Skillet Mexican Zucchini

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Skillet Mexican Zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a kick from the jalapeño topped with melted queso blanco. So easy and quick, a must try!

This zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a Mexican kick from the jalapeno then topped with melted queso blanco. It's also easy and quick, a must try!
Mexican Zucchini

I can’t get enough of zucchini in the summer, in fact I have an entire section of Zucchini Recipes in my index if you need more ideas.

I’m a bit of a cookbook addict. It’s a problem as I’m running out of room in my home for all my books, but that never stops me from buying new ones. But the biggest problem is that I kinda neglect them. But this weekend I was thumbing through the Aaron Sanchez’s (who is one of the judges on Chopped – one of my favorite shows) cookbook Simple Food, Big Flavor (affil link) who is also one of the judges on Chopped and I came across his Mexican recipe for zucchini.

You MUST try this! I only made a few tweaks using less oil, and and rather than making a cilantro pesto, I added minced cilantro pickled jalapeno for kick. It totally exceeded my expectations.

How To Make Skillet Mexican Zucchini

More Zucchini Recipes


Mexican zucchini in a black cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.
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5 from 23 votes
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Skillet Mexican Zucchini

102 Cals 5 Protein 8 Carbs 6 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Yield: 4 Servings
COURSE: Side Dish
CUISINE: Mexican
Skillet Mexican Zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a kick from the jalapeño topped with melted queso blanco.


  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb zucchini, diced
  • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp minced pickled jalapeño
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco, or queso fresco, cotija or feta
  • fresh lime juice, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Cook the garlic in oil in a large skillet over medium heat 1 minute, stirring until sizzling.
  • Add zucchini and cook stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes or until slightly softened.
  • Add the tomato and green
 onion and cook about 3 minutes.
  • Remove skillet from heat and add cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with queso blanco. Serve hot.



Serving: 1/4th of the recipe, Calories: 102kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 211mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g
WW Points Plus: 4
Keywords: mexican zucchini, mexican zucchini recipe, mexican zucchini recipes, Skillet Mexican Zucchini, zucchini mexican style


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  1. Deee-licious! I doubled up on the garlic, added a yellow squash, an ear of corn and a can of black beans. Added more tomato and extra cilantro and scallion as some taco seasoning. This is a great adaptable recipe, thanks!

  2. This was amazing! I made it for a family dinner to be “my side” with the meal for my keto diet. And my family all ended up demolishing it too. I was scraping the few bits left from the pan for me 😂

    I used feta since I couldn’t find cotija. I think I’m going to make it again tomorrow…

  3. Very tasty and fresh!! Finally a veggie side to go with Mexican food instead of starchy beans and rice!!

  4. As usual skinny taste is not fail to deliver! This recipe is outstanding just a few simple things turns a zucchini into something absolutely delicious! 

  5. Absolutely delicious! So healthy and tasty!

  6. Loved this! I didn’t want to buy pickled jalapeños just for this recipe, so I subbed a can of Ro-tel for the tomato and jalapeño – it worked great! Added the perfect amount of heat. This will now be my go-to recipe when I need a healthy side dish for Mexican food!

  7. LOVED THIS!!! Will make it again and again! Side note: I did not have fresh tomatoes, so drained some fire roasted diced tomatoes. Worked great!

  8. Great vegetarian recipe. I love how simple it is to make to make recipe! If I don’t have enough zucchini in the fridge, I’ll throw in some yellow summer squash as well. I usually have one or the other or a little of each. We use the skillet zucchini as a topper and/or side to the Mexican Pinto beans with Queso (made in the pressure cooker.) Yum!

  9. I make this quite a bit. I love it and so does my husband. VERY GOOD!

  10. Made this as a side to your Quick Garlic Lime Marinated Pork Chops, and did add some corn as others suggested. It was great to try a new flavor profile for the zucchini – so easy and tasty! This was the perfect combination overall for a quick, satisfying, summer meal.

  11. I just finished making this. I was a bit heavy on the green onion, celantro and jalapeno but that ended up being FANTASTIC. what an easy to make dish and tasty tasty tasty.

  12. I have made this twice – it is so flavorful, easy and quick to make. Followed the recipe, the first time, added a bit more jalapeno second time. Both times used cherry tomatoes halved because that is what we had on hand.

  13. Yumo! Used parsley instead of cilantro and added a little more garlic. Thanks Gina.

  14. Absolutely delicious! My husband is not a huge zucchini fan and he was impressed with the presentation (wow, this looks good) as well as the flavor. I used fresh jalapeno as that is what I had in the frig.

  15. I don’t necessarily think “zucchini” when I’m considering Mexican flavors, but this works great with cotija!

  16. Delicious, flavorful, and quick and easy. We will make t his again. Oh, we added fresh corn cut off cob.

  17. Sooo good!

  18. This time of year with Zucchini coming out of our ears, this is my go to recipe. I brown and add a little Italian turkey sausage to this recipe for a complete meal in one pan!!!

  19. I’m a huge fan of Aaron Sanchez! Gina, you must try his recipe for chile colorado. It’s the most delicious dish I’ve ever made. His mother is also a chef and has several cookbooks. I’ve made her mole recipe as well. Be prepared to spend all day in the kitchen if you try these recipes. So worth it!

  20. Rave reviews! Made it last night over the campfire! Easy and delicious!!
    I added more garlic, because why not 😂 and added some green pepper from our garden. Will definitely make again and again!

  21. This recipe is delicious ! It has become a family favourite. Thank you !

  22. This is fantastic! So easy and we made without any cheese. I had about four ounces leftover tomato sauce I threw after sautéing the zuc. A perfect side to Rick Bayless’ slow cooker chicken, potato, tomatillo classic. 

  23. This was so delicious! I can’t wait to make it again! I only had fat free feta in the fridge, so I used that instead of the queso blanco. When I put it in the WW recipe builder, that changed to points from 4 to 1 point! Thank you for your fabulous recipes. You are my go-to for healthy eating.

  24. My husband loathes zucchini, but we had one in the fridge and I thought I would test this recipe. It did not disappoint! Great flavour and even my husband liked it.

  25. What kind of alcohol pairings would go well with this dish? Red wine?

  26. So I made a HUGE feast for Cinco de Mayo and wanted a lighter veggie dish to compliment the rich and heavy dishes. Wow, this recipe was SUCH a winner, I can’t get over how delicious the combination was together. I did add 2 ears of fresh corn just after the zucchini, which added a nice sweetness. It did take closer to 7 or 8 minutes for the zucchini to soften. I will absolutely be making this again, thanks so much.

  27. This dish was amazing! I brought it as my contribution to a pot-luck Cinco de Mayo party. It was a favorite and I knew there was one dish that I could fill up on without feeling guilty! I did not add the cheese to the dish (in case of food allergies) but left it on the side for people to add in. I am glad I did not add it in because it did get a little more liquid-y as stayed warm and the cheese would have dissolved in. I assume this dish would be good cold as well, I was wondering if people tried it. (also great left over, I just ate it for lunch over a chicken breast.)

  28. Would this be good as leftovers?

    • I’ve eaten it the past two days as leftovers and it’s still delicious! I think if you know ahead you’ll have leftovers, I’d likely keep the queso and cilantro aside to add them fresh.

    • Delicious as left overs!

  29. Pingback: Weight Watchers Mexican Recipes – 5 Min To Health

  30. Queso fresco is a fresh cheese not an aged cheese. Pot cheese or farmer’s cheese works too.
    This recipe looks more Italian than Mexican. Just to add a jalapeno does not make it Mexican. Even so, I am sure this is a good side to traditional Mexican dishes. Our Mexican family does not eat a lot of hot peppers or hot spicy food or garlic. Many Mexican families do not.
    Some good Mexican spices to use are fresh cilantro, cumin, oregano and chile powder or mild chile if you want more authentic flavors.
    Adding squash blossoms would be a spectacular and delicious addition. We stuff them and fry them but they would be good in this recipe too.

  31. Is this used as a main meal?

  32. Pingback: 15 Summer Salads and Sides Perfect for a Cookout - Meal Planning Mommies

  33. Made this last night and it was fantastic.  I had a lonely jalapeño in my fridge so I looked up a quick pickling recipe – this one from Allrecipes was great: The pickled jalapeño added a really nice kick….don’t skip it!   I used queso fresco , which was delicious (like a cross between mozzarella and feta).  This was super easy and quick to make, and was a wonderful side for grilled chicken fajitas.  Love it!

  34. Hi Gina,
    You might want to edit your description paragraph on this one……
    I love your blog, cookbook and meal planner! 
    Thank you for helping me stay on track, its hard for a die hard foodie!!

    • Thank you! Can you tell me which part you are referring to?

      • I think she’s referring to the below paragraph! This looks wonderful, making it for dinner tomorrow night!!

        “But this weekend I was thumbing through the Aaron Sanchez’s (who is one of the judges on Chopped – one of my favorite shows) cookbook Simple Food, Big Flavor who is also one of the judges on Chopped (one of my favorite shows)”

      • Got it, thanks!

  35. My mom's boyfriend made this over the holidays…and I thought it looked familiar then found it on here! I've made it myself since and it was so good. Is impressive as a side for company too (like to serve with chicken marinaded in a tequila-lime marinade).

  36. dear lord this is incredible. it by FAR exceeded my expectations. i added black bean and roasted chicken. I also used fresh jalapeno. i cant wait to eat it again. thank you so much for this amazing recipe!!!

  37. I'm sure I've reviewed this before, but we had it again tonight with chicken enchiladas. My husband raved about the zucchini, commenting at least three times how good it was. I love having an alternative to rice and beans. Thanks again for sharing.

  38. Made this tonight and absolutely loved it! I added some frozen corn and veggie (Quorn) crumbles – simply delicious! The pickled jalepenos just make it!!! Thanks for another great and yummy recipe!

  39. Didn't like this one too much 🙁

  40. Just made this for a quick side dish to go along with some breaded chicken tonight. Delicious!! We all loved it. I used feta cheese, lemon juice because I didn't have any lime juice, and I used some extra green onion. Going to save this recipe for future quick sides 🙂

  41. I adore this recipe! I can't find queso blanco in the Netherlands so I use feta, but I could eat this every day, hot or cold.

  42. Is the serving size 1/4 of the recipe or 1/4 cup???

  43. Made this last night. I added a diced sweet potato and cooked that first. I also had 1/2 of a white onion. I had feta, lime and fresh cilantro so followed it step by step from there. Very good!

  44. This would make a great quesadilla. Guess I know what's for dinner!

  45. Fantastic! I've been making this every night this week! I have been omitting the cheese, adding in celery and using fresh cilantro instead of paste. It's delicious!

  46. I found cilantro paste in the produce section and the Queso Fresco (in round plastic package marked "Fresco" in the regular block cheese section of my regular Publix grocery store.

  47. Where did you find th cilantro paste?

  48. That looks so awesome! Always looking for things to add to taco night 🙂

  49. I love this recipe! I've made it several times, switching it up based on what I have on hand. SO good in a cast iron skillet! And perfect for picky family members who think they don't like zucchini… 🙂

  50. What do you suggest as a replacement to cilantro?

  51. i was wondering if using feta cheese instead changes the nutrition facts or weight watchers points

  52. We grew up with a similar version..Moms has sliced zucchini..sliced white onion and tomato garlic powder oregano and actually any kind of white cheesefollow the same ibatructions..only saute slightly the zucchini..on low heat..add onion tomato garlic powder and oregano..let simmer in its own juices until zucchini is tender..turn off heat and add ahredded white cheese on top..let melt..serve with pork chops and a side of beans and rice 🙂 it is only a pinch of oregano..and i like to use pepperjack cheese i found it gives it a nice kick without overpowering it

  53. Made this last night for my family and it was so good! While making it I wasn't sure it would have a lot of flavor, but it did. Used Cotija cheese instead of Queso Blanco, but otherwise followed recipe exactly. Perfect for an easy, healthy side dish.

  54. I made this recipe last week, it was so good! I used feta instead of queso blanco too and it was fine. Thanks for the recipe!

  55. Yummy!! I think I'd like to try adding the black beans and maybe mushrooms next time. I couldn't find queso blanco so I just used reduced fat Mexican blend. I made this as a side to the Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Park.

  56. Delicious! I added a chopped whole avocado with the cheese. Wish I had read about adding black beans because they would be perfect for a vegetarian main entree!

  57. Delicious! I added a chopped whole avocado with the cheese. Wish I had read about adding black beans because they would be perfect for a vegetarian main entree!

  58. I just made this and i actually put it in taco shells! This was so good! There wasnt a bite left.

  59. Made this tonight with fresh minced cilantro and queso fresco. Mmmm, loved it! Served it as a side to your plate licking jalapeno popper chicken. And had your pina colada cupcakes for dessert. You get all the credit for the tasty dinner 🙂 Thank you so much. PS Ive pinned over 100 of ur recipes on pinterest lol

  60. Health food is food considered to be beneficial to health in ways that go beyond a normal healthy diet required for human nutrition.

  61. Love all this veggie goodness Gina! Looks delicious!

  62. My husband made this the other night and it was fantastic!!! We used fresh cilantro instead of the paste. We will definitely make this again.

  63. I had feta, so I made this go greek- fresh mint, lemon juice Cavenders greek seasoning and feta, yum! Can't wait to get some queso blanco or fresco to make it this way. I have plenty of zucchini to experiment with!

  64. I just made this and it was great. I tweaked it a little since i had mushrooms that were starting to turn. I also added hamburger to make it more of a skillet meal. I live alone so I love easy meals that can provide leftovers for lunch. A real winner even though I forgot the cilantro paste. 🙁

  65. My family has made a dish similar to this only we used fresh jalapenos and add sliced mushrooms. We topped with monterey jack cheese. So good, the broth is so good too, I save and add it over brown rice.

  66. This looks incredible! Colorful dishes always seem so much more appetizing, so I can't wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  67. This looks spectacular, as always Gina. I'm including it in a collection of Weight Watchers friendly zucchini recipes I'll be posting Sunday. Can't wait to try it. It's nice to know there are other cookbook addicts in the world! I don't think I'll ever get over it.

  68. Extremely tasty…!! I had used instead of fresh onion red basil and left away the lemon. We will have it again!!

  69. Are pickled jalapenos what is typically on salad bars at the supermarket? I don't really like spicy food, and don't want to buy a whole bottle. But would try what is on salad bar and slowly add to recipe.

  70. I wonder if adding black beans and corn would work with this, or is that too much? I think I'm making chicken tacos with this as a side dish tomorrow night, sounds delicious!

  71. Making this right now, with Feta. I was going to get queso blanco, but it was high $$$ for how much I was going to use. Besides, I love feta. A Mexican chain here puts feta on their nachos and they're amazing.

  72. Do you think the Garden Gourmet Italian Herbs paste would work in this recipe? I hate cilantro, so I need an alternative herb.

  73. This is perfect to make during the week, looks so delicious! 🙂

  74. I made this dish last night and it was fantastic and delicious! I was a bit skeptical with the Garden Gourmet Cilantro Paste, but it was a great fresh taste and now I don't have to worry about a fresh bunch of cilantro going bad. Have you experimented with any of the other Garden Gourmet selections?

    • I have used the basil and the ginger, in addition to the cilantro, all with great results! I bought a spicy red pepper one (can't remember what it's really called) but I haven't used it yet. They're so convenient!

    • Thanks for the tip, Carol!

    • Shelley, I've used the Lemongrass paste and it works amazingly well!

    • I love the idea of the lemongrass since it's not easy to find. It's great to keep on hand in a pinch when you don't have fresh herbs.

  75. I know what you mean about cookbooks, my collection is actually quite ridiculous, but I figure there are worse addictions!

    This looks wonderful, perfect for the overload of zucchini headed my way in about a week…

  76. I just found your blog, and I'm so glad I did! This and many of your other recipes look delicious!

  77. Perfect!

  78. I agree!!! I have some left over Queso fresco from the AMAZING corn soup and have zucchinis from the neighbors garden.. so I cannot wait to try this!!! Fresh cilantro from the garden too… great idea for taco or tortilla wraps.. and would add shredded chicken for the protein. Gina has become my #1 resource for excellent recipes.

  79. Perfect summer dish!

  80. As far as I know I can't get hold of any of those cheeses in my city (Brighton, UK). What alternatives do you suggest using? Cheshire/Feta?

  81. Yummy! I'm always looking for inventive zucchini recipes. This looks beautiful!

  82. I made this for dinner tonight and it was sooo yummy!!! I served it with chicken tacos and my husband didn't even miss the usual rice and beans. This is a definite keeper!! Thanks so much for sharing this 🙂

  83. Wow, I made this tonight after searching for zucchini recipes because we were getting tired of eating it one way. Everyone loved this recipe it's definitely a winner. Thanks!!!

  84. I tried this tonight and it was great! I added ground turkey and put it on tortillas to make it a complete meal. 🙂

  85. This looks delicious! Would you think I could use squash instead of zucchini. I have a ton of squash I need to use!

  86. How could the cilantro paste be made instead using the tubed version?

  87. Such a scrumptious, easy and colorful Mexican side dish! This looks so delicious, Gina.

  88. Keep the zucchini recipes coming! I have an over abundance of them right now.

  89. I always have SUCH a hard time thinking of veggie sides when I fix a Mexican entree. Enter this dish. *Pinning now.*

  90. yum!!! My mom just gave me a lot of zuchinni's over the weekend! I'm definitely making this for dinner tonight… 🙂 Mexican Style! I'm Such a huge fan of your recipes Gina!

  91. Just when I thought you couldn't come up with another way to use a zucchini – bam! You are magic. I can't wait to try this! Thanks!

  92. I got my queso blanco at Whole Foods if that helps the people that are looking. It was near the specialty cheeses but not in the same case. It was in an 8oz block I think. I have leftover from the corn soup she posted a couple weeks ago (also amazing!). It is no where near as salty as feta can be but has a similar consistency. If you use feta you might want to cut back on the salt a little.
    Can't wait to try this! I love zucchini and am always looking for meatless entrees to switch things up. Would use this for taco filling too.

  93. Can't find "queso blanco" here in the Northeast…any substitution suggestions? Feta maybe? Thanks!

    • I found it at walmart, I'm in the midwest, but I'm sure they'd have it where you are. They didn't have it with the feta cheeses or regular cheeses, they had it near the "special" cheese section, hopefully that helps!

    • Sure feta is probably the closest. I got mine at Costco, just an FYI!

  94. I love new zucchini recipes, since I've tried just about all that I have right now.

  95. I had to double check this, because I was saying to myself "I know I've made this from her before.." then When I read Aaron Sanchez I remember I got it out of a magazine and we LOVED it! I will definitely have to try your version too!!

  96. Queso blanco is white cheese.

  97. Queso blanco is white cheese.

  98. What is queso blanco ?

  99. This sounds incredible– Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables to serve as a side. So versatile!

  100. This looks incredible and healthy! I think it would make a good egg scramble too! Thanks for sharing!

  101. Looks delicious! Can the queso blanco and cilantro paste be found in regular grocery stores (e.g., Ralph's) or should I go to a specialty/Latin market?

    • The herbs are available in the supermarket, or you can use fresh. I just happened to have the tube. The queso blanco I got at Costco, or any Latin market would have it. Or you can use Cotija or queso fresco.

  102. If you wanted, what type of meat would you add to this?

    • I would serve this with grilled chicken or pork chops.

    • I make this as a one pan meal – my husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy so to keep him happy I brown a little Itailan sausage or chorizo ahead of time and add at last minute

  103. OMG this looks sooo good. Quick question: Is the pickled jalapeno something you can buy, or do you make it? I can't say as I've noticed that one on the shelves with the pickles. Is it the kind you buy to put on nachos, in a can?

    • Yes, in a glass jar buy the pickles. I like to buy them because they last a while so I always have them when I need to add kick. Any spicy pepper would really work.

  104. I actually met Aaron Sanchez once at a blogging event I attended, and he was a cutie! Love the sound of this, bookmarked.