Skip to main Content

Alaska from Scratch: For dinner, squash with a Southwestern kick

  • Author: Maya Evoy
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published November 12, 2015

Winter squash is a bit of a rock star in my book. I love the small, mild acorn squash and the larger, more ubiquitous pumpkin. Winter squash of all kinds is versatile enough to use for any meal of the day, from breakfast to dessert and just about everything in between. And it's hearty and satisfying enough to take center stage in a fantastic meatless entree like this butternut squash and black bean enchilada skillet.

The slight sweetness of the squash is perfect with the smokiness of cumin, the kick of chili powder and enchilada sauce and the freshness of cilantro. Add black beans for protein and cover it all with gooey, bubbly pepper jack cheese. Serve with lime wedges and sour cream for a quick and flavorful cold-weather meal. Keep some of your favorite tortilla chips nearby for possible dipping opportunities, too.

Butternut squash and black bean enchilada skillet

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 of a large yellow onion, chopped


1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

6 corn tortillas, cut into strips

1 (15 ounce) can enchilada sauce

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus more for serving

1 cup grated pepper jack cheese

For serving:


Sliced green onions

Lime wedges

Sour cream

1. To a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Add the butternut squash and onions to the pan. Season with salt and add the cumin and chili powder. Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black beans and the corn tortilla strips. Pour the enchilada sauce over top, stir in the cilantro and bring everything to a simmer. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5 more minutes or until the squash is tender.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the pepper jack cheese on top and transfer the skillet to the oven, broiling until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the dish with cilantro and green onion. Serve with sour cream and lime wedges. Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.

Maya Evoy lives in Kenai and blogs about food at Have a food question or recipe request? Email and your inquiry may appear in a future column.

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.