Sautéed Chayote Squash

Chayote squash sauté with garlic and chives.

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
86 Calories
5g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 86
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 77mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 13mg 65%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 307mg 7%
*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 vegetable pear 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.

"I have never eaten or cooked with chayote squash but have seen them in stores and never knew anything about them or what to do with them. So, I was excited to try this recipe. The prep was easy. I had to sauté the squash in batches, even though I was using a large 12-inch pan." —Carrie Parente

Sauteed Chayote Squash Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 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


  • 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.