Butternut Squash Enchiladas

A couple weeks ago PCC tweeted this recipe from the Detroit Free Press for “Enchiladas Calabaza.”

Here’s my tweaked and veganized version of it, which turned out great. It made a lot (the original recipe calls for WAY more squash than you’ll need. I’ve scaled it down here, but you’ll still have enough for lots of servings). Feed a crowd or freeze individual portions for quick lunches and dinners later. I used canned sauce but made the tortillas from scratch. The recipe could easily be gluten- and soy-free with the right sauce.

Makes: about 22 small enchiladas


3-4 pounds butternut or favorite winter squash
3-4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 cups diced onions
1 cup sliced green onions
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt

Cashew Cream
(I have always hated cream cheese, so this is the sub I used rather than a more direct vegan replacement for the cream cheese. If you like it, feel free to use 8 oz. of your favorite brand of vegan cream cheese instead.)

1 cup raw cashew pieces
1 cup cold water
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste

22 corn tortillas (4 to 5 inches in diameter)

14 oz. can red enchilada sauce (Be sure to check ingredients, as not all commercial sauces are vegetarian. This amount made for minimally saucy enchiladas, which I liked because it let the flavor of the filling really come through. If you want them saucier, you might want as much as double this.)

Equivalent of one package Daiya cheese (we used a combination of cheddar and pepperjack flavors.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the filling: Peel and seed the squash. Cut squash flesh into 1-inch pieces and spread the pieces out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil and toss to coat.

Bake about 30-45 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven (leave oven on) and transfer squash to a large bowl. Mash up the squash a bit, then set aside.

Roasted squash cubes, ready to go. In the background, purple cauliflower for a side and chopped green onion for filling and garnish.

While the squash is roasting, blend the cashew cream ingredients together into a smooth, thick cream. You can save a bit of loud blending time by doing a quick grind first for 30 seconds or so, then letting the tiny cashew pieces soak in the liquid until the squash is nearly ready before blending the rest of the way to a silky consistency.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sauté the diced onions. When soft and nearly transparent, add the spices and sauté for 5 more minutes.

Onions and spices, smelling fantastic.

Remove from the heat and stir in the mashed squash, green onions (reserve a few for garnish), and cashew cream.

Filling is a just few stirs away from being ready to go.

Pour a thin layer of sauce in a large, shallow baking pan (a lasagna pan works well). Freshly made tortillas will be ready to go, but if using store-bought ones, steam or microwave them to soften so they don’t split when you roll them. Place about 1/4 cup (more if using larger tortillas) of squash filling in the center of the tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in a lightly oiled baking dish.

Pour sauce evenly over enchiladas. Bake 30 minutes, until just starting to brown on the edges. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake ten more minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve.

We went a little crazy with the sides, but they were all great! From the left, there’s purple-cabbage slaw with sriracha-Vegenaise dressing and orange slices, garlicky black beans spiked with Flameboy XXX hot sauce (which has a nice smoky note in it) and topped with counter-ripened tomato (amazingly juicy and flavorful!) from a neighbor’s yard, and roasted cauliflower with chipotle-flavor Yumm! sauce. Both sauces are made by Oregon companies and highly recommended if you can get them!

This entry was posted in Freezer-friendly foods, Gluten free, Recipes, Savory stuff, Seasonal recipes--Autumn and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Butternut Squash Enchiladas

  1. Carol says:

    I am really excited to make these- they look delicious!

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