Beans and roasted butternut squash make an outstanding vegetarian taco filling. For the best flavor, use fresh, good-quality chili powder and Mexican oregano. Look for both at Latin markets or in the bulk spice section at well-stocked natural-foods stores.

Vanessa Barrington
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2009






Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare salsa: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cook the tomatillos in the boiling water until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Toast garlic cloves, jalapeno and onion in a dry medium skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned, fragrant and soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

  • When cool enough to handle, peel the garlic. Remove the jalapeno stem and remove seeds if desired. Combine the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, onion and avocado in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Stir in cilantro, salt and pepper. Set aside for topping the tacos.

  • To prepare tacos: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • Put squash in a medium bowl and, using kitchen shears, finely snip chiles to taste into small pieces (seeds and all) into the bowl. Add garlic, oil, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and whole cumin seeds; toss to coat. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until soft and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Peel and finely chop the garlic when cool enough to handle; stir into the squash.

  • Meanwhile, combine beans in a small saucepan with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt, ground cumin, chili powder and pepper. Heat over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.

  • Warm tortillas one at a time in a dry large cast-iron (or similar heavy) skillet over medium heat until soft and pliable. Wrap in a clean towel to keep warm as you go. Spoon 1/4 cup of the warm beans into each tortilla; divide the roasted squash evenly among the tacos and top each with cilantro, cabbage, 1/2 cup of the salsa and cheese. (Refrigerate the remaining 1/2 cup salsa for up to 2 days.)


Make Ahead Tip: The salsa can be prepared ahead (Step 1-3). Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Tip: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool. Grind into a powder in a spice mill or blender.

Ingredient Note: Queso fresco, also known as queso blanco, is a soft, slightly salty fresh Mexican cheese. You can find it in Latin markets and many supermarkets.

Tip: ?How to Cook a Pot of Beans

1. Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours.
2. When you're ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the li

Makes about 6 cups.

Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Nutrition Facts

379 calories; protein 13.5g 27% DV; carbohydrates 65.2g 21% DV; dietary fiber 14.6g 59% DV; sugars 5.1g; fat 8.9g 14% DV; saturated fat 1.5g 8% DV; cholesterol 3.3mg 1% DV; vitamin a iu 12787IU 256% DV; vitamin c 38.4mg 64% DV; folate 203.7mcg 51% DV; calcium 160.3mg 16% DV; iron 3.8mg 21% DV; magnesium 100.2mg 36% DV; potassium 1020.4mg 29% DV; sodium 468mg 19% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 33% DV.

Reviews (14)

Read More Reviews
14 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Tried this the other evening. What a perfect blend of sweet and savory in each bite. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was fantastic! I substituted black beans since I had that on hand. The salsa verde is a must - a traditional tomato salsa would overpower the delicate flavors of the rest of the taco. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I have made this four times in one month!! We love it. I save time by buying the salsa verde. Great recipe. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Pretty Good Autumn Vegetarian Entree My husband loved these tacos but the dried chiles spoiled the squash for me. Also in holding out for browning I overcooked the squash. Instead of assembling the tacos myself I put all the fixings on the table for diners to make their own. We had to eat part of the beans and squash with a fork as there weren't enough tortillas for all that food. Pros: Fantastic Green Salsa Cons: Dried red chiles Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Wow this was really delicious! I bought green salsa (Mrs Renfro's) and mashed 2 avocados into 1/2 cup of salsa. This cut the cook time down to about 30 mintues. Definitely will make this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
SO GOOD! The green salsa was my favorite part... I'd eat that just as a dip. The butternut squash was difficult to process so if I make this in the future I may try to find it frozen. But all in all a FANTASTIC dish! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was incredible! There were a lot of components to this meal but overall the unlikely flavor combinations created a party in my mouth. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Loved this recipe! My husband even enjoyed this. The flavor was great - can't wait to make it again! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Too much work for too little result These tacos were way too much work for too little taste. I had to doctor everything to improve the flavors. I liked my doctored version but would not recommend the original to anyone. Sorry. Pros: Learned to make green salsa with tomatillos Cons: Way too much work Read More