Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles

Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles

Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles

Grilled Yellow Squash, Roasted Hatch New Mexico Chiles
White Corn, Onion, Oregano, Cumin

Growers say that the intense sunlight and cool nights in this valley result in a uniquely flavored chile. They have been roasting up a storm in Hatch, New Mexico. And we are fortunate that our local Bristol Farms carries this fresh crop of Hatch chiles. Unlike other chiles, those grown in Hatch, New Mexico are only available for about 6 weeks each year during the months of August and September, and only as long as the fresh chile supply holds out.

My adaptation of the traditional New Mexico side dish calabacitas comes from my favorite New Mexico blogger, MJ of MJ’s Kitchen. Her Southern and Southwestern dishes are second to none and she is an expert on chiles!

Since we are sadly at the tail end of the Hatch season this year you’ve got to hurry to make calabacitas with fresh Hatch chiles. Luckily Anaheim, New Mexico, poblano chiles or even frozen Hatch chiles can be substituted in this recipe. But try remember to look for Hatch chiles next growing season, their flavor is really extraordinary…

Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles

Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles Recipe

In her recipe, MJ sautées the squash – but since it has been super hot here in Los Angeles – we are grilling every chance we get. So I tossed the squash medallions in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper then took them out to the backyard and grilled them with a slight char. Then let them cool to room temperature in a single layer on a large platter.

Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles

  • 6 or 7 yellow squash
  • olive oil
  • 5 Hatch chiles
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 lb. white corn kernels
  • 2 t. dried mexican oregano
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • salt and pepper

Hatch Chiles

Hatch chiles range from mild to very hot. For this dish I used a combination of  chiles: Mild — Big Jim variety  and Hot — Sandia 88 variety.

Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles

Roast chiles over high heat until the skins are charred. Place charred chiles in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. After the steam has helped loosen the skin and the chiles are no longer too hot to handle, peel off the charred skins. Remove the seeds and stems then dice.

Meanwhile sauté onion in olive oil in a large skillet. When softened, add corn and cook through. Finally, add the chiles, oregano, cumin and cook for a couple more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles

In a serving dish of your choice, layer the grilled squash with the corn-chile mixture. I use my jaunty orange Le Creuset (unbreakable) cast iron skillet to transport my calabacitas to the beach for a picnic.

Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles
Calabacitas makes a fabulous addition to any picnic buffet. It can be served at room temperature and travels well. And it’s easy to make a big batch for a crowd. Try it with grilled chicken and ribs like we did.

Looking for another great picnic dish made with yellow squash or hatch chiles?

Vegetable Casserole with Fresh Herbs, Lemons and Dry-Cured Black Olives

Vegetable Casserole with Fresh Herbs, Lemons and Dry-Cured Black Olives

Potato, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomato
Lemon, Onion, Garlic, Parmesan, Dry-Cured Black Olives
Thyme, Oregano, Basil

(recipe here)

Pork Chops Rubbed with Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Dry Mustard Over Fresh Corn & Fire-Roasted Hatch Chile Pickled Okra Garnish

Pork Chops Rubbed with Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Dry Mustard

Over Fresh Corn & Fire-Roasted Hatch Chile
Pickled Okra Garnish

(recipe here)

Update: A new recipe is now posted!

Milanesa de Cerdo con Calabacitas


Pork Chops Milanese-Style with Zucchini Corn Hatch Chile Medley
Salsa Roja, Mexican Crema, Cotija Cheese, Cilantro

(recipe here)

17 thoughts on “Calabacitas with Hatch Chiles”

  1. As always, great photos! I too will be sorry to see the Hatch chiles go, but perhaps that is part of their wonder – the extreme seasonality. It makes food so much more interesting and enticing when we can only get it while the getting is good. I remember when pears were a winter fruit, and peaches were a summer fruit. Now they are in the markets all year long. I miss the old days!

    This dish sounds great – I’ve got to try it! Thanks!

  2. Oh, how divine everything looks! The orange Le Crueset makes teh white/yellow/green pop! I’m praying there are a few Hatch chiles at my market tomorrow! What a perfect late summer beach recipe! Even though I don’t have a beach, I still want to make it. Thanks.

  3. I spent some time in Hatch NM. Interesting fact: Hatch is not a variety of chile is (Hatch are Colorado chilies picked green). But like good grapes in wine, it is the special terroir of the valley that make these chilies special. Being a wine lover I thought you’d like that story. GREG

  4. Hatch chilies are new to me, despite of the huge variety of chiles we have here.
    Your pictures are extraordinary and I love the one with the beautiful bougainvillea in the background and the gorgeous roasted chilies.

    1. Thanks Daniela – we have a “wall” of bougainvillea across the back yard. It is so pretty… the dish will work with all sorts of chiles, but we love Hatch!

  5. What a lovely day you all had! Your calabacitas look fabulous and I love that you grilled the squash. I can’t wait to try that myself. Thanks for the very nice comments! You’re a sweetheart! Lovely, lovely photos as always!

  6. Thank you for posting about Hatch Green Chile! We would love to send you a free box of our Hatch Green Chile to say thank you. If you’re interested, please send me an email.

  7. Interesting to see this recipe for Calabacitas. I’ve been making this dish for decades since I lived in NM in my 20s. I was given a slightly different recipe, though, by a young woman with a Pueblo heritage. Her version included tomatoes and cheese. Over the years, I’ve found that adding cherry tomatoes or paste tomatoes cut in half work the best to avoid excess tomato liquid. Shredded sharp cheddar or Colby is added at the end and heated only enough to melt. We have always served this as a meatless meal with big flour tortillas. Very yummy!

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