Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

Easy and healthy butternut squash and black bean tacos with a homemade spice blend served with cilantro and queso fresco. Ready in less than 30 minutes.

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These easy butternut squash tacos are a great pantry meal using canned black beans and fresh or frozen butternut squash. Butternut squash is a great vegetable to keep on hand since it will stay good for around a month if stored in a cool, dry area. 

So you may or not have guessed already that tacos are definitely one of my favorite foods. In fact, it's my opinion that they should be an entire food group! I just might email the food and drug administration and ask them to sneak some tacos into the food pyramid. Who's with me?

All that aside, this past weekend I had a vegetarian friend coming into town. And, with tacos on the brain (because, they're always on my mind), I realized in horror that I did not have a delicious vegetarian taco option! Not wanting to leave her feeling left out and finding herself making tacos completely of condiments, I began to research vegetarian taco options and came upon a great idea for butternut squash tacos.

These tacos can be seasoned with cumin, chili powder, and coriander and then served over some black beans. Trust me, this is a combo that any meat eater would love, but luckily my friend loved them as well!

Black bean butternut squash tacos with cilantro, avocado, corn tortillas, and radishes.

How do you make Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos?

Making these is as easy as making tacos with meat. Just like you'd prepare the meat first, you have to prepare the butternut squash first, by peeling it and cutting it into quarter-inch pieces. Next, mix the pieces in a bowl with the spices and cooking spray.

Add olive oil to a large saute pan and cook the squash, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until it's cooked through (test with a fork if you're not sure). Heat up the black beans in a saucepan or the microwave while the squash is cooking.

Heat up the tortillas by toasting over an open flame (if you have a gas stove), or toasting in the oven for a minute. Add the squash and beans and your favorite toppings. I like queso fresco and cilantro, but I'll discuss other toppings that will go great with these vegetarian tacos, below.

What do you put on a vegetarian taco?

Tacos are great for piling on the toppings! They just beg to be stuffed with all the goods. These Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos are no different! Sometimes I make them simply to let the squash and bean flavors shine through, other times I pile them high with some of my favorite ingredients like:

  • Cilantro
  • Pickled red onions
  • Pickled (or fresh) jalapenos
  • Queso fresco
  • Hot sauce
  • Corn
  • Salsa
  • Rice
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced white onions
  • Guacamole
  • Avocados
  • Sour cream

What sides go with Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos?

As much as I love piling my tacos high, I also love all the sides that go with tacos too. Make these to serve with your tacos, or use some of these sides as toppings. When you make tacos, I think anything goes!

  • Mexican Cauliflower Rice is a great vegetarian, low-carb option for a side that is as delicious as it is nutritious!
  • A simple side salad with mixed greens and your favorite toppings is an easy way to add more veggies on the side with your tacos.
  • Slow Cooker Pinto Beans are an easy way to make a side that cooks while you are busy making these tacos. Use these beans instead of the black beans or in addition to.
  • Try a side of brown rice with a little bit of cumin, lime juice, queso fresco and cilantro stirred in it. You won't be disappointed!
  • A Healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad is another yummy side to serve with these squash and bean tacos.

Butternut squash and black bean tacos with avocado, radish, cilantro, and onion on a corn tortilla.

How to cut a Butternut Squash

Cutting up the butternut squash is the worst part of this entire process, but I promise it's so worth it! I have found that cutting it in the following way works best.

  1. Wash and pat dry the squash.
  2. Cut off the top and bottom, then cut the squash in half.
  3. Peel both halves with a potato or other sturdy peeler.
  4. Cut the halves in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  5. Cut the remaining squash into quarter-inch pieces.

How will you be serving these squash and bean vegetarian tacos?

The Recipe
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Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

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  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 14 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 4 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbsp queso fresco
  • cooking spray

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Peel the butternut squash and cut into quarter inch pieces. Mix in a bowl with cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt, pepper, and cooking spray until everything is well coated.


Add the olive oil to a large saute pan and saute for about ten minutes until cooked through, stirring frequently. While the squash is cooking, heat up the black beans in a sauce pan or in the microwave.


Warm the tortillas on the stove top by gently toasting over the open flame for 30 seconds per side and add the beans and squash. Top with queso fresco and cilantro. Enjoy!

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 44
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 766mg
Total Carbohydrate 54g
Dietary Fiber 13g
Sugars 4g
Protein 12g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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