Chayote Squash Stuffed with Oaxaca Cheese and Ground Turkey

This recipe features Oaxaca cheese, somewhat similar to mozzarella, but saltier.
It serves to cover the stuffing, creating a surprise as you eat through it.
You’ll want some extra Oaxaca cheese to enjoy on the side.


Yields 4 servings



4 chayotes
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
4 ounces mixed basmati and wild rice *
½ Spanish onion, diced
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
½ red pepper, seeded and deveined, diced
½ yellow pepper, seeded and deveined, diced
8 ounces ground turkey
2 teaspoons spicy paprika
½ teaspoons Bijol or achiote (annatto) powder
8 ounces shredded Oaxaca cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

* Basmati rice and wild rice can be purchased mixed. Many supermarkets sell them in boxes. You can also substitute them for the rice of your choice.


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Cut each chayote in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and slightly remove part of the center core with a spoon.

3. Brush both sides of the chayote halves with approximately 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Line a baking tray with wax paper and place chayote halves face down on the tray. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside.

4. In a medium-size pan, heat chicken broth at high heat. Add rice, a dash of salt, and boil until liquid evaporates, approximately 20 minutes. Lower heat, cover and continue to cook for 10 additional minutes.

5. In a large frying pan, heat remaining oil at medium-low heat. Add onions and cook 2–3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for 5 additional minutes.

6. Add the ground turkey and paprika, Bijol, salt and pepper to taste. Mix and increase heat to medium-high until the meat is browned.

7. Mix turkey with rice.

8. Stuff the chayote halves with the turkey and rice mix, cover with cheese and place in the oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Serve two halves and add additional turkey mix as a side on each dish.


To learn more about me or my recipes, visit me at and at AARP, where I am a chef and nutrition expert.


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