Homemade taco seasoning and succotash with summer vegetables are an unbeatable and unexpected combination. A great summer side dish idea for barbecues or potlucks.
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So this recipe came from one of those “what’s in the cupboard” moments. I found myself faced with a whole mess ‘o veggies in the fridge and as my brain began to assemble which goes with what, I got to thinking about charred corn and the homemade taco seasoning I saw on Wit and Vinegar.
Since everybody’s doing it, I decided to try it myself. And my thoughts turned to our annual visit to the fun farm (not fun-ny) in the fall for apple pickin’ and the delightful succotash they make in a big cast-iron pot.
Why you'll love it
This is a variation on a traditional succotash recipe, I've swapped in zucchini in place of the lima beans and it's also vegetarian. You can throw in some lima beans or okra or other veg if you are so inclined. This is a great summer side dish idea. Serve it at your next barbecue. It’ll blow their minds.
The great thing about the homemade taco seasoning recipe is that it really is “to the taste."Not so much on garlic? Use less. Like it spicy? Replace the green pepper with poblanos. Want more of that old fashioned taco mix taste? Add more salt.
What is succotash?
Native Americans introduced succotash to colonists in New England in the 17th century as a stew, primarily consisting of corn and beans. It quickly became a prevalent side dish in the Northeast. Popularity soon spread to Southern states, where ingredients like salt pork and okra became staple ingredients.
For the homemade taco seasoning:
- Chili powder and smoked paprika: You can adjust the spice quotient here a bit to your personal taste. And if you prefer hot paprika to smoked paprika, go right ahead!
- Cumin and ground coriander: These are perhaps the most classic and quintessential spices in taco seasoning.
- Dried oregano: If you can find Mexican oregano, that is preferable. But "regular" Italian oregano works just fine here
- Granulated garlic and granulated onion: The flavor of granulated garlic and onion is a bit stronger and more vibrant than onion powder and garlic powder. You can sub the powdered versions, just taste to ensure that you've got the right balance.
- Kosher salt: Just a bit, not too much. I do hate when seasoning blends seem to be all salt and drown the beautiful flavor of the spices.
For the succotash:
- Fresh corn: White, bi-color, or yellow all work well in this recipe. You can make this with canned corn or frozen, just be sure to drain it well and adjust your cooking times.
- Zucchini: In summer, try to find locally grown zucchini for the sweetest flavor.
- Fingerling potatoes: I like the visually and texturally pleasing round-ness that they add to the dish, but you could use small Yukon Golds or baby red potatoes instead.
- Green pepper, garlic, onion: These three workhorses will make up the aromatics for the succotash.
- Cherry tomatoes: We're just going to throw these in at the end to give them a kiss of heat and let them release some sweetness, but we don't cook them down much at all.
- Avocado, cilantro, Queso Fresco, lime: We'll use these as toppings for the dish to add fresh, bright taco vibes. Can’t find queso fresco? Use mild feta or ricotta salata instead.
- Olive oil: You could also use canola or grapeseed oil here.
First, mix together the spices to make the homemade taco seasoning.
Next, prep and chop all of your vegetables. The cooking goes quick so you really need to have everything chopped and ready to go.
- Chop garlic finely. Chop onion into a corn-sized dice.
- Slice fingerling potatoes into thin rounds.
- Chop green pepper into a ¼ inch dice.
- Remove corn from cob.
- Chop zucchini into a ¼ inch dice.
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
I like to do this on the grill in one of my Lodge cast-iron skillets, but stove-top will work just fine. Cook over medium to medium-high heat whichever you use.
Allow cast iron pan to heat up, then coat the bottom with oil, allow to heat up as well. Add onions and garlic.
Sweat onions and garlic until they become aromatic, then throw in a little of the homemade taco seasoning and stir. Allow to soften and absorb spices.
Add green pepper and potato, then throw in a little more of the homemade taco seasoning. Stir well. (You might need to add a titch more oil here as those taters tend to suck it all up.)
This is where I close the grill and walk away for a few minutes. Check on this mixture and stir every 3-5 minutes or so until the potatoes begin to cook through.
Add corn and zucchini, then hit it with a little more taco seasoning. Stir well.
I prefer to cook the corn and zucchini only until they are slightly sweet but still a bit al dente. If you like it a little more browned and cooked down, go for it.
Remove pan from heat and add cherry tomatoes.
Give it a quick stir and spoon into serving bowls. I like to use these Lodge Cast Iron mini-servers.
Top with crumbled queso fresco, diced avocado and fresh cilantro.
Serve with a fresh lime wedge on the side for squeezing, and hot sauce if desired.
Keep that summer corn vibe going with this Fresh Corn Salad with Blistered Shishito Peppers and Lime Dressing.
Succotash with Homemade Taco Seasoning
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 ears corn white, yellow or bi-color
- 1 onion
- 1 zucchini
- 3-5 cloves garlic depending on your taste
- 2 cups fingerling potatoes sliced
- 1 green pepper
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 avocado
- fresh cilantro chopped, for topping
- queso fresco for topping
- lime wedges
- Combine all ingredients for taco seasoning and set aside.
- Prepare the vegetables: Chop garlic finely. Chop onion into a corn-sized dice. Slice fingerling potatoes into thin rounds. Chop zucchini and green pepper into a ¼ inch dice. Remove corn from cob. Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
- Heat a good drizzle of canola or olive oil in a cast-iron pan (or other deep, heavy-bottomed skillet) on a grill or stovetop over medium-high heat. (If using cast-iron, allow the pan to heat up a bit before adding oil.)
- Sweat onions and garlic until they become aromatic, then throw in a little of the homemade taco seasoning and stir. Allow to soften and absorb spices.
- Add green pepper and potato, then throw in a little more of the homemade taco seasoning. Stir well. Continue cooking mixture and stir every 3-5 minutes or so until the potatoes begin to cook through.
- Add corn and zucchini, then hit it with a little more taco seasoning. Stir well.
- Remove pan from heat and add cherry tomatoes. Give it a quick stir and spoon into serving bowls.
- Top with crumbled queso fresco, diced avocado and fresh cilantro. Serve with a fresh lime wedge on the side for squeezing, and hot sauce if desired.