Maggie Jimenez's Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chayotes-MainPhoto

Maggie Jimenez's Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chayotes-MainPhoto

Chayote is a gourd-like fruit similar to cucumbers, squash and melon. It is usually cooked like a summer squash, and sometimes less so to retain its crispness. Although most people are familiar only with the fruit as being edible, the root, stem, seeds and leaves are edible as well. If you plan on growing it, keep in mind that like other members of the gourd family, such as cucumbers, melons, and squash, chayote has a sprawling habit, and it should only be planted if there is plenty of room in the garden.

This hearty chayote recipe was shared with us by TV host and cooking expert Maggie Jimenez. Her ability to come up with healthy and easy-to-do recipes has established her as one of Hispanic Television’s most loved personalities.

Read Related: Chayote-Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes & Cotija

Chayote is originally native to Mexico where it grows abundantly. It was one of the many foods introduced to Europe by early explorers. Chayote is usually cooked lightly to retain it’s crisp flavor.

Serves: 6

3 medium-sized chayotes
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup ham, diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Tabasco® Garlic Pepper Sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup Manchego cheese, grated
6 tablespoons bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a saucepan with enough water to cover chayotes, boil chayotes for 8-10 minutes, or until just softened.
  3. Remove from water, dry and peel chayotes. Cut in half and scoop out flesh, leaving 1/2-inch remaining. Set flesh aside.
  4. Mash flesh with butter, ham, sugar, Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce, salt and pepper. Fill chayote shells with mixture, topping with cheese and bread crumbs. Bake in oven 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Recipe created by Maggie Jimenez; Courtesy Tabasco®.