I don’t know what I hate more—the fact that it’s Monday or that I’m not eating one of these incredibly delicious tacos RIGHT NOW!!! Ok, I may be a bit hangry, but still these tacos might just be one of my new favorite things!
You know how when you’re have a dinner party and you invite people from different walks of life that don’t know each other and you hope, hope, hope that the night is going to work out and not end in tears, fistfights or yawns? Well, these tacos are those guests that forever endear themselves to a host’s heart because they get along so harmoniously and make the evening a huge and memorable success! How’s that for an analogy?!!
The tender sweetness of the roasted butternut squash perfectly compliments the slight bitterness of the spinach and earthy starchiness of the beans, with that charred tortilla adding just the right amount of smokiness.
And for excitement, there’s the chipotle creme, adding just the perfect blend of zing and cool creaminess. Your tastebuds will be doing cartwheels!
Plus, the whole thing comes together easily and can even be prepared in advance.
And if that’s not enough, it’s a totally vegetarian meal which makes it just the meal for Meatless Mondays, which is not something I strictly do, mostly because I can’t be that organized but if you do the MM, I guarantee you’re going to be turning to this over and over again to start off your week. Happy Monday!!
Roasted Butternut Squash, Spinach and Black Bean Tacos
Makes 4 servings
The Oaxacan Black Beans are delicious and easy, but if you are pressed for time, you could just use 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained and heated up.
Prep Time: Under an hour
For the Chipotle Creme
1 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeds removed and minced (if you want it really spicy you can leave the seeds in)
1 teaspoons fresh lime juice
A little dab or two of the adobo sauce
For the Oaxacan Black Beans
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Two 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
For the Tacos
2 large butternut squashes, about 4 pounds, peeled, seeded and cubed (you could definitely use a couple of pre-cut squash boxes for this if you want to save time)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
Black pepper for seasoning
12 ounce bag baby spinach
8-10 flour or corn tortillas
1. To make the Chipotle Cream: In a small bowl, stir the sour cream, chipotle chile, and lime juice together. Taste and if you want it to have a bit more kick, add a dab or two of the chipotle sauce from the can and a pinch of salt if you like. Cover and refrigerate. You can definitely make this ahead but bring it to room temperature before serving so that it’s easier to drizzle. Also, this makes more than you will probably need for 4 people but it’s great to have leftover as a dip for veggies or chips.
2. To make the butternut squash: Preheat oven to 400ºF and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the squash evenly between the two sheets and drizzle each with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle each with the chili powder and salt and toss well to coat. Make sure the squash is spread out in a single layer on each sheet and roast for 45 minutes, stirring the squash a few times during the process. You want it to be tender and browned, but not falling apart. Also, this makes more than you will probably need for 4 people but if you’re doing it anyway, I figure might as well have extra squash around to nibble on—never goes to waste!
3. To make the beans: In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until it's softened and sort of see through. Add in the garlic and salt and pepper and saute for another minute, letting the garlic soften but not burn. Add in the beans and stir well. Add the broth, stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that the liquid is just simmering and let the beans cook for about 20 minutes, until they thicken and much of the liquid has evaporated. Add more salt and pepper if necessary and let the beans rest for about 10 minutes. You could also make this the day before or earlier in the day and keep it refrigerated until ready to use. Just heat them up before serving.
3. When the squash is nearly done, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the spinach. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and use tongs to stir the spinach often, so that it just barely wilts. This should take 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Warm the tortillas in the microwave or char them a bit over an open flame using tongs. Fill tortillas with a mixture of squash, beans and spinach. Drizzle some chipotle creme on top and serve immediately.
Note: Recipe adapted from Taco Night by Kate McMillan. I doubled the amount of squash because why not, upped the amount of spinach too and tinkered with the spices.