Chayote Squash

Chayote, also called chayote squash (it is from the squash family), choko, vegetable pear, mirliton and christophene, is a beautiful pear like shaped vegetable. Ironically, it has a texture similar to a pear that isn’t ripe, but less grainy. Yet the chayotes isn’t wholly sweet, it just has a sweet hint, barely a whisper, really. Its flavor is more neutral, like a cross between a pear and a cucumber… and zucchini. Well, you just have to give them a try.

Crispy, watery, very low-fat, with a clean and wholesome feel, chayote can be used many ways. Most typically in soups, as a warm vegetable side, a cold salad or very popularly stuffed either with a sweet or savory spin. They are most times cooked and best al dente, unless eaten stuffed.

There are different kinds of Chayotes. These here in the photo are probably the most common, and the easiest to find outside of Mexico. They are mild, with a mild green color and a mild, friendly and accommodating flavor. There are some that have a darker green color, and even purple tones, with thick and short thorns throughout their skin.

Chayotes tend to store well. They can last for more than a couple weeks in the refrigerator.

Comments

29comments inChayote Squash

  1. Nora

    Sep 22

    Pati, Do you have a recommendation for a chayote soup recipe? We want to serve a soup course for Thanksgiving this year and had a chayote soup when we were in Mexico a couple of years ago that we loved. We feel like it will be the right lightness and depth of flavor to contrast the rest of the heavy meal.

    thank you! We love hearing you whenever you are on NPR shows!
    Nora

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 24

      Hello Nora, I do not have a recipe of Chayote Soup as is, but I am thinking you may use this recipe for Zucchini Soup as a base and just substitute with Chayote, what do you think? https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/pati_2020/zucchini-soup-with-tortilla-crisps/

  2. Meg McAlister

    May 19

    I’m a backyard gardener and planted some Chayote a couple of weeks ago. They are fairly common here, often used in Cajun/Creole dishes and are called mirlitons. Do you have a recipe for stuffing them with seafood? Crab, shrimp, crawfish, etc? I’m trying to wed Cajun with Mexican and think they would make a good pairing!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 22

      Oh that’s great that you’ll have a crop of chayotes, Meg. I don’t have a recipe like that…but have fun experimenting!

      1. Thank

        Jul 28

        Here in southern Mississippi and Louisiana we make Mirliton dressing every year For Thanksgiving we make it with shrimp and crab meat or diced ham. Every member of my family looks forward to our Chayote or Mirliton
        Especially on Thanksgiving. Saw your show today for the first time and really enjoyed it will be watching again next time.

        1. Pati Jinich

          Jul 29

          Sounds like a great dressing!

  3. Annie

    Mar 01

    Hi Pati! My husband and I are watching religiously your show and trying many of your recipes. We remember that you prepared, in an episode, a diced chayote salad but I’m not able to find it in your website and it wasn’t the «chayote squash and pickled onions salad». Can you figure the one I’m talking about? Thank you so much for helping us to cook easily mexican cuisine!

  4. Guy Veronica

    Nov 28

    Hola Pati
    My husband made the chayote salad 🥗. We watch your show together .

    1. Pati

      Nov 28

      Thank you both for tuning in!

  5. william bondar

    Nov 20

    Hola Pati, David and I watched the show yesterday and I just returned from the store with these! Gonna make it tonight but will start the onions in a few! We both love your show and all of the wonderful food you make, also enjoy the traveling in Mexico! Just ordered your two books today and can’t wait to try so many! Keep doing what you do, your awesome! Enjoy the holidays and all the best to you and yours! Two more fans in NYC, William and David

    1. Pati

      Nov 20

      Thank you for watching and for ordering the cookbooks! I hope you continue to enjoy all of the recipes!

      1. william bondar

        Nov 20

        We sure will, out of all of the cooking shows, we enjoy yours the most! Thank you! Will and David

  6. Stacie 'Hopp' Sway

    Jun 04

    I just watched an episode with you cooking with chayotes and then saw them in the store. So I bought some and I am going to try them for the first time, way up in Minnesota. Love your show.

    1. Pati

      Jun 09

      Yay! If you like pickled onions try them this way: http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/pati_2020/recipe/chayote-squash-and-pickled-onion-salad/ It’s one of my favorite ways to cook chayote!

  7. Lawlers_Law

    May 18

    Have you ever tried chayote rellenos (we call them Guisquiles Rellenos in El Salvador)? They are to die for!

    1. Pati

      May 23

      Yes! I love them too!

  8. Rick Eckhardt

    Jan 01

    I like them raw. I simply peel them and chop them into sticks. Eat them as is, serve with a dip or toss in a salad or slaw. I keep meaning to try them boiled but eating them raw is so easy and tasty I’ve never managed to do it.

    I would also mention that the seed is soft and completely edible.

    Do you have any recipes that use it raw or marinated?

    1. Pati

      Jan 03

      Hola Rick, I will have to try to do a raw chayote recipe soon! For now, you may try it raw in my chayote squash salad recipe: http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/pati_2020/2012/09/chayote_squash_and_pickled_onion_salad/

    2. Jackie

      May 18

      I find it hard to slice or dice. I usually eat them steamed with salt and pepper. I would like to try fhem raw. How do you do it?

      1. Pati

        May 23

        If you want to try them raw, just give them a bite, as if they were an apple 🙂

  9. Eric

    Sep 14

    I made them or my 8 year old daughter and she loves chayote!

    1. Pati

      Sep 14

      I love chayote too!

  10. Rae Freeman

    Mar 09

    I’m looking for a chayote salad recipe from the TV show, about a month ago. I haven’t found it on the website. Is it available?

    1. Pati

      Mar 12

      Thank you for watching! Yes, it is available!! Here you go: http://patijinich.com/pati_2020/pati_2020/2012/09/chayote_squash_and_pickled_onion_salad/

  11. shayma

    Apr 27

    i had this a long time ago, Pati at a Costa Rican friend’s home in Rome- he smuggled it past customs on his trip back from Mexico City! Would love to see a recipe of yours here.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 27

      Thank you Shayma!! I will post a recipe for Chayotes soon… promise! I have a couple of real favorites…

  12. Kristin

    Mar 09

    It’s a coincidence for me that you posted about chayote. I just read that it is the time of year here to plant them here, but I’d never heard of it before. From your image, I realize I’ve seen it, but I’ve never eaten it. Glad to learn something new. Thanks.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 09

      You have to try them! Will post some recipes soon…

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