I have found in my long life that humanity is divided when it comes to butternut squash. Lovers or haters. Within my own family, 5 out of 7 of us adore the tender, orange vegetable. The other two who shall remain nameless have been known to cry. Whine. Scatter it all over their plate so it looks like they ate at least a bite or two when none was actually consumed. And generally create chaos and employ subterfuge to get out of eating it (too bad they live in our family and not eating it at all isn’t an option).
Aside from the fact that this enchilada skillet meal is fast and tasty and totally loaded with goodness, I love it because my two butternut squash haters didn’t complain. Not even once. Ok, once. But not twice! And that’s a huge victory. I think it was the initial spying of squash that got their defenses up but all was forgotten when the squash was complimented and dare I say – enhanced – with black beans, cheese (hello, cheese!), tender tortillas and a smattering of other hearty flavors.
Sure, once you scoop it out of the skillet, it looks like complete slop, but for me, this meal is heaven. The leftovers are out of this world and the flavor profile (three cheers for black beans and squash together!) is a stellar combination. Plus, it makes use of the amazing homemade green enchilada sauce posted earlier this week and since I already waxed poetic about it’s virtues, I probably don’t need to blab on and on about how the homemade sauce took this meal from good to absolutely phenomenal.
Yep, I’m a butternut squash lover and this skillet meal only reaffirmed that fact. I can’t go so far as to say the two haters in my family were 100% converted but the fact that they ate without gagging is good enough for me. I’m all about the small victories. P.S. In case you are wondering what to serve this with, it’s a pretty hearty, complete meal in itself, but we enjoyed it with a green salad and a plate of clementines and sliced apples.
Make a note that this recipe calls for cooked chicken so plan ahead. You could easily leave out the chicken for a meatless meal if you prefer.
- 1 tablespoon oil (olive, coconut, canola, etc.)
- 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
- 4 cups diced butternut squash (from a small to medium butternut squash that has been peeled and seeded)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 yellow or white corn tortillas, cut into large squares (I cut each tortilla in thirds and then chopped the strips in half)
- 2 cups green enchilada sauce (preferably homemade)
- 2-3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and jalapeno, if using. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften. Stir in the butternut squash, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder.
- Cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the squash is tender. If you want a smoother consistency to the squash, continue cooking until it breaks down to a creamy consistency, otherwise you can cook it just until it becomes tender.
- Stir in the beans, tortillas and enchilada sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes so the tortillas can soak up some of the sauce and start to cook down just a little bit.
- Add the chicken, cilantro and 1 cup of the cheese. Stir to combine and heat through. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and let the mixture sit for 1-2 minutes over medium-low or medium heat until the cheese melts.