Saucy Portobello & Butternut Squash Tacos

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Wood plank displaying saucy gluten-free vegan Butternut Squash Tacos

You guys, there are no words.

These tacos are insane. Spicy, saucy, hearty, and utterly delicious.

This is a must-try!

Chopped butternut squash for making a plant-based meal of Butternut Squash and Portobello Tacos

Origins of Tacos

Who exactly invented the taco? It’s still a bit of a mystery! But a professor who has spent much time researching the topic theorizes that tacos were invented by Mexican silver miners in the 18th century. (source)

Tacos became popular throughout Mexico and were introduced to the US by Mexican immigrants in the 19th century. Authentic Mexican tacos tend to have simple ingredients such as corn tortillas, meat, lettuce, a small amount of cheese, and lime. (source)

Our version is not traditional, but is inspired by the concept!

How to Make These Tacos

These tacos were inspired by my love for fall and winter squash – especially butternut squash. Plus, they are easy to make, requiring just 30 minutes to prepare. What’s not to love?

Baking sheet with freshly roasted spiced butternut squash for easy vegan tacos

The core ingredients are roasted, spiced butternut squash and saucy, sautéed portobello mushrooms. Black beans are optional but add an extra boost of protein and fiber, which I’m all for.

Let’s talk about the sauce tho.

Adobo sauce originated in Spain where it was used as both a marinade and preservative. It’s believed that the sauce was then introduced in Mexico by Spanish explorers and enthusiastically adopted into Mexican cuisine. (source)

A bowl of sauce for Saucy Butternut Squash and Portobello Tacos

My version of this sauce is adapted from my Chilaquiles sauce from way, way back, that I’ve since adapted into my go-to enchilada sauce.

It’s smoky, hearty, perfectly spiced and marries the flavor of mushrooms and squash together beautifully.

In other words, yum.

Stirring portobello mushrooms in sauce for making delicious vegan tacos

I hope you all love these tacos! They’re:

Hearty
Saucy
Savory
Spicy
Vegetable-packed
Protein- & fiber-rich
Healthy
& So delicious

These would make the perfect dish to serve to guests or to feed your family on nights when you’re all craving a twist on classic tacos.

These are delicious on their own, but would also pair well with my Mexican Quinoa Salad Cups, Chipotle Black Bean Tortilla Soup, and Ginger Beer Margaritas. Just sayin’.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers!

Holding up a Saucy Butternut Squash and Portobello Taco for a healthy gluten-free plant-based meal

Saucy Portobello & Butternut Squash Tacos

Insanely saucy and delicious portobello mushroom and butternut squash tacos. Hearty, healthy, and ready in less than 30 minutes. The perfect plant-based, gluten-free lunch or dinner
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Two Portobello & Butternut Squash Tacos on a wood plank
4.87 from 36 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (3-taco servings)
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 Month (see notes)
Does it keep? 1 Week

Ingredients

SQUASH + BEANS

  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 Tbsp grape seed or melted coconut oil
  • 1 pinch each sea salt, ground cinnamon, chili powder, and cumin
  • 1 15-oz can black beans (drained, warmed on the stovetop)

ADOBO SAUCE

  • 1 Tbsp grape seed oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (3 cloves yield ~1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce*
  • 1 whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (plus 1 tsp adobo sauce as original recipe is written // more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp each cumin + chili powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sub maple syrup)

MUSHROOMS

  • 5 large portobello mushrooms (stems removed and cut into 1/2-inch slices)
  • 1 Tbsp grape seed or melted coconut oil

FOR SERVING

  • 12 small white or yellow corn tacos (warmed in the oven // or microwave wrapped in a damp towel)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
  • Fresh chopped red onion (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Add cubed butternut squash to a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, and add the spices. Toss to combine, then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. 
  • Add beans to a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook until bubbly, then turn off heat and cover to keep warm.
  • In the meantime, prepare sauce. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and slightly browned and translucent – about 4-5 minutes.
  • Turn heat to low and add tomato sauce, diced chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, and coconut sugar. Stir to combine and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • 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, water to thin, or coconut sugar for sweetness. Set aside.
  • Once the butternut squash is nearly done roasting, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and portobello mushrooms. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until softened and browned. Then add 1/4 cup (~60 g) of the Adobo Sauce (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Sir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Then remove from heat and set aside.
  • Add cooked butternut squash to a mixing bowl along with black beans and 1/4 cup (~60 g) of the Adobo Sauce (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Stir to combine and set aside.
  • Warm tortillas in the still-warm oven to 2-3 minutes, or wrap in a damp towel and microwave for 45 seconds to soften.
  • Divide toppings between warmed tortillas and garnish with additional sauce (you’ll have leftovers*), diced red onion, and fresh cilantro (optional). Tacos are best when fresh – especially mushrooms. Fillings will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, and sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month (see notes for other uses).

Notes

*Tomato sauce can be found at nearly every market, and is a blend of tomato purée with spices, such as salt, pepper, and garlic powder. However, if you can’t find it, just sub tomato purée and add more salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder.
*Leftover Adobo Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month. It’s excellent as a sauce for tacos, or enchiladas, such as my Panko Baked Avocado Tacos, Spicy Plantain Black Bean Tacos, or Quinoa Taco Meat.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with all of the sauce and with black beans.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 three-taco servings Calories: 454 Carbohydrates: 77.1 g Protein: 4.7 g Fat: 13.5 g Saturated Fat: 1.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 777 mg Fiber: 17.8 g Sugar: 13.9 g

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  1. Briana Wilson says

    I’ve been making your recipes for years, and the outcome is always so delicious! I made these tacos twice this past week. My fiancé and I are addicted! I substituted butternut squash for sweet potatoes and it was a hit! Also, we used the leftover adobo sauce on other foods throughout the week. Thank you so much for your tasty recipes!

  2. Laura Tanner says

    My new favorite taco!! My family loved these. The flavor combination was so good!
    I topped the tacos with some of the extra sauce, red onions, cilantro, and cashew cream.. perfection. Thanks Dana!

  3. Michelle says

    I would like to make these tonight, but I am currently on a no sugar diet, has anyone made the sauce omitting the coconut sugar/maple syrup? Just curious.

  4. Daniela says

    Your recipes are my go-to and this one is definitely a keeper! My grocery store ran out of butter squash so I substituted with two sweet potatoes. I definitely took longer than 30 min in the kitchen but I took my time and enjoyed the cooking steps! I added extra oil to the portobello slices, cooked a bit longer, and added guacamole on top. So happy I made this!

  5. Hannah Ashford says

    Yes you did it again! This was delicious! Never tried butternut squash before (I know,criminal!) Thought it was rock hard to cut through and peel,but used a peeler and had no problems,cut through easier than sweet potato!
    You have made becoming vegan easy and fun! My (non -vegan) partner is even loving everything I have made from here,and that’s a lot as I’m cooking every night! the black beans were yummy with it too,who knew they go with so many things! I made My own tortillas too as the shop ones here In London are so drryy compared to homemade! And also added salad, crushed walnuts and roasted sunflower seeds

  6. Kaity D says

    This recipe was super tasty, but definitely needed much more salt than the recipe indicated. I put a healthy amount on the squash and the mushrooms and in the sauce after the fact because it was a bit bland without it. I served mine with some shredded cabbage and goat cheese and it was delicious!

  7. Chelsie Osenga says

    Wow~ I did not expect these to be as scrumptious as they were. Totally satisfying, tasty, saucy (that SAUCE though!) and filling. Great recipe and very easy.

  8. Christine says

    This recipe, like all of yours, was SO good. But the 30 minute prep is really more like two hours. I’m a very experienced cook in a very well equipped kitchen and it took me over two hours. Having said that, this would be a great thing to serve my non vegan friends who assume eating plant based is bland or boring. Really tasty.

  9. Hayley Morrin says

    Was looking for recipes to use up my abundance of butternut squash (grew some in my garden this year – got NINE – each yielding about 8 cups worth of cubed squash)! Found this one & tried it for dinner tonight. Loved it so much!

  10. Amanda Moon says

    Made for dinner tonight. So amazingly good!!!!! Cutting up the squash was a little intimidating, but turned out to be not as hard as I thought (and I could have bought one already cubed.)

  11. Karen says

    Wow! Just made these for dinner and we absolutely love the smoky mushroom goodness. The squash is a perfect compliment. We added the black beans and served with cilantro and more of the yummy sauce.
    Thanks for another fantastic recipe. Can’t wait to make them again!

  12. Sarah D Taylor says

    This was amazing! I made this last night and not only was it delicious it came together incredibly quickly! I loved the sweet/smoky flavor of the squash combined with the heat of the chipotle in adobe sauce. The only thing I might do differently is add more mushrooms. I ended up using cremini as they were on sale, but they were perfect!
    I added black beans for extra protein and topped with extra chipotle sauce, diced onions, cilantro and avocado.
    I am already dreaming about making this again.
    Thanks Dana – for sharing another of your amazing meals!

  13. Emma says

    Hi Dana!

    I really want to try this recipe but I can’t seem to find adobo sauce anywhere!! I’ve been looking for 3 days.. is there a substitute or a way to make it at home?

    Thanks :)

  14. Stephanie says

    I hate vegetables. All veggies taste like mushy garbage to me.

    But then I found your site, and somehow you transform veggies into delicious, tiny morsels of goodness. I have tried and cooked new veggies following your recipes, and I’m hooked! This recipe is still my all time fave, it is amazing!

  15. Vickie says

    This was excellent! I’m not a fan of mushrooms, so I followed another commenter’s suggestion in substituting chickpeas. I seasoned and roasted a can’s worth alongside the butternut squash (without changing the measurements of the oil or spices) and it was perfect! I also used yellow onion instead of white, added the beans, and heaped in some extra chipotle peppers without ever dicing them. And PS – a single $1.99 bag of cut butternut squash from Trader Joe’s was more than enough for this recipe. Soooo good and very filling! I can’t wait to make this again!

  16. Jamie says

    loved it, once I saw the recipe I knew I had to make it. i was so happy with the sauce, I was worried it would be too spicy but the maple syrup helped even it out. What coconut oil do you use? I feel I use the wrong kind, when cooking it often leaves a coconut flavor.

    Thanks for the recipe :)

  17. Laurie says

    These tacos made for an excellent Halloween dinner.

    As we didn’t have any tomato sauce on hand, I put a can of diced tomatoes in the blender and that worked out fine. Our sauce was not as thick as the one you have pictured but it tasted great.

    I love this recipe and will surely make these tacos on a regular basis. Thanks Dana!

  18. Josie says

    Another winner! Does need something cool – a crema or guacamole. Lots of leftover sauce to be put to good use.

  19. Brooke says

    Hi :) I am so excited to try this recipe! But I have frozen, cubed butternut squash. . . Is it possible to use this for your recipe?
    -Brooke

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! That should work, just make sure to check if the squash is cooked after coming out of the oven, you may have to cook it longer as you are cooking it from frozen.

  20. Christopher Ryan says

    I am new to Vegan cooking. I love you site. I have been doing this for 9 days. Everyday I have secretly substituted my family’s usual foods with vegan food. (lost 8 lbs already too). Your food looked fantastic and your reviews were strong so I thought why not? I have yet to be disappointed. Served the tacos tonight and ended up making extra of the squash as a side dish. It was so amazing! Thanks for all that you are doing.

    Chris

  21. Alison says

    I made these tonight and my two young boys gobbled them up with me. They’re so delicious and EASY to make!! I froze the extra sauce in 1-cup portions to pull out for other recipes. Excellent dish!

  22. Carol says

    Unfortunately, this one didn’t work for me. The sweetness of the squash and savory of the mushrooms didn’t taste good to me nor my husband which is surprising because we love tacos, mushrooms and butternut squash individually. I wouldn’t make this again but still there are amazing recipes on this website that I’ve made over and over again.

  23. Melissa says

    Just made these tacos tonight and they were amazing! The sauce is fantastic and addictive! I’m already thinking of other uses for the left overs. Great recipe, Thank you!

  24. Jay says

    Love, love, love these tacos! So dank and flavorful, healthy yet filling. I recently started cooking vegan and had my friend help me out tonight. We baked some sweet potatoes too with the butternut squash and sprinkled some brown sugar as well. Really wanted to try and balance the spiciness from the awesome adobe sauce. Although, I did dabble some Cholula hot sauce in it too – came out amazing! For the final touches, we topped off the tacos with black beans, greek yogurt (I hate sour cream) & guacamole! Will definitely be making these again. They were a hit!

    • Ss says

      These were delicious! I topped mine with a vegan Caesar dressing to cool it down a bit. Will definitely be making this one again. It’s nice to have a savoury butternut squash recipe.

  25. Azra says

    That sauce. I could eat in with a spoon (definitely NOT doing that right now…). I roasted chickpeas as the same time as the squash. They give a wonderful crunch to the whole thing. I’ve tried it with mushrooms too though and loved it that way too.

  26. Courtney says

    Oh. My. God. These are incredible! I used some leftover enchilada sauce from a different recipe as a base and blended in some extra chipotles and adobo sauce. These are THE BEST plant-based tacos we’ve ever tried–for lunch today, I mixed some leftover taco filling in a bowl with quinoa and sliced avocado (equally delicious). I can’t wait to make these again!

  27. Madi says

    This looks delicious! I don’t have great tolerance for spice though. What would you suggest doing to make this less spicy? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Madi! Though these are not overly spicy, you could leave out the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce if you aren’t feeling the spice! Good luck! :D

  28. Courtney says

    I made these last night. Delicious! I also made the chimchurri sauce from your portobello mushroom steak recipe, and OH MY GOD the chimchurri sauce brings out the flavour of the mushrooms like crazy!!! I also added corn to the black beans, and vegan sour cream. We made burritos instead of tacos…. and I’m still dreaming of them!! Thank you.

  29. Sarah says

    I have made this so many times and I love it. One of my go to vegan recipes. Love the meaty rich taste of the mushrooms with delicious Mexican flavors.

  30. Caroline says

    Very tasty! Made them last night. It yielded about 3 tacos (but we like…LOVE tacos). Perfect for our dinner and lunch the next day. This is the second Minimalist Baker recipe we’ve done this week incorporating chipotles and it really has been a GAME CHANGER in our kitchen.

    Love all of these recipes! I’ve never been disappointed in one!

  31. Arezio Aurechio says

    The recipe of your Butternut Squash is awesome. We make a lot of your recipes! I’ll definitely be trying this soon. Whereas this squash has made of protein and fiber so it’s a very health food for people specially for me. Definitely I will make this recipe for my family. I have a question what can I use instead of Adobo Sauce. Please Reply me and sharing your recipe.

    Thanks a lot!

  32. Beth Kaplan says

    Made this last night-delist! Rave reviews from the husband. Didn’t have time to take pictures (it was late and we devoured it) but it was great!

  33. Amy says

    Amazing recipe! I added sour cream and diced avocados as I love something creamy with the spicy. I used two peppers in the sauce and sliced baby bellas to account for having only two ‘big’ bellas. Delicious, hearty, and tasty!

  34. Julia says

    These were AMAZING!!!
    Raising my 3 beautiful babies (2 with food allergies) on your delicious plant based whole food goodness! Every single thing I’ve made from your blog or cookbooks has been a hit! So very grateful to you for the work you do. Everyone I know is getting your cookbook for Christmas!

  35. Ryan says

    These were extremely good. I used about 1.5 tablespoons of the adobo sauce from the can instead of the 1 tsp because I generally like things more spicy. It really didn’t turn out all that spicy. It has a nice smoky, mildly spiced taste. It tastes very unique. It reminded me of something I would get from a fancy restaurant. I would highly recommend this. My wife doesn’t like anything squash related and after a few bites she looked at me and said “I can’t even taste the squash!” A friend of ours made it as well and she said “it was life” so she must have liked it too..

  36. Jana says

    It’s funny how the names of different foods differ across countries.. I’m from South Africa and we refer to ketchup as tomato sauce. So reading your recipe, my first reaction was quite shocked to see that you would use ketchup in a recipe, only for me to realise that it’s a completely different product you’re talking about!

    Oh, but the recipe looks delicious though!! I think I’ll have to try it sometime soon.

  37. Ewa says

    OMG! I made this last night and couldn’t believe the taste! So rich, flavorsome and delicious!
    Couldn’t find tomato sauce so just added more garlic, some salt and pepper to the sauce. Also there was no Chipolte peppers in my supermarket so substituted with Chipolte paste (1tsp) and added extra smoked paprika. Will be coming back to this recipe regularly. Thank you Dana x

  38. jackie says

    This recipe was amazing!!! I am trying to cut down my meat intake, and it is hard to impress my family with vegetarian meals. But this recipe really amazed my family. The sauce was incredible. I am looking forward to making these again. Thanks so much!

  39. Diana says

    Wow, these look amazing. I cannot wait to try, I think I may even try mincing the portabellas??? Oh and the cebolla y cilantro are so not optional people! Lol ;-)

  40. ann says

    These were delicious and easy once i got the squash peeled. Great use of veggies i had in my house and creative! Loved it!

  41. Deryn @ Running on Real Food says

    This is going on the menu this week for sureeee! I’m not a huge fan of portobellos but when you cook them up like this oh man, they’re so good. And I’m already on a butternut squash bender, so might as well keep that rolling. And…tacos. Can’t wait to try these! Thanks, guys!

  42. Judith M says

    This was delicious. This is the second recipe I have made from Minimalist Baker. The first was the spicy chick pea Buddha bowl. I made that several times and my guys who are not vegetarian loved it. Absolutely love this web site and the gorgeous photos. Today I am going to make the one bowl pump cake which looks yummy. Thank you!

  43. Rhiannon says

    Honestly, since I made this I haven’t stopped craving it again. My first go at vegan tacos and I fell in love. I have a whole new respect for butternut squash! It really is so diverse. To top it off, the sauce is amazing! Smoky, smooth, just the right amount of spice. It compliments the portobello and squash perfectly. Topped with cilantro, this was an instant favorite.

  44. Valencia @ Life of a Vegaholic says

    This is so creative. I would have never thought of putting Butternut Squash in tacos, but I may be down to try it some time since I LOVE butternut squash! Butternut Squash is my absolute jam during the fall :)

  45. Em says

    Looks so good. I love portobellos in tacos, especially with smoky seasonings.

    I suspect you could just toss in the mushrooms to roast with the sweet potatoes, no? Then you could add the sauce or whatever other sauce you like.

  46. Bonnie says

    Tomato sauce?? No ma’am. SW’ers are crying. Buy a bag of dried red chile pods, soften them in boiling water then puree in blender.

  47. Samantha says

    These were so ridiculously good. I swapped roasted sweet potatoes for butternut squash and topped them with a quick avocado crema. Perfect amount of smokiness and spice. Will definitely make again!

  48. Gem (breakfastandsalads) says

    At first glance, I thought it was chicken cubes! Wow!! This looks sooo good. I love mushrooms and will definitely give this a go!

  49. Sophie says

    These were yummy, I love this spicy sauce! I didn’t have any mushrooms, so just used the butternut squash, black beans, and roasted chickpeas and it was delicious. Added some extra heat to the sauce with a can of Rotel. So easy and delicious :) I’m enjoying working through your recipes.

  50. Anastasia says

    Not sure what I like more about this recipe – the fact that it features my most favourite foods (butternut squash sand portobello mushrooms), or that it is one of the easiest vegan taco recipes! Thnaks so much for sharing!

  51. Sally says

    This looks delicious! Is there anything you can recommend to replace the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, as I can’t find it in any supermarkets here in Australia! Cheers :)

  52. Ellen Lederman says

    Ha—when I read the opening line, saying “there are no words,” I thought it was going to be an election rant! My yoga class helped me achieve a level of equanimity, so it was so much better to read and see that fabulous recipe. Squash, mushrooms, and black beans in adobo sauce—perhaps that’s what America needs right now. Or at least me. Healthy, delicious vegan eating is definitely my way of coping and celebrating what’s right/good. Thanks!

  53. Kerrin says

    Looks amazing – do you make your own tortillas? I’ve been told that once you make your own, there’s no going back.

    • Lauren says

      I have to second that sentiment. I live pretty far from TJs and whole foods so I was sort of forced into needing to make my own because I can’t tolerate all of the preservatives. It’s SO easy if you have a press, and super cheap, and AMAZING tasting. It’s hard without a press (I tried that craziness for a while), but if you’ve got a good one it’s shockingly easy and so worth it.

  54. Laura says

    That sauce look AMAZING! Definitely making it next time I’m doing tacos (which is pretty often tbh…). Thank you for sharing! x

    Laura

  55. Natalie says

    These look so hearty and filling. I’d normally go for a meat based taco but these will definitely be what I make the next time

    – Natalie

    • Tamara Harvey says

      Just made this very yummy recipe. The sauce is awesome… And this is the first time I’ve ever really eaten Butternut squash. Mushrooms were meaty and let’s be honest I really need the vitamin D. This will be a regular recipe item on my repeat list. Thank you for the recipe!