these butternut squash and black bean enchiladas took a roundabout route to find me, but boy am i glad that they did. my friend sent me the recipe after she got it from her friend, who, well, i don’t know how that friend got the recipe since it was originally published in 1998 but let’s just focus on the important details, alright?
speaking of “focus” and “details”, you know how ‘they’ always say to read a recipe through before you make it? yeeeaahhhh. here is an excerpt from an email i sent back to my friend who sent me the original recipe:
ok, i just read this enchilada recipe closely (yes, at 5:16 pm when i plan to have it for dinner tonight). WHO HAS 1h 45m TO ROAST SQUASH?!? (obviously *not* anyone who doesn’t “have time” (read: choose to) read recipes carefully before planning to make them…)
needless to say, there was some modifying that went down. (also because i am allergic to cooking vegetables in water, especially for nearly two hours. i’ve made so much progress with the whole “liking vegetables” thing over the years, i can’t go back now!)
in fact, the recipe was already shape shifting before it got to me. the black beans were my friend’s addition. i can’t imagine these butternut squash and black bean enchiladas without the beans. at the very least, we’d need to rename them…
in addition to the namesake butternut squash and black beans, we also have tomatillo salsa, tortillas (let’s chat about those in a second), cheese, onion, garlic, and spices. so we know something good is going to happen.
ok, tortillas. for a long time, i thought my choices were (1) gummy, flavorless, capable-of-holding-together flour tortillas OR (2) yummy and with-all-the-structural-integrity-of-a-sheet-of-wet-newspaper corn tortillas. luckily for me/all of us, trader joe’s is way more creative than i am and embraces the “and”. as in, corn AND flour tortillas that combine yummy corn and strong flour into a tortilla dream (not sponsored, just all the heart eyes from these tortillas). highly recommend.
oh! that reminds me, i promised to report back on the results of my reader survey (one of the comments was from someone who said they liked the product recommendations; that’s the connection…). so…
first, thank you to everyone who made time to share their thoughts with me. i really appreciate it and it’s super helpful as i plan recipes and extracurriculars for tasty seasons. so big hugs to all my survey takers!
the general consensus was that 4 is the most useful number of servings, so i’ll keep that in mind, though sometimes an egg or something that is hard to scale up and down proportionally will lead us to a different number of servings. today’s recipe originally served 8 so i scaled that down to a more manageable 4 servings (and you can always double it!).
perhaps unsurprisingly, there was also huge interest (91%!) in seeing more “dinners ready in 30 minutes”. vegetarian, chicken, and fish recipes, as well as slow cooker recipes and desserts, were also popular requests. noted!
lots of folks also expressed interest in a “printed calendar with pretty pictures of seasonal produce and tips for wrangling them” soooo…. keep an eye out for a special announcement coming soon!
there was also a bunch of interest in a meal planning subscription service where you would sign up to receive a weekly meal plan and grocery list from me, based on what’s in season. i’m going to do some more researching/thinking/figuring out what that could look like and get back to you. if you have thoughts/ideas/suggestions/want to tell me what to do, email me! (info at tasty seasons dot com)
finally, i heard from y’all that you want to see more behind the scenes; more techniques, tips, and tricks; and more recipes that have ingredient crossover (so you roast a larger batch of squash, for example, and use it in two different meals). i have ideas for more tips and tricks, like tuesday’s how to peel and cut butternut squash, but if there’s something in particular that you’re not sure how to tackle or want to see me cover, comment below or email me (info at tasty seasons dot com)!
so there’s a preview of what you’re going to see more of in the coming months. again, thank you to my survey takers and my readers (that would be you!); you make this whole thing worthwhile.
now let’s go eat some butternut squash and black bean enchiladas, yes? they are delicious and vegetarian and serve four people! we’re off to such a good start incorporating feedback! and if you want to make butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese pizza (um, spoiler alert: you do), i put some instructions below on roasting the squash for these enchiladas and that pizza all at once. (there are a few other butternut squash recipes you could also make; i noted the modifications you would make for each recipe.)
getting 2 meals out of roasting 1 butternut squash
modifications to these butternut squash and black bean enchiladas: buy a larger squash (size depends on which other recipe you’re making) and don’t put a ½ teaspoon of ground cumin on the squash before roasting. use a full 1 teaspoon ground cumin in the onion, garlic, and black bean mixture.
butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese pizza: buy 1 large or 2 small butternut squash. keep the shallots and sage segregated on 1 side of the baking sheet so that you can include them in just the pizza and use the plain squash for these enchiladas.
kale and roasted butternut squash salad: this salad calls for 1 large squash, so you would likely need to use 2 baking sheets and rotate them halfway through to cook all of the squash at once. keep the shallots segregated in one area and use that squash for the salad.
cider glazed chicken with mushrooms and butternut squash: as written, this recipe serves 2, so you could get a medium butternut squash, peel and cut it all into ¾” cubes, and then set aside 3 cups to cook as directed later when you’re making the cider glazed chicken. roast the squash for these enchiladas with the cumin, as directed below. (so you’re just peeling and chopping the squash for both at once, but cooking it separately.)
roasted butternut squash salad: as written, this recipe serves 2, so you could get a medium butternut squash and just keep the garlic cloves off to the side.
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4” (2 cm) cubes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 15.5 oz. (439 g.) low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup frozen yellow corn, thawed under warm water
- (8) 6” (15 cm) tortillas, see notes
- 1 cup (4 oz. / 113 g.) coarsely grated monterey jack cheese
- 12 oz. (340 g.) tomatillo salsa (i used trader joe’s hatch valley green salsa)
- sour cream, for serving, optional
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving, optional
- preheat the oven to 425° F. toss the butternut squash, ½ teaspoon of the ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. bake for 7 minutes, toss, and bake for another 7 – 8 minutes, until the squash is tender. transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl and use a potato masher to coarsely mash the squash. set aside and turn the oven down to 350° F.
- heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large, heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. add the onion, sauté 3 minutes, then add the garlic and remaining ½ teaspoon ground cumin and sauté 3 more minutes, until the onion and garlic are soft. add the black beans and corn, cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the beans and corn are heated through. transfer the mixture to the bowl with the squash and stir to combine.
- have on hand a (roughly) 7” x 13” (18 x 28 cm) baking dish. have the shredded cheese and tomatillo salsa set up. once everything is set up and you’re ready to start assembling, put 4 of the tortillas on a microwave safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 15 – 20 seconds, just until warm and pliable. once the tortillas are warm, it’s best to work efficiently so that they stay flexible and don’t crack in half when you try to roll them up. place about ½ cup of the squash mixture down the center of the tortilla and roll up. place in the casserole dish seam side down. repeat with remaining 3 warm tortillas. then repeat the whole process again with the 4 tortillas that are still cold. you may have a little bit of the squash mixture leftover (perhaps for a breakfast burrito or lunch quesadilla?). the enchiladas should be fairly well packed into the casserole dish, so that they hold each other together while baking. pour the tomatillo salsa over the tops of them, and then sprinkle with the cheese.
- bake at 350° F for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are heated through. sprinkle with cilantro, if desired, and serve enchiladas immediately, passing sour cream at the table, if you like. leftovers keep well for a day or two, though the tortilla does begin to absorb moisture from the squash and get a bit soggy, so enjoying the leftovers sooner rather than later is advisable.
as i said above, i love the wheat and corn combination tortillas from trader joe’s because they have yummy corn flavor and flour tortilla strength. you can use whatever tortillas you like.
adapted from squash enchiladas with tomatillo sauce in the july 1998 edition of bon appétit.