If you haven’t tried chayote squash, you are in for a treat! This Roasted Chayote Squash with Parmesan is such a great side dish that is effortless to make. My kids even snack on it so it’s definitely a versatile dish.
Ok but first things first, if you had never seen chayotes before, you must be asking:
What is Chayote Squash?
Chayote squash is a fruit from the squash family, also known as mirliton or choko. I have also heard it called chou chou or chow chow or even chuchu. If you know chayote squash, how do you call it where you are from?
Chayote is pronounced as chai-ow-tay (English speakers). I’ve also seen it as chah-yo-teh for Spanish speakers.
I found this article very informative on chayote squash, so feel free to check it out for yourself.
Chayote is a good source of fiber and vitamins and it’s low in calories.
Here in South Florida, markets sell chayote squash wrapped in clear plastic.
Roasting the chayote squash
Roasting the squash is very easy, it’s an easier squash to cut than butternut squash. Chayote is more similar to a zucchini or yellow squash. Skin and seeds can be consumed as well. However I tend to remove the seeds, but keep the skin on.
In short, I sliced up the chayote fruits, seasoned them with my favorite herbs and roasted until they are soft. Then added parmesan cheese and baked until crispy!
How to season chayote?
Chayote is used in several cultures and obviously everyone cooks it according to local flavors and methods. For this recipe, I kind of created a fusion of both my Mediterranean and Latin cuisines.
I season chayote with olive oil, salt, pepper and za’atar.
Other times, I have seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano or thyme. Both are delicious!
If you like spicy food, try adding some crushed red peppers!
Roasted Chayote Squash
- 3 chayote
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 0.5 tsp sea salt
- 0.5 tsp black pepper
- 0.5 tsp za'atar
- 3 tbsps freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (about 200 degrees C).
- Wash and pat dry the chayotes. Slice them, remove the seeds and leave skin on. Place them in a bowl.
- Add olive oil, salt, pepper and za'atar over the slices. Toss to season all of them and then place them in a large baking tray. You can drizzle a little extra olive oil on the tray so they don't stick or add a layer of parchment paper underneath.
- Bake for half an hour or until you can easily pierce them with a fork. Add parmesan cheese evenly over the slices. They don't need to be fully covered. Continue baking for an extra 10 minutes until parmesan cheese gets that golden color.
- Let cool for few minutes and serve in a platter as a side dish! Enjoy:)
- Adjust salt, pepper and za’atar to personal taste. I usually eyeball the quantities for these three ingredients.
- In full Mediterranean fashion, I love serving roasted chayote squash over yogurt but this isn’t to everyone’s taste. Serve it with your favorite dinner dish for a more typical application.
Chayote squash looks like a pear, it’s mild in flavor and has a texture that looks to me in between a cucumber and an apple. Technically, chayote is a fruit like a tomato is but most of its uses are in soups, roasts, and side dishes like a vegetable.
Have you ever had a cucumber or jicama? Chayote squash tastes kind of like those, but it’s a little sweeter. It’s also a little crunchy, like a water chestnut.
So if you like cucumbers, jicama, or water chestnuts, you’ll probably like chayote squash. It’s a good vegetable to try if you’re looking for something new and different.
The alternative names for chayote that I know of are: mirliton, choko, chou chou, chuchu, pimpinela etc.
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More squash recipes
If you are interested on recipes with different type of squash, feel free to check out some of the below recipes from my blog.
- Za’atar Roasted Acorn Squash
- Stuffed Zucchini & Yellow Squash
- Zucchini and Yogurt Cold Soup
- Butternut Squash and Leeks Soup