Friday, March 20, 2009

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

I have a problem: I can't seem to walk past a butternut squash at the farmer's market without buying it. They just lay there, as they tend to do, looking at me as if to say, "you know you want me, and you know I'm relatively non-perishable in the vegetable world". Who can resist that? They had me at "non-perishable". 

OK, they don't keep forever, but when I rush home from the market with wonderful fresh fruits and veggies that I have to use up before they spoil, it's nice to know that my butternut squashes are happy just chillin' on the counter for a while. So, as you can imagine, the cocina is well-stocked with this wonderfully versatile winter squash.

One of my biggest challenges in the kitchen (and maybe yours, too?) is trying to find ways to use up ingredients leftover from different recipes. For example: chipotle chilis in adobo sauce. A recipe never calls for a whole can of them, so I'm always left with some in the refrigerator, and I'm ashamed to admit how many times they've been pushed to the back only to be discovered some time later covered in a nice, shall we say, homemade sweater.

I recently made a very nice black bean chili with chipotle chilis (which you will be seeing here soon, oh yes you will) and was determined that this time I was going to put the leftovers to good use.  The very next day I stumbled upon this recipe near the front of my current issue of Vegetarian Times, tucked away in the "letters" section, practically begging to be overlooked. I spotted butternut squash and chipotle chilis in the ingredients list and immediately got cooking. 

You really can't go wrong with this one. You can control the heat that the chilis contribute by reducing the amount of extra adobo sauce you add, but I wouldn't omit it entirely, as I think it really complements squash. A bonus, too, is that you're left with enough of the ingredients (chilis, cream cheese, tortillas, etc) that you can technically make a second batch without having to buy too much more. You can then stick that batch in the freezer and count on dinner already being done for another time.

Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Adapted from Vegetarian Times

1 butternut squash (1-1/2 lb), halved and seeded
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
1 to 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, diced + 1 tbsp adobo sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
3 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 green onions, chopped (1/3 cup)
1 16-oz. can enchilada sauce
8 tortillas (I used whole-wheat tortillas)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used reduced-fat version)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash cut-side down on baking sheet (for easy clean up, cover your baking sheet with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray). Roast 45 minutes, or until soft. Cool until easy to handle. Scoop squash into bowl and mash.

2) Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 5 to 7 minutes, or until soft. Add chipotle chilis, adobo sauce, and garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring often.

3) Stir in mashed squash, cream cheese, cumin, and nutmeg. Cook 3 minutes more, or until heated through. Remove from heat and fold in green onions.

4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce over bottom of 9 x 13" baking dish. Divide filling among tortillas and roll up. Place filled, rolled tortillas in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheddar cheese. 

5) Bake 30 minutes or until top begins to brown and sauce is bubbly.


  1. Officially approved by Jennica. I liked its mixture of tastes and its bold spice in the occasional bite. Anything creative and vegetarian--I'm down for!

  2. I'm making this Friday night as well. I'm very excited!