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Tacos with Beans & Butternut

Bean & Butternut Squash Tacos

Mike Gonzalez
These yummy tacos will have you shouting "Ole!" ... and then tightening your belt a notch! Mexican CAN be healthy!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 tacos
Calories 379 kcal



  • 8 oz tomatillos
  • 2 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • ¼ cup sliced white onion
  • ½ ripe avocado diced
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp Freshly ground pepper to taste


  • 4 cups butternut squash diced
  • 4 small dried red chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic unpeeled, smashed and left whole
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ tsp dried oregano preferably Mexican, divided
  • ½ tsp salt divided
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground toasted cumin seeds divided
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans drained
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • tsp Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup red or green cabbage finely shredded and chopped
  • 8 tsp queso fresco crumbled


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.
    8 oz tomatillos
  • 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.
    2 cloves garlic, 1 jalapeño pepper, ¼ cup sliced white onion, 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 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.
    ½ ripe avocado, 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, ¼ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp Freshly ground pepper

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.
    4 cups butternut squash, 4 small dried red chiles, 2 cloves garlic
  • 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.
    ¾ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp cumin seeds, 2 cups cooked pinto beans, ½ tsp chili powder, ⅛ tsp Freshly ground pepper, ½ tsp ground toasted cumin seeds
  • 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.)
    8 corn tortillas, ½ cup red or green cabbage, 8 tsp queso fresco, ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves