Roasted Butternut Squash Enchiladas

inspired by Bandidas Tacqueria

4 ½ cups (950 grams) peeled and cubed 1 cm butternut squash (1 large or 2 small butternut squash)

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 cups pinto or black beans 

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

¼ cup water 

Corn tortillas 

Cheese (sharp cheddar), grated

Butternut squash, pinto beans, delicious enchilada sauce and cheese – what more could you ask for? 

Prior to moving to Victoria, Stephen and I lived in East Vancouver, blocks away from Bandidas – a gem of a restaurant on Commercial and 12th ave.

I remember when Bandidas Tacqueria opened in 2009. My roommate started working in their kitchen, and was the first to introduce us to their tasty tacos, enchiladas and generous breakfast dishes. It didn’t take long for Bandidas to become a local favourite. They consistently served healthy, abundant and tasty food, and created a community at the corner of Commercial and 12th.  As a restaurant, Bandidas has gone above and beyond supporting and reinvesting in their local community. They host fundraisers, donate to local initiatives and display artwork of local artists. Throughout their growth, they remained consistent to their values of sustainability and supporting local businesses. 

For 10 years, I lived blocks away from Bandidas. Stephen and I were frequent visitors, and we never seemed to tire of their tasty food. I can say with pride, that I’ve likely tried everything on the menu. One of my all-time favourite dishes was their Dani’s enchilada. These enchiladas are filled with roasted butternut squash, topped with ranchera (or salsa verde) sauce, covered with cheese and baked in the oven. I always got mine with a “beautiful side salad”.

When we moved away from Vancouver, we missed our East Van community and being close to Bandidas. We missed the tasty burritos, the delicious enchiladas and the familiar community this restaurant created. 

Naturally, it didn’t take me long to try and recreate the food I was missing. This recipe is my closest rendition to their Dani’s enchilada. I’ve added pinto beans to the butternut squash to provide a little more protein, and I suggest serving the enchiladas with a generous side of guacamole. While it may not fully replace the Bandidas experience, it’s a delicious meal that is versatile and easy to make, and for me, brings back great memories.

For those of you in Vancouver – if you want the real thing, Bandidas is offering take-out or bike delivery during COVID-19. 

— Sarah

Serves 4

Directions for the enchilada sauce

  1. You can buy enchilada sauce from the store, or make your own. I really like the enchilada sauce from Cookie and Kate. For this recipe, I use her enchilada sauce.
  2. If you don’t have enchilada sauce, you can also use salsa (regular or verde) to cover the tortillas.

Directions for the enchiladas

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, cumin and chilli powder. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onions become translucent. Stir regularly to prevent burning.
  3. Add the cubed butternut, pinto beans and water. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the squash is tender, for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Warm the corn tortillas on the stove or in the microwave.
  5. Place between 1/3- ½ cup of butternut squash filling in the centre of each corn tortilla and roll.
  6. Place the rolled tortilla in a baking dish, with the seam down. Repeat, until the baking dish is full.
  7. Pour the enchilada sauce over the filled tortillas. Cover with cheese, and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with guacamole.
  9. If you don’t have enchilada sauce, you can also use salsa (regular or verde) to cover the tortillas.

Further ideas and modifications

  • You can add chopped spinach to the butternut squash, in the last couple of minutes of cooking.
  • The enchiladas pair well with a side-salad.
  • You can add jalapeno peppers to the filling if you want more of a kick!

1 Comment

  1. Denise Cole

    Yum! Will try this one.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Recipes

Hot and Sour Miso Shiitake Soup

Hot and Sour Miso Shiitake Soup

This savory and spicy soup is full of warming herbs and immune-supporting shiitake mushrooms. It’s perfect for a cold day, or at the onset of a cold.