A perfect Fall kale salad that you’ll actually be excited about!
There’s always an opportunity to bring more vegetables to a Mexican-style feast! This salad has two types of charred squash, herbs and toppings that’ll have you excited about the veggie side on the table.
It’s always my mission to bring vegetables to the table even when you want to indulge in greasy, cheesy, Mexican food. It’s all in how you do it. I wanted something that wasn’t totally bland but had fun elements to it as well, such as tangy cheese and crunchy seeds.
I’m certainly not asking anyone to dismiss the rice and bean side that goes well with a Taco Tuesday fiesta. This charred squash salad though certainly doesn’t lack bold and bright flavors and tons of nutrients as well. A perfect feel-good side as you’re throwing back a third helping of tacos or nachos.
This recipe was simply created with ingredients I had on hand, and that needed to be used. I am always trying to find new ways to use zucchini and yellow summer squash since they’re inexpensive and low on calories. I also had a hot cast iron going on the grill so it all worked out well.
This salad is going to be perfect for many summer-time meals, especially those that come directly off the grill. It’s light enough that you can pair it with hearty, starchy sides and grilled meats. It also is fantastic inside a taco or burrito if you want more in the way of fresh vegetables.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I made this because it really came together so fast and I was trying to be creative on the fly. Whatever was going through my mind that day worked! This salad was absolutely perfect with my Weeknight Lentil Tacos and Veggie Chorizo Quesadilla. Who said Mexican fiestas couldn’t have healthier options available?
Mexican Squash Salad
- olive oil extra virgin
- 1 small-medium onion (red or white) chopped
- 1 pound zucchini cubed (1 inch)
- 1 pound yellow squash cubed (1 inch)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- salt and black pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup cilantro chopped
- ¼ cup cotija cheese crumbled
- ¼ cup pepitas toasted or raw
- Chop and cut the onions and squash. Add to a bowl or large plate and drizzle with olive oil and toss with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
- (On the high heated grill or on the stove top) Heat a cast iron skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and bring to a high heat.
- Add half the seasoned squash and onions and cook for 4-6 minutes until the edges of the squash start to char and onions soften. Remove and then add the other half of the squash and onions and repeat the cooking process. Once removed, season the squash and onions with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl add the cooked onions and squash. Top with chopped cilantro, cotija cheese and pepitas.