Chayote with Tomato and Green Chile

Julienned chayotes cooked with roasted tomatoes, onions, green chiles and cilantro.

  • Yield: Serves 4.



  • 1 pound chayotes
  • 6 ounces of roasted tomatoes (can use canned fire roasted tomatoes, or roast whole tomatoes on stovetop or under broiler until skin begins to blacken, do not remove skin but process whole)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 large green Anaheim chile (stem and seeds removed and discarded), chopped
  • Pinch red chile pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Monterey Jack cheese


1 The peel is tough and inedible when cooked, so peel the chayotes completely. (This may take a little doing, as the folds in the chayotes can make it difficult.) Cut the chayotes into 1/4-inch wide, 2 inch long julienned strips, including the core.

2 Purée the roasted tomatoes and the garlic in a blender, set aside.

chayote-tom-chile-3.jpg chayote-tom-chile-4.jpg

3 Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and green chiles. Cook on medium heat until just soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato mixture, red chile flakes, and continue to cook 3 minutes more. Add the chayote, water, and salt to taste. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Add the chopped cilantro and cook for 5 minutes more. The chayote should be just tender, moist but not watery.

4 Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve.

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  • Angie

    My fiance’ calls this Filipino comfort food:
    6 Chayote- peeled and diced into bite size chunks (i peel with a carrot scraper and then cut the chayote in half at the split and then scoop out the core and then cut into chunks)
    6 cups chicken stock- you can use low sodium
    2 pounds ground beef/turkey/pork
    garlic powder
    onion powder
    red pepper

    Brown your ground beef/ground turkey/pork (drain your meat)
    season meat with garlic powder, onion powder, a sprinkle of red pepper flake or to your taste
    add chicken stock and chayote and bring to a boil, boil for around 20 minutes or until Chayote is tender

    Serve over rice
    This is quick, easy, and delicious!!!!!!!

  • Vijay

    Chayote – lentil mix (Kootu)


    Chayote – 1 medium size chopped
    Yellow Split Moong Dal – 1/2 cup
    Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
    Water – 2 – 2.5 cups

    Take the following items and grind them:
    Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
    Tomato – 1
    Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
    Dry Red Chillies – 3
    Rice flour – 1 tsp

    Coconut Oil – 1 tblspn
    Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
    Coriander leaves – 4-6
    Curry leaves a sprig
    Cumins – as reqd.

    Peel the chayote. Make sure to remove the skin and seed entirely.
    Dice them into medium sized cubes (20-25 cubes per chayote).
    Take the diced chayote, dal, turmeric powder and salt in a pressure cooker.
    Add in 2 cups of water (Water should look at least twice as much as the contents that we are trying to cook).
    Cover and pressure cook for 3 whistle. Switch off the heat and let them steam escape all by itself.

    Side-by-side, take the ingredients marked for grinding and grind them in a blender until it becomes a paste / puree.

    Open the cooker and add the paste. Mix well and simmer for 5 to 10 mins.
    To prepare seasoning:
    Heat 2-3 tbspn of oil in a pan.
    Add mustards and wait till it cracks.
    Add other seasoning ingredients as well.

    Pour this over the curry and mix well.

    It will taste good with rice. Can also be used as side-dish to roti / dosa.

  • Reina West

    I was introduced to chayote a few years ago by a friend from Laos. her mother cooked a fabulous dish that consisted of pork, chayote, garlic, ginger, soy and a ton of fish sauce. Tasted great with a side of jasmine rice. A couple years later, my neighbor decided to throw some in the yard and whaddaya know, we had a whole garden of them! Mind you, they cost about a dollar a piece so I decided to pick then and think of everything I can do with it. for starters, my sister took some home and made kimchi. BOMB!!! I decided to experiment a little and came up with a nice little recipe. Simple soup with chicken, prepared chayote, garlic, ginger and whole parsley chopped up. Let it simmer for a minute and holy lord, it’s a simple heartwarming soup! I’ve also thrown it in some curry, salad, and again! Mostly stirfrys. Downside…. They are a bitch to cut and peel them. I’ve been stabbed a couple of times at the attempt. Little slimy so you may want to peal then under running water and MAKE sure you remove the seed in the middle. It reminds me of matted hair an not tasty either. Enjoy it because it is a hidden fruit!!

  • Tess

    My grandmother used to make a pie with them (we call them mirlitons here). It was mildly sweet and had a texture like a firm cheesecake. I believe it was made with Bisquick? Delicious.

  • Yadiel

    Here in Puerto Rico we sometimes cut them in half and boil them or bake them, and then we stuff them with ground beef and cheese, churrasco (skirt steak) or maybe sautéed vegetables and call it “canoe”. We also do that with all types of squashes and sweet plantains.

  • defessa

    Since this is in the low-carb section of your recipes, I’ll share my favorite low-carb way of cooking Chayote.

    Peel and dice, boil in a sugar-free spiced apple cider until mostly tender.

    Makes for a great apple substitute for diabetic or low-carb eating.

  • karla

    Mmmmmm! Love chayote! I’m Guatemalan and we call them huisquil (wees-kill). To peel them, I cut them in half along the main fold, and the peel the halves with a peeler. Our chayotes have thorns, so we usually wear gloves to peel them. If you find the dark green, thorny ones, you can cook them whole, cut them in half, scoop out the meat, mash it, and mix it with brown sugar, cinammon, eggs, raisins and graham cracker crumbs. Fill the shells and bake them at 350 until they are brown on top. Yummmm!

    By the way, that milky substance they sometimes have when you peel them is great on recent scars, they help heal and fade them faster. (Old indian remedy).

  • TexasT

    Your recipe is very similar to mine, except that I use no chiles, no cilantro, and no cheese. I’ll have to try it your way now.

    We never peel them raw. First, we boil them, and then we peel them — much easier! Oh, and the cook gets the seed, which is the best part (that is, provided nobody else knows this; otherwise, you’re putting your life on the line!). The seed also has to be “peeled” at times, since the outer covering can be tough on older chayotes.

    But my absolute favorite way of fixing chayotes is as follows:

    Boil them whole and unpeeled, then cut them in half following the seam. Scoop out all the flesh onto a bowl, being careful not to break the skin. Mash the flesh with a potato masher, add a bit of butter, a little brown sugar, some cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and some raisins. Mix well, and let it sit until the raisins soften (or you can plump them ahead of time with any liquid, including diluted rum or bourbon). Fill the shells with the mixture. Mix some plain breadcrumbs with some butter and sprinkle on top of the filled shells. Put under the broiler until the topping browns slightly, being careful that it doesn’t burn. Serve.

    These are absolutely yummy and a wonderful substitute for candied yams or baked cinnamon squash.

    What a great way to use chayote! Thank you for sharing. ~Elise

  • Mikki

    Like one reader mentioned, it is a common Southern Indian Vegetable. One trick my mother- in-law taught me, to get rid of the sticky goo that adheres when you try to peel and chop, is, cutting it lenghtwise along the flat side and rubbing the two pieces together gently in a circular motion. You can see the goo come off, rinse thoroughly and then peel. Very similar to how you would remove the bitter/milky goo from cucumber tips.

  • Janine

    I love veggies and this was a new one. Yet, when my hungry Mexican boyfriend saw me in the kitchen peeling them, he said that we would never eat that night. He was close. It took over 1.5 hours to get them soft cooked. I saw no other complaints about that, which makes me wonder. Maybe I should have boiled them in water first and then transfer to the tomatoe sauce. My BF also said that his mom left the peel on – it can be eaten with it.

    If chayotes are very young and tender, you can eat the peel, otherwise they are way too tough. Truly inedible. ~Elise

  • Elisa

    These are SO common in Brazil, they grow anywhere. The skin gets tough and prickly as they get older, if you pick them small you don’t have to peel at all. In Brazil we usually eat them as a salad (cooked, cooled, tossed with vinagrette) or sauteed, but there are really no limits since it’s so abundant (gratin, souffle, dumplings, even as a sweet compote!)

  • Elana

    I have seen the chayote many times at the grocery store, but never knew how to use it. This recipe was great and I really enjoyed cooking with a new vegetable (or is it a fruit?). Thanks for sharing. I look forward to finding more recipes for the chayote and using this one again.

  • Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    me again… several people complain about peeling the chayote. Yes it is a pain, and some cultivars have a substance (milky) that’s quite them on the hand. We always cooked them first – at least partially by boiling or steaming them whole. THEN it’s easy to peel.


  • Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    Chayotes are good in gratin – boil the whole fruit until tender. Peel, slice (eat the seed, it’s the best part!), put in buttered dish and cover with a bechamel sauce. Top with fine bread crumbs and a little cheese if you want. Bake. You can add shrimp or pieces of ham.

    The young shoots are edible. In my Virginia garden, it’s too cold in the winter for the vine to perennialize, so I plant new every year. The young shoots are great stir-fried/braised with a little garlic and ginger.

    The roots are also edible. But the vines need to be several years old to form a tuber big enough to eat. So, not in my garden!


  • melikefood

    In the islands-Caribbean-we call chayotes Christophene. Thay most usually eaten raw with the peel–like crudites. When they are cooked, we eat them like mashed potatoes.

  • K

    I ate a lot of chayote in Nicaragua (Peace Corps service). It is very popular as an addition to soup and they mash it as well. I love it and highly recommend it as a replacement for potatoes in soups.

  • Tracy

    Oh a tip on peeling: we used to cut into wedges along the folds, and then peel the wedges. They are very hard to peel whilst whole.

  • Tracy

    These are called a ‘choko’ in Australia. My mum used to steam them, and then serve with butter and pepper, or chop them up and use in all sorts of tomato dishes. They are quite bland, and take up other flavours well.

  • sandy

    I recently rediscovered butternut squash for Thanksgiving, thanks to Elise’s recipe (delicious, btw!) and another recipe I found for butternut squash gnocchi. My main complaint is that peeling is tedious, and when my gnocchi turned out so dense that I turned them into dog treats (my friend says this is how an italian woman he dated makes gnocchi but I don’t buy it), I couldn’t bring myself to peel another butternut squash. You may chuckle, but I am ADD, and anything tedious or boring is most difficult for an ADD person to stick with. It’s excruciating! This chayote recipe sounds absolutely tantalizing, but unless someone has some hints on how to ease the peeling process, the idea of peeling that thing looks even more unappealing than peeling the butternut squash.

    What makes peeling a dream is a sharp peeler. Most peelers you buy in the store these days are made with stainless steel which gets dull quickly. The best peelers are made with carbon steel, which stain over time, but maintain their sharp edge. You can pick one up cheaply at That said, I find that chayotes are easier to peel than butternut squash, more like peeling a zucchini. ~Elise

  • Jean Prescott

    In New Orleans and environs, this green beauty if called mirliton (say it Merle-i-tawnh). Our holiday table wasn’t complete without Shrimp Stuffed Mirliton, a dish made either as a casserole or actually stuffed back into the mirliton skin. For starters, Mama simmered them whole until soft, split them and scooped out the innards (toss away the soft white seed). She then made a standard seafood stuffing of celery/onion/scallions/garlic sauteed in what seemed copious amounts of unsalted butter, added the shrimp (each one cut into 3 pieces), plenty of Creole seasoning and salt, and toward the end, a minimal amount of French bread crumbs, barely enough to sop up the remaining butter and juices. Stuffing went into the shells or a casserole dish, a few buttered crumbs on top and then into a 350 oven for about 25 minutes for the casserole, less for the stuffed skins. Sublimely delicious.

  • Bill Koonce

    As a follow-up to my prior entry, the following is an explanation by Chef John Folse of the genesis of Chayote/mirliton to South Louisiana cooking.

    “Mirliton, which originated in Mexico, is known by many Americans as “chayote squash” or “vegetable pear” and by the French as “christophene.” The vegetable was brought to Bayou Country by the Canary Islanders, called “Los Isleños,” who relocated to Louisiana when Spain took ownership of New Orleans from France. This South Louisiana delicacy is wonderful when stuffed with shrimp and crabmeat.”

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    A friend from Puerto Rico introduced me to chayote and taught me this recipe for Albornia de chayote, which is a kind of scrambled egg dish. I’ve also made it into a salad, with red onion and a wine vinegar dressing. Surprisingly, chayote is easy to find in supermarkets here in Rhode Island.

  • Bill Koonce

    In South Louisiana, where I come from (New Orleans), the chayote is called a mirliton, and is stuffed with crab meat, small shrimp, or a combination of ground meats (beef and/or pork) along with breadcrumbs, onions, celery, and green peppers (Cajun cooking’s holy trinity), It is frequently baked in a tomato gravy. Stuffed Mirlitons are a staple at South Louisiana tables. A Google search of “stuffed mirliton” will give you several recipes from Chef John Folse using crab, shrimp, and/or ground pork that are outstanding. (John Folse is one of Louisiana’s outstanding chefs.)

    Bill Koonce
    League City, TX

  • Weezie

    So, down here in Louisiana, we refer to a chayote as a mirliton (pronounced MEL-lee-tawn or MER-lee-tawn). They grow prolifically in our climate, and at the holidays, they most always show up as Stuffed Mirlitons. Since our shrimp season coincides with mirlitons, that’s what’s used most often.

    Stuffed Mirlitons
    4 good-sized mirlitons, cut in half lengthwise
    1 tablespoon butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
    1/2 pound shrimp, chopped
    1/2 pound smoked ham, chopped
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
    1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
    1 large pinch each oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper and freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup evaporated milk
    1/2 cup green onions (scallions), chopped
    1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped fine
    About 1 cup bread crumbs
    1 cup shrimp stock or water

    In a large pot, boil the mirlitons in water to cover for 1/2 hour, or until soft. Drain the water and set them aside to cool. While they’re cooling, heat your oven to 350°F and grease a square baking dish with butter.
    When the mirlitons have cooled, scoop out the seeds carefully and discard them. Then scoop out the mirliton flesh, leaving about 1/4″ all around. Chop the mirliton and put it in a bowl, setting the mirliton shells aside.

    Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp, ham, garlic and seasonings. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mirliton, milk, onion, green onion, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring well. Remove the skillet from the heat and spoon the mixture into the mirliton shells. Top each of the filled shells with about 1 tablespoon of the bread crumbs.

    Put the mirlitons in the baking dish and carefully pour the stock into the dish around them.

    Bake, uncovered for 1/2 an hour. Eat and enjoy.

  • Alanna @ A Veggie Venture

    This looks great, Elise, spicing up a mild-flavored vegetable. Perhaps it depends on the variety or chayote (or the freshness or even taste) but when I did a quick Braised Chayote Squash, it wasn’t necessary to remove the skins. In fact, I thought they were good raw, too, like celery or carrots.

  • JoJo

    My mother uses chayotes instead of winter melon in her version of Chinese winter melon soup. Chicken, dried scallops, shitake mushrooms and chayotes. Strangely enough, she was introduced to chayotes in Australia, where they kind of grow wild in my aunt’s backyard.

  • Garrett

    A note to anyone using chayotes. Peel every bit of skin off of them. They do not cook down and are like shrimp shells, plastic-like and indigestible.

    Other than that, a very tasty dish!