Black Bean and Butternut Tacos

Today happens to be Mike’s 30th birthday, so I’m spending most of it in the kitchen making a Middle Eastern feast, which I’ll have more details on tomorrow. This weekend we decided to get a new chair for the living room (a birthday chair…?) and we had Ellie test it out. She approved.

I am so, SO happy it’s butternut squash season again. First I put it on pizza, and now I’m putting it in tacos. I still haven’t made my favorite curried squash soup this season, but it’s coming!

Mike and I both loved these tacos, and I loved how easy they were to make. The pickled shallots are a definite must, and they’re simpler to make than you’d expect (or at least I was surprised how simple they were…)

The squash just gets diced and sauteed in a skillet until it’s tender but not falling apart, then you mix in some beans and you’re ready! I love them with a generous spoonful of plain yogurt, which I used because I just discovered that ALL the sour cream at Trader Joe’s has gelatin in it. So lame. Fortunately yogurt was just as satisfying, and gelatin-free.

Recipe:
(adapted from Food Network)

pickled shallots
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
8 large shallots, peeled

tacos
1 small butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups black beans
8 soft corn tortillas
chopped cilantro
sour cream (omit if vegan)

First, make the shallots. Combine all ingredients except the shallots in a medium saucepan and heat over medium until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the shallots and boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool. You may not use them all with the tacos, but they’ll keep in a jar in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

To make the tacos, peel the squash and scoop out the seeds. Cut into small bite-sized cubes.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the squash and stir, then sprinkle with cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-high, stirring frequently, until the squash is tender but not mushy, 10-15 minutes.

Stir in the beans and cook until heated through. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Heat the tortillas over the flame of a gas burner, in the oven, or in the microwave. Assemble tacos with the squash and bean mixture, some sour cream (or yogurt), pickled shallots, and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.

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14 Responses to “Black Bean and Butternut Tacos”


  1. 1 Audrey October 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Cute cute cute pic of Ellie!!!

  2. 2 Laura October 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    What an adorable…new chair!

  3. 3 Joanne October 20, 2011 at 4:06 am

    First of all…if you didn’t live so far away, I’d seriously consider borrowing Ellie for the day (week/month/decade). SO adorable!

    Yay for butternut squash season…and for these tacos! they sound super delicious…love the spices you roasted the bnut squash with!

  4. 4 Beth October 20, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Ellie is completely adorable. What a cutie! I also love butternut squash, and the butternut squash black bean combo. I make enchiladas with these two ingredients plus goat cheese that are pretty awesome. I’m going to have to try out these pickled shallots though. I used to be totally anxious about pickling and preserving, but once I pickled those serrano peppers there has been no going back. It’s so much easier than you’d expect!

  5. 5 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef October 20, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    yay for butternut squash! i need to get another one this weekend at the farmer’s market. 🙂

  6. 6 Matt Wrench October 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Wow these look delicious. I always have trouble coming up with recipes when the vegetarian side of the family comes here to Texas. Always good to find tasty veggie Tex-Mex recipes.

  7. 7 julia October 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    these look completely delicious. and your baby is completely snuggly adorable

  8. 8 Kate October 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I have so many squash recipes on the lineup right now! As soon as we’re out of freezer meals we’re having squash gnocchi and squash soup!

  9. 9 Purabi Naha October 21, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Your baby is supercute! The tacos with blackbean and butternut really looks fabulous!

  10. 10 Natalie October 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Yummy and healthy! I like this recipe!

  11. 11 Krysten October 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I’ve been waiting for a pic with Ellie in this outfit!! So cute! I LOVE butternut squash in Mexican food dishes…I had the most amazing butternut squash enchiladas a while back at a restaurant in Paso and have been looking for something similar since…these might be it!!

  12. 12 Megan (Running Foodie) October 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    These tacos are my husband’s newest obsession. They are SO GOOD, Cate! And those pickled shallots are also super delicious!


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