Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Grilled Calabacitas (Hasselback Zucchini)

Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
These grilled hasselback zucchinis are full of my favorite Mexican flavors. Get your grill ready for a delicious appetizer or side dish.

If I had my choice of sautéed calabacitas or grilled calabacitas, the grilled version will always be my pick. This fun and tasty recipe was adapted from a potato recipe I like to prepare. It's a hasselback-style or sliced potato that is seasoned and typically baked and topped with cheese.

Instead of potatoes, for this recipe I used zucchini, one of my favorite vegetables. They cook up quickly and a make for a great alternative to potatoes. This recipe is easily adapted to the outdoor grill, which I did today. There's no heating up the kitchen and easy cleanup thanks to these convenient foil packets that I used to cook the calabacitas. Of course, I like to incorporate the Mexican flavors that I love. Chorizo, cotija cheese and Mexican crema all went into this recipe, which makes for a super-delicious side dish or appetizer for any occasion.


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  1. Slice the ends off of the zucchini, then slice in half so you have 8 pieces all together. Carefully slice 3/4 of the way through each zucchini all the way across. Make sure you don't slice all the way through.
  2. Place each sliced zucchini onto a piece of foil paper big enough to cover the entire zucchini.
  3. Gently open up the sliced part and season lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drizzle with olive oil. 
  4. Place a slice of cheese, no larger than the zucchini, in between each slice. Divide the cooked chorizo among the 8 calabacitas. Do the same with the jalapeño. Close tightly with foil paper.
  5. Place on preheated grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, with lid closed. Let sit for 5 minutes. Open and garnish with Mexican crema and cotija cheese.

Chef Notes

Prep a few hours ahead and then just cook on the grill when ready to eat.

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Appetizer Side Dish Snack