Bean & Butternut Tacos with Green Salsa

Bean & Butternut Tacos with Green Salsa

13 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2009

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.

Ingredients 1 serving

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  • Salsa
  • 8 ounces tomatillos
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced white onion
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Tacos
  • 4 cups diced (1/2-inch) peeled butternut squash
  • 3-4 small dried red chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled, smashed and left whole
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, plus 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin seeds (see Tip), divided
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans, drained (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded and chopped red or green cabbage
  • 8 teaspoons crumbled queso fresco (see Note), or feta cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. To prepare tacos: Preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 information

  • Serving size: 2 tacos
  • Per serving: 379 calories; 9 g fat(2 g sat); 15 g fiber; 65 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 204 mcg folate; 3 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 12787 IU vitamin A; 38 mg vitamin C; 160 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 468 mg sodium; 1020 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (254% daily value), Vitamin C (60% dv), Folate (49% dv), Potassium (28% dv), Magnesium (25% dv), Iron (20% dv), Calcium (16% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 4
  • Exchanges: 3 1/2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

Reviews 13

January 28, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
I will make this often with the caveat that I'll make some components ahead of time, like make a double batch of the salsa when I have a Saturday afternoon free. I added to the cooking burden by making homemade corn tortillas with it but it was a beautiful, healthy, delicious dinner. Pros: Very Delicious! Cons: A lot of work
May 07, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
October 09, 2011
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By: brava313
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
June 02, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
This was really great. A fantastic combination sweet, salty, spicy, and tart. There were a lot of components to make, so next time I might double this and use as lunch leftovers for the rest of the week.
May 13, 2010
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By: jocelynn010902
This was such a great dinner last night! Even my 8 year old daughter liked it - with the exception of the squash... haha! But I forgot to make the pinto beans the night before and the only canned beans I had were kidney beans and it was excellent!! The mix of flavors were an excellent combination!! I will definitely make this again and try different varieties of squash and beans! :)
March 12, 2010
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By: Lish
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.
December 20, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This was incredible! There were a lot of components to this meal but overall, the unlikely flavor combinations created a party in my mouth.
December 19, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
My Hubby and I really enjoyed this recipe. The flavor and different textures were great together. It was even tasty the next day for lunch. Will definitely make again.
November 09, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
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!