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Mexican Vegetables

$4.93 Recipe/$1.23 Serving

Sauteed Mexican vegetables are the perfect side dish or stuffed in tacos, burritos or used on taco salads. This quick and simple recipe is ready in about 15 minutes and is so easy to make! Use whatever veggies you have on hand to make these simple Mexican sauteed veggies for your next Mexican inspired meals.

Cast iron skillet filled with Mexican vegetables after cooking.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Quick and easy – simply saute or stir fry the veggies with your favorite Mexican inspired spices for a delicious side dish that can be paired with your meal or stuffed in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or on top of burrito bowls or tacos salads.
  • Simple ingredients – this recipe uses simple ingredients you can find in any grocery store. This healthy Mexican sauteed vegetables are vegan, Whole30, paleo, plant based and low carb friendly and a great way to get kids to eat more veggies!
  • Great way to add veggies to Mexican or Southwestern inspired meals – these Mexican vegetables go so well with a Tex-Mex, Mexican or Southwestern meal. They are flavorful, a little smoky and so easy to make.
  • Leftovers can be used so many ways! You are going to find yourself making these Mexican veggies often, since they are great fresh or used in leftovers. You can use leftover veggies in breakfast tacos, breakfast burritos or frittatas.
Ingredients to make Mexican vegetables on a marble backdrop.
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Ingredients

  • Red onion – red onions add a great base flavor to the veggies and are easy to find. Be sure to saute the onions for a few minutes before adding the other veggies.
  • Zucchini squash and yellow squash – zucchini and yellow squash are easy to find and pair well with
  • Bell peppers – bell peppers are
  • Spices: Salt, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder – these spices are easy to find and create the Mexican inspired flavor in these veggies. You can also use your favorite taco seasoning in place of these spices.

How to make Mexican vegetables

Start by slicing and chopping the veggies. Be sure to slice the zucchini and yellow squash into thin slices so they cook evenly and quickly.

Preheat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat (you can start preheating the pan while you are chopping the veggies to save time).

Once hot, spray the pan with avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil spray. Add the onions and cook 3-4 minutes.

Before and after red onions being cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Once the onions start to cook down, add the sliced zucchini and yellow squash. Stir well, especially in the beginning to ensure the onions don’t stick to the bottom and burn. Cook 5-7 minutes.

Before and after yellow squash and zucchini being cooked in skillet.

Once zucchini and yellow squash are starting to break down, add the salt, spices and bell pepper. Stir well making sure all the vegetables are well coated in spices.

Cook 2-3 minutes (the peppers will continue to soften a bit with residual heat from the veggies.

Cast iron skillet filled with cooked onion, zucchini and squash with red pepper being added.

Serve immediately or store in a air-tight container for up to 5 days.

Top tips

  • Thinly slice the veggies so they will cook quickly. The thicker the veggies, especially the zucchini and yellow squash, the longer they will take to cook.
  • Give the onions a few minutes to cook before adding the rest of the vegetables to help ensure the onions get time to cook down and get caramelized. When red onions are able to caramelize in the pan, they change flavor and become almost sweet.  
  • If you plan on doubling the recipe, you will want to cook the veggies in two separate pans, as they will steam instead of sauté if you cook them in 1 pan instead of two.
  • Short on time? Prep the veggies ahead of time – you can store chopped veggies in a well-sealed container for up to 3 days in advance of cooking. You can often also save time by buying precut veggies from the store. There is often a combination of bell peppers and onions in the produce section already prepped.

Recipe variations

  • Spice: Add 1 fresh jalapeno, 2-3 tablespoons pickled jalapenos or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Spice and smokiness: Add 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • Freshness: Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice over the veggies right before serving
  • Other veggies: Mushrooms, broccoli, broccoli slaw, poblano peppers, chopped fresh tomatoes. If you add more veggies to the pan, you may need to increase the cooking time and spices.
  • Creaminess: sprinkle with cotija cheese or feta cheese (not dairy free) or your favorite vegan cheese
Wooden spatula in cast iron full of Mexican stir fry vegetables.

How to serve Mexican sauteed vegetables

Use as a side dish for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, burrito bowls or taquitos.

Add the veggies to taco salad topped with cilantro lime dressing

Make a meatless meal by adding these Mexican veggies to black bean tacos

Make healthy burrito bowls with yellow rice and Mexican shredded chicken.

In Mexican buddha bowls with cilantro lime quinoa and black beans.

Add these veggies to chips to make vegetable nachos with creamy vegan cheese sauce

Roll the Mexican veggies in taquitos or use them in Mexican lasagna.

Leftover ideas

  • Add to your eggs in the morning
  • As a wrap with black bean spread
  • Nachos with creamy vegan nacho cheese sauce
  • In taquitos
  • Taco salad

Can you use frozen vegetables?

Yes you can! However, I don’t recommend frozen zucchini or squash since that can get waterlogged and mushy as it defrosts. Some great frozen veggies to use would be frozen onions and bell peppers.

Note: Frozen veggies will likely take longer to cook because they are frozen and when they defrost, they often give off a lot of water that needs to cook off. This can add 3-7 minutes to the cooking time.

Spoon holding Mexican vegetables over white bowl filled with veggies.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: store leftover Mexican stir fried veggies in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing leftovers as the squash will get very watery when defrosted. If you know you want to freeze leftovers, just use onions and peppers and omit the squash.

Reheating leftovers: You can use the leftovers in new recipes or just warm them up and serve them as a side for your next meal.

  • Stove: Sauté in skillet 3-4 minutes over medium heat until warmed through.
  • Microwave: Microwave about 1-1:30 minutes to warm through.
  • Air Fryer: Cook at 375F for 4 minutes (you may want to add parchment to the air fryer).

Substitutions

  • Red onions: You can also use yellow, white or even green onions in place of the red onions if needed. You can also omit the onions, however you will likely want to add some garlic powder or onion powder.
  • Zucchini and yellow squash: You can use any veggies you have on hand. Some other great options might be mushrooms, thinly sliced carrots, broccoli cut into small florets, tomatoes.
  • Bell peppers: Use any veggies you have on hand. You can also use roasted red peppers.
  • Spices: If you don’t have the spices on hand, you can use taco seasoning, smoked paprika, or paprika.
White bowl filled with Mexican vegetables, white napkin by the bowl.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Greek Vegetables

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Mexican Cauliflower White Bean Soup

Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans

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Cast iron skillet with white handle filled with Mexican sauteed vegetables.

Mexican Vegetables

$4.93 Recipe/$1.23 Serving
Mexican sauteed vegetables are a simple, easy, delicious side dish for any Mexican or Southwestern inspired meals! You can use these Mexican veggies in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or as a side dish for any meal. Leftovers can easily be repurposed so these Mexican vegetables are great for meal prep too!
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mexican sauteed vegetables, mexican stir fry vegetables, mexican vegetables, mexican veggies
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion, sliced thin - $0.33
  • 2 large zucchini, sliced into half moons - $1.99
  • 1 large yellow squash, sliced into half moons - $0.99
  • 1 large bell pepper (red, orange or yellow are best) - $1.29
  • 1.25 tsp chili powder - $0.13
  • 1 tsp salt - $0.05
  • 1 tsp garlic powder - $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin - $0.05

Instructions

  • Thinly slice the onions. Cut the zucchini and squash into thin half moon shapes and the bell pepper into thin bite size strips.
  • While you are cutting the veggies, preheat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.
  • When the skillet is hot, spray with avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil spray. Add the onions and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the onions have started to cook down, add the zucchini and yellow squash. Be sure to stir well, especially in the beginning so the onions don't start to burn. Cook 5-7 minutes.
  • After the squash have started to cook down, add the salt, spices and bell pepper. Stir well and cook 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

Top tips
  • Thinly slice the veggies so they will cook quickly. The thicker the veggies, especially the zucchini and yellow squash, the longer they will take to cook.
  • Give the onions a few minutes to cook before adding the rest of the vegetables to help ensure the onions get time to cook down and get caramelized. When red onions are able to caramelize in the pan, they change flavor and become almost sweet.  
  • If you plan on doubling the recipe, you will want to cook the veggies in two separate pans, as they will steam instead of sauté if you cook them in 1 pan instead of two.
  • Short on time? Prep the veggies ahead of time – you can store chopped veggies in a well-sealed container for up to 3 days in advance of cooking. You can often also save time by buying precut veggies from the store. There is often a combination of bell peppers and onions in the produce section already prepped.
Recipe variations
  • Spice: Add 1 fresh jalapeno, 2-3 tablespoons pickled jalapenos or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Spice and smokiness: Add 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • Freshness: Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice over the veggies right before serving
  • Other veggies: Mushrooms, broccoli, broccoli slaw, poblano peppers, chopped fresh tomatoes. If you add more veggies to the pan, you may need to increase the cooking time and spices.
  • Creaminess: sprinkle with cotija cheese or feta cheese (not dairy free) or your favorite vegan cheese
Can you use frozen vegetables?
Yes you can! However, I don’t recommend frozen zucchini or squash since that can get waterlogged and mushy as it defrosts. Some great frozen veggies to use would be frozen onions and bell peppers.
Note: Frozen veggies will likely take longer to cook because they are frozen and when they defrost, they often give off a lot of water that needs to cook off. This can add 3-7 minutes to the cooking time.
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: store leftover Mexican stir fried veggies in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing leftovers as the squash will get very watery when defrosted. If you know you want to freeze leftovers, just use onions and peppers and omit the squash.
  • Reheating leftovers:
    • Stove: Sauté in skillet 3-4 minutes over medium heat until warmed through.
    • Microwave: Microwave about 1-1:30 minutes to warm through.
    • Air Fryer: Cook at 375F for 4 minutes (you may want to add parchment to the air fryer).
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
69
Fat
 
1
g
Carbohydrates
 
14
g
Fiber
 
4
g
Sugar
 
7
g
Protein
 
4
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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