A Simple Squash Dish

If you own a squash plant, then you know you don’t simply have squash–you have it coming out of your EARS!!!

When I was a kid, Momma would experiment with as many recipes as possible so as to use up the constant bounty on our counter top.  Squash bread, squash cookies, boiled squash, pickled squash, stuffed squash–we ate a lot of squash in a lot of different ways!  My favorite form of squash was a dish that Momma called, “Calabacitas” which is a Mexican squash dish traditionally prepared with corn, onions, tomato and cheese.  I actually prefer my Calabacitas without corn and only a little cheese.  I also prefer to steam the squash instead of boil it.

Mmm!  Cheese, sauteed onions, tomatoes, summer squash: this dish delivers just enough “bad” to balance all the good.  Serve a spoonful of this alongside your favorite grilled meat and you’ve got the perfect summer dinner!


Even though it is ideal to use the light green Mexican variety for this dish, zucchini and summer squash work just as well.  I use whatever I happen to have on hand.

Fill a deep pot with a couple inches of water.  Set your steamer basket down inside the pot and put the lid on.  Bring water to a boil.

Meanwhile, chop your veggies!

Slice squash 1/4-1/2″ thin.  Set aside.

Thinly slice half a medium onion length-wise.

“Gut” the seeds and pulp from one medium tomato and slice length-wise.

By now, your water should be boiling.

Add your squash and cover the pot.  Reduce heat to medium.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute about 4 minutes or until lightly cooked.

Add the tomatoes.

Sprinkle in a SMALL amount of salt, stir and turn off heat.  (No more than 1/2 teaspoon of salt or your dish will be too salty!  Remember, we’re adding cheese at the end.)

By now your squash should be at or close to fork tender.  If so, add it to the onions and squash.  If the squash is still too firm, cover and steam for another minute or two.

Lightly toss the veggies together until well incorporated.  Add a sprinkle of pepper.

Transfer to a dish and top with grated Monterrey Jack cheese.

Or not.

You decide.

Calabacitas Recipe

Serves 2-4

*1 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oi

*2 medium yellow squash, sliced 1/4-1/2 inches thin

*1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced length-wise

*1 medium tomato, seeded and sliced length-wise

*1/2 t salt


*1/4-1/2 cup shredded Monterrrey Jack cheese

Steam squash in a pot fitted with a steamer basket over medium heat until fork tender.

In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute until glossy, about 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, season with pepper and toss until well combined. Turn off heat.

Add squash and toss until well combined.  Top with cheese.


2 thoughts on “A Simple Squash Dish

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