The butternut squash-and-black bean base in these healthy vegetarian tostadas has a mild, sweet-spicy flavor thanks to ancho chile powder. If you can't find ancho chile powder, other mildly spicy chili powder can be used. Serve with your favorite hot sauce.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2015


Read the full recipe after the video.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add squash, cover and steam until very tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pan. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder and salt. Mash until mostly smooth; cover to keep warm.

  • Meanwhile, combine beans, scallions, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon oil, cumin and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chile powder in a medium bowl. Toss lettuce with the remaining 1 tablespoon each lime juice and oil in another bowl.

  • Spread about 1/4 cup squash on each tostada. Top each with about 3 tablespoons of the bean mixture, 1/4 cup lettuce and 1 tablespoon cheese. Sprinkle with pepitas.


Precut butternut squash is usually sold in a 20-ounce package of large cubes (5 cups of 1- to 2-inch pieces) or in a 16-ounce package of smaller diced squash (3 cups of 1/2-inch pieces). If you can only find the smaller cubes for this recipe, you'll need to buy two 16-ounce packages to have 5 total cups of squash and reduce the roasting time by 5 to 10 minutes. Or, you can prep your own cubes of squash from a whole, peeled and seeded butternut squash.

You can make your own tostadas using fresh corn tortillas. Heat about 1/2 inch canola, peanut or avocado oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add a corn tortilla and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked, reducing heat, if necessary, to prevent the oil from smoking or splattering.

Nutrition Facts

422 calories; protein 13.7g; carbohydrates 51.3g; dietary fiber 10.8g; sugars 8.2g; fat 20.8g; saturated fat 5.2g; cholesterol 10.3mg; vitamin a iu 18702.8IU; vitamin c 38.2mg; folate 142.9mcg; calcium 247.1mg; iron 4.3mg; magnesium 128.3mg; potassium 1019.5mg; sodium 674mg; thiamin 0.4mg.

Reviews (10)

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11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Wonderful! This makes the best tasting vegetarian meal that I have ever eaten and that's really saying something! I did however substitute my regular mild chili powder for the ancho chili powder and used red onion instead of green onion. the result was absolutely delightful and it didnt take long to make. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was amazing - my husband and I absolutely loved it and were amazed at how filling it was! I apparently got a little heavy handed with the chile powder but I just grabbed some vegetarian refried beans from the pantry and mixed it with the spicy squash to tone down the heat. Then I was able to use the leftover squash/refried bean mixture as a protein in my lunches and breakfasts throughout the rest of the week. Will definitely be making it again! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Awesome and easy Our Let's Eat Healthy group (8 people) fixed this exactly as it was written with the exception of using fresh squash rather than frozen (not available). We just cubed it and boiled it since my steamer would not hold 10 cups. Great flavor!!!! It gets a 16 thumbs up from our group! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I can't believe how good this was I usually avoid recipes that don't have reviews but this sounded pretty good. I pretty much followed the recipe except instead of tossing the lettuce with oil & lime juice I skipped the oil and just squeezed a little bit of fresh lime juice on top. I also made my own tostadas by pan frying corn tortillas in a small amount of oil. I figured these changes lowered the calorie and fat content. I thought I might add garlic to the recipe but figured I'd try a serving first and found it really didn't need it. It was also so quick and easy to make even though I didn't use precut squash. It really doesn't get much better than this especially for a super busy student! Pros: Quick & Easy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
So good! Will definitely make again! I followed the recipe exactly and used feta cheese. My husband said this is one of the best meals I ve ever made. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was excellent! Very flavorful! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This has become a staple dinner in our house. It's very good and simple to make. We make it almost weekly now. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This recipe is delicious! Very fresh and satisfying. Feels like you're eating takeout as we rarely eat deep fried foods. Didn't use chili powder as boyfriend is sensitive to spicy food but delicious anyways. Used lots of lime and a very mild jalapeño hot sauce to top it. Found this recipe via the Eating Well 1200 calorie vegetarian meal plan. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is one of my favorite vegetarian recipes: absolutely yummy and so quick and easy. I do make the following changes to make it even easier and lower calorie. Rather than cooking and pureeing squash cubes I use defrosted frozen pureed squash. I eliminate the oil called for. Since I love arugula I use that instead of romaine and spray it with olive oil spray before tossing it with the lime juice. And rather than tostada shells I use low carb/high fiber tortillas (La Tortilla Smart and Delicious made with whole wheat is a personal favorite) toasting it briefly on each side before assembling the dish. Regardless this is a great recipe! Read More