Summer Squash Green Chile Stir Fry

Side DishGluten-FreePaleoVegan

Quick and easy summer squash green chile stir fry side dish. Paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and all made in 1 pot!

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.

Our Favorite Videos

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

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


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin 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


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.

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.

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.

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.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

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

11 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSummer Squash Green Chile Stir Fry

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. marla

    This was SO good! The lime really makes it!


    Show Replies (1)
  2. David

    This is called “Calibacitas” in New Mexico. Mother started feeding it to her 8 kids 75 years ago…!

  3. Felicity

    Looks good. Similar to a traditional Mexican dish called Calabacitas. Grew up eating this a least once a week. My favorite.

  4. Sam

    I grow not only the squash, onions, green chili’s, and tomatoes, I also grow the garlic and oregano.
    This recipe was a true treat from my garden. It is one of the best vegetable dishes I have ever eaten. Thank you Elise for sharing this great recipe.

  5. Mary

    I didnt have a poblano pepper but substituted with a yellow peoper still was delish!! Its a keeper!!


View More
Summer Squash Stir FrySummer Squash Green Chile Stir Fry