Food & Drink Magazine

Mexican Zucchini Tacos

By Chuck Underwood @brandnewvegan

If you’re looking for a way to get that picky family of yours to eat more plant foods – then you have GOT to try these Mexican Zucchini Tacos. It’s the perfect end-of-summer recipe that uses those garden veggies in everyone’s favorite meal – TACOS!

mexican zucchini tacos

In Mexico this dish is called Calabacitas con Crema, with Calabacita translating to zucchini, ‘con’ translates to ‘with’, and Crema is a Mexican sour cream sauce.

So literally, this is a Zucchini Taco (with added chiles and corn), in a rich tomato cream sauce that tastes so incredibly amazing you’d swear you were in some fancy Mexican Restaurant sipping on a margarita in a 5-star resort.

And no wonder, as I adapted this recipe (ok I stole it) from none other than Rick Bayless, master chef, and restauranteur. Kudos also to Chef John from Food Wishes who pointed me in his direction.

It’s really an amazing recipe, full of all the bright, spicy flavors of Mexico that I love.

But even though the recipe was originally vegetarian, it was still full of oil and dairy and definitely needed some work to make it compliant for us. And that’s when I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

  • Naturally, the oil was the first thing to go as I can easily saute veggies in water or broth.
  • Next, I subbed Hatch Green Chile in for the poblano peppers as they are in season right now and if you know me you know I love Hatch Green Chile.
  • Lastly, instead of using Crema which is dairy-based, I subbed in none other than my own Green Chile Sour Cream recipe which so many people have raved about.

Naturally, freshly roasted Hatch Green Chile is what I recommend in this recipe as the flavors are SO much more intense than those little cans you see in the store. But if you do NOT like spice, feel free to sub canned green chiles instead or use the roasted Poblanos that Rick uses in his recipe.
Note: I also want to mention my Green Chile Sour Cream IS cashew-based, so for those of you with a nut allergy, you can either use a tofu-based sour cream or try it without any cream at all.

Alrighty then, let’s go make some Tacos!

Mexican Zucchini Tacos

mexican zucchini tacos
Mexican Zucchini Tacos | Brand New Vegan

Let’s start with the sour cream. I’ll send you over to that recipe right now so you can whip up a batch in your blender. You’ll need about 2/3 cup for this recipe and the rest can be stored in your fridge for later use.

Get that recipe right here —> Green Chile Sour Cream Recipe

Once you have your Crema made, cover it in the fridge to allow those flavors to meld while we start working on the veggie filling.

Dice up a large white onion and begin to soften it in a large skillet (I used a Dutch Oven). When the onion begins to change color, add in a few cloves of freshly minced garlic and stir for about 30 seconds to release the aroma.

Next stir in 1 cup of corn. You can use canned corn (Del Monte is GMO-Free), frozen corn, or fresh corn cut off the cob.

Now we add the chiles

Again, I used 3 freshly roasted Hatch Green Chiles I bought at Whole Foods. Cut off the seed pods and stems and remove any seeds or blackened skins.Remember the vein inside the chile is where the heat is so removing that will reduce the spice level.

Note: PLEASE wash your hands after handling chiles, or wear food-safe gloves. The oil (capsaicin) WILL burn if you rub your eyes.

If you do not have access to fresh Hatch Chile, you can easily use a 4 oz can (equivalent to the 3 chiles I used) OR you could roast and slice up 2 Poblano peppers instead.

With all the veggies simmering away we can now add the zucchini. I used 4 zucchinis and simply cut off each end and then diced them up into 1/2″ cubes. Add them to the pot and give it a stir.

Finally, the tomato crema

I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to walk into my favorite grocery store and see Canadian Heirloom Tomatoes. Nothing against you Canada, but come on Kroger – there should be fresh Tomatoes all OVER the Willamette Valley right now (and yeah, I should have checked the farmer’s market).

Regardless, if you HAVE fresh tomatoes you will want a little over 1 pound. About 2 large heirlooms should work great, or 5-6 plums. I chose my old standby and bough two 15oz cans of Organic Fire-Roasted Tomatoes. You’ll want about 20oz so again, store the rest in the fridge for a later use.

Puree the tomatoes in your blender until smooth and pour into the veggie pot.

Simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes or until the zucchini just start to soften a little. Cook them too long and they get mushy – no bueno.

Fold in about 2/3 cup of the Crema you made earlier and taste for seasoning. I added a pinch of ground Cumin, a few turns of freshly cracked pepper, and about 1/2 tsp of salt.

I used Corn Tortillas for my tacos and garnished with freshly chopped onion, tomato, cilantro, and of course a few drops of my favorite hot sauce .

It’s a pretty simple recipe with easy to find ingredients but packs in SO much flavor it’s ridiculous. Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to leave a comment down below.

mexican zucchini tacos
Mexican Zucchini Tacos

Mexican Zucchini Tacos

  • Author: Brand New Vegan
  • Mexican Zucchini Tacos
    Prep Time:
    30 min
  • Mexican Zucchini Tacos
    Cook Time:
    15 min
  • Mexican Zucchini Tacos
    Total Time:
    45 minutes
  • Mexican Zucchini Tacos
    Serves 6
  • Mexican Zucchini Tacos
    Mexican Recipes
  • Mexican Zucchini Tacos
    Stovetop, Blender
  • Mexican Zucchini Tacos
    Mexican, Vegan
Mexican Zucchini Tacos


If you’re looking for ways to get your family to eat healthier – then you’ve GOT to try these Mexican Zucchini Tacos. The perfect end-of-summer recipe.


  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 12 Tbs veg broth to saute
  • 34 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup corn
  • 3 freshly roasted hatch green chiles (or 2 poblanos, or 4 oz can green chile)
  • 4 zucchinis, cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 1 1/2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes (or 2 large fresh – about 20 oz)
  • 2/3 cup Green Chile Sour Cream
  • 23 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste


  1. Prepare sour cream if using
  2. Saute onion in veg broth until it turns golden
  3. Stir in minced garlic
  4. Stir in corn
  5. Stir in diced green chiles
  6. Stir in diced zucchini
  7. Puree tomatoes in a blender and pour into mixture
  8. Cook 10 minutes over med heat until zucchini just start to soften
  9. Fold in sour cream and cilantro
  10. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper
  11. Stir well and simmer 5 minutes before serving
  12. Serve over corn tortillas and add your favorite garnish


Tips Are Always Welcome!

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Mexican Zucchini Tacos

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