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Mexican-Style Zucchini and Corn (Calabacitas)

4 to 6 Servings

30 minutes

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Mexican calabacitas, which translates from the Spanish as “little squash,” typically is cooked on the stovetop, yielding a stewy mix of summer vegetables. We prefer to char the veggies under the broiler to caramelize some of their natural sugars and allow each ingredient to keep its character. Zucchini lends the dish its name, but corn, green chilies and tomatoes also are part of the mix. Corn kernels freshly cut from the cob offer the best flavor and texture, but frozen corn that has been thawed and patted dry to wick away excess moisture will work, too. This is great as a vegetarian taco filling or as a side to grilled or roasted chicken.

4 to 6



Don’t stir the vegetables as they cook under the broiler. This allows them to take on some char, which lends complex, subtle smoky notes to the dish.

30 minutes


  • 2

    medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each), halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise ¼ to ½ inch thick

  • 2

    poblano chilies, stemmed, seeded and chopped


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Sarah B.
August 17, 2022
Quick, easy, delicious - and versatile!
This piqued my interest as a way to use a glut of zucchini in our garden, and has quickly become one of our favorite recipes. I love its versatility - make up a batch and enjoy it myriad forms! Great as a side dish with rice and chicken, but also in breakfast burritos with eggs, quesadillas with some added greens, or in a bowl with rice and beans.
Jan B.
July 26, 2022
Another MSK winner
So easy to prepare and throw under the broiler. I made half, which for us will be four nice side servings. Highly recommended.
Michelle B.
June 8, 2024
Easy and so good! The pumpkin seeds give it that texture it needs.
Araceli O.

I use garlic and onion as well. It is missing the Mexican Sansón.

John M.

This recipe made a delightfully delicious veggie mix! I had all of the fresh ingredients on hand from the garden ('tis the season). Took longer than 8-10 minutes to get any charring, and then I had to remove it before the corn charred because the tomatoes charred well before the corn (which I dried on a paper towel beforehand). No big deal, as I chalk that up to the quirks of oven broilers. Nonetheless, the results were excellent! Another keeper from the Milk Street team. Thanks, Calvin!

Jon S.

Really liked a lot about this, but I think we'd prefer it if I added 2-3 minutes and DID stir once. Little more char, I'm thinking.