Summer Squash Green Chile Stir Fry

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

It’s still officially summer right? Even though the days are noticeably shorter and the kids all seem to be back at school, it’s still warm enough to trigger the AC, and the markets are overflowing with ripe tomatoes, zucchini, and green chiles.

I first came up with this combination of stir-fried squash, tomatoes, and chiles years ago for a vegetarian taco filling, one of my all time favorite recipes on the site.

In this version we’ve added corn and removed the cheese, so it’s no longer a filling, but side dish that practically shouts summer garden.

Cumin and oregano are the spices that bring all the vegetables together. A dash of lime juice at the end adds a perfect acidic note to brighten up the squash.

Summer Squash Stir Fry

The trick to doing this recipe right is to not overcook the squash. Zucchini especially holds a lot of moisture. There is this short window of time after the squash is browned and barely cooked, and so cooked that it is weeping water and transforming into mush.

You need cook the squash at high enough heat so that you brown the squash quickly, and then continue to cook the squash only a minute or two once you’ve added the tomatoes and corn.

Bonus points for being paleo, vegan, and gluten-free! (And, you make it all in one skillet.)

Summer Squash Green Chile Stir Fry Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped red onion
  • 1 large green chile (Anaheim, Hatch, or Poblano), seeded and chopped
  • 1 large pinch ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini and/or yellow summer squash (about 12 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn (fire roasted frozen corn works great)
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 large pinch dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of half a lime

Method

1 Sauté onions, green chiles, garlic, cumin in olive oil: Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a large, relatively stick-free skillet (recommend cast iron or hard anodized aluminum).

Add onions and chiles and sauté until softened and slightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and cumin, and cook a minute more.

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2 Add zucchini and summer squash: Add the zucchini and summer squash. Continue to cook on medium high heat for another 3 to 4 minutes.

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3 Add corn, tomatoes, oregano, salt: Once the squash has begun to cook and the pieces no longer have that raw look to them, add the corn and the tomatoes.

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Note you don't want to over-cook the squash. If you do, it will start releasing a lot of water and become mushy. So you want to add the corn and tomatoes while squash is still firm, but just barely cooked.

Sprinkle with oregano and salt. Cook for another minute or two.

Serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro and lime.

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4 Comments

  1. Nancy Johnson

    Just what my garden was waiting for…a yummy way to use late summer veggies!
    Could I use a giant patty pan squash (6-1/2″ in diameter by 5″ tall) in place of the summer squash? The skin is obviously thicker. Love your blog!

  2. Liam

    that looks awesome

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