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  • Winter Squash Enchiladas

    December 9, 2009

    I love winter produce and I love Mexican food and when you put them together you get Winter Squash Enchiladas. As we all know, a healthy diet includes lots of colorful foods and this is a great way to get some orange and yellow in your diet.

    Also, they are a great make ahead meal that will get you out of the kitchen and enjoying family and friends.  This recipe makes about 22 enchilads.

    Here’s what you will need:

    1 butternut squash

    1 acorn squash

    1 poblano pepper

    1 small sweet onion, diced

    1 red bell pepper, diced

    3-4 T of chopped cilantro (I usually use more because I love cilantro)

    1 cup or more corn (fresh, frozen or canned)

    1 – 2T sugar

    cumin, chili powder, garlic, liquid smoke, salt and pepper to taste

    About 3 cups of grated cheese – Monterrey Jack is best but Cheddar or any combination thereof will do.

    1 or 2 cans of green enchilada sauce depending on how much you use.  You can make your own tomatilla sauce if you want to be all Martha-y, and I used to do that, but now I have a six-year-old so most of the time I just use Old El Paso mild green chili enchilada sauce which you can find at nearly any grocery store.  The traditional red enchilada sauce doesn’t work well with the mild sweet taste of the squash.

    12-15 Corn Tortillas

    Sour Cream Sauce – sour cream, chicken broth, green chilis, spices

    * * *

    So then… start with two lovely sqaush like you see here, acorn in the back, butternut inthe front. Aren’t they purdy?


    First, bake the squash.  Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. A grapefruit spoon works great for this task.


    Place the squash cut side down on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 until tender, at least an hour, probably and hour and a half.  When they are done, the skin will be soft enough to dent with your finger and your kitchen will smell awesomely good.

    Are they done yet?


    The squash meat should be soft and will have a natural amber caramel glaze.  Set aside and let cool completely.

    Prepare a poblano pepper.  You can either do this on an open flame on top of the stove, on the grill or in the oven.  I like the oven because it is the least amount of trouble.

    Wash and dry your pepper and then place it on a foil lined sheet in a hot oven, about 425.  As the skin begins to char and blister, turn with tongs to allow it to roast evenly. When all sides are charred and blistered, remove from the oven and put in a zip lock bag to steam.  After it cools, remove the outer charred skin, seeds and top and then dice the remaining pepper meat.

    If you don’t want to mess with poblanos, a can of green chillis works too, but you can’t beat the flavor of a poblano pepper.

    Onion and Pepper Mixture.  Next, dice a small sweet onion and a red bell pepper.  (I didn’t have a red pepper,  so I used a yellow one.)  Cook on medium high heat in 2-3T of olive oil until tender.  Add garlic (I use garlic powder if I don’t have fresh which is often), salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke, all to suit your taste.  I realize that liquid smoke is probably a real blue collar ingredient, but I love the little bit of smokey taste it gives food without the trouble of grilling and I use it all the time.


    When all of that is brown, toss in your corn and add 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue cooking until sugar is melted.

    Assemble and Bake. By this time your squash should be cooled.  Scoop out innards into a large mixing bowl.  Add the cooked onion/bell pepper mixture and diced poblanos and about 1 cup of grated cheese and mix well.

    Next, pour just enough green enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large glass baking dish to keep the enchiladas from sticking while baking.

    Microwave a stack of corn tortillas in a covered container for 30 seconds or until soft.  Some people lightly fry the tortillas before filling, but I think the microwave gets the job done with a lot less mess.


    Place about 2 tablespoons of the squash mixture in the center of the warmed tortilla, roll it up and place seam side down in pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Top with a cup or so of green enchilada sauce and then sprinkle cheese on top.  You want to put just enough enchilada sauce on top to keep them from drying out. Too much and they will get a little soggy.  Although they will still taste good.

    Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and top begins to brown.

    You can make these a day ahead.  Take them out of the fridge and bring to room temperature before baking.

    Sour Cream Sauce. Now, when I made these the other day, I thought they needed a little sour cream sauce on top. A quick and easy way to do that is to take about a cup or so of sour cream and put it in a small sauce pan on the stove on low heat. Add some chicken broth to thin and then add some cumin, chili powder, garlic and green chilis or poblanos if you have some left over. Cook on low heat and stir until you get the consistency you want.  Drizzle over the top of the enchiladas just before serving.


    Here’s the final product which doesn’t look all that yummy (there is an art to food photography which I haven’t had time to perfect) but trust me, they taste much better than they look.



    1. Miss Rachel says:

      OOH it looks good!

      December 9th, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    2. Tam says:

      Can’t wait to try these!! Also, I like your Christmas plate. Very festive!

      December 9th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    3. Quirky says:

      That does sound tasty! Not to mention a good way to get some veggies in! Thanks!

      PS- love the holiday plates!

      December 9th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    4. Kim says:

      YUMMY! Not sure I have time to do this recipe before the holidays, but once school is out and I have a little time off, I’m going to have to give it a try!

      December 9th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    5. Julie at Elisharose says:

      Alrighty then. That sounds awesome. I might even be able to get someone to eat squash if I made it Mexican. Thanks.

      December 9th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    6. Nan says:

      Oh, YUM! And veggie, too, so extra points. I luuuurve squash, I might have to just eat it once it’s roasted…

      * * *
      That is my preferred way of eating it – take it out of the oven, sprinkle it with a little salt and eat it right out of the shell. It’s like candy.

      December 9th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    7. Sarah says:

      Mmm I have some butter nut squash to try that with.

      December 9th, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    8. Minnesotamom says:

      Oh, delicious! I haven’t made squash in a good month…maybe it’s time for another round!

      December 9th, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    9. Julie Gillies says:

      This looks and sounds absolutely divine. And so healthy, too. Yum!

      December 9th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    10. rrmama says:

      Looks so yummy. Wish my boys would eat it. Maybe I can come over to your house for dinner!

      December 9th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    11. Shannon says:

      YUMMY!!!! I love butternut squash.

      December 9th, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    12. edj says:

      I think those look AWESOME but my family would cry if I went to all the trouble to make them enchiladas and then put only vegetables in the middle! Sigh…

      December 10th, 2009 at 5:56 am

    13. Lucy says:

      oooooooh…that sounds and looks good. I love corn tortillas on anything. I will be trying this soon. Thanks.

      December 10th, 2009 at 7:59 am

    14. happy geek says:

      I was reading with a cute three year old tucked on my lap and he saw the enchiladas and exclaimed, “ooohhhh, that looks yummy.” I agree.

      December 10th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    15. zoom says:

      That looks so good, and your photography is great. I love your Christmas plates and your kitchen and that sour cream sauce… well that is just looks like something that would make you want to scrape the plate and then be tempted to lick it.

      December 10th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    16. Elizabeth says:

      yummy! I love squashy recipes. A friend shared a pumpkin lasagna recipe with me and it changed my life. Ok, that’s a little much, but it was AWE. SOME! Thanks for sharing. And I love that you drizzle it over instead of bathing it in it!

      December 10th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    17. Ann Kroeker/Not So Fast says:

      They look fabulous AND….we have the exact same Christmas plates!

      December 10th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    18. snarflemarfle says:

      These look delish!! I think I’ll try them this week and if I get a thumbs up, they may make it to my Christmas week menu. I’ve got 7 people coming to my house (in addition to the 4 of us that already live here). This might be a big hit (everyone loves Mexican food and there’s one vegetarian coming).

      December 12th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    19. Pam says:

      I just tried a variation on this — I wouldn’t have thought to put winter squash in enchiladas, but it’s really good! Thanks for the idea!!

      December 23rd, 2009 at 12:02 am

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