Born Pinner, Budding Chef | Butternut Squash + Mushroom Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

You guys. You guys! I have become completely obsessed with butternut squash this winter. Not obsessed like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or Downton Abbey-obsessed, but the look at that, I'm cooking with butternut squash again kind of obsessed. And I'm cool with it. It's just so versatile. It has a mild -- not too sweet, but sweet enough -- taste that absorbs herbs and spices so well. It's texture is just as versatile, as it is roasted or blended into a sauce. Yeah, I'm in food-love.

In fact, I already shared a recipe featuring this awesome root veggie in this series (Butternut Squash Kale Lasagne that will rock your world), but today's recipe is Butternut Squash and Mushroom Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce. It scrolled through my Pinterest feed from Pinch of Yum, and it's definitely more than just a pinch of deliciousness.

First warning: it's a bit of an involved recipe, so I recommend it as a weekend meal, when you can take pleasure in a couple hours of cooking (perhaps while your sig-other clears the house with an outing to the park or otherwise, in which case you'll need a glass of wine to help you enjoy cooking in the silence, winky winky).

I'll present the recipe a bit differently than Pinch of Yum, for busy moms trying to multitask, as there are a few steps that can be done while otherwise running around the house.

Second warning: your family will be shocked at how flavorful and delicious these turn out, and the pan will quickly disappear despite this recipe making a million enchiladas (give or take a few).

What You Need:

For the Enchiladas

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño, chopped, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red pepper (2 peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces fresh chopped mushrooms
  • 12-15 corn tortillas (I made my own because the World's Cutest Human is allergic to something in store-bought tortillas)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

For the Sauce

  • 2 lbs. tomatillos
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 2 cups broth
  • ½ cup half and half or cream (I substituted greek yogurt and it tasted great!)
  • Salt to taste

For the Toppings

  • Avocado
  • Queso fresco
  • Cilantro

What You Do:

I've separated the prep into parts, because as usual, I read the recipe and then did it my own way. The parts ramp up in commitment level, so you can ease into the process of prepping and assembling this dish.

Part One: The "I Can Still Do Things Around the House" Pre-Prep Section

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare your squash by cutting it in half, removing the seeds, and placing it hole-side-down on a baking sheet (I cover my baking sheet in foil, but use spray or whatever you like to do. 400 degrees is too hot for parchment or wax paper, however). Roast the squash for about one hour.
  3. Prepare your tomatillos by removing the husks and washing them.
  4. Wash your red pepper and jalapeño, as well.
  5. When the squash is about half-way done, around 30 minutes, add the red pepper, jalapeño and the tomatillos to the baking sheet and allow everything to roast together for the remaining 30 minutes until the skins of the tomatillos have brown or black spots on them and the tomatillos are soft. The squash should be fork-soft, too.
  6. Note: check the tomatillos, jalapeño and the red pepper every ten minutes and rotate them, so they don't burn on any one side. Remove anything that seems done early.
  7. If you don't want or need to do anything else around the house, you can also use this time to chop your cilantro, garlic, onion, avocado and measure out your spices, to make assembly easier later.

Part Two: The "Okay, I'm Committed to the Kitchen Now" Prep Section

  1. Tortillas: if you make your own, make them now. If not, ignore this step.
  2. Sauce: Place your roasted tomatillos in a blender with the garlic and cilantro and puree until mostly smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and add the broth. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add the cream and season with salt.
  3. Enchilada Filling: Throw the chopped up red pepper, jalapeño, onions and mushrooms into a large nonstick pan over high heat and saute for a few minutes. Add the roasted squash (I used about half of mine, and saved the other half for other uses), 1 tablespoon butter, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Set aside.

Part Three: The Assembly, Baking and Clean-Up Stretch!

  1. Hopefully you left your oven on at 400 degrees. If not, re-preheat it to 400.
  2. If you are using store-bought tortillas (no judgement!), wrap the tortillas in a moist paper towel and warm in the microwave.
  3. Stuff each softened tortilla with the squash and mushroom filling.
  4. Roll and place seam-side-down in a baking dish. Repeat until finished.
  5. Cover with sauce and top with cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with your favorite toppings.
  6. Mom multitasking tip: do whatever clean-up you can accomplish in the 10-15 minutes (could be 20 depending on your oven) that the enchiladas are baking. It will save you some of the headache later, and allow you to enjoy the meal in more peace without fearing the level of clean-up at the end of the meal!

Part Four: Bring on the Love!

  1. Serve enchiladas with extra sauce, extra fresh cilantro, some queso fresco and fresh avocado.
  2. Bask in the praise radiating back at you from around the table.

Note that this recipe makes a lot, so you'll have leftovers to freeze (unless you're raising a teenage boy) or serve for lunches.

I hope you enjoy! Leave a note in the comments with your thoughts once you try the dish -- did you like it? How did you modify?