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A New Way to Cook Zucchini (Calabacitas)

Updated on August 29, 2012
Zucchini, everywhere there is zucchini!
Zucchini, everywhere there is zucchini! | Source

Zuccinin Dish (savory) Known as Calabacitas Here

     This is one thing that has remained constant in my life;  No, not just zucchini but the extreme availability of zucchini when they are in season.

     We had a joke back in the Midwest about getting rid of your over-abundance of zucchini by placing bags of them at your neighbor's front door, ringing the doorbell and then running away. (Well, we said like he!! but this is more of a family site, isn't it?)

     My first run-in with Calabacitas was at a local restaurant where the veg that came with the Friday Night Special was Calabacitas. SO, you got them whether you wanted them or not. Well, they were immediately recognizable as zucchini; BUT THE TASTE!   I could not put my finger on just what made these zucchini sing with flavor. Now I know what the added ingredient is BUT it is NOT an in-your-face-chile taste. It is delicious though.



1 T. (or more) olive oil

1 med. onion sliced

2 C. zucchini, diced

2 C. Summer Squash, diced


1 NM Chile preferred or Poblano or Anaheim chile, seeded and diced    Remember the amount of seeds left in will adjust the taste to hot, hotter, and hottest, your choice. In this house I remove all the seeds. And be sure to wear those throw-away dollar store type gloves when you chop the chile!! (Yeah you can use the little cans of chiles…but not as good OR fresh tasting…try the REAL thing the first time!!)



A bit of butter

Sauté the onion until transparent in a Dutch oven. Add the zucchini and the chile. You will need to add a bit of water. Gently stir and cook until soft.

Serve topped with chopped up cilantro and a bit of butter.

And as in all home cooking, some people add corn, and other ingredients that happen to be in season. I have added tomatoes but prefer it with just zucchini and summer squash.

Oh, did I tell you that the restaurant where I first had Calabacitas is owned by the Mayor? Well, I also get my hair cut by the former Mayor. Small town.

The Farmers' Market is this afternoon. Oh boy. WIll find something fun from there....will let you know!!


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    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      That is good too! We just have so much that I am always looking for a new way to cook zucchini. Have you tried coating them with olive oil, bread crumbs, parm, cheese and baking them until crisp? Good....dip in ranch dressing. NOT lo-cal though!! LOL

    • profile image

      Jahnets 6 years ago

      this sounds good, will have to try. I fry mine with butter and garlic and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. yum