The word “Calabacitas” literally means “little squash” in Spanish, but it is also the name of a luscious Mexican vegetable dish containing tomatoes, zucchini, corn, and queso fresco. Calabacitas Casserole contains layers of a ground meat mixture, tortilla chips, calabacitas, and two kinds of cheese baked together to create a delicious one-dish meal. The meat mixture, from the Basic Ground Beef Module, is hopefully already in the freezer (if not, ground beef or ground turkey can be quickly browned with onions). The tortilla chips save time, and the zucchini and corn mixture requires no precooking, so this dish is really quick to put together. It can be assembled the night before and refrigerated; add 15-20 minutes extra baking time.
Calabacitas Casserole makes enough for a large crowd, so if you’re planning on having company or a lot of family and friends over, this is the one to make. Serve it with salsa, sour cream, and ripe avocado or guacamole.
16 Generous Servings
2 packages ground beef mixture from the Basic Ground Beef Module, or 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey browned with onions, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
3 15 oz. cans tomatoes and green chilies
1 cup beef broth
1 pound zucchini, sliced
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
2 to 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
1 pound tortilla chips, divided
3 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray a 9 x 13" deep casserole dish with non-stick spray.
- Mix the ground beef mixture, tomatoes and green chilies, and beef broth; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix the zucchini, corn, jalapenos, onion, and queso fresco; set aside.
- Spread 1/3 of the tortilla chips over the bottom of the casserole dish.
- Cover with half of the ground beef mixture.
- Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheddar jack cheese over.
- Add another layer of tortilla chips; cover with the zucchini mixture and top with the remaining chips.
- Spread the remaining ground beef mixture over the chips and sprinkle with the remaining cheddar jack cheese.
- Spray the underside of a large piece of foil with non-stick spray; cover the casserole dish tightly.
- Bake 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil, return to the oven, and continue baking until the cheese is bubbly and brown.
- Serve with salsa, sour cream, and avocado on the side.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 512 Calories from Fat 241
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 47% Protein 18% Carb. 35%
Nutrient Amount per Serving Value
Total Fat 27 g
Saturated Fat 10 g
Cholesterol 75 mg
Sodium 646 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 23 g
Vitamin A 42% Vitamin C 36% Calcium 0% Iron 4%