Summer Squash Green Chile Stir Fry

Quick and easy summer squash green chile stir fry side dish. Paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and all made in 1 pot!

Summer Squash Stir Fry
Elise Bauer

It's still officially summer right? Even though the days are noticeably shorter and the kids all seem to be back at school, it's still warm enough to trigger the AC, and the markets are overflowing with ripe tomatoes, zucchini, and green chiles.

I first came up with this combination of stir-fried squash, tomatoes, and chiles years ago for a vegetarian taco filling, one of my all time favorite recipes on the site.

In this version we've added corn and removed the cheese, so it's no longer a filling, but side dish that practically shouts summer garden.

Cumin and oregano are the spices that bring all the vegetables together. A dash of lime juice at the end adds a perfect acidic note to brighten up the squash.

Summer Squash Stir Fry
Elise Bauer

The trick to doing this recipe right is to not overcook the squash. Zucchini especially holds a lot of moisture. There is this short window of time after the squash is browned and barely cooked, and so cooked that it is weeping water and transforming into mush.

You need cook the squash at high enough heat so that you brown the squash quickly, and then continue to cook the squash only a minute or two once you've added the tomatoes and corn.

Bonus points for being paleo, vegan, and gluten-free! (And, you make it all in one skillet.)

Summer Squash Green Chile Stir Fry

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped red onion

  • 1 large green chile (Anaheim, Hatch, or poblano), seeded and chopped

  • 1 large pinch ground cumin

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups chopped zucchini and/or yellow summer squash (about 12 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn (fire-roasted frozen corn works great)

  • 1 small tomato, diced

  • 1 large pinch dried oregano

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • Juice from 1/2 lime


  1. Sauté onions, green chiles, garlic, cumin in olive oil:

    Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a large, relatively stick-free skillet (recommend cast iron or hard anodized aluminum).

    Add onions and chiles and sauté until softened and slightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.

    Add the garlic and cumin, and cook a minute more.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  2. Add zucchini and summer squash:

    Add the zucchini and summer squash. Continue to cook on medium high heat for another 3 to 4 minutes.

    Elise Bauer
  3. Add corn, tomatoes, oregano, salt:

    Once the squash has begun to cook and the pieces no longer have that raw look to them, add the corn and the tomatoes.

    Elise Bauer

    Note you don't want to over-cook the squash. If you do, it will start releasing a lot of water and become mushy. So you want to add the corn and tomatoes while squash is still firm, but just barely cooked.

    Sprinkle with oregano and salt. Cook for another minute or two.

    Serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro and lime.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
111 Calories
4g Fat
19g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 111
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 404mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 35mg 176%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 458mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.