This Calabacitas Recipe is one from the heart of Mexico, but may find its home right in your heart. With summer squash being in full swing, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to try a taste of an easy to make and truly authentic, Mexican dish.
Do like we did and try it with homemade corn tortillas, the good old way!
Also try it with fresh salsa de chile. Easy to make, and flavor that will knock your socks off.
What Is Calabacitas?
Calabacitas is a word in spanish which means, “little squash”. Calabaza meaning pumpkin, or is also used as a general word for the family of squash plants. Along with “ita” which, when added to a word in Spanish makes it a “small” something.
Thus Calabacitas means “little squash” or could also be used as “little pumpkin”. So, it is a word to describe what we in the United States call, zucchini or yellow squash respectively.
What can you make with calabacitas?
Since calabacitas is just the Spanish word for squash, you can really use it for anything that your normal squash is used for. However, Mexicans and other peoples of the southern united states, and Latin american islands, take your standard squash, and take it completely to the next level!
Most of the time, calabacitas is cut up small, and there are other vegetables, along with jalapeños added to it. If it is available, cheese is normally used to enhance flavor and texture.
But today we are going to be making a very special dish that I like better than most if not all other dishes made with calabacitas.
That would be Tacos De Calabacitas!
Tacos De Calabacitas:
This Example of tacos de calabacitas, is authentic as it gets, but with a very slightly American spin on it. The only difference is the use of some delicious sharp cheddar cheese! Rather than the use of queso fresco, or queso cotija.
With the freshest vegetables you can get your hands on, and a few extra ingredients. You can transform something very simple, into a dish that is booming with flavor.
With the use of homemade corn tortillas and some absolutely amazing salsa de chile, you have a combination of flavors, that may surprise you.
How To Make Tacos De Calabacitas:
You first step is veggie prep.
- Bell Peppers And/Or Sweet Peppers (Optional)
- Garlic (Optional)
You will be dicing each of these vegetables into 1/4 inch cubes.
Your cubes don’t have to be perfect. You will be sauteèing all of these veggies so as long as they are fairly close to the same size, they should cook evenly.
Look at these lovely babies!
On medium heat, begin sauteèing your onions, and peppers,
While you are caramelizing your onions and peppers, dice up your calabacitas.
You will dice it up in about 1/4 inch as well! Again, does not have to be perfect.
Make sure to stir your onions and peppers every so often so they don’t burn!
Cook the onions and peppers until they are nice and caramelized. Which is easy to tell because the onions will have more of a brown color to them, and they have an amazingly sweet flavor.
Then, add your calabacitas.
Add your diced calabacitas into your bubbly and caramelized onion and pepper mix.
Stir it all up and wait for it to get bubbly got again.
Calabacitas cooks fairly quickly compared to other vegetables.
Let your calabacitas simmer for around 5-10 minutes until it is fully cooked. You can tell when it is fully cooked because the calabacitas will be nice and soft.
Just look at that bubbly goodness! This is all vegetables here, but anyone who is picky and does not like vegetables will likely not even notice. The mixture is just so flavorful and when it touches your pallet, it does not give you any of those feelings to spit it out.
This meal is perfect for any time of the day. As well as highly nutritious, it is simple and delicious.
Put some cheddar or mozzarella cheese on top of it, and it takes this dish to a whole other level of delectable.
With some homemade corn tortillas and fresh salsa de chile, the flavors of this dish will absolutely explode in your mouth and will make you want to switch friday pizza night, to friday calabacitas night. Enjoy!
- 2 onions, I used Vadalia sweet but you can use white or yellow
- 3 bell peppers, you can use mini sweets as well
- 5-10 mini sweet (if you use mini sweet)
- 3 lbs of squash
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese (or more)
- Dice your onions and peppers and get them in the pan to begin caramelizing.
- Dice your calabacitas and add them once your onions and peppers are done caramelizing.
- Simmer until calabacitas are completely cooked
- Add some shredded cheese to the top of your vegetables.
This recipe is not hard nor is it specific. You can use any kind of onion you like, and kind of peppers you like, and either zucchini or yellow squash.
If you wanted to, you could use virtually any other kind of squash as well. Like blue hubbard, or other kinds of winter squash.
The main purpose of this recipe is to bring together the harmony of the onion, the pepper, and to do something with that squash which everyone has so much of and is very easy to find in the store.
You can use cheddar, mozzarella, or a mexican cheese like queso fresco, or queso cotija.
This is a versatile Mexican dish, and you willl not be disappointed with it.