Lemons and Basil

New Mexico Green Chile Calabacitas + Albuquerque Trip

My family lived in New Mexico from the time I was just over a year old until I was ten when we moved to Murfreesboro, a suburb outside of Nashville, Tennessee. I grew up eating lots of Mexican inspired dishes – fajitas, tacos, quesadillas, taco salad, bean burritos, etc. Even once we moved to the South, my mom never cooked much of the typical Southern foods. While I still love nearly all Mexican inspired foods, these New Mexico Green Chile Calabacitas are most definitely a favorite!

It’s such an easy dish to whip up, while loaded with nutritious ingredients and Mexican-inspired flavor! You start by cooking a little onion and garlic in coconut oil, then toss in your zucchini and yellow squash, cook until tender, then add whole kernel corn and green chile, before topping with a plethora of mild cheddar cheese. You can keep the spiciness mild or turn up the heat by adding fire roasted green chile, the choice is yours! Mom always liked to buy Hatch Green Chile since it is made right there in New Mexico.

Check out these other Healthy Mexican inspired recipes!

My sister and I grew up going to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta with my parents when we were little. We’ve got photos and memories of us getting up before dawn, layering up, and huddling beneath blankets while waiting for the sun to come up and the balloons to start inflating. We’d always go on the days with the specialty shapes, a dog, cow, stagecoach, bumble bees, monkey, cactus, scarecrow, frog, and the list goes on. It’s amazing as a kid, but perhaps even more so as an adult.

The Fiesta takes places every year in October, which is also my mom’s birthday month. We had all hoped to go last year, in her honor, but couldn’t make the trip work. Thankfully, even with a 4 week old, we were all able to book and make the trip work with everyone’s schedules. My sister’s family drove down and stayed the full week, traveling to all the surrounding areas, while my dad and my grandma {his mom} drove down separately and stayed with life-long friends who have been like family to my parents through the years. Our little family of four flew down Tuesday and back Saturday. Driving 18-20 hours with a toddler and newborn was a bit more than we were willing to adventure at this point. 😅

Aside from going to the Balloon Fiesta, we drove by our old house, went up the Sandia Peak Tramway to the Crest, which is the longest tram in the US, shopped in the Old Town area and met up with several long-time family friends.

I won’t pretend traveling across the country with a two-year old and newborn wasn’t without its challenges, but it was definitely worth it, and so special to all be there together.

New Mexico Green Chile Calabacitas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
New Mexico inspired Green Chile Calabacitas, a delightful side dish made of zucchini, squash, and corn smoldering in cheese with a bit of green chile!
Recipe type: side dish
Serves: 6
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • 2 medium yellow squash, sliced and quartered
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can diced green chile {mild, medium or fire roasted}
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. Heat large lidded skillet over medium low heat, add coconut oil, minced garlic and sliced onions and cook 3-5 minutes or until garlic is golden brown and onions are translucent, stirring frequently.
  2. Add prepared zucchini and squash and stir to combine, cover with lid and cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the zucchini and squash are cooked, stir in corn, green chile, salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes or until corn is heated through.
  4. Finally top with mild cheddar cheese, cover with lid just until cheese melts. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 155 Fat: 9 Saturated fat: 5 Unsaturated fat: 2 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 12 Sugar: 5 Sodium: 194 Fiber: 1 Protein: 7 Cholesterol: 20