Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)

Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s zucchini season. It’s everywhere, it’s cheap and it’s plentiful.

My garden is overrun with zucchini, what about you? Here’s an easy way to make a zesty, satisfying side dish – perfect for a festive Labor Day celebration.

We had this dish frequently in the summer growing up. The joy of growing up Mexican!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)

Squash is bountiful in the summer and fall and so we had calabacitas con elote quite often while I was growing up. This is one of those recipes I find myself longing for whenever I see all the squash varieties available. The buttery creaminess of the suero catapults me to my childhood every time.

Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)


  • 8 ears of corn, shucked and cut from the cob
  • 4 zucchini or squash, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups suero (whey) or buttermilk can be used as a substitute
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Cheese, grated (Chihuahua, Monterey Jack, or cheddar)


  1. Remove corn kernels from the cobs using a knife on an angle. Set kernels aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir the onion in the hot oil, about 2 minutes then add the garlic for an additional minute until fragrant.
  3. Mix the zucchini and corn into the onion and garlic and cover until zucchini is tender; about 10 minutes.
  4. Uncover and stir the suero/buttermilk into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper; stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese (optional) to serve.
Photography by Jeanine Thurston

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