Recipes

Black Bean & Squash Enchilada Casserole

Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!

Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!

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First off, that name in itself is a mouthful! But trust me, you’ll love black bean & squash enchilada casserole after you try it once!

In 2019 the husband and I are trying to eat a little less meat. That’s meant more vegetarian or vegan meals, as well as just less meat on the plate when we eat meat (still most days). There’s a ton of great reasons for this, which we can skip here.

Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!
Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!

I’ve been experimenting more with vegetarian meals that are hearty enough to not notice the meat is missing. This becomes even more important as the weather gets cold, when you want something filling and comforting and offers some real substance. (I know, I know, all vegetarians are rolling their eyes right now because of course there’s so many ways to do that without meat.) We knew this was true in theory, but it’s a bit of a novel concept in practice.

Anyway, back to experimenting. It has not been 100% successful. Don’t even ask about the Great Broccoli Soup Catastrophe of 2019 – it was so bad I wouldn’t even choke it down.

One great experiment? Black Bean & Squash Enchilada Casserole! I love Mexican food in all stripes, but I’d never tried using squash as the main “protein.” But I had one that needed using so I went with it.

I regularly take this dish to friends’ homes or group hangouts. A tray of butternut squash enchilada casserole can feed eight, or maybe just six if everyone is a twentysomething guy straight back from the gym.

Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!
Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!
Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!

Enchiladas usually have so much tortilla to them, so this casserole form lets you lighten it up a bit while still getting that smothered feel you crave in true enchiladas.

This dish takes a bit longer than you may want to spend on a weeknight, but it’s great for a Sunday meal prep for a week’s worth of lunches – pair with a salad and you’re done!

With the pickled jalepeños, a little goes a long way. I typically use about 8-10 slices, just over one whole jalapeño. It’s spicy but not burn-your-mouth-out, so adjust to your preference.

Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!
Initial vegetable roasting
Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!
Post roasting, mixed with all the veggies and seasonings.
Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!

Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!
The finished product!

Tools you’ll need: 9×13 pan, large mixing bowl, knife and cutting board.

Black Bean & Squash Enchilada Casserole

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: fall, vegetarian, winter

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash about 2 lbs
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 green bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 2 14 oz cans black beans rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbsp pickled jalapeño about 8 slices
  • 6-7 tortillas taco-sized
  • 1 cup Mexican or cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Dice the butternut squash and slice the pepper and onions. 
  • Toss the chopped vegetables with oil, cumin, chili powder and salt in a 9×13 baking dish. Roast for 45 minutes.  
  • Turn the oven temperature down to 350°. In a large bowl, toss the roasted vegetables with black beans, cilantro, jalapeño and 1 cup enchilada sauce. Cut the tortillas into 6 triangles each. 
  • In the same 9×13 pan, pour a thin layer  (about 1/2 cup) of enchilada sauce on the bottom, then a layer of tortillas – use about half. Add the vegetable mixture, then another tortilla layer. Pour the rest of the sauce over, then top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream, avocados or black olives. 
Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!
Black bean & squash enchilada casserole gives all the best parts of enchiladas in vegetarian form!

What are your favorite vegetable-forward meals?? I’m always looking to try new recipes!

Want more great meal options? Check out my entire recipe database!

Thoughts?

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