Butternut squash and black bean tacos are jam-packed with flavor from simple plant-based ingredients and classic taco seasonings. This vegetarian main is easy to make and perfect for weeknight dinners!
Last month I shared a post on how to roast butternut squash, and since then I've been making these butternut squash tacos on repeat.
If you're looking for an easy weeknight meal that's filled with flavor and satisfying plant-based ingredients, then I think you'll love these tacos.
- Dietary-features: vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan-optional (just omit the cotija cheese), soy-free, nut-free
- Made with taco-seasoned roasted butternut squash and black beans
- Can be made from frozen butternut squash
- Easy to double and freeze for later meals
- Great for more than tacos: enjoy the butternut squash black bean filling in burritos, quesadillas, in bowls, etc.
- Butternut squash: One small "personal size" butternut squash is all you need. See below for tips for how to use frozen squash.
- Black beans: I like to use black beans labeled "no added salt" for more control over sodium levels.
- Seasonings include dry oregano, cumin, chili powder, smoke paprika, and garlic powder.
- Tortillas: 6-inch corn tortillas are my go to but flour also works.
- Coleslaw: The fixings are up to you, but I like to add the zesty slaw from my chipotle cauliflower tacos recipe. This is a simple combination of mayo, lime zest, lime juice and agave syrup (or white sugar).
How to make this recipe
Roasting the butternut squash takes the majority of the time in this recipe.
To roast butternut squash, start by cubing it into ¾ inch pieces. The smaller the pieces, the more quickly they roast!
Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Layer evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (the parchment paper is optional but makes cleaning up easier).
Roast for a total of 30-35 minutes, until fork-tender and soft. Toss halfway through to allow even cooking.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the drained and rinsed black beans, roasted squash, taco seasonings and vegetable broth.
Cook 4-5 minutes, until the flavors are melded together and the butternut squash is getting almost charred.
Assemble your tacos with slaw, guacamole, salsa, etc. Enjoy!
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Looking for more protein? You might like adding this tempeh taco meat or chorizo-style tofu crumbles.
- Have extra butternut squash? Use it in kale salads, with tortellini, or anywhere you would usually use roasted sweet potato (like these sweet potato tacos!).
- More ways to use the butternut squash black bean filling: add to fajita veggie burrito bowls, taco salads, quesadillas, or burritos.
- Topping ideas: I usually go for guacamole, cotija cheese, spicy salsa, and quick pickled onions.
- Taco seasonings: If you keep homemade taco seasoning on hand, you can use 2 tablespoons in place of the recommended seasonings in the recipe.
Yes, the squash and black bean filling freezes well. Let cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer safe container. For best quality, freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight before reheating.
For best quality, enjoy refrigerated leftovers within 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat with an extra splash of water or broth to keep the filling from drying out.
You can use completely thawed frozen squash. Pat with a clean towel to remove any excess moisture before tossing with oil. Because frozen squash is par-cooked, it will need just 15-20 minutes of roasting instead of 30-35 minutes.
Yes, feel free to use an equal amount of sweet potato. You can peel the sweet potato for a similar texture or leave it on and the sweet potatoes will hold their shape better. Sweet potato will take 30-40 minutes to roast at 425F.
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Butternut Squash Black Bean Tacos
Butternut Squash Black Bean Filling
- 2 pounds butternut squash
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil any neutral oil works
- ½ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 small lime
- 3 cups shredded purple cabbage from ½ head cabbage
- ¼ cup vegan mayo
- 1 small lime
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup or white sugar
- pinch salt
- 8 6 inch corn tortillas heated in a skillet
- ¼ cup cotija cheese
- fresh cilantro for topping
- guacamole for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper (optional).
- Peel skin and remove seeds from butternut squash. Dice into ¾ inch pieces. Add diced squash to a large bowl and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
- Spread the butternut squash out onto the baking sheet. Try to avoid overlapping the pieces. Bake at 425F for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. The squash is ready when fork-tender and golden.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the roasted butternut squash, black beans, vegetable broth, and spices. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown the butternut squash.
- Remove from heat. Squeeze in the juice from one lime.
- Make the coleslaw by whisking together the vegan mayo, juice from one lime, zest from ½ lime, agave syrup, and a pinch of salt. Toss with the coleslaw.
- Assemble tacos with corn tortillas, coleslaw, cotija cheese and fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
- Butternut squash: Sweet potato also works in this recipe.
- Leftovers and reheating: Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat with an extra splash of water or broth to keep the filling from drying out.
- How to use frozen butternut squash: Completely thaw the frozen squash before using. Pat with a clean towel to remove any excess moisture before tossing with oil. Because frozen squash is par-cooked, it will need just 15-20 minutes to roast.
- How to freeze the filling: Let cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer-safe container. For best quality, freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight before reheating.