Best Mirliton Recipes

Best Mirliton Recipes

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Top Rated Mirliton Recipes

"Gado" in Bahasa Indonesia usually means one of two things: 1) to eat something raw or 2) to eat something without rice. So important is rice in the typical Indonesian meal that one word has been set aside to designate the unusual practice of eating something without the staple crop.Since most of the vegetables in this salad are cooked, and as far as I can recall, I have never seen someone enjoy this dish with rice, it's probably safe to go with the second definition in this context.Saying something descriptive twice, though, is a way of denoting emphasis, as in, "really really." And so, in reading "gado gado," or "gado²" the translation could be roughly interpreted as "you really, really shouldn't eat this with rice." Why? Because it would be weird.This is a light and refreshing salad popular in many parts of Indonesia. I suspect it is of Javanese origin because of its notably sweet flavor profile and use of (ideally) Javanese palm sugar. No palm sugar? No problem — dark brown sugar makes a decent substitute. Same thing with the "kangkung" — it's a green leafy Chinese vegetable for which spinach is a good substitute; for those of you familiar with Malaysian cuisine, it's the vegetable that's in kangkung belacan. And if the shrimp paste has you worried, no sweat — it's not completely necessary. The most important thing to remember about this salad is that when you serve it, eat it right off the bat. Don’t let it sit, because the vegetables have a lot of water that thins out the dressing (a good thing, at first, since it's pretty thick), but after awhile... not so good.Anyway, the next time it's 100 degrees out at 100-percent humidity and hazy (normal weather in the capital, Jakarta), give this recipe a whirl.Many thanks to Zulinda Budiaman, my mother, for helping me with this recipe.Click here to see more peanut recipes.Click here to see Beyond Sriracha: Sambal Oelek.

Stuffed Mirliton from 'Treme'

Before opening up the new Treme cookbook, I couldn't pick out a mirliton if it was thrown in my face. But the squash, originally native to the region, appears so frequently in Treme, I now consider myself a relative expert. I had, as it turns out, known the squash by its other name, chayote, and it appears on Latin American menus just as frequently as the traditional Louisiana ones. This particular mirliton recipe takes advantage of the squash's shape by hollowing them out and stuffing them full of creole staples. The stuffing is jam-packed with shrimp, mirliton innards, spicy creole seasoning, butter, and the Louisiana trinity of onion, celery, and green bell pepper.

Why I picked this recipe: Working with a new ingredient is always an exciting prospect.

What worked: These stuffed squashes were a surprising hit in my house. Despite the unfamiliar ingredients and technique, the dish turned out boldly flavored yet homey and comforting.

What didn't: Take care when hollowing out the boiled mirlitons, and leave a generous border around the edges of the shells. The skin is super soft and can tear a hole. My stuffed mirlitons also didn't need as much time in the oven as advertised. Check to see how they're coming along after 30 minutes.

Suggested tweaks: When shopping for miritons, look for firm, bright green squash without blemishes. They are often labeled chayote squash and can be found in Hispanic grocery stores. Because the mirlitons are pretty bland on their own, I seasoned them with extra salt before stuffing and didn't regret it. If you're good at estimating half an egg, this recipe can easily be cut in half.

Reprinted with permission from Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans by Lolis Eric Elie. Copyright 2013. Published by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

Canned Hot Pickles Cucumber or Mirliton (Mirleton)

  • Yield : 3 pints
  • Servings : 3 pints
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 0m
  • Ready In : 20m
  • Add to Recipe Box

Used with gumbos or any rice and gravy dish in Cajun Country, chayote is a gourd-like squash that is about the size and shape of a very large pear. The skin is pale green and smooth with slight ridges that run lengthwise. Many compare the color to a light green apple. The flesh is white and there is one soft seed in the middle. Chayote is also called mirliton and the French call it christophene.

Be sure to use a non-metal pot – or a coated metal such as teflon, silverstone, or enamel, without scratch or breaks in the coating to heat the vinegar. The metal will react with the vinegar and makes the pickle solution turn cloudy.


  • 3 large mirliton cut in strips
  • 3 cups white low acidic vinegar 5%
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp each: pickling salt and black pepper
  • 2 hot peppers or jalapeno, halved with seeds


Step 1

You could add green tomatoes cubed or small pickle cucumbers in place of or with the mirliton.

Step 2

Wash and rinse pint canning jars keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer's directions.

Step 3

Wash, peel and cut chayote into strips, discarding the cores and seeds. Slice the onions and cut the pepper in strips. Notes: Some also use the core not as crunchy but the taste is sweeter and lighter.

Step 4

Combine vinegar, salt and black pepper in a Dutch oven or large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring to mix ingredients. Add red pepper.

Step 5

Place the chopped vegetables (mirliton, onion, bell pepper and hot peppers) in the pickling jars. Fill the jars with the hot liquid to within one half inch from the top of the jar. Remove air bubbles and adjust liquid as needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel and apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process as needed. Allow the jars to refrigerate for a few days the flavor gets better with some age.

MawMaw's Stuffed Mirlitons

Mirlitons, also called chayote squash or vegetable pear in other parts of the world, are a delicious vegetable (actually, they're technically a frui) with a mild, delicate squashlike flavor. They're very popular in New Orleans, and grow like wildfire anyone who has mirlitons growing in their backyard is invariably always giving away bushels of them.

And no, this ain't my maw-maw's stuffed mirlitons -- this comes to us from New Orleanian and regular Gumbo Pages correspondent Greg Beron, who advises:

"This recipe is intended to serve from 2-8 people. Eating the entire portion by yourself may be tempting, but is likely to result in gastric distress. Please think of others. They need the Emergency Room doctors at Charity to be free to treat the many gunshot and stabbing victims."

Anyway, this is basically Greg's MawMaw's recipe, but I, as usual, have futzed with it a bit to make it more like how I remember my MawMaw's stuffed mirlitons (except my MawMaw is called "Granny").

  • 4 good-sized mirlitons, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, chopped
  • 1/2 pound smoked ham, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 large pinch each oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup green onions (scallions), chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped fine
  • About 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shrimp stock, fish stock or water

When the mirlitons have cooled, scoop out the seeds carefully and discard them. Then scoop out the "meat", leaving about 1/4" all around. Chop the "meat" and put it in a bowl, setting the mirliton shells aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp, ham, garlic and seasonings. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mirliton "meat", milk, onion, green onion, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring well. Remove the skillet from the heat and spoon the mixture into the mirliton shells. Top each of the filled shells with about 1 tablespoon of the bread crumbs.

Put the mirlitons in the baking dish and carefully pour the stock into the dish around them.

  • 6 medium-to-large mirlitons
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons oil or butter or bacon grease
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound ham, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, minced
  • Dash Tabasco
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced

Step 1

Boil mirlitons until tender, cut in half and remove seeds. Scoop out inside of mirlitons leaving enough flesh to keep shell intact.

In a large heavy skillet, heat oil or bacon grease. Sauté onions, garlic and celery until soft. Add shrimp and ham. Cook 10 minutes.

Remove excess water from mirliton and mash. Add all remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs. Fill the reserved shells.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in reserved crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over mirlitons. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Mirliton Seafood Casserole

It's mirliton season in the Deep South! I'm guessing that some of you are likely thinking right now. what the heck is that?

Mirlitons, or in Cajun Country, Alligator Pears
Well, truth is, mirliton (pronounced mel-a-tawn) aka chayote squash, vegetable pears, or in Cajun Country, alligator pears, are the Unofficial Squash of the Deep South, most especially, Louisiana and more specifically, New Orleans.

With a very neutral flavor, somewhat similar to a cucumber, they were once grown in abundance along backyard chain link fences at many homes here along the Gulf Coast. Although some folks do still grow them, they are pretty much all commercially grown and imported nowadays. Though Spanish in origin, French influences in the New Orleans area are what later had them to become known as mirlitons.

Homegrown or not, fall is still the time they show up in the markets and on the holiday tables around here. Since they are fairly neutral tasting, they mostly act as a filler, absorbing the flavors of the ingredients they are paired with, often seafood, such as in shrimp stuffed pirogues, and casseroles like this. Be sure to taste and adjust seasonings when using mirlitons, but let's not be mistaken. It's really about the seafood far as we're concerned down here.

No worries if you can't get your hands on chayote squash, as this casserole is good with eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash as well, available now pretty much all seasons. Though this recipe is written as more of a casserole, this dish can easily be transformed into a dressing with the use of more bread crumbs and a couple of eggs. I'm using seasoned French bread crumbs, but dried bread crumbs may also be used, though you'll use less. A lot of folks like to use Italian seasoned bread crumbs and if you do, reduce or eliminate the dried seasonings in the recipe.

If there are any, I like to take leftovers, bind it up with some more bread crumbs, shape into patties and pan fry for a whole new dinner - so good! Scroll down the page for the full recipe with measurements, instructions and printable document.


For more of my favorite seafood recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!

Recipe: Mirliton Seafood Casserole

Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 4 pounds (about 4-6) mirlitons (chayote vegetable pear)
  • 1/2 tablespoon liquid crab boil , optional
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter , divided, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 large bell pepper , chopped
  • 1 rib celery ,chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried sage , rosemary and thyme
  • Couple dashes hot pepper sauce
  • Couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt , or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper , or to taste
  • 2 pounds raw small (150+ count) shrimp , coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage (or other smoked sausage), minced , optional
  • 3 to 4 cups day old torn French bread , divided
  • 1/2 pound crabmeat , picked through

Add the whole mirlitons and one tablespoon each of liquid crab boil and salt to a large pot cover with water, bring to a boil and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a knife pierces through them easily. Time will depend on size. Drain well in a large colander and set aside. When cool enough to handle, split lengthwise, seed and scoop out pulp, coarsely chop. Best if made ahead to allow plenty of time to drain off excess liquids.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish set aside.

Melt one stick of butter in a large pot and saute the onion, bell pepper and celery, about 5 minutes. Add the mirliton, garlic, Cajun and Old Bay seasoning, bay leaves, parsley, dried herbs, hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard taste and adjust seasonings.

Add shrimp and sausage and 3 cups of the bread crumbs, adding more if needed to absorb most of the liquid. Mixture should be moist but not overly wet, as the mirliton will put out some liquid. Carefully fold in the crab and spoon loosely into the prepared dish. Do not pack. Top with remaining bread crumbs and dot with the remaining 1/2 stick of butter, cut into thin slices. Bake, uncovered, for about 30-35 minutes or until top is lightly browned and casserole is bubbly and heated through.

Ground Beef Mirliton Casserole: Omit the crab boil, seafood and Old Bay. Substitute 1 pound of ground beef and 1/2 pound of raw sausage, cooking both until no pink remains drain off excess grease. I like to use breakfast sausage.

Mirliton Dressing: For a result more like dressing, double the bread crumbs and add 2 large beaten eggs. Add additional bread crumbs if needed to reach desired dressing consistency.

Mirliton Rice Dressing: Substitute cooked rice for the bread crumbs. Check at 20 minutes.

Cook's Notes: I like to use about 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning (like Lawry's or Cavender's) in place of salt and pepper. May also substitute 1 pound of crawfish tails for 1 pound of the shrimp and/or cooked sausage or baked ham for the andouille. If you substitute the canister style dried bread crumbs, you’ll need less. Use enough to bind the dish. To use a panko topping instead of bread crumbs and butter slices, combine 1 cup panko bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley sprinkle all over top before baking.

Mirlitons may also be halved lengthwise, brushed with oil and roasted cut side down at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or cut and steam, cut side down for about 30 minutes. Avoid peeling and chopping before boiling. Yellow squash, zucchini or eggplant may also be substituted for the mirliton.

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Recipe Summary

  • 10 mirlitons (chayote)
  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans crabmeat
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place mirlitons into a large pot and cover with salted water bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Slice the tops off the mirlitons and scoop the flesh out, discarding the seed. Reserve the mirliton shells.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat cook and stir mirliton flesh with shrimp, onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic until vegetables are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in crabmeat, bread crumbs, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange mirliton shells on a large baking sheet. Spoon shrimp and crab mixture into each shell.

Related Video

crawfishmonica fixed the recipe flaws and acookfromneworleans fixed the pronunciation . Please retry the recipe . it's a keeper in our family ! Oh , DON'T serve over rice .

This recipe is incomplete, therefore, incorrect. First off, no saltines rather, just use Progresso Italian breadcrumbs--the ones with the cheese in them. Also, add thyme and oregano to taste in addition to the cayenne. It's supposed to be savory. That's the way my great grandmother in New Orleans made it, and her family lived there for more than 100 years. Without the spices, it's going to be very one-dimensional and bland and you'll never want to make it again. It's also great when made with eggplant!

I was fascinated when I saw this recipe I am from Jamaica. My experiences with this vegetable (we call it Cho Cho) has not been good (issues too bland and watery to say the least). I made this for Thanksgiving and had to do it for Christmas as well. Two years in a row its a keeper..I shred it in the food processor and sauté it with butter and EVO, onion, garlic and sweet peppers. Then I drain it cook the shrimp separate combine then bake. This year I use a streusel topping made with flour, thyme and butter. Of course I also use scotch bonnet pepper and thyme. I have to make 2 Aunty Gloria must have her own. our she shares a small portion for everyone then take the rest..Lets just say she LOVES IT.

1st mirliton is pronounced mill e tonh and 2nd it is a stuffing made with bread crumbs,shrimp/crab well seasoned and cooked with bell pepper,celeryand onion ( the holy trinity) and either stuffed back into the empty mirliton shells or put into a casserole top crumbed and buttered and baked. It is a mild vegetable.

I certainly didn't find this rich and savory as the recipe stated. Too much time to make for the end result. almost like a very bland hash. needed a ton of Tabasco to jazz it up.

The only other thing I would do is add some parsley for color and maybe green onions at the last minute before placing in oven. This is a very good recipe!

I confess to a happy accident with this recipe. I cubed the chayote small as another reviewer suggested and omitted the food processor step altogether. However, I neglected to read the instruction to boil the chayote before adding it to the green pepper, onion and garlic. Since I was preparing this for a supper club of 20 gay men who appreciate all the excellent restaurants here and most of whom are fine cooks themselves, I was a bit panicked. The "save" was to add 1/2 cup of water, cover the pot and steam the mixture for about 30 minutes. It softened nicely. I had to pour off some excess liquid and butter fat (not a bad thing). It got raves from everyone. I did add a bit more cayenne, liberal fresh-ground 4-pepper blend, and a dash of Tabasco. I would serve this again.

This is simple comfort food that is a perfect accompaniement to a variety of dishes, with the shrimp as a main course or without them as a side dish. Not exciting, just good!

I had to give this two forks because I just would'nt make this dish again. It was bad, it just was'nt great. The mirliton was something I had never heard of, and it was pretty good. My husband and I just don't like bell peppers. I make this dish for a party, and it was ok, just for the fact that all the other dishes were very spicy made this one seem bland.

Just a tip from someone in Cajun coutry- I don't peel the mirlitons (saves time if you don't) They also cook quicker if cut into cubes 1st.

My cooking club very much liked this dish. I used a wee bit more cayenne than was on the recipe to add a little zip. I thought the mirlitons would be mushy but it stayed sufficiently firm. Highly recommended.

I would have rated this three stars but everyone else was raving, especially my husband. I doubled the recipe, baked half for a pot luck, and the other half for a dinner party at my house the next night. It's rich enough to be a main course served with rice, or it can be a first course. I may try using tabasco instead of cayenne next time.

Hot Sausage and Mirliton Casserole

Place the mirlitons in a large pot and cover with water by 1-inch.

Bring to a boil and cook until a knife can be inserted easily, about 45 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool.

When cool enough to handle, halve the mirlitons, peel, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into ½-inch cubes.

While mirlitons are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil.

Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, about 6 minutes.

Remove the sausage using a slotted spoon and set aside.

Remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the pan.

To the remaining drippings in the pan, add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, Essence, salt, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are very soft, give off their liquid and begin to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the cubed mirlitons, season with black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until they give off any excess liquid and soften, 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly before adding the reserved sausage, butter, green onions, parsley, basil, bread cubes, heavy cream, chicken stock, if needed, eggs, mozzarella and fontina.

Lightly grease a 3 quart casserole dish (or a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish).

Transfer the mirliton mixture to the casserole and sprinkle the top with the grated Pecorino Romano and the bread crumbs.

Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, then bake until golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes.

Watch the video: How to make New Orleans Stuffed Mirlitons (August 2022).