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Chayote squash, avocado and strawberry salsa {vegan, gluten-free}

Mild chayote squash, avocado and strawberry team up in an unusual salsa fresca!

After fifteen years at the log house, which was surrounded by goat farms but miles from a grocery store, it's nice to be back in the city. Within blocks of our house, we have an Asian supermarket, a Middle Eastern market, a fromagerie, a fish market, and a Whole Foods. A few blocks farther afield, Tropical Foods Market offers all the goodness of the Caribbean, with plenty of specialty ingredients for the African and Latino populations that live in the community as well. Among the items that were hard to find in Rhode Island, chayote squash is one of my favorites, and I now have multiple sources, including my regular grocery store. Chayote, a light green squash that looks like someone punched in the bottom end, always needs to be cooked before eating; it's more firm than zucchini, closer to a patty pan squash, and you can swap zucchini or patty pan squash in most recipes that call for chayote. Here I've paired the mild-flavored squash with creamy avocado and tangy strawberry, in an unusual fresh salsa that tastes great with fish or grilled chicken. You can cook the chayote ahead and refrigerate it, but don't put the salsa together until an hour or so before you're ready to serve; the salt will draw liquid out of the fruit and vegetables, and make it a bit watery if it sits around.

Chayote squash, avocado and strawberry salsa, perfect with fish or grilled chicken.

Chayote squash, avocado and strawberry salsa

From the pantry, you'll need: lime, kosher salt.

Makes approximately 2 cups; can be multiplied.


1 medium or large chayote squash
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup strawberries, diced
1 scallion, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 to 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste


Cut the chayote in half lengthwise, and with a melon baller, scoop out the seeds and core. Do not peel the squash. Dice into 1/4-inch cubes.

Place the diced chayote in a small saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender but not mushy. Drain, and add to a large mixing bowl. (You can make ahead to this point, and refrigerate.)

Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Chill the salsa for a couple of hours before serving.

Serve cold.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More interesting things to make with chayote squash:
Albornia de chayote (scrambled eggs with squash), from The Perfect Pantry
Egg and cheese casserole with chayote squash and green chiles, from The Perfect Pantry
Roasted garlic scape and tomato chayote noodles with crab, from Inspiralized
Radicchio, chayote, Asian pear, basil and pecan slaw, from I Breathe. I'm Hungry.
Stuffed chayote with carne molida (Caribbean squash with ground beef), from My Halal Kitchen

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I don't think I've ever cooked chayote squash; I'm intrigued. And I love the idea of using a healthy vegetable in salsa.

Even in our small town, the supermarket carries chayote. I made it once, but didn't feel inspired. I think this salsa really is a breakthrough in taste and good eating - and pretty too!

Chayote is one of those ingredients, I keep meaning to try. This would be the perfect recipe to try it out in.

Kalyn, this is my new favorite squash -- now that I can get it in the markets nearby. Strawberry is a fun taste with grilled meats.

Susan, I love this squash, though it's quite mild. Try it with the strawberry for a bit of a contrast. I think you'll like it.

Laura, if you can't find it, substitute pattypan squash.

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