Crunchy on the outside, soft and spicy on the inside, these black bean and butternut squash chimichangas are a deliciously satisfying fall meal.
Guys, I’m so excited that we’re into squash season. As usual around this time of year, I’ve got a bunch of squash ideas. This year, for once, I’ll try to space out my multitude of butternut squash posts out over the season. I think. That’s always my intention when making these dishes, but sometimes I get excited and go a bit overboard. I’ll do my best!
Incidentally, I discovered yesterday that I might have an allergy to butternut squash. Nothing big, just a dermal allergy. I was chopping when my hands started to get irritated, particularly my left hand, which I was using to hold the squash. The skin started cracking and peeling! I Googled around a bit to see what might be up, and apparently skin allergies to butternut squash are common. Ah well. I’ll have to remember to wear gloves in the future.
This time around my squash went into chimichangas. My mom used to make chicken chimichangas when I was growing up. They were one of the few meat-oriented dishes that I remember liking, so I thought it was about time I tried a vegan version for the blog.
When I started working on developing a vegan chimichanga recipe I learned that chimichangas are normally deep-fried. Eek! I had no idea. Mom’s were always baked, and since I enjoyed those, I decided I’d stick with the oven approach. On those rare occasions that I do treat myself to some greasy deep-fried goodness, I do so at a restaurant and let someone braver than I deal with spattering grease, thank you very much.
Despite not being fried, the tortillas crisp up beautifully, while the filling stays soft and has a rich, spicy southwestern flavor, so these are really fun to bite into. The smokiness and spiciness of the chipotles goes awesome with the butternut sweetness, which I’ve enhanced ever so slightly with some agave. I can’t really remember what mom’s chimichangs tasted like at this point, but I do know that I felt just as blissful eating these as I did when I was little. Crispy little tortilla pockets of happiness, butternut squash style.
Butternut Squash Black Bean Chimichangas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound butternut squash diced (about 4 cups)
- 1 small red onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce minced + 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can (or to taste - use less for a milder version)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave optional, to balance out the flavor - you can leave it out if you're opposed to adding sugar
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 large burrito size flour tortillas
- Your favorite salsa
- Cashew sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Toss the butternut squash cubes in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange them on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping about half way through, until tender and slightly crisp. Remove from the oven, but keep the oven on.
- When your squash has about 5 minutes bake time to go, place 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and sauté another minute.
- Add the beans, chipotles, adobo sauce, syrup or agave, lime juice cumin, salt, pepper, vegetable broth, and squash (which should be out of the oven by now).
- Stir everything up and cook until most of the liquid cooks off, about 1-3 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro and remove the skillet from the heat.
- Place 1/4 of filling into the center of each tortilla. Fold up top and bottom, and roll sides closed. Place on an oiled baking surface, seam side down, and brush with the remaining olive oil. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- Bake for about 20 minutes (oven should still be at 400°), until the tortillas begin to brown.
- Serve with your favorite salsa, avocados or cashew sour cream.