Calabacitas are a Mexican dish that combines zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, corn, and tomatoes. If you want to learn how easy it is to make this healthy and flavorful side dish, keep reading!
Calabacitas make a colorful, vibrant side dish to almost any Mexican dish.
Last weekend, I met my in-laws at Sadies for dinner. And while I always jump at the chance to eat Mexican food, I was apprehensive about how what I could eat.
I am currently following a keto diet, and Mexican food can be really carby and delicious.
But then I thought about calabacitas! They’re made with mostly low-carb veggies, plus a minimal amount of corn and tomatoes. I figured it was about as low-carb as I could go in a Mexican restaurant.
At the end of our dinner, I had leftover calabacitas and carne adovada, and I ended up tossing them together for a mouth-watering lunch the next day!
If you’re not near a Sadies and want to make your own calabacitas, keep reading and I’ll show you how easy it is to make this flavorful and healthy dish!
How to Make Calabacitas
You’ll need the following ingredients for the calabacitas recipe:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 jalapenos
- 1 shallot
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 cup corn kernals
It’s always a good idea to prep your vegetables before you start cooking, and it’s especially important in this recipe because it cooks quickly.
Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapenos, then dice them into cubes or slices (depending on your preference).
Remove the skin from the shallot and cut into small pieces.
Remove the top and bottom from the zucchini. Cut in half, lengthwise, then cut into thinish slices.
Repeat the same process for the yellow squash.
Dice the roma tomatoes.
Add olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add jalapenos and the shallot and saute until fragrant and starting to soften – about 5 minutes.
Add zucchini and squash, then season with salt and pepper.
Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, until squash starts to soften. Make sure not to over cook.
Add in corn and tomatoes, stir, and cook an additional 3 – 5 minutes until all veggies are warmed through.
A healthy, delicious, and low carb Mexican side dish. Sub out the jalapeno for green chile to make it New Mexican style calabacitas!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 jalapenos diced (or, use 1/2 cup diced green chilies)
- 1 shallot diced
- 1 zucchini diced
- 1 yellow squash diced
- salt and pepper
- 2 roma tomatoes diced
- 1 cup corn
Warm olive oil over medium in a large pan. Add jalapenos and shallot, and cook until starting to soften – about 5 minutes.
Add zucchini and squash. Season with salt and pepper, and stir. Cover with a lid and cook 5 minutes, until squash is starting to soften.
Add tomatoes and corn, and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes or until warmed through. Serve immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make Keto Calabacitas?
The recipe above has 10 net grams per serving, so it isn’t super high in net carbs, but if you’re trying to stay under 20 net grams per day, that can be challenging!
To make this more keto-friendly, skip the corn, then add 1 cup of shredded cheese to the calabacitas before serving. That would result in the following nutrients:
- Calories: 213
- Total Fat: 16.8 g
- Total Carbs: 8.6 g
- Fiber: 2.7 g
- Net Carbs: 5.9 g
- Total Protein: 9.6 g
How do you make this Calabacitas New Mexico – Style?
If you’re craving more New Mexican-style Calabacitas, you could swap out the jalapenos with green chile! I would add half a cup of green chile at the same time you’re adding in your squash.
I think green chile calabacitas pair especially well with melted cheese.
Are these Vegan Calabacitas?
Yep! The recipe above utilizes olive oil instead of butter, and as long as you don’t add cheese, it is completely vegan.
Other Yummy Recipes
If you like calabacitas, you’ll love these recipes, too: