Easy Calabacitas (“Little Squashes”) with Potatoes and Corn

Sneak Preview: Easy Calabacitas (aka “little squashes”) are packed with pan-fried green and yellow summer squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and corn on the cob. This recipe makes a colorful and tasty side dish. Add shredded cheese and make a colorful and enticing soft taco.

calabacitas with potatoes served as a side dish with spoon on the side.Pin

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

When do you crave real food? For me, it’s when I’ve been on vacation for a while. After several days of fast food, I will crave something fresh from a garden.

Bring on the vegetables! Salad! Color! Anything but fried food and sandwiches, right?

When I see yellow squash, zucchini, and sweet corn in the store, I start salivating for “calabacitas.” That’s Spanish for “little squash.”But it can also refer to a traditional dish from Mexico made with little squash, corn, and other vegetables. That’s the way I’m using it with this recipe.

Three Reasons Why You Will Enjoy This Recipe

  1. Although these gorgeous colors and fresh flavors used to be summer staples, seasonality no longer seems to matter.
  2. Feel free to play fast and loose with the traditional ingredients and seasoning. I do not think most people put potatoes in their “calabacitas,” but I love the texture.
  3. If you are a creative cook, this recipe is for you. Have you got a few mushrooms in the produce drawer? Could you add them to the potatoes? Don’t like spicy? Please feel free to leave out the green chilies. Like garlic? Go ahead. You get the idea.

Happy Cooks Speak Up

“Delicious as written! We used the last of our garden veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, potato, tomato and garlic, along with herbs listed) as a season finale!”- PJ

📌Kitchen secret📌 for Cutting Fresh Corn off the Cob in Chunks

Do you want to know how to get the corn off the cob in little chunks? After you have cooked it, drop the whole cob into ice water for a few minutes. The corn will fall off in beautiful little chunks if you don’t get in a hurry while slicing.


making soft tacos with calabacitas.Pin

We love to use this veggie mixture as a filling for soft tacos, particularly with leftovers. Add your choice of cheese (cotija cheese, Cheddar cheese, or Monterrey Jack cheese) to a soft flour tortilla and the warm veggies. See the video for more details.

How To Make Easy Calabacitas

kernals cut from corn on the cob on a paper plate.Pin
Wrap corn ears in plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 4-5 minutes. Pull the husks off. Plunge cooked ears into cold water for a couple of minutes.
potatoes and onions in a frying pan.Pin
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high. Add one tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil. Add diced potatoes. Stir occasionally to brown all sides. Cover and cook until just tender. Add onion and saute until soft but not brown.
yellow summer squash and zucchini on a chopping board.Pin
Slice squash in quarters longways. Slice quarters crossways 3/4-1 inch thick. Add to skillet along with garlic, cover, and cook until slightly soft, stirring occasionally.
green chiles in a mesuring cup next to the can they came out of.Pin
Add tomatoes and green chiles (or poblano peppers), cover, and cook for 1 more minute. Season with salt, pepper, and your choice of the other spices listed in the recipe. (Optional: If I have fresh okra, I love to add it to this mixture.)
cooking veggie mixture. in a skillet.Pin
Cut the fresh corn kernels off of the cob (see my kitchen secret above) and carefully stir into the veggie mixture before serving.

Parting thoughts: When I have these veggies waiting in the fridge, it makes me wish the clock hands would hurry up and move to 12:00 noon so I can eat. Other vegetable side dishes you might like include Broccoli Rice Casserole with No Soup, Green Chili and Yellow Squash Dressing made with Leftover Cornbread, and How To Make Espinaca.

p.s. This recipe is gluten-free.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

calabacitas with potatoes served as a side dish with spoon on the side.Pin
Yield: 6 servings

Easy Calabacitas (“Little Squashes”) Recipe with Potatoes and Corn

Fresh Calabacitas contain yellow squash, zucchini, onions, corn, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. Makes a great side dish or soft taco filling.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 3 votes


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes


  • 3 ears (390 g) fresh corn husks and silks removed
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) vegetable oil
  • 2 medium (300 g) potatoes, diced (peeling optional)
  • ½ cup (26 g) chopped onion, fresh or frozen
  • 3 medium (588 g) yellow or zucchini squash, diced diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced minced
  • 2 (124 g) small Roma tomatoes, diced diced
  • ¼ cup (37 g) green chiles, chopped canned or fresh roasted
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, dried OR 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, basil. or oregano chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • Wrap 3 ears (390 g) fresh corn in plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes. After removing the husks, plunge cooked ears into cold water for a few minutes. Meanwhile, proceed to step two.
  • Preheat a large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon (14 g) vegetable oil. Add 2 medium (300 g) potatoes, diced . Stir occasionally to brown all sides. Cover and cook until just tender. Add ½ cup (26 g) chopped onion, fresh or frozen and saute until soft but not brown.
  • Slice 3 medium (588 g) yellow or zucchini squash, diced in quarters longways. Slice quarters crossways 3/4-1 inch thick. Add to skillet along with 1-2 garlic cloves, minced, cover, and cook until slightly soft, stirring occasionally. Add 2 (124 g) small Roma tomatoes, diced and ¼ cup (37 g) green chiles, chopped, cover, and cook one more minute—season with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, and your choice of spices.
  • Slice corn off the cob, trying to preserve large chunks. Very gently stir into other vegetables in a skillet. Remove from heat and serve.


  1. Watching your carbs? Leave the potatoes out or replace them with mushrooms.
  2. I love the look of chunks of corn so it’s worth it to me to use fresh, but frozen corn can be used instead.
  3. Sometimes I add about 1 cup of fresh or frozen sliced okra along with the squash. Changes the character a bit, but it’s oh so delicious!


Serving: 1 | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 423mg | Potassium: 752mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

5-Star Ratings Are My Favorite!Help others find this recipe in search results on the web.
My Amazon Store

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating



    I don’t like cooking in plastic . I’ve learned to leave the husk and silk in place, microwave whole corn husk and all for about about 4 to 6 minutes. I usually do 2 at a time.

    then cut corn above stalk and squeeze the corn cob out. it comes out beautiful. no silk. all clean never touched by anyone. hot and ready to eat or to now use in this awesome recipe.

    1. Hi Lorraine,

      I’m glad you left this comment. I do my fresh corn the same way and wrote about it in this post about wearing surgical gloves in the kitchen. Gloves make it so much easier to handle the corn when it’s hot.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious as written! We used the last of our garden veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, potato, tomato and garlic, along with herbs listed) as a season finale!

    1. Hi PJ,
      So glad you enjoy this simple recipe. I agree. What a great season finale!

  3. This looks yummy, Paula. This is one of adaptable recipes I really enjoy. Thanks for sharing. By the way, I made the pork tenderloin for Valentine’s day. We loved it, but I think I overdid it on the raspberry chipotle sauce. I got a bit of indigestion, but I have reflux occasionally, and I think I just ate too much. It was so good, and my husband thought so, too. I may use a different glaze next time, or even leave the glaze off entirely. We are not Texans, so maybe we are just wimps! LOL I will definitely be making it again.

    1. Hi Becky,
      Sorry about the indigestion. Chipotle is pretty powerful. 🙂 I recently picked up some blueberry chipotle sauce. Can’t wait to try it.

      p.s. I used to be a wimp when I first got to Texas. Got over it pretty quickly although I still can’t go as spicy as some native Texans.

  4. Melody Weldon says:

    i made this tonight and absolutely loved it. Thank you for an amazing recipe.

  5. I don’t particularly like vegetables, but I love this recipe. I made it again last night with the first of my homegrown squash and it was terrific. I can’t wait to have homegrown tomatoes to add in. I cut the amount of potatoes in half and add mushrooms. I am going to make wraps for lunch this week. Thank you for posting it.

  6. Today's Healthy Recipes says:

    I made this yesterday; it was mouth watering delicious. Thank you for posting it.

  7. Tried this recipe and absolutely loved it. It is delicious hot, room temperature, freshly made, and left over. I could actually eat the whole thing at one sitting. The chilies seem to make a sort of sauce. This is my newest favorite dish. I made it for the third time tonight and plan to have it for breakfast in the morning. May try it with the tortilla shell for breakfast.

  8. Yourstufffree says:

    we find simple pleasure in bowls of green chile mashed potatoes with cheese and calabacitas.

  9. I love your blog and recipe selections – there are so many things I’ve never heard of before! What a treat – and that opening photo is magazine quality – truly! We are so late with everything up here (plant/veggie-wise)…. hurry up squash!!! I want to try this one!

  10. offers King says:

    I make this all the time but I’ve never heard of calabacitas with half and half or any kind of milk.

  11. A very tasty way to eat veggies.

  12. UrMomCooks says:

    We are overtaken with squash and chilies in Texas right now, so this is a perfect recipe! Luv the addition of potatoes… Would not have thought of that!
    My daughters and I luv your blog! Please check us out – you made the list of 15 bloggers we just found and want to recommend!
    Thanx for a great blog!

  13. RSA Online says:

    Mmmm that looks good 🙂 so bright and delicious!

  14. All of my favorite veggies in a tortilla what could be better! Photos are lovely great post.

  15. This looks so very good! It is amazing to me that I ever choose less healthy foods when vegetables and natural foods are so vibrant and colorful. I am going to have fun playing with this recipe to find my favorite combinations.

  16. I’ve never heard of calabacitas, but they look delicious. I’d love to try these.

  17. I love calabacitas! I’d never really been able to replicate my grandmother’s recipe until I realized she added a splash of crema or heavy cream right before serving them! That was her secret ingredient. I like your idea of adding potatoes to the mix. xogabriela

    1. Oh yes, I had forgotten that the original recipe I started with years ago called for a couple of tablespoons of milk. Fell out of the habit. Cream would be even better. Taking note.

  18. TheKitchenWitch says:

    It’s 6:20 in the morning, and I’m drooling over your veggie taco. I have got to try this!

  19. This photo is absolutely beautiful!!! I can almost reach into my computer screen and have a taste. I have never heard of calabacitas and neither has my spell check. Tee hee! Can’t wait to try this one. The flavors will be so great together and I love the idea of making it a meal of a veggie taco. You are sooooooo creative. Keep it coming Romaine. I really enjoy your site. Oh by the way, I love your new picture.