Mexican roasted zucchini — Change things up for your next Mexican feast with this fantastic Mexican vegetable side dish!
Alright maybe I don’t know everything about truly authentic Mexican food because I’ve never lived there, but I do know how to make delicious things that go with Mexican food.
I always feel a little frustrated trying to figure out sides for main dishes around the world because we seem to get hyper-focused on a few things and never explore other options. Burritos for dinner, rice and beans as sides. Spaghetti for dinner, garlic bread and salad as the side. Now surely that isn’t how native to Italy or Mexico people are eating.
So long story short, we’ve been making this Mexican Roasted Zucchini for a few years as a way to mix up our tacos, honey lime chicken and more. It is so flavorful but even more easy than frying up a quesadilla. Ok, it’s not, you do have to chop the zucchini, but it is so so simple! It’s a perfect Mexican Side Dish Recipe
What Do I Need for Mexican Roasted Zucchini?
The best news about this recipe is that it only takes a few ingredients to make the magic happen! Grab a few zucchinis and a handful of spices and you’re almost there. Here is what you will need:
- Olive Oil
- Spices: smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper
- Toppings: queso fresco (or cotija cheese), cilantro and lime
The amount of each ingredient you will need is listed in the recipe card at the end of the post.
How to Make Roasted Zucchini
You are basically going to add some olive oil and a bunch of spices to the zucchini and then let the oven do all the work roasting the zucchini to perfection. Here are the steps:
- Preheat the oven and prepare a baking sheet.
- Slice the zucchini into bite size pieces.
- Place the zucchini in a large bowl and add in the olive oil and seasonings.
- Spread out the zucchini on the baking sheet and roast in the oven until the pieces start to get golden on the bottom.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle with cheese, cilantro and lime juice.
- Place in a serving bowl and eat while it’s hot!
The options for changing or augmenting this recipe are endless really. You can try making roasted corn to toss in (you can also buy roasted corn in the freezer section of the grocery store). You can add a can of drained and rinsed black beans. Roasted red peppers would also be delicious!
If you want to dial up the heat, add in a little cayenne and/or jalapeno.
Queso Fresco vs Cotija Cheese – What’s the Difference?
Our kids love queso fresco but depending on my mood, I sometimes prefer the saltiness and drier crumbles of cotija cheese. Go for what your family loves!
Why is My Zucchini Soggy?
If you try to roast zucchini and it ends up soggy, you have probably either overcrowded the pan of overbaked it. If the pan is overcrowded, then the moisture released from zucchini it just too much and it can’t evaporate so the zucchini just gets steamed instead of roasted.
Can Roasted Zucchini Be Made Ahead?
This recipe is best eaten the same day. I wouldn’t recommend making it in advance. You can prep it advance but cutting the zucchini and tossing it with the oil and spices and then storing it in the fridge until ready to roast. I wouldn’t prep it much more than 2-3 hours beforehand though.
What to Eat with Roasted Zucchini
We have loads of Mexican inspired recipes that you can try, but here are few of our favorites that would go great with this on the side:
- Pork Chile Verde
- Chicken Fajitas
- Cafe Rio Sweet Pork
- Carne Asada Tacos
- Pork Carnitas
- Smothered Honey Lime Chicken Burritos
- Steak Fajitas
End off the meal with some tres leches cake and you’ll be lovin’ la vida loca!
If you’re looking for healthy side dish to liven up your next Mexican main course, go with this roasted zucchini! It is quick and easy and bold in the Mexican flavors you all love!
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Mexican Roasted Zucchini
- 4 Zucchini small, chopped in quarters
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/3 Cup Queso Fresco or cotija cheese
- 1-2 Tablespoons Cilantro minced
- 1 Wedge Lime to squeeze on top
- Heat the oven to 425 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Prepare the zucchini by slicing in half, then slice each half in half and chop. Do not make too small, more like 3/4-1" pieces or they will cook too quickly and turn too mushy.
- Place the zucchini in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and all of the seasonings.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender and beginning to brown on the undersides.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of lime so as to evenly distribute everything. Now place in a large bowl for serving.
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