butternut squash + black bean enchiladas

Tell me if this happens to you.

You buy a 5lb squash.  Butternut, spaghetti, acorn, sugar pumpkin…etc.

Maybe it was on sale, maybe you plan on roasting it, or maybe even making a delicious fall soup.

And then.

And then it sits on your counter for 1 solid month.  Just hanging out, being its squashy-self.  Even if your recipe is picked out it still sits.  Why is this?

Is it because squashes are pretty much the only vegetable that can sit on your counter for weeks on end without rotting?  Do you glance over like, “Hey squash, I’ll get to you next week.  No hard feelings.”  Are you fearfully anticipating the dreaded peeling, chopping, and seeding, while trying to keep all of your fingers on your hand?

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

And then you finally tackle the squash because, “you’re going to rot one day!” [Promise I don’t talk to vegetables in my kitchen.]

You start peeling or slicing, depending on the variety of squash.  You’re done in like 5 minutes because you have a vegetable peeler so sharp it could carve wood.

That wasn’t so bad.

It’s always more than worth the effort.

Especially for black bean and butternut squash enchiladas.  My favorite meal so far this fall.

While this meal may look a bit involved [okay, it is] you can finish most everything up while the butternut squash is roasting.

The toppings are up to you.  You can make or buy your enchilada sauce.  You can top these with cheese, a zesty cashew cream sauce, sour cream, avocado, or nothing at all.

I’m currently obsessed with cashew cream, so the version I made is vegan. 

Print this!

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

vegan, gluten free // yields 4-6 servings

Enchilada inspiration from: Daily Garnish, How Sweet It Is, Sprouted Kitchen

  • 14-18, 6” soft corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups [1 can] black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 2 Tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper [plus more for the squash]
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400* and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice your squash lengthwise down the center and de-seed.
  3. Lay each half on its flat side then cut 1/4” slices and then into 1/4” cubes.
  4. Place on the pan and toss with 1 Tablespoon of oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for about 35 minutes, tossing once or twice while cooking.  Done when tender but not mushy.
  6. Towards the end of the squash cooking, heat a large pan over medium, and add 1 Tablespoon of oil.
  7. Add in the chopped onion and cook, stirring for 5-8min until softened.
  8. Add in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, pepper, and cayenne and stir for 1 minute. 
  9. Stir in the vegetable broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen everything.
  10. Add in the black beans and 3 cups cooked + cubed butternut squash. 
  11. Stir a few times until everything the beans are heated through, then remove from the heat.
  12. Preheat your oven to broil on low.
  13. Place tortillas on a baking sheet on a single layer and broil with the door cracked until they begin to dry out [a good thing, as sometimes they are a bit rubbery] and just before they start to crisp.  About 1-2min.
  14. Flip and broil the other side for another 1-2 minutes until they just start to crisp.  Note: You do not want them to fully crisp as you need to be able to roll them.  You may have to crisp them in two batches.  Just stack them on a plate as they finish.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350* and take out a 9x13 pan and an 8x8 pan.
  2. Place about 1/2-3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of each pan and spread out evenly.
  3. Scoop some of the mixture into a warm tortilla, roll it up, then place seam side down in the pan.  It’s okay if a little of the filling falls out. You want the enchiladas to be touching one another.
  4. Keep rolling until you have no more filling left. 
  5. Pour enchilada sauce over top and spread, so the tortillas are smothered. 
  6. Reserve about 1 cup of the sauce.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes.  All of the ingredients should still be fairly warm so it won’t take long to heat.
  8. Pour the warmed cashew cream sauce on top and serve with remaining enchilada sauce on the side.

Note: If adding cheese:  Uncover the pans, sprinkle cheese on top, and broil for a few minutes until bubbly.  If you want to make this ahead, finish all of the steps up to #5.  Cover with foil and place in the fridge.  Remove about 30 minutes before cooking.  Preheat your oven to 350* and add a bit more of the sauce as some of it will have soaked in.  If it seems to have really dried up, sprinkle about 1-2 Tablespoons of vegetable broth on top.  Cover tightly, and bake for about 25-30 minutes until the center is hot.

Butternut Squash Enchilada Sauce [adapted from Emily]

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste [about 7-8oz]
  • 1 cup cubed + cooked butternut squash
  • 2 1/2 cups low or no sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chipotle adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. In a large pot heat the oil over medium.
  2. Once hot, add in the garlic, cumin, 1/2tsp salt, pepper, and 1/4tsp cinnamon and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, and adobo sauce and whisk until fully incorporated.
  4. Add in the squash and blend with an immersion blender or in a blender.  If using a blender you may need to do this in 2 batches.  Use caution as the sauce will be very hot.
  5. Return to med-low/low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  I used 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and the salt will vary depending on the sodium content of your vegetable broth.
  7. Remove from heat.  It will thicken a bit as it sits.

Note: Chipotle adobo sauce can be found in the ethnic food aisle in a small can.  It is hot!  Adding 1 1/2 teaspoons adds a medium heat level to the dish. 

Cashew Cream Sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashew cream
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons - 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder granules
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, starting with 3 Tablespoons of vegetable broth and adding more as needed to thin out.  You’re looking for a very pourable but thick sauce, not watery.
  2. Heat in a pot over low heat until warm and pour over the enchiladas.

Note: If you have a non-squash eater in your family not to worry. Grab a russet or Yukon gold potato and cube it up at the same time you cube the squash. Place it on a different pan with oil, salt, and pepper, and roast it along with the squash. Add 1.5 cups of that potato to half of the black bean mixture and 1.5 cups of squash to the other half of the mixture.  Easy solution!

The corn tortillas soak in the sauce and become almost doughy.

The cashew cream sauce is as good as frosting on a cake.

And the leftovers are a plenty.

Hope you have a great weekend!