Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas

Two questions I often receive are a) What do I make for Ben and I on an average night, and 2) What are some of my favorite dishes for entertaining friends. These Butternut Squash Enchiladas are my answer to both.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas with White Beans. Our entire family loves this meal, and it's great leftover too! #vegetarian

Although it’s fun to bust out the fancy recipes every now and then, honestly, when I’m hosting friends for dinner, I’d rather choose something that makes everyone feel comfortable, happy, and glad that they wore pants with a little bit of stretch. I’m also not usually organized enough to have a lot of different sides all ready at the same time, so I like to opt for recipes that provide an entire meal in a single pan. In the fall, that means Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas.

These Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas are one of the earlier dinners I cooked for Ben and myself after we were married, and they’ve since transitioned onto our greatest hits list. They’ve also become one of my favorite recipes to serve friends, because they offer a unique twist on enchiladas, a dish I’ve found to be universally loved and adored by all.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Spinach and White Beans. AMAZING flavor, healthy, and freezer friendly!

Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas

While classic enchiladas typically feature red sauce, meat, and chili-inspired spices, these Butternut Squash Enchiladas instead use warm fall flavors and ingredients: butternut squash, nutmeg, and sage. White beans make the filling super creamy and filling and spinach sneaks in a serving of healthy veggies, but it’s the ooey-gooey white sauce poured generously over the top that takes these butternut squash enchiladas from “oooh, these are good,” to “I NEED MORE IMMEDIATELY!”

Cheesy Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas

One of my little secrets about these enchiladas is that, although they taste ultra decadent, they are healthy, meat free, and can be made dairy free too, thanks to Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, which I use as the base for the white sauce (it’s flavor is perfect with the nutmeg!). Ben and I make a point to eat meatless a few times a week, a habit that started in law school to save us a little extra cash and has continued afterwards to help us eat more healthfully and sustainably too.

Use butternut squash to make vegetarian enchiladas with spinach and white beans

If you’re new to the meat-free meal game (as are most members of my meat-loving family), I challenge you to try going meat free just one day a week, starting tonight! I’m teaming up with Silk for its #MeatlessMondayNight challenge. The meatless Monday movement has been around for quite a while, and this is a fun way to make it a part of a sacred autumn ritual: Monday night football. Although many typical game watch dishes (buffalo wings, nachos, Chicken Bacon Ranch Fries, etc. etc.) are on the meat-centric side, you can still serve a crowd-pleasing dish that’s vegetarian-friendly, but offers the same indulgent satisfaction as its classic carnivorous version. These Butternut Squash Enchiladas are one of my favorite dishes that do just that.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Spinach and White Beans

From my Monday night dinner table to yours: Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas. Make a big pan tonight, enjoy the leftovers tomorrow (or during overtime), and feel free to make these ahead and freeze too.

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Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas

Creamy butternut squash spinach enchiladas smothered in a cheesy white sauce. Crowd-pleasing, freezer friendly, and yummy leftover too!


Yield: 8 enchiladas

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced

  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubed butternut squash (about 1 3/4 pound squash)

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, plus additional for topping

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible), divided

  • 1 (14-ounce) can white beans (cannelli, Great Northern, or similar), drained

  • 1 (10-ounce) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed of excess water

  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated fontina, mozzarella, gruyere or similar, melty cheese, divided (to make the recipe dairy-free, use a dairy-free mozzarella-style shredded cheese alternative)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour

  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

  • 8 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas


Directions:


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the squash, garlic, sage, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Cover and let cook until the squash is softened but still has a bit of chew, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the drained beans and spinach. Remove from heat, then toss with 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium high. Sprinkle in the flour, then whisk for 2-3 minutes, until the flour turns golden and smells nutty. Slowly pour in about 1/2 cup of the almond milk, whisking constantly until the flour is smooth. Add the rest of the milk, then let the mixture bubble, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup grated cheese.

  4. Pour a thin layer of the cheese sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Fill the tortillas with the squash and bean filling, roll snugly, then arrange side by side in the dish. Pour the remaining white sauce over the top, then sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Let cool slightly, then serve.


adapted from How Sweet It Is (one of the first food blogs I ever followed!)


// All images and text ©/Well Plated.

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I’m sharing this post in partnership with Silk as a part of the #MeatlessMondayNight challenge. Visit www.silk.com/sidelinemeat for more recipes and a chance to win a giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies who make it possible for me to provide high-quality content to you!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

29 comments

  1. This is exactly what I was looking for today! Perfect timing!

    This looks fantastic!
    I like to make as much ahead of time as possible, think it would be ok to assemble a day or ahead and then bake just before serving? I would love your thoughts! Thanks!

    • Megan, I’m so glad to hear that! If you want to make these ahead (but not bake them), I think it’s fine if you assemble them (without the sauce and cheese on top, so they don’t get soggy) and leave them in the fridge covered tightly with plastic wrap for up to a few hours before baking, but if you plan on doing this farther in advance, I would just assemble them (again, without the sauce and the cheese), and freeze them, then add the sauce and cheese and bake them for longer directly from frozen (you’ll just need to allow an extra 30-40 min. of baking time at least). Otherwise, I’m afraid if you let them sit unbaked in the fridge for too long, the tortillas will dry out and the bottom of the enchiladas might get soggy. Another option is to make the filling a full day ahead, then assemble them enchiladas right before baking. If you make the cheese sauce ahead, it will thicken in the fridge and will need to be gently reheated on the stove (or microwave on low) with a bit of extra milk to thin as needed. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy!

  2. This really is something that I crave right now. I love pumpkin and this dish sounds perfect. We are eating meat only two or three times a week and I think it is great. We are trying to eat a little less dairy as well lately, so this recipe’s timing  couldn’t be any better. :)

  3. I have yet to make enchiladas and I honestly have no idea what I’m waiting for. Love the butternut squash take on these–pinning! 

  4. Enchiladas are my life!! I could seriously eat them all day. Ben is a lucky guy:) 

  5. Wow, when I saw that white sauce I immediately assumed it was positively loaded with dairy, come to find out that it’s made with almond milk! These enchiladas look awesome, and the fact that I can make them entirely dairy-free if I want is a major selling point for me. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  6. I am a SUCKER for enchiladas, like they might just be my favorite food on the planet. I never get tired of seeing (or trying) different variations and THESE, ahhh, kind of have my heart doing a little pitter-patter beat. :) 

  7. I love how versatile enchiladas can be. We have a local taco spot that serves butternut squash in their tacos, and they’re so good. I never thought to make them in an enchilada dish!

  8. Beautiful pictures, looks delish

  9. Butternut squash is seriously the best! Love these enchiladas- pinning :)

  10. A nice recipe, Erin. Thank you and have a great week.

  11. You consistently have great ideas! I love the fact that (if I use a non-dairy cheese) this is a dairy-free recipe. And I agree that sharing a simple dish when you have friends over is the best option. That way, you’re not stuck in the kitchen and you have more time to spend with your guests.  You’re also more likely to be invited out if they haven’t been intimidated by your “fancy” cooking! ;) Pinned!

  12. Well you are my kind of gal… serving dinner guests meals that encourage stretchy pants. Yaaaa… that’s how you do it ;) And this is such a fun take on enchiladas! And they’re just perfect for this time of year especially. Yum friend! Yum!

  13. These sound really good!

  14. Hi Erin,

    would this work with frozen Butternut squash? I had never bought it frozen before, but at my local store, that is all they had this week.

    • Hi Wanda! Is the butternut squash already cubed and frozen but not yet cooked? If yes, I *think* it would work fine if you let it thaw first, though your filling may be a bit softer, since veggies that were frozen tend to be softer once they are cooked. If it is precooked, I’d be more hesitant, since there isn’t a way to saute it with the spices and other flavors. Does that make sense? You could also swap the butternut squash for sautéed kobocha squash if your grocery store has it on hand! It’s similar in flavor/texture to butternut, though a bit harder to peel and cut.

  15. I am all about some enchilada’s, but I have never seen this spin on it before.  Looks like I will be adding this one my recipe’s as well.

  16. Thanks so much, Erin!  I made these tonight and they were fantastic!!  I took your advice and made the filling the night before and did everything else just before and everything turned out great!  My family loved them!  Thanks again!!!

  17. Enchiladas are always a favorite at our house!  This sounds incredibly delicious!

  18. Enchiladas are my favorite and these look so delicious! Sweet potato and black bean enchiladas (or tacos if we’re lazy) are our go to, but I’ve never thought of pairing butternut squash and white beans and love the idea!

  19. Was VANILLA almond milk the intention for this recipe as the instructions call? I just made these and am assembling them and didn’t think that perhaps I should have followed pay gut and uses regular almond milk instead of vanilla flavor.

    • Hi Dana! Yes, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk as the recipe states. The flavor is subtle and quite nice with the nutmeg. Plain would have been just fine too. The only milk I wouldn’t use would be a sweetened almond or other nut milk. I hope you love them!

  20. Could you substitute sweet potato in place of the squash?  Just wondering if the flavor would taste ok. Thanks!

  21. these sound delicious! i love enchiladas and butternut squash but not in combination with tomatoes so i’m excited this recipe is tomato-free. pinned and can’t wait to try this!

  22. I don’t remember how I came across your website, but ever since I discovered your recipes I look forward to cooking again! I love the flavor profiles and mix of foods and spices that I never imagined trying. I love the tried and true and out of the box ingredient pairings. I have triplet toddlers and am always on the look out for nutritious meals they like. So excited to keep trying more recipes! This is one of our family’s favorites!

    Rating: 5
    • Lara, this comment has me smiling from ear to ear. Thank you so, so much! It means more that I can say that you and your family (especially your triplets!) enjoy what I post. Thanks for leaving this lovely note, and have a wonderful weekend!

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