Chayote with Tomato and Green Chile

Side DishMexican and Tex MexGluten-FreeVegetarian

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

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Perhaps you too have noticed an odd, pale green, oblong is-it-a-fruit is-it-a-vegetable in your market and wondered what the heck it was, or what you could make with it. Actually I’ve known the name of it for a while — chayote.

One sees chayote often in Mexican markets out here, and Whole Foods carries them. But it wasn’t until a friend thrust one into my hand with the challenge “it’s good, I’d love to see what you make with it” that I actually set out to cook one.

Chayotes, also known as “vegetable pears”, are related to zucchini, cucumber, and melons, and in a way, taste like a combination of all three.



Chayotes are a staple of Mexico and Costa Rica, are high in vitamin C, low in calories, and are a good source of fiber. They can be eaten raw, or cooked, and like zucchini, fried, baked, broiled, sautéed, steamed, or mashed.

The following recipe is based off of one from Diana Kennedy, who so often comes to the rescue when one is contemplating a Mexican ingredient.

The dish reminds me of my mother’s summer zucchini, which is sautéed with onions and tomatoes, and served with cheese melted in. Like zucchini, the mild chayote is a lovely backdrop for the more flavorful ingredients.

Do you have a favorite chayote recipe? If so, please let us know about it in the comments.

Chayote with Tomato and Green Chile Recipe

  • 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 Peel and cut the chayotes: 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.

peeled and cut chayote

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

3 Sauté onions and green chiles, add tomato and chili flakes: 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.

saute onions with green chiles and tomatoes

5 Add chayote, water, salt: 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.

saute chayote with tomatoes and onions

5 Serve: Sprinkle with grated cheese to serve.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Chayote with Tomato and Green Chile on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


Products We Love

Recipe adapted from Diana Kennedy's Chayotes Guisados con Jitomate in her classic The Art of Mexican Cooking.


How to grow chayote

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

31 Comments / Reviews

No ImageChayote with Tomato and Green Chile

Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Eve

    I made this, omitting the cilantro and chili flakes. It. Is. DELICIOUS! I’d never had chayote before and now it’s one of my favorite vegetables. Thank you for this recipe!


  • 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.

View More
Chayote with Tomato and Green ChilesChayote with Tomato and Green Chile