Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Recipe by Liz Sempervive, Executive Chef of the Millstone Café

Henriette Wyeth (1907 - 1997), Still Life with Velvet (The Gourd), 1968, oil on canvas, 33 1/4 × 26 in. (84.5 × 66 cm). © artist, artist's estate, or other rights holders
Henriette Wyeth (1907 - 1997), Still Life with Velvet (The Gourd), 1968, oil on canvas, 33 1/4 × 26 in. (84.5 × 66 cm). © artist, artist's estate, or other rights holders

Butternut squash is a sweet, light orange colored vegetable with a long neck and a round root end. For this recipe, you will have to peel the squash, cut it, and remove the seeds. You can also choose to save the seeds by rinsing, seasoning and baking them on low heat to have as a salty pumpkin seed snack! 


  • 1 butternut squash, diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil 
  • 1 large onion, diced 
  • 3 Tbs garlic, minced 
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbs cumin
  • 2 Tbs coriander 
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 bunches scallions, sliced 
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 bag baby spinach 
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 2 cans enchilada sauce


Pre-heat oven to 350°F

To prepare the squash: Cut off the top and the root end, then cut the round part away from the long neck. Use a peeler to remove the skin from the butternut squash flesh on both pieces and discard the skin. Set the longer piece aside and work with the round bottom first. Slice the squash in half to expose the seeds and remove them—you can either save the seeds to toast as a snack or discard them. You are now ready to start dicing the squash. Cut the longer piece into rounds. Then cut those rounds into rectangles and then into squares. The smaller halves you can cut into strips, and then into squares. Reserve all the diced squash in a large bowl. If you don’t want to prepare the squash yourself, the grocery store sells cut butternut squash for your convenience.

Once your squash is prepared and diced, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Drain the black beans from their liquid and set aside. Wash, dry and slice the scallions and chop the cilantro. Mix the two herbs together and reserve in a small container with a paper towel at the bottom to absorb any excess liquid. Set the herb mix aside. 

Dice the onions, mince the garlic and sauté together with olive oil in a medium pot until translucent and fragrant. Add the diced butternut squash, season with salt, cumin, coriander and pepper. Stir the vegetables to incorporate all the spices and put the lid on the pot. Let the squash cook until it’s soft all the way through.

Add the black beans, spinach, and herb mix; stir together and cook until the spinach is wilted. Remove the mix from the heat and let cool slightly at room temperature. 

While the vegetable and bean mixture is cooling, prepare your flour tortillas. It’s best to heat the flour tortillas so they are pliable enough to roll into enchiladas. If you want to use corn tortilla you will need to heat them first. Use a sauté pan or a cast iron skillet on medium heat to toast both sides of the tortilla. Be careful not to get any color or it will be too crispy to roll. Once both sides have been heated, set aside stacked in a tea towel on a plate to keep warm. You can also do this step while the squash is cooking. 

Next, assemble your enchiladas! Add the vegetable and bean mix to a mixing bowl, add half the shredded cheese—the rest will be saved for the tops of the enchiladas—and mix until combined. Using a casserole dish of your choice (I like to use a Pyrex casserole dish for this recipe), add enough enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan to cover it completely. Next, use a spoon to add the vegetable and bean mixture to each tortilla—a small amount spread across the middle of the entire tortilla—then roll the tortillas into an open ended burrito and add to the casserole dish. Repeat until the pan is filled with tortillas and stacked in there like sardines in a can.

Add some sauce to the top of the enchiladas and then top with the rest of the cheese. Bake at 350°F until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Add some herb mix to the top for garnish! Serve with Spanish-style rice on the side, lime wedges, sour cream and hot sauce. Enjoy!

Liz Sempervive is the Executive Chef of the Millstone Café and Catering at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. She hopes to bring nourishment to everyone through her scratch cooking, classic dishes and rustic cuisine. Chef Liz is passionate about food accessibility and supporting our local food systems. She believes that collective healing begins with sharing a meal between friends. Her accomplishments include being awarded "Best New Chef, 2019" in Main Line Today magazine and participating as a contestant on Food Network’s Chopped.