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Vegan Chayote Green Chile Soup (Instant Pot pressure cooker option)

A nutritious blend of bright clean vegetable flavors, this verdant velvety soup is made with an unusual pear-shaped light green squash, chayote. Creamy smooth with a gorgeous pale green color, you will find chayote chile soup hard to resist!

Chayote Chile Soup in bowl ready to eat

Click here to PIN Chayote Chile Soup recipe!

Tasting of smoky raisin-y roasted poblano chile and traces of fresh serrano and jalapeño chiles, the chile heat is there, but it doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds. Pre-cooked brown rice thrown into the pot and cooked a second time along with all the other ingredients gives this vegan soup a nutty flavor and its buttery creamy texture–without a lick of cream!

Using an Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker, this soup can be ready in less than 45 minutes. You will need to cook the rice beforehand because rice cooking time is not included in the recipe times.

chayotes with cilantro and poblano chile for Chayote Chile Soup

Have you met the pear-shaped chayote squash? With rough wrinkly ridges and tucked-in bottoms, they make me think of a toothless old face.

chayote toothless face thinking about chayote chile soup

Like zucchini squash, chayote squash has a neutral flavor that benefits from assertive flavors, like the flavors in this chayote chile soup.

Besides turning them into delicious creamy soup, you can prepare chayotes any way you would zucchini or other summer squash. For an easy vegetable side, sauté crisp chayote slices in a skillet with olive oil. You can slice them in half, cut out their edible seed and bake with grain or protein stuffing. Or you can eat the fibrous chayotes raw in salads.

Like summer squash, chayotes are technically, botanically a fruit. In the Southern U.S. they’re known as mirltons and in other places they’re called vegetable pears.

Chayote season is September through May. When you see chayotes in the market, grab them. Enhanced with chiles, onions, garlic and cilantro, chayote chile soup is mm-mm good!

*** If can’t find chayotes, make this soup using zucchini.

cut chayotes for Chayote Chile Soup

Serve your chayote chile soup with sliced avocado and green onions and cilantro sprigs. If you like a little crunch, sprinkle on some toasted pumpkin seeds.

To fill out a meal, serve with warm chard and pepper jack quesadillas and a cumin vinaigrette- dressed lettuce and jicama salad.

Why are there three kinds of fresh green chiles in chayote chile soup?

  • Each of these chiles adds its own flavor notes. The large dark green poblano chile, fire-roasted on the grill, stovetop, or broiler, brings smoky smooth sweetness. The finger-size serrano gives citrusy heat, and the jalapeños add milder peppery heat. Altogether they contribute to the whole.
  • Keep in mind that chile heat varies from pepper to pepper. For less picante heat and more chile flavor, as in this recipe, you’ll want to remove the seeds and veins from green chiles. For a milder, not spicy-hot chayote chile soup, use the lesser amount of the smaller chiles.
serrano and jalapeño chiles deveined for chayote chile soup

How to prepare fresh green chiles:

  • Never touch your eyes or sensitive body parts when prepping small chile peppers. I use a grapefruit spoon with a serrated edge to scrape out the seeds and veins from serranos and jalapeños. You can also insulate your fingers by wearing gloves.
blistered poblano chile for chayote chile soup

How to puree Chayote Chile Soup:

  • The easiest way to puree this soup is with an immersion blender. (Affiliate link.)
  • If you only have a regular blender, let the soup cool about 10 minutes, then blend in batches, each batch filling less than half of the blender container. Pour from the blender into a bowl, then when it’s a pureed, pour into the cooking pot, stir and reheat. (If you blend hot soup all at once, you could end up with a huge hot exploded mess on your kitchen counter.)

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Nutrition Facts
Chayote Chile Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 83 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 853mg37%
Potassium 96mg3%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 375IU8%
Vitamin C 5.4mg7%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This is an updated version of the Chayote Chile Soup I posted back in March 2014.


  • Patricia Constable

    Hi Letty, Sitting here looking out at the snow, 5″ last night. Been busy with massage. No skiing for me today. Reading your blog put a smile on my face. Hope you and Robbie are enjoying your new casa. Sounds like life has slowed to a nice pace. Be Well, Patricia Reply · 11 March, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks for the note Patricia. That’s my goal, put a smile on your face and a new recipe in your repertoire. Reply · 11 March, 2014

  • Lisa A

    I’m thankful for your post — puts a smile on my face too (it’s catching) and now I know what to do with Chayote when I’m in Cabo! I’m grateful for my Irish roots, my grandmother, Margaret McNamara, who loved to jig and my Dad, who instilled in me a love of Celtic music! Reply · 11 March, 2014

    • Letty

      I too am grateful for Celtic music. Thanks for the comment Lisa. Reply · 12 March, 2014

  • Diane

    your description of Baja life leaves me longing to be back…..the wonderful recipe is printed and in my “take to Mexico” folder. Miss you all! Reply · 14 March, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Diane. And you can practice the soup at home beforehand. Reply · 15 March, 2014

  • The soup looks fabulous and living in Baja even better. Reply · 14 March, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Barbara,
      yes this Baja life becomes addicting. As you can see I am truly having fun in the kitchen. Reply · 15 March, 2014

  • Where in Baja are you? If you are anywhere near the Valle de Guadalupe you must visit it. I hope to go back in May. It’s my new fav place to be. Restaurant recs on my blog. GREG Reply · 18 March, 2014

  • Syd Reed

    I am now in Florida and am reminded of the lazy days of your life in Baja. Loving the warmth, fresh food and fruits, and finding your recipes nice to have handy. Welcome back Letty, thanks for your blog.
    Syd. Reply · 14 April, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Syd. All the fresh food and fruits–enjoy the. We ate pink grapefruit every day and papaya too. Reply · 14 April, 2014

  • What a beautiful recipe. I have to add that your squash face made me smile too! I could use that considering the fact that it’s so stupidly cold here.

    My granddaughter loves zucchini soup, so I am going to substitute zucchini and make this for her! Reply · 8 January, 2019

  • Joshua R.

    This recipe is amazing. I wasn’t sure what to do with chayote, being a vegetarian. I’ve cooked it three times so far. I use 1 serrano pepper and no jalapeno and it is the perfect spice level for me. Thank you!! Reply · 11 December, 2021

    • Thank you Joshua. I’m glad you like this recipe–me too! Reply · 15 December, 2021

  • Sam Z

    Is there another substitute for the rice?
    I have a family member who cannot eat rice, so I welcome suggestions for another substitute. Reply · 17 November, 2022

    • Hi Sam, This soup is delicious with or without the rice. The rice thickens the soup slightly but not significantly. I would follow the recipe using only 5 1/2 cups of vegetable broth. Reply · 23 November, 2022

    • Hi Sam,
      A person in your family can’t eat rice. This soup is delicious with or without the rice. The rice thickens the soup slightly but not significantly. I would follow the recipe skipping the rice and cooking the vegetables with only 5 1/2 cups of vegetable broth.
      I hope that helps. Reply · 23 November, 2022

  • Jane Wilcox

    I have a question about the chayote, but just gave a random rating. If it is as summer squash, it too is “squishy”, slimey even? I am not a fan of the summer squash, wonder if I will like this pureed. I can try anything once. I eat flash fried zucchini, and quick grilled goose neck squash, but otherwise….. Reply · 15 May, 2023

    • Hi Jane,
      Chayote probably gets slimy when overcooked. But in soup it’s not slimy at all. I’m not a fan of summer squash either for the “slimy” reason. Except slim zucchini or yellow squash lengths brushed with olive oil and cooked on the grill. Or in soup!

      In a restaurant where I used to work, they quick-sauteed chayote wedges at high heat and served it as the vegetable with a southwest inspired entree. Delicious. Reply · 23 May, 2023

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