Spicy Green Butternut Squash Chickpea Enchiladas

Spicy Green Butternut Squash Chickpea Enchiladas - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Stone Soup
Photo by Ginger Hutlin

Hearty for anytime of the year, this dish reminds me of fall with warm spices and seasonal squash. Enchiladas are often loaded with cheese, meat and salty sauce but you can make them healthier by packing in the veggies and minimizing cheese to get the most vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber possible. Beans add a nice protein balance in addition to the whole wheat tortillas, so you get that satiating feeling to keep you full for hours.

This enchilada recipe is full of spice so make sure to cut down on the chili powder if you need to mellow them out or use sour cream as a garnish at the end to cut it. Avocados are another option to cut the spice and a heart healthy fat that always pairs well with Mexican-inspired meals.

These Spicy Green Butternut Squash Chickpea Enchiladas feature conveniently prepared whole foods like canned beans, frozen butternut squash chunks and frozen corn. Simple ingredients to have on hand, affordable and quick to prepare, look for these types of unprocessed foods that come in a form that makes cooking easier. Did you know that frozen fruits and vegetables have the same nutrient quality as fresh produce? Frozen produce is flash frozen right after it is harvested, maintaining their nutritional value. I never hesitate to use frozen foods; they’re a big part of my shopping list and my meal prep.

Keep in mind that Spicy Green Butternut Squash Chickpea Enchiladas are excellent for freezing or leftovers, be sure to whip up a batch for your lunch or dinner this week.

Spicy Green Butternut Squash Chickpea Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cups of peeled, diced butternut squash (frozen variety for simplicity)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn
  • 15– ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8– ounce can diced green chilies, un-drained
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups salsa verde
  • 8– ounces Colby or Monterey jack cheese, shredded finely
  • 8 6-inch whole wheat or soft corn flour tortillas
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly coat a large sauté pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add frozen butternut squash and corn, sautéing for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add beans, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper, cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often.
  5. In a 12×9 glass baking dish, spread one cup of the salsa verde evenly on the bottom.
  6. Fill each tortilla with about ½ cup of filling, add 2 Tablespoons of shredded cheese, roll tightly and place seam-down in the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas.
  7. When all enchiladas are in the dish, top immediately with the remaining salsa to prevent cracking and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted, remove the foil for the last 5 minutes and let cook until lightly browned.
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve with cilantro garnish.
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Ginger Hultin
Ginger Hultin, MS, RD, CSO, is a Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Seattle-based health writer specializing in integrative health and nutrigenomics. Read Ginger’s blog, Champagne Nutrition, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.


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