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 Spinach Enchiladas are my answer to both.
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.
Why I Love These Butternut Squash 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!”
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.
About the Meatless Monday Challenge
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.
More Enchiladas Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchiladas
- Zucchini Enchiladas
- Vegetarian Enchiladas with Butternut Squash and Black Beans
- Vegan Enchiladas
- Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
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.
Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch), about a 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 can white beans (14 ounces) (cannelli, Great Northern, or similar), drained
- 1 package frozen chopped spinach, (10 ounces) 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 whole wheat tortillas (8-inch)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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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!