Butternut Squash-Spinach Enchiladas

I’m spending this Thanksgiving at my friend Andrea’s giant house in the country with 13 other people, 5 dogs, and 2 babies. It’s been a super-relaxing time, filled with cooking, eating, wine-drinking….repeat, repeat, repeat.

I love cooking for a crowd, so I’ve happily taken on a few of the meals while we’re here. This afternoon I made Harira (Moroccan Chickpea Soup), which I’ve already posted on this blog. My contribution to our amazing Thanksgiving feast was Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and for dinner on Wednesday I made Butternut Squash-Spinach Enchiladas.

The enchiladas aren’t what I’d call a quick meal — a double batch took me about 2 hours to pull together – but they did earn rave reviews, and they’d be great as leftovers. Buying pre-peeled butternut squash (or having a better vegetable peeler on hand) probably would have taken a good 20 – 30 minutes off that total, though.

Here’s the recipe.
Butternut Squash-Spinach Enchiladas

(Credit to this recipe at the Daily Garnish, which served as my inspiration for this meal)

Ingredients:  (makes 6-8 large enchiladas)

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 small onions (or 1 medium onion)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large package of spinach (1 lb)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • 6-8 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 batch homemade enchilada sauce (recipe above)
  • 4 oz – 6oz shredded monterey jack cheese

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
(makes 3 cups)

  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tsp (or 3 cloves) minced garlic
  • salt to taste
  • Dash of cayenne (if desired…a little goes a long ways)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel, de-seed, and cube the butternut squash. (Warning: this takes FOREVER. If you can find a package of pre-cut squash, it’ll save you a ton of time.)

Toss squash with a bit of oil and salt, and spread evenly on a sheet pan.  Roast for 45 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally during cooking. The squash should be slightly browned and very soft when finished.

While the squash is roasting, make your enchilada sauce:

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and stir until completely dissolved and smooth.

Add chili powder and stir for 1 minute to cook.  Add tomato paste, vegetable broth, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, cumin, and garlic, and stir to combine.  Sauce should thicken.  Salt to taste, and then stir over medium heat to cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat.

Dice onions and saute with a little bit of olive oil in a large frying pan till soft and light brown. Add diced garlic and fry for a few minutes. Add spinach and cook till soft (adding a cover helps speed up the process.)

Add 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Add drained can of black beans, stir, and cook a few minute till heated through.

When the squash is done, transfer it to a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of cumin and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and stir.

Add onion-bean-spinach mixture and stir. Taste for salt and pepper.

Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish.  Scoop squash filling evenly onto tortillas and then loosely roll.

Place filled tortillas seam side down in the baking dish.Top tortillas with the remainder of the enchilada sauce. Make sure to cover all of the tortilla, including the sides and edges, are covered with sauce.

Top with shredded monterey jack cheese.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

~Melissa

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One response to “Butternut Squash-Spinach Enchiladas

  1. The enchiladas look great, Melissa! I’ll definitely try them. Btw, Trader Joes has a bottled enchilada sauce that is excellent (with 3 Mexican-heritage kids living with us we eat a LOT of Mexican food!). I’ll probably use that and cut even more prep time.

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