Go Back
+ servings
Print Add to Collection

Atapakua - Mexican Vegetable Stew

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword atapakua, vegan mexican, vegetable stew
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 247kcal
Author Dora S.


  • 1 Sweet potato, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 1 Chayote or chilacayote, cut into cubes
  • 1 Zucchini, cut into cubes
  • 3 Guajillo chiles, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed
  • 2 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • ¼ Large white onion, peeled, chopped
  • 10 Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 1 cup Fresh corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp. Spearmint or mint, chopped
  • 8 oz. Oyster or maitake mushrooms (any mushroom will do)
  • 1 Avocado leaf, dried, crumbled
  • Avocado Oil (Optional)


Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Chayote

  • Pre-heat oven to 450°F for 15 minutes.
  • Place sweet potato, zucchini, and chayote on a parchment lined sheet tray, season with salt and pepper.
  • Turn heat down to 350°F and bake for 20 minutes.


  • Heat a large sauté pan to low heat and add 1 tbsp. of oil (if you are oil-free see notes). Add pumpkin seeds and chile guajillo and cook until golden brown, remove from pan and set aside. Add onion and garlic to pan and cook until golden brown (keep garlic whole).
  • In a small pot, simmer the corn in water until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Strain and reserve ¼ cup of the corn cooking liquid, and 1 tbsp. of corn kernels for garnish.
  • Place the corn, chile guajillo, pumpkin seeds, onion, garlic, tomato, and ¼ cup of the corn water and blend until smooth.
  • Add 1 tbsp. of spearmint, season with salt and pepper, and blend again.
  • Pour the sauce into a medium sauce pot, set to medium-low heat, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, then turn off heat, cover and keep warm.


  • In a large sauté pan set to medium high-heat, sauté the mushrooms until golden brown in avocado oil (oil is optional), about 6-7 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Crush the avocado leaf in your hands and sprinkle it over the mushrooms.

To serve:

  • Place the sautéed mushrooms in a large bowl or cazuela. Add the sweet potato, zucchini, and chayote.
  • Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir.
  • Garnish with corn kernels, and spearmint leaves.
  • Serve with your favorite beans and corn tortillas.


  • If you want to prepare this recipe without oil, simply toast the pumpkin seeds and chile guajillo until golden brown in a cast iron pan. Remove from pan then, char the onion and cook the garlic until golden brown.
  • You can add zucchini blossoms, fava beans or Green beans to add more variety and texture to the dish.
  • If you think sweet potato is too sweet you can use potato instead
  • The sauce is not very spicy since it uses only guajillo chiles, but if you do want it spicy you can add 1-2 serrano chiles.
  • For a deeper smoky flavor, you can roast the tomato on a cast iron pan or under your oven broiler until it has black spots all over, then add it to the blender.
  • The recipe calls for fresh corn, but since corn in the US is so much sweeter than Mexican corn, to make this recipe more authentic tasting use ½ fresh corn and ½ fresh masa. If you do use masa, let the sauce simmer for 15 min.


Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 1473mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 11785IU | Vitamin C: 46.3mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3.3mg