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Grilled Vegetable Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8

Zucchini and the Mexican squash called chayote make up the vegetarian filling for these soft tacos. If you can’t find chayote, substitute additional zucchini and yellow squash.


For the grilled vegetables:

  • 2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 medium chayote, peeled, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3 Tbs. sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 serrano chile, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For assembling the tacos:

  • Eight 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 recipe Cilantro Pesto 
  • 3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese or feta (optional)
  • Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 290
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 200
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 14
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 260
  • Carbohydrates (g): 18
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 6


Grill the vegetables:

  • Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire.

    In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, yellow squash, and chayote. Add the oil, garlic, serrano, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper and toss gently to coat. Grill, covered, until the vegetables become tender and have grill marks on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The chayote will soften but won’t become limp like the zucchini and squash.

    Let the vegetables cool slightly and then slice crosswise into thin strips. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Assemble the tacos:

  • Spoon some of the vegetable mixture on top of each tortilla and top with a drizzle of the pesto and some crumbled cheese and chopped cilantro (if using). The filling can be warm or at room temperature.

Start the meal off with Chunky Guacamole or Roasted Tomato Salsa and Tortilla Chips and serve Mexican Tomato Rice & Beans on the side.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • CJMason | 10/02/2019

    Agree with other reviews - this surprised us with how good it was! Kids enjoyed too and an easy weeknight creation. Kudos FC!

  • User avater
    ElizabethTWood | 04/11/2019

    This is really a very grilled vegetable recipe.

  • Laura_Barrett | 01/03/2014

    We've been using fine cooking for over a year now, and I have to say, this is one of my favorite recipes. We were so skeptical at first, like others thinking it wouldn't be flavorful, too bland, boring. Let me tell you that it is soooo good and the other great part- easy to make! We got our Chayote from Papa Joes here in Michigan which is similar to Whole Foods. We only got one and it was enough. The cilantro pesto is just great with the mixed veggies and throw in the flavor of the queso cheese... divine. It is now part of our go-to meals. Enjoy!

  • emmiejane | 05/08/2010

    This recipe is terrific. It is deceptively delicious. It is usually a pain to find chayote, so I just use the squashes. It is great for when there seems to be an endless supply of summer squash. You wouldn't think it would be as delicious as it is.

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