Calabacitas con Maiz or Mexican Zucchini with Corn

Zucchini and corn make a delicous combination. Try it with this super easy Mexican recipe that’s perfect as a side dish or as a light main meal.

Calabacitas a la Mexicana or Mexican style zucchini with corn by @SpicieFoodie | #vegan recipe with #vegetarian option

updated recipe
Maíz is Spanish for corn or maize, and it’s the most important crop and ingredient in Mexican cuisine. The foundations of Mexican cuisine are held strong by this valuable crop. Without corn there would be no tortillas, and without tortillas there wouldn’t be tostadas, enchiladas, quesadillas, nor tacos. Lest not forget the warming drinks of atole and champurrado. You get the point, Mexican food revolves around corn.

One of my favorite childhood dishes uses corn and it’s what I’m sharing with you today. This is called calabacitas con maíz o elote, in English it translates to simply as zucchini with corn. Another name commonly used for this dish is calabacitas a la mexicana or Mexican style zucchini. Growing up my mom served it as a side dish and I loved it so much that I would eat only it and ignore the main dish.

The sweet smell of onions caramelizing alongside the earthy scent of corn is unforgettable! The moist and mild zucchini absorbs the flavors of the corn and tomato perfectly. The tomatoes provide extra moisture and a little sweetness to the dish, and the serrano pepper adds just a touch of heat to balance out all of the flavours. The spices are minimal and all of the flavors come from the vegetables. It is fresh, healthy, light-yet hearty enough to be served as a vegan meal.

Calabacitas a la Mexicana or Mexican style zucchini with corn by @SpicieFoodie | #vegan recipe with #vegetarian option

When corn is not in season canned may be used, otherwise if you’d like you can use fresh kernels whenever possible. Zucchini is in season pretty much all year so if you wanted to you could really eat this this all year long. The recipe is vegan but as you’ll see in the video you can top with some crumbled queso fresco if you’d like — you could even drizzle some crema over the zucchini too! Serve as a side dish or you can enjoy it like we recently did and pair it with some black beans and some steamed brown rice.

Calabacitas a la Mexicana or Mexican style zucchini with corn by @SpicieFoodie | #vegan recipe with #vegetarian option

Calabacitas con Maiz or Mexican Zucchini Recipe

Nancy Lopez &
Enjoy the seasonal flavors of zucchini and corn together in this easy to prepare Mexican dish.
5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican



  • 1 very large zucchini quartered & sliced*
  • 1 can of corn**
  • 2 Roma tomatoes roughly chopped
  • half small white onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 fresh serrano peppers roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • large handful chopped cilantro
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil



  • Heat the oil, once hot add the onion and saute until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Next, add the chiles and cook another minute, add the tomato and allow to cook until softened. Sprinkle in a little bit of sea salt and stir to combine.
  • Add the corn kernels and mix until well combined. Mix in the zucchini and cook until the zucchini is soft. Mix in the fresh cilantro, remove from the heat and serve. Enjoy as a side dish or as a main meal when paired with boiled beans and rice or any other pairings of your choice.


NOTES *If you don't have a very large zucchini use two small ones.
**Use canned, or frozen kernel or when in season use fresh corn. Either yellow or white corn is fine to use.
***If served as a side dish this will be enough for 4 servings, if as a main it will be enough for 2 servings.
***** Make your own beans instead of buying canned ones, get the recipe here
Tried this recipe?Leave me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and tag me on social media @MexicanMadeMeatless or tag #mexicanmademeatless!
Calabacitas a la Mexicana or Mexican style zucchini with corn by @SpicieFoodie | #vegan recipe with #vegetarian option

Calabacitas a la Mexicana or Mexican style zucchini with corn by @SpicieFoodie | #vegan recipe with #vegetarian option

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Recipe Rating


  1. sounds absolutely yummmmmmmy…
    first time your space..excellent recipe collection with gorgeous clicks..
    Am your happy subscriber now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  2. This looks amazingly delicious Nancy, and so colorful and festive! I love this recipe!
    My favorite zucchini meal is probably in a bread form with cheese, egg and is just fantastic combination!

  3. This could be my favorite dish of yours…or at least in the high favs range, no probably a good solid favorite 🙂 Oh OK… so I love them all but I can still have favorites right?!:)I adore everything here and have both fresh zucchini as well as corn in my possession 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    found this recipe on Tasteologie and I was SHOCKED at how delicious it truly was..and so SIMPLE! My only alteration was adding sour cream at the end.

  5. I’ve actually made this dish before, and I can attest to how really tasty it is. In its simplicity and reliance on the natural tastes of the ingredients, I think it has a lot in common with many Italian vegetable dishes. Maybe that’s why I like it so much… 🙂

    1. Thank you Frank! I’m glad to you hear you’ve made the dish before and that it reminds you of Italian vegetable dishes. 🙂