Sautéed Corn and Zucchini With Cotija and Cilantro

Sauteed Corn and Zucchini with Cotija and Cilantro
Katie Workman /
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 16 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
175 Calories
9g Fat
23g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 175
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 143mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 12mg 62%
Calcium 95mg 7%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 371mg 8%
*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.)

This is the perfect side dish to serve with a Mexican meal–easy, approachable, colorful and flavorful. Add bell peppers for even more color, halved cherry or grape tomatoes and maybe a pinch of cayenne or cumin. If you can make this with fresh corn, lucky you! Though, when that's not in season, I definitely reach for a bag of frozen corn and this is a quick way to dress it up.

Queso Cotija is a hard, crumbly dry cow’s milk cheese with a pronounced salty flavor. It is named after the town of Cotija, Michoacán. A little bit goes a long way. Cotija can be purchased in small rounds or large blocks, and it is often used crumbled or grated as a topping for burritos, soups, salads, tostadas, beans and tacos. You can often buy it crumbled or grated.

This is the perfect example of a template recipe, where the general idea is there, and then you can swap things in and out as you please–such as shallots instead of garlic, different herbs, summer squash instead of zucchini, feta or goat cheese instead of Cotija. If you want a stronger oregano flavor, add more. Some people hate cilantro, and some people love it–you can also pass it on the side.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen

  • 1 1/2 cups diced zucchini

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh oregano

  • 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese

  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter until slightly browned over medium heat. Add the corn, zucchini, garlic and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 6 minutes until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

  2. Serve hot, topped with the Cotija cheese and the fresh cilantro leaves, if desired.

Also be sure to try this Mexican grilled corn. Ears of corn are first grilled up, then slathered with a spicy, creamy cheese mayonnaise mixture, and sprinkled with a bit more cheese.

When corn is in season during the summer, take advantage of how sweet it is and celebrate with dishes like chili rubbed flank steak with corn and summer corn, tomato and bacon salad.

Other great Mexican dishes for your family include quesadillas, and this sautéed corn and zucchini with Cotija and cilantro would be a fantastic topping on them. Also try this chorizo avocado rice bowl for a quick and easy meal that is filling. Spicy guacamole makes a great dip with chips or vegetables, or use it to top other dishes, like this breakfast burrito to start your day.