Loaded Southwest Corn and Zucchini Skillet

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Add some flare to dinner with this fun fiesta side!

Zucchini may be a summer squash fan favorite, but that doesn’t mean it never gets old. If you’re looking for a new way to serve up summer’s favorite veggie, try adding some Mexican-inspired flair with this Southwest Skillet Corn and Zucchini.

Growing up, I used to spend a lot of time at my aunt’s every summer. She had a huge vegetable garden and aways used fresh veggies for dinner. All summer long we had fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and sometimes even strawberries. However, every year she ended up with a huge surplus of zucchini.

I like zucchini as much as the next guy, but I definitely grew tired of sautéed zucchini every night. If you rely on zucchini for all of your summer side dishes, you may be looking to mix things up. So, if you’re dealing with your own zucchini surplus, this Southwest Skillet Corn and Zucchini recipe can help spice things up (literally.)

This recipe mixes things up with other fresh ingredients and spices, all mixed together for a delicious Southwest summer side.

You won’t find too many Southwest-inspired recipes without corn, and this zucchini skillet certainly doesn’t miss the mark. Corn is by far my favorite veggie, and I’m always looking for excuses to mix it into any side or salad.

Along with the corn and zucchini, this recipe also adds red onion and oregano leaves to the mix.

Now, for the real flavor kick that earned this Southwest skillet its name. This recipe uses garlic, cumin, lime juice, and fresh cilantro to complete a zesty Southwest flavor profile.

Additionally, this recipe finishes things off with some fat-free cheddar cheese for a delicious, cheesy skillet side.

To get started on this Southwest Skillet Corn and Zucchini recipe, simply heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, zucchini, and corn, and cook until the zucchini softens, stirring often.

Next, simply add the oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and lime juice, continuing to stir and cook for another minute. Then just remove from heat, stir in cheese and cilantro, and serve!

Despite their distinctive flavor profile, I actually find Southwest-inspired dishes to be some of the most versatile. There are tons of ways to enjoy this dish. Serve as a side with your favorite summertime dinner, or simply enjoy as a vegetarian meal on its own.

Naturally, this Southwest Skillet Corn and Zucchini pairs well with any Mexican-inspired dish. It makes a great addition as a side or topping to any taco, burrito, or fajita bar. Alternately, serve with corn chips for a Southwest snack or app!

If you’re enjoying this dish as a main course, try serving it with cornbread on the side. If you’re looking to complete the Southwest flavor profile, try our Cheesy Mexican Cornbread. For other options, check out this Old-Fashioned Cornbread recipe, or these Sweet Corn and Kale Muffins.

Whether a side, appetizer, or meal on its own, there are tons of ways to serve this Southwest Skillet Corn and Zucchini. It’s an easy and delicious way to get the most out of zucchini season without getting tired of your favorite summer squash.

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Loaded Southwest Corn and Zucchini Skillet

This fun side dish is nutritious, delicious, and perfect for any fiesta!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 people
Serving Size 0.5 cup
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Tex-Mex


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 red onion diced small
  • 3 zucchini small, diced medium
  • 1 cup corn kernels frozen or fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or red pepper if you like spicy!
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro fresh, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cheddar cheese fat-free, finely grated


  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic, onion, zucchini, and corn. Cook, stirring often, until zucchini is soft and onion is translucent.
  • Stir in the oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro and cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 324mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5
Keywords Diabetic-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Low-Carb, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

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Chef Nichole

Nichole has a culinary degree from Great Lakes Culinary Institute and has worked in the culinary industry for 10 years. She also has the knowledge to write recipes using the most nutritious, fresh, and balanced ingredients. Nichole enjoys creating healthy and tasty recipes anyone can prepare, no matter their cooking skill level.

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