Do you have those friends in your life that you can invite over anytime, regardless of whether or not you have on “real clothes” (read: pajamas), or you’ve showered in the last three days, or there’s a dusting of flour all over the kitchen from your fourth attempt at vegan scones?
I do. They’re our next door neighbors and I’m so thankful for them.
We actually met last year when they popped over around Christmas time to deliver some cookies. Nice, right? Why didn’t I think of that (especially considering I’m a baker – yikes)?
Since then we’ve invaded each others’ apartments at least once a week to exchange food and hugs and stories about the chaos of our days. I guess you could say we’re officially besties.
The original recipe was for black bean and spaghetti squash tacos (genius, right?). The flavor and texture combination was brilliant! I had seconds, nay, thirds. I lost count. All I know is squash and black beans belong together.
It’s believed that enchiladas may have originated from a similar Mayan dish called papadzules. But the first written recipe for enchiladas was in an 1831 cookbook called El Cocinero mexicano (source).
Typically, enchiladas are made with meat, seafood, beans, cheese, potatoes, or vegetables stuffed in corn tortillas and topped with enchilada sauce. The word “enchilada” is a form of the verb “enchilar” which means “to season with chile.” And chilies are the heart of enchilada sauce!
The following is our plant-based take on the concept, using some of our favorite ingredients: butternut squash and black beans!
How to Make Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas
Despite being made from scratch (with the exception of the black beans and tortillas), this recipe is quite simple, requiring just 10 ingredients and a little more than an hour to prepare.
The enchilada sauce is a take on the red sauce from my Chipotle Vegan Chilaquiles (a must-try if you haven’t already!). It’s smoky and rich and pairs perfectly with the buttery sweetness of the squash.
The filling is so simple: roasted butternut squash and black beans seasoned with a few dry spices and a spoonful of the enchilada sauce. Swoon.
What happens next is magic. These enchiladas bake up beautifully, acquiring a slight crisp on the edges while remaining completely tender on the inside.
The toppings make all the difference. I opted for ripe avocado and cilantro, but red onion would also add a burst of color and a slight crunch. Also, pumpkin seeds! The options are endless.
I hope you all love these enchiladas! They’re:
& Downright delicious
Make this recipe when you’re craving something hearty and comforting this winter. It’s an easy, soul-warming dish that strikes the perfect balance between healthy and satisfying. Chips and guac (forever) or brown rice would make lovely additions.
If you give them a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and be sure to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash*
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt and black pepper (divided)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans (slightly drained)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin (divided)
- 7-9 white or yellow corn tortillas
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced (3 cloves yield ~1 1/2 Tbsp)
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (plus additional pepper or adobo sauce for more heat)
- 1/2 cup water (or sub vegetable broth for more flavor // DIY or store-bought)
- Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sub maple syrup)
- Red onion, diced
- Ripe avocado, sliced
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Add cubed butternut squash to a baking sheet and drizzle with oil and a pinch each salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until all squash is fork tender. Set aside to cool. Also reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F (176 C).
- In the meantime, prepare sauce. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and slightly browned and translucent – about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and add tomato sauce, diced chipotle pepper, more adobo sauce (if desired // for more heat), and water (or vegetable broth). Reduce heat to low and return pan to heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, covered (to prevent splattering).
- Transfer sauce to a blender and blend well for a completely smooth sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more adobo sauce for heat, salt for savoriness, or coconut sugar for sweetness. Set aside.
- Place same skillet used earlier back over medium heat and add black beans. Season with a little salt, pepper, cumin and stir.
- Once bubbling, remove from heat and add roasted butternut squash and 1/4 cup (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) of the enchilada sauce (see photo). Stir to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
- Wrap tortillas in damp paper or cloth towel and microwave to warm for 30 seconds to make more pliable. (Alternatively, place tortillas directly on oven rack for 1 minute to heat through.)
- Pour a bit of sauce into the bottom of 9×13-inch (3 quart | or similar shaped) baking dish. Spread to coat.
- Take one corn tortilla and lay it down in the dish. Fill with generous amount of squash-bean filling (there should to be plenty for 7-9 tortillas). Then roll up tortilla.
- Place seam side down at one end of dish. Continue until all tortillas are filled and wrapped. Then pour remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas in a stripe down the middle. Use a spoon to distribute the sauce into the cracks. Then brush/spray the edges of the bare tortillas with oil for crispy edges (optional).
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through. Top with desired toppings and serve.
- I love fresh lime juice, red onion, avocado, and cilantro, but these enchiladas are delicious on their own! Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, though best when fresh. Reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without additional toppings.
*Recipe inspired by the spaghetti squash tacos in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
*Enchiladas can be frozen individually up to 1 month.