Loosely translated, the word calabacita means little squash in Spanish. Calabacitas is a traditional Spanish skillet meal comprised of squash, tomatoes, onion, corn, garlic and green chiles. While we were in New Mexico last month, my sister made the best calabacitas I had ever tasted. We stuffed the spicy squash into bean burritos and it was delicious that way.
Once I was home, I was inspired to try an enchilada version of her calabacitas. My non-squash loving children devoured this meal and informed me that if I kept making squash taste this good, they would keep eating it. Apparently, I completely burned them out on my favorite vegetable with our over-abundance of squash from the garden last year.
For this dish, I used three different summer squash, a yellow crookneck, a Mexican grey and an Italian zucchini. Any combination will work well for this. Simply use about 1 1/2 total lbs of squash.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 medium size summer squash 1 1/2 lbs total, sliced about 1/4" thick
- 3 - 4 ears of corn kernels removed or about 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup green chile roasted, peeled and chopped small (1 cup frozen or canned chopped green chile will work as well)
- Optional: 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans or 1 14 ounce can, drained
- 2 teaspoons Mexican spice blend taco seasoning can be substituted
- 2 cups cooked chicken diced bite-size
- 4 cups shredded cheese of your choice cheddar and Monterrey jack are my favorite combination
- 1 1/2 cups red chile sauce
- 2 cups green chile sauce
- 12 white corn tortillas each cut into 6 pie-shaped wedges
- Optional: sour cream and tortilla chips for serving
- In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the squash and the corn and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add the beans, garlic, green chile and spice blend. Stir to combine and cook another minute or so. The squash should still be fairly crisp and not at all soggy. Remove from the heat.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bottom of a 9x13 dish pour about 1 cup of green chile sauce into the bottom of the dish. Layer tortillas across the sauce and top with half of the squash mixture. Place the chicken on top of the squash and sprinkle with about a cup of cheese. Layer tortillas across the cheese and then pour red chile sauce across the tortillas. Spread with the back of a spoon to coat the tortillas if necessary.
- Repeat the squash layer over the tortillas. Sprinkle with another cup of cheese and then layer tortillas across the cheese. Pour the rest of the green chile sauce over the tortillas and then sprinkle generously with cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Let cool for at least ten minutes before slicing. Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips if desired. Enjoy!