How To: Butternut Squash Enchiladas

When I was younger, one of my favourite restaurants was Chi-Chi’s. A very popular Mexican chain restaurant in the 80’s, it was the venue for every family birthday celebration up until the age of 10. I can still here the hostess’s friendly greeting “buenos noches, welcome to Chi-Chi’s.” 

While their deep fried ice cream was a favourite, what I really loved was their take on a grilled cheese. Basically, a corn tortilla, filled to the brim with gooey melty cheese. I was a simple young girl, satisfied by anything smothered in cheese. While Chi-Chi’s may have since closed, my craving for some cheesy Mexican goodness has not faltered. However, I think my tastes may have gotten a bit more sophisticated and I may need a little more than just cheese inside my corn tortillas. Enter our favourite winter vegetable, butternut squash.

When this baby is roasted whole and the sweet and soft orange flesh is mixed with some flavourful herbs and spices (and of course, cheese) it makes the perfect filling to be wrapped up in a tasty corn tortilla. The best part? There’s no finicky peeling of the squash or cutting and dicing. Simply cut in half, scoop out the seeds, place on a pan, throw it in the oven and you’re done! So you really have no excuses! And these b-nut squash-filled babies are also much more nutritious than the plain old cheesy quesadilla…a double bonus!

These roasted butternut squash enchiladas will satisfy your cheesy Mexican craving and will also provide you with leftovers that are perfect for dinner or lunch the next day. Also, a great make ahead dish — the entire dish can be prepared a day in advance and simply popped in the oven when you get home from work. The creamy filling is so satisfying that even your most carnivorous friends will love this dish.

Roasted Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Serves 4-5
Dietary Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (cut in half, seeds removed)
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce (seeds removed, minced)
  • 1 Tsp adobo sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp low fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp green onion (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1/2-1 cup cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, montery jack...etc.) (grated)
  • 6 corn tortillas (wrapped in damp paper towel and heat in microwave for 20 seconds to soften)

Note

The enchilada filling can be prepared up to a day in advance. If you like things spicy, you can add an extra chill. These are great served with some guacamole or salsa on the side and a nice green salad. A margarita or two wouldn't hurt either!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place squash flesh side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool and scoop out filling into a large bowl and discard skins.
2. Mash squash with cream cheese, cilantro, green onion, chipotle chili, cumin, adobo sauce and mix well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Place about 2 large spoonfuls in the centre of each corn tortilla and roll up tortilla. Place tortillas seem side down in an 8 x 8 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
4. Cover tortillas with enchilada sauce and spread sauce out until the whole pan is nicely coated. Sprinkle with as much or as little cheese as you like.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes,or until enchiladas are bubbly and cheese is melted.

It may not be the prettiest enchilada, but it sure is the tastiest! And thanks to these enchiladas, my Chi-Chi’s craving is once again satisfied!

Dara 

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