Vegetable packed Butternut Squash Enchiladas have a hint of sweetness mixed with black beans, diced tomatoes, garlic and onions, and full of traditional enchilada flavor. Slathered in a red enchilada sauce and covered in melted cheese makes this easy to make the recipe perfect for weeknights.
Butternut Squash Enchiladas
I try to incorporate vegetarian and vegan dinners into our meal plan occasionally, which sometimes works well, especially if it’s a vegetarian dish loaded with cheese, and sometimes I’m the only one who’s happy. These butternut squash enchiladas were a huge hit with everyone, and it may be because they are indeed loaded with cheese.
With a filling of sauteed butternut squash, onion, and garlic mixed in with tomatoes and black beans you get a delicious combination with a hint of sweetness. Covering these packed corn tortillas is a traditional enchilada sauce and tons of cheese.
Ingredients in Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- Butternut Squash: you can use fresh butternut squash or frozen for this recipe, both are delicious and bring a slight hint of sweetness to the dish.
- Onion: combining the onions with the garlic and squash evens the flavors for an earthy finish.
- Garlic Cloves: the warm spicy taste that comes from the garlic enhances the earthy flavor of these enchiladas.
- Olive Oil: using oil to saute the squash, onions, and garlic helps to soften then and provides a small taste.
- Diced Tomatoes: adding the diced tomatoes brings all the other vegetables and filling ingredients together.
- Black Beans: the black beans bring a neutral flavor as well as some protein to these butternut squash enchiladas.
- Spices: salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and some salt and pepper if you like are trademark spices used in traditional enchiladas.
- Water: the water will help the squash soften and circulate the other flavors together when simmering the filling ingredients.
- Corn Tortillas: traditionally enchiladas are made using corn tortillas, but if you like you can also use flour tortillas.
- Red Enchilada Sauce: you can make your own sauce or you can use store-bought. Both versions will work perfectly in this delicious recipe.
- Monterey Jack Cheese: I prefer to shred my own cheese and will usually purchase a block of Monterey Jack cheese to shred myself. You can also use pre-shredded cheese or swap it out for a Mexican blend.
How to Make Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- Saute the vegetables: in a large skillet saute the onions and garlic in oil until fragrant and translucent. Add the butternut squash, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, spices, and water.
- Cook at a simmer: cover the skillet, reduce heat, and let simmer for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Prepare the tortillas: heat the tortillas covered in a damp paper towel in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds and then dredge into enchilada sauce. Place 1/3 cup of filling into each tortilla, roll, and place seam side down into a baking dish. Repeat with all tortillas.
- Bake: Cover the tortillas in enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
How to Cut a Butternut Squash
Below I’ve broken down the steps to cutting a butternut squash using this simple guide.
- Remove the ends first.
- Peel the squash.
- Halve and remove the seeds.
- Cut the squash. For this recipe, cut the squash into smaller squares.
There are many ways to prepare enchiladas and just as many recipe variations. Below are some options for changing up these butternut squash enchiladas.
- How to Make Gluten-Free Enchiladas: this recipe is already gluten-free as long as you use certified gluten-free corn tortillas. Make sure to double-check all the other ingredients to make sure there isn’t any hidden gluten.
- Vegan Enchiladas Recipe: to make these butternut squash enchiladas vegan, remove the cheese or change dairy cheese for a non-dairy option.
- Butternut Squash Enchiladas without beans: you can leave the beans out of this recipe if you’d like or swap them for another bean. Some other great options are chickpeas or if you’d like something different entirely try tofu.
- Vegetarian Enchiladas with Sweet Potato: since butternut squash and sweet potato are so similar you can easily swap them for this recipe. Try this similar recipe for black bean and sweet potato tacos too.
- Additional Fillings: you can add additional fillings to these enchiladas such as corn, bell peppers, or even green chilies.
Tips for making the best vegetarian enchiladas
- To save on time purchase pre-cut butternut squash or use frozen. Often during the fall and winter months, you can find it pre-cut in the produce section.
- Steam your tortillas by wrapping the entire stack in a damp paper towel and heating them in the microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
- Dredge the entire tortilla, after it’s been steamed, into enchilada sauce before filling it.
- If you’re short on time in the evenings you can set these enchiladas up the morning before you plan the make them. Store them covered in the fridge until you’re ready to bake them.
Can I use flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas?
While this isn’t a traditional enchilada recipe, they are traditionally made using corn tortillas. You can swap out the corn tortilla for flour instead if you’d like, which will make them have a softer texture. You also won’t need to heat them before assembly.
- Large Skillet
- Shallow Bowl
- 9×13 Baking Dish
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- 2½ cups Butternut Squash peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 small Onion diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
- 10 ounce Can of Diced Tomatoes drained
- 1½ cups Black Beans rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Cilantro chopped
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder optional
- 1/4 cup Water
- 8 Corn Tortillas
- 1½ cup Red Enchilada Sauce
- 1½ cups Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions become translucent about 3 minutes. Add the butternut squash and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Place the diced tomatoes, black beans, water, cilantro, cumin, and chili powder into the skillet. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 to 35 minutes until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce into a shallow bowl and dredge both sides of the warmed corn tortillas into it. Place about 1/3 cup filling in the center of each tortilla and roll, placing the seam side down on a rimmed 9×13 baking sheet or baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas and sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and begins to bubble.