Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Top down shot of Butternut Squash Enchiladas with cilantro and garnish of lime for toppings.
These delicious fall enchiladas make the most of sweet roasted butternut squash and are a hearty vegetarian dish for the cooler weather.

To make the dish vegan, omit the cheese- you won’t miss it!
Serves 4

Top down shot of butternut squash enchiladas on plate and in a baking dish.
For the enchilada sauce
3 ozdried guajillo chiles
8cloves garlic, peeled
6plum tomatoes, cored
2serrano chiles, stemmed
1large white onion, cut into 1/4″ slices
1 tbspmild vegetable oil like canola
2 cupschicken or vegetable stock
1pinch dried Mexican oregano
freshly ground black pepper
2 tspsalt
For the filling and assembly
1large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 tspsalt
2sprigs fresh thyme, picked and roughly chopped
juice and grated peel of one lime
1 cupplus 1 tbsp mild vegetable oil like canola
2 cupsplus 1/2 cup grated jack cheese
8corn tortillas
1/4 cupcrumbled queso fresco
4wedges fresh lime
Guajillo chiles' seeds being removed and placed in bowl.

Make the enchilada sauce:

Remove the seeds and stems from the dried chiles and toast them dry for 30 seconds in a medium hot, heavy saute pan. They should smell toasty but not scorched. Place them in a bowl and cover them with 1 ½ cups hot water. Let sit until soft then drain and puree with enough of the soaking water to make a loose paste and reserve.

Tomatoes, white onion, chiles, and garlic being roasted in a cast iron over a stove top.

Heat the same pan to medium hot and roast the garlic, tomatoes, sliced onion, and chiles until blistered and beginning to cook through. Remove and puree in a blender until smooth. In the same pan add the tablespoon of oil and heat over medium heat.

When hot, add the chile paste and fry until it smells toasty. Add the pureed vegetables and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture tastes cooked and sweet. Add the stock and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, blend in a blender, and strain the sauce to remove the seeds and skins from the chiles and vegetables. Return the sauce to the pan and season with salt and dried oregano and black pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm.

Mixture of pureed vegetables and chile paste being mixed together on cast iron over stove top.

Make the filling:

Toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tsp salt, and the chopped thyme. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the chunks are fork tender. Let cool and sprinkle with the lime juice and the grated lime peel. Taste for seasoning. 

Prepare the enchiladas:

Prepare a roughly 9×12 baking dish with ⅓ of the enchilada sauce smoothed into the bottom of the dish. Heat the 1 cup oil in a shallow frying pan and have the warm enchilada sauce ready. One by one, quickly fry both sides of the tortillas and dredge in the enchilada sauce.

Assembly of butternut squash enchiladas over baking sheet with hand placing jack cheese over each one.

Working on a sheet pan or large plate, lay the dredged tortilla flat and fill with a few of the butternut squash chunks (making sure you have divided them to fill 8 tortillas), and a ¼ cup of grated cheese.

Roll the tortilla loosely around the filling and place folded side down in the baking dish, lining up all 8 enchiladas. Drizzle with the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle with the ½ cup remaining jack cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the tortillas are starting to crisp. 

8 enchiladas in baking dish being topped with grated jack cheese.

Serve very hot on a large platter with the queso fresco sprinkled over the top and lime wedges alongside. You can add a few sprigs of fresh cilantro too! 

Top down shot of Butternut Squash Enchiladas on plate with utensils.