Jan 16, 2015

Roasted Butternut Enchilada Sauce

You guys! This sauce is FABuloso! Seriously! I am already a fan of enchiladas and I’ve made my share of them using my authentic red enchilada sauce, but my honey and I agree, these were—hands down—THE BEST enchiladas we have ever consumed. We looked at each other and said, “WHY? Why can’t we go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and get THEEEESE?”

The filling is simply black beans, sautéed onions, red peppers, corn niblets and some chili spices. I did “cheat” a little and added some Daiya vegan cheese shreds (I don’t normally eat anything that processed). Anyway, this filling is what I always use, so my determination is that it was the sauce that made them so ultra yummy.


  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash flesh, tightly packed (approx. one medium-sized butternut)
  • 3-4 dried chile peppers (any kind you like, I used red New Mexico chiles)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • hot sauce to taste (depending on how hot your chile peppers are and how hot you like it)
  1. To roast your butternut, remove the stem and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Lightly grease a baking dish and place the butternut halves face down in the dish. Add about an inch of water. Bake at 375° for about one hour, until a fork easily pierces the squash. Set aside to cool and when you can handle them, scrape out the flesh. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-cut, frozen butternut squash and just roast the pieces for a shorter amount of time.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and soak them for about 3 hours to rehydrate.
  3. Place the butternut in a food processor and process until you have a smooth purée.
  4. Drain the peppers and rinse well. Add them to the food processor with the butternut and process well to combine. You will still see small bits of the peppers, that’s fine.
  5. Add the purée and the rest of the ingredients to a sauce pan and simmer until the onions are tender.
  6. Blend the entire mixture until smooth. NOTE: don’t over-blend or the squash will get too much air and be really fluffy. You just want to blend until the mixture is pretty smooth. In my Vitamix it took about 20 seconds on low.
  7. Return to the pot and keep warm until you’re ready to use.
Makes enough for 8-10 enchiladas. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

12 responses to “Roasted Butternut Enchilada Sauce”

  1. Sarah says:

    Yum!!!!! Butternut squash + Chili Peppers = 🙂 🙂 🙂 Have you ever tried Ghost Chili Peppers? They are one of the hottest peppers in the world and have a bit of a smoky flavor to them – I bet they would be absolutely fabulous in this recipe (and maybe a little bit of peanut butter too, if we are talking about adding "cheats").

  2. Helyn says:

    Oh wow, Sarah! Nope, I don't dare try the ghost peppers as I am a total wimp when it comes to hot spicy things. My man love them though. I usually make my hot dishes just a little spicy, take my portion, then dump a ton more for him. Love the peanut butter idea but it may change the flavor profile considerably. Have fun cooking!

  3. moonwatcher says:

    Wow, this looks heavenly! Thanks Helyn!

  4. Helyn says:

    You're welcome, Maria!

  5. Oh my goodness these look and sound amazing! I had some butternut squash enchiladas at a restaurant that were delicious but the squash was inside the enchiladas. Yummy!

  6. Helyn says:

    Thanks, Tami! I hope you'll try it! 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    Did you bake the enchiladas with this over them? I get how you made the sauce but am unclear on the next steps. Traditional enchiladas are baked in sauce.

  8. Helyn says:

    Yes, JC. I put a small amount of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, then covered the enchiladas with the remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Hope you like it!

  9. Jen says:

    made this tonight and it was delicious! I'm used to a tomato based enchilada sauce so i substituted 1C of tomato sauce for 1C of the water. Also, I used Hatch green chilies since that's what I had in my freezer. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Helyn says:

    You're welcome, Jen! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  11. Dale Sapp says:

    I had a similar dish at a vegan restaurant. The tortillas were filled with cubed and roasted butternut squash, black beans, and lightly roasted pepitas. Enchiladas were covered with butternut squash sauce and drizzled with vegan sour cream topped with cilantro, which made a nice presentation. I have been looking for a copycat recipe and this sauce looks as if it will work.

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