Sautéed Chayote Squash

Chayote squash sauté with garlic and chives.

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
174 Calories
10g Fat
22g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 174
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 226mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 25mg 127%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 626mg 13%
*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.)

The pear-shaped chayote squash is native to central Mexico and has been cultivated and used in Louisiana cuisine since the mid-1800s. While it doesn't enjoy the popularity in the rest of America that zucchini, pumpkins, and other better-known gourd fruits do, it is worth seeking out for its mild flavor and versatility. The chayote, also called or a mirliton, is sometimes compared to a cucumber or zucchini, and it can be eaten raw or cooked, peeled or unpeeled. Its firm, crisp texture makes it an excellent choice for sautés and salads, and its firmness means it's ideal for spiralizing.

In this recipe, a combination of butter, shallots, and garlic takes advantage of this squash's ability to absorb flavors. Feel free to finish the dish with a garnish of fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, or crisp, crumbled bacon. This sautéed chayote makes a fabulous side dish that goes with fish or seafood, meat, poultry, or served as part of a vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 chayote squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 heaping tablespoon)

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Chopped chives, parsley, and/or grated Parmesan cheese, garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sautéed chayote squash
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash on a cutting board, cut-side down, and slice it thinly. Repeat with the remaining chayote squash.

    Chayote squash, seeds removed and sliced
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute longer.

    Cooking shallots for chayote squash sauté
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Add the sliced chayote squash to the skillet and continue to cook, tossing often, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper.

    Pan of sautéed chayote squash with garlic and shallots
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Serve the chayote squash with a garnish of fresh herbs and/or Parmesan cheese, if desired.

    Sautéed chayote squash with garlic and shallots
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Tips

  • Look for a chayote squash that is even in color, firm, free of blemishes, and on the smaller side. The squashes are sold ripe but will keep for a few days on a cool kitchen counter or in the refrigerator crisper drawer.
  • Chayote squashes have an edible peel, but since it is not as tender as the flesh, feel free to peel the vegetable before cooking for this recipe.
  • Chayote can usually be found in markets selling Latin foods, but if you can't find chayote squash in your local grocer and you live in an area with a long, hot growing season, you might be able to grow it in your garden.

Recipe Variations

  • Add smoky flavor to the sautéed chayote with some finely diced ham.
  • For additional color and flavor, sauté about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of red bell pepper along with the squash.

Is Chayote Good for You?

This squash offers many health benefits. It is low in calories and carbohydrates and rich in fiber, vitamin C, folate, and manganese, as well as zinc and copper.