Friday, May 19, 2017

Foodie Fridays: Calabacitas Mazatlan

I was in the mood for fish tacos this week, and wanted to make a side dish to serve along with them.  I considered making Calabacitas, a southwestern zucchini and corn dish that I have made in the past, but I also found a recipe in my file box for a corn dish called Quick Corn Mazatlan, which has no zucchini but is made with an easy cream cheese sauce.  Since I had some cream cheese left over from another dish, I decided to combine the two recipes, and ended up with the perfect vegetable side dish for my fish tacos.

This can be customized however you like.  Add hotter peppers if you prefer things spicy, use yellow squash instead of (or in addition to) zucchini, or a regular onion instead of scallions, add different herbs or cheeses, or even add meat if you want to turn this dish into a full meal.  I added frozen corn because I had half a bag in the freezer to use up and I decided that it would add more crunch than the canned variety, but you could substitute fresh corn or a different frozen vegetable (edamame would be nice) or just leave it out.  I am sure the next time I make this recipe a few ingredients will change just based on what I happen to have in the house!

Calabacitas Mazatlan

6-8 oz. cream cheese
1 can (15 oz.) corn (I used unsalted)
1 C. frozen corn, thawed (optional)
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
2 T. butter
1 red bell pepper, diced
3-4 slender zucchini, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 C. shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
4-6 scallions, sliced
1 T. minced cilantro (optional)*

Combine the cream cheese with 1/4 C. liquid drained from the canned corn in a small saucepan.  Whisk over medium heat until the cream cheese is melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat and set aside.  Combine the canned and frozen corn with the canned chiles in a large bowl and set aside.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini and cook 5 minutes longer.  Add the garlic and salt and cook one more minute.  Transfer the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the corn mixture and stir to combine.  Mix in the shredded cheese.  Pour in the cream cheese sauce and stir until well combined, then add the green onions and cilantro.  Serve warm.  Serves 6.

*I love cilantro, but if you are not a fan feel free to omit it from the recipe.


  1. This recipe sounds so good....but I started Forks Over Knives plant based way of eating because of your blog (earlier this year). I was so excited. Thanks to you, I have lost 10 pounds (YES!!!) and feel so much better. I have to admit that I did copy the calabacitas recipe for "later"... Katie

  2. Congratulations, Katie! I have had to severely limit my carbohydrate intake because I am insulin resistant, and it has made a big difference in my life. I have lost weight, but even better lost the "puffiness" I always felt from inflammation, and I too feel much better. I am trying to reduce the amount of animal-based foods in my diet (except for eggs, since we have a hen who is prolific layer!), but I don't know that I could ever give up cheese!

    I do think you could make this recipe without cheese, use olive oil instead of butter, and maybe replace the cream cheese sauce with chimichurri or even pesto for a plant-based alternative. I may try that next!