cream Of Zucchini Soup
- Easy Steamed Squash
I hope you make this Mexican zucchini and corn! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!
Corn and Zucchini Mexican Style
- 2 medium size zucchini about 3 cups
- 2 ½ cups of fresh corn kernels
- ½ cup chopped white onion
- 1 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 serrano peppers, chopped
- 1 ½ Tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- 2 medium size tomatoes diced About 2 cups
- 2 Tablespoon of chopped cilantro or Epazote
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Saute the onion and garlic in the oil, about one minute. add the zucchini and cover the frying pan, about 5 more minutes.
- Add corn and chopped peppers and stir to prevent browning. Keep cooking for 3 minutes and add tomatoes. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until zucchini and corn are tender.
- Garnish with the Cilantro or Epazote . In case your tomatoes are not juicy, add some water to prevent sticking.