Welcome to a heartwarming recipe that holds a special place in my heart – Mom’s Easy Stuffed Chayote Squash! These delightful boats are a delicious throwback to my childhood, bringing back fond memories of weekdays after school when Mom would whip up this savory side dish for lunch. The tender Chayotes, lovingly boiled and mashed, made for a delightful way to enjoy this humble vegetable. Join me as we journey down memory lane and savor the comforting flavors crafted with love from Mom’s kitchen.
Why I Love It
- Easy and Approachable: As much as I love flavorful dishes, I also appreciate simplicity in the kitchen. This recipe is a breeze, with straightforward steps that anyone can follow. Yet, the result is a dish that feels so comforting and special.
- Versatile and Wholesome: These easy stuffed Chayote squash boats make a fantastic side dish for any meal, but they are also hearty enough to be a satisfying main course.
- Mom’s Love: Beyond the delightful flavors, what truly makes this recipe special is the love and care that Mom poured into it. Each time I prepare these stuffed Chayote boats, I feel that connection with her, and it’s a beautiful way to honor her culinary legacy.
What Are The Ingredients
- Chayotes: Chayotes are the star of this recipe, a type of green, pear-shaped squash with a mild and slightly sweet flavor. They are known for their tender and smooth texture, making them the perfect vessel for a delicious filling. Chayotes become soft and creamy when cooked, creating a delightful contrast to the cheesy stuffing.
- Salted Butter: A tablespoon of salted butter brings richness and a hint of savory goodness to the sautéed onions.
- White Onion: Finely chopped white onions add a delightful aroma and sweet, slightly pungent flavor to the stuffing. As they are sautéed in butter, the onions become soft, translucent and develop a tempting caramelized essence.
- Eggs: The eggs bind and enrich the Chayote filling. When whisked, they create a fluffy and creamy texture that binds the ingredients together, ensuring a cohesive and satisfying stuffing.
- Parmesan Cheese: When baked, the cheese forms a golden, crispy top, adding a delightful crunch to each bite.
How To Make Easy Stuffed Chayote Squash
1. Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Boil and Prep the Chayotes: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. While waiting, wash the Chayotes thoroughly and then slice them in half lengthwise. Carefully place the halved Chayotes into the boiling water and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until they become tender. Once they’re perfectly tender, remove them from the water and let them cool down a bit.
3. Scoop, Mash, and Set Aside: Now comes the fun part! With a spoon, gently scoop out all the Chayote filling, being careful not to damage the shells. Save those lovely Chayote shells, as we’ll be stuffing them later. With a fork, give the scooped-out Chayote filling a good mash until it becomes creamy and dreamy. Set it aside for now.
4. Sauté the Onions: Grab a skillet and melt the salted butter over medium heat. Once the butter starts sizzling, add the finely chopped white onions. Stir them around and let them cook for about 5-10 minutes, or until they turn soft, translucent, and get that tempting caramelized touch. Set aside the sautéed onions for later use.
5. The Cheesy Filling: In a small bowl, whisk those eggs like a pro. Add a pinch of salt to taste and then combine the fluffy Chayote filling with the sautéed onions and 3 tablespoons of that delicious Grated Parmesan Cheese. Mix it all together until it’s a creamy and cheesy blend of goodness.
6. Fill ’em Up: Time to stuff those Chayote shells! Take each Chayote half and generously fill it with the heavenly cheesy mixture. Make sure to spread the love equally among all the boats. Top each stuffed Chayote with the remaining Parmesan cheese for that irresistible cheesy crust.
7. Bake to Perfection: Arrange the stuffed Chayote boats on a baking sheet or dish, and then carefully slide them into the preheated oven. Let them bake at 350°F for approximately 30 minutes or until they get that golden and bubbly perfection.
8. Serve and Savor: The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived! Take out those Cheesy Stuffed Chayote Boats from the oven and let them cool slightly. Once they’re ready, serve them on a platter and get ready for the smiles and compliments to pour in. Savor each delicious bite and cherish the heartwarming memories these boats bring to your table.
Here are some helpful tips to ensure your Mom’s Cheesy Stuffed Chayote Boats turn out perfectly:
- Choosing the Chayotes: Select fresh, firm Chayotes without any blemishes or soft spots. The skin should be smooth and green. Avoid Chayotes that feel too hard or too soft, as they might not cook evenly.
- Tenderize with Boiling: To save time, cut the Chayotes in half before boiling them. Boil the Chayotes until they are tender, but not overly soft. Test their doneness by inserting a fork; it should go in easily without breaking the Chayote.
- Flavorful Fillings: Get creative with the fillings! Consider adding cooked ground meat like chicken, beef, or turkey to the mixture for a heartier version. You can also throw in some diced bell peppers, corn, or spinach for added color and flavor.
- Don’t Overstuff: Be mindful not to overstuff the Chayote shells to ensure even cooking and prevent the filling from spilling out during baking.
- Customize Cheese: While Parmesan cheese works wonderfully, you can experiment with other types of cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, or a blend for different flavor profiles.
- Watch the Baking Time: Keep an eye on the Chayote boats while baking to avoid overcooking. The cheese should be golden and bubbly, but not burnt.
- Get Creative: Don’t be afraid to get creative with the recipe! You can customize the fillings, add spices or herbs to your liking, or even incorporate some diced ham or cooked bacon for a smoky twist.
- Can I use a different type of squash for this recipe?
While Chayotes are the star of this dish, you can experiment with other types of squash, such as zucchini or acorn squash. Keep in mind that the cooking times may vary depending on the squash you choose.
- Can I freeze the stuffed Chayote boats?
While it’s possible to freeze the stuffed Chayote boats, the texture and flavor may slightly change upon thawing and reheating. It’s best to enjoy them fresh for the best taste and consistency.
- What can I serve with Mom’s Cheesy Stuffed Chayote Boats?
These stuffed Chayote boats make a fantastic main course when served alongside a fresh salad or some steamed vegetables. You can also pair them with grilled chicken, fish, or tofu for a well-rounded meal.
- Can I add meat to the filling?
Absolutely! If you’re looking for a heartier version, you can add cooked ground meat like chicken, beef, or turkey to the filling mixture. Just make sure the meat is fully cooked before combining it with the other ingredients.
- How long will the leftovers last in the refrigerator?
Leftover stuffed Chayote boats can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply place them in the oven at a low temperature until warmed through.
- Can I use different cheeses?
Yes, you can get creative with the cheese! While Parmesan works wonderfully, you can experiment with other types of cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, or a blend for different flavor profiles.
- Can I serve these Chayote boats as an appetizer?
Absolutely! If you prefer smaller portions, you can use baby Chayotes or cut the regular-sized Chayotes into smaller halves to serve as appetizers or party finger foods.