I'm head over heels for these butternut squash tacos loaded with crispy baked squash cubes, simple slaw, and a to-die-for creamy poblano sauce.
Even though we all officially celebrated the first day of fall a few weeks ago, my season starts the day I roast a butternut squash. I love love love roasted butternut squash. First off, it makes my kitchen smell so warm and cozy. Second, it’s such a delicious and versatile squash that works in so many of my favorite comfort food recipes like soups, risotto, and pasta.
But I’m saving comfort for another day because today is taco day! I’m so obsessed with these crispy baked butternut squash tacos.
This recipe starts with a pretty darn awesome sauce, if I do say so myself. Roasted poblanos, onions, and garlic get mixed with lime juice, cilantro, and the best mayo on the planet – Sir Kensington’s Avocado Oil Mayonnaise. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I love Sir Kensington’s condiments (see here, here, and here). They source the best ingredients and their ketchups, mustards, and mayos just taste so darn good because of it. I could eat this mayo straight from the jar, but since this blog is about recipes, I whipped it up into this spicy, tangy sauce to go with the butternut squash tacos. Btw, if you’re vegan, go ahead and make this with Sir K’s Fabanaise.
Part two of this recipe is the baked crispy squash. There’s no need to fry anything here because this spiced panko & hempseed “breading” makes the squash cubes crispy and delicious in the oven. The hemp seeds might seem like a strange addition, but they offer a lovely nutty flavor (as well as some nutritional benefits).
As the squash roasts in the oven, make a quick slaw with a scoop of the poblano sauce.
Pro tip: once the squash is baked, try not to stand at the kitchen counter dipping and snacking on the crispy cubes like I did! Assemble the butternut squash tacos with the slaw, the remaining roasted poblanos & onions, the crispy squash, avocado (optional), and generous scoops of the sauce.
Crispy Butternut Squash & Poblano Tacos
- 8 tortillas, store bought or homemade
- 3 cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 poblano peppers, divided
- 2 halved shallots, divided
- 1 avocado, diced
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- Lime slices, for serving
- Sliced serrano peppers, optional
- ½ large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 24 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, more as needed
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup hemp seeds (or more panko)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Heaping ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- ½ of 1 roasted poblano
- ½ of 1 roasted shallot
- 1 whole skin-on garlic clove (for roasting)
- ½ cup Sir Kensington’s Avocado Oil Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup cilantro leave and stems
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On one baking sheet roast the whole poblanos, halved shallots, and garlic for 20 minutes or until the shallots are nicely browned and the poblanos are charred.
- Make the Crispy Squash: In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with the almond milk and set aside to thicken for 5 minutes. Note: If the mixture becomes too thick as you work, thin with a tiny bit more almond milk. In a medium bowl, combine the panko, hemp seeds, chili powder, onion powder, and the salt. Dip each butternut squash cube in the flaxseed mixture and then the panko mixture. Place the cubes onto the second baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until browned and crispy.
- Make the Poblano Sauce: In a food processor, combine ½ of one roasted poblano, ½ of one roasted shallot (you will use the remaining poblano and onion in the taco filling), the peeled roasted garlic, the mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth, leaving some remaining green flecks. Chill until ready to use.
- Slice the remaining poblanos and shallot and set aside. Place the shredded cabbage into a medium bowl, add a heaping scoop of the poblano sauce, and toss until combined.
- Fill each tortilla with the cabbage, sliced poblanos and shallots, the butternut squash, avocado, cilantro, a scoop of aioli sauce, and the serrano peppers, if using. Serve with the remaining sauce and the lime slices.
This post was created in partnership with Sir Kensington’s. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!
These look amazing! I need to eat gluten-free. Do you think you could use almond flour or a gluten-free flour substitute for the breading? What would you recommend?
I just made these using gluten free bread crumbs and gluten free flour :). Specifically I used Bob’s Red mill GF flour and GF breadcrumbs.
I have used the same when making eggplant and it comes out good and crispy.
can you pre bread the butternut squash? This is my favorite recipe! Just trying to make it easier 🙂
Do you think this sauce would work with jalapeño? My grocery store doesn’t have poblano!
Delicious and will do it again.
I’m a seasoned home cook and it took me +/-2hrs to prep and cook[left alone biking around town in pandemic times to find Poblanos].
Didn’t had the flax seeds so I used egg batter to dip the cubes. Came out yummy.
The tortillas need to be warmed and slightly toasted on a stove top or a pan.
Time consuming? Yes.
Worth it? Yes.
Hi Gil, I’m so glad they were worth it 🙂
These were incredible! I used half yogurt half sour cream for the sauce because I didn’t have any mayo and I used sweet potato in place of butternut squash and it all turned out amazing.
Hi Beth – I’m so glad you loved the tacos!!
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We made this the other night, and it was delicious! I had a quarter or so of an avocado that was too ripe for slicing, so threw that into the sauce as well, plus some extra lime juice, as after tasting, I wanted something to cut through the mayo a bit more. (Next time I might try the same recipe with greek yogurt instead.) We made the sauce in a Vitamix, which worked really nicely. We were surprised as how well the breading stuck to the butternut — so much so that we reheated some leftover squash in the toaster oven over the next day and used them as “croutons” on top of a kale salad! Perfect. 🙂
Oh, pro tip for tacos of all kinds — take some tongs and “toast” your corn tortillas on each side, directly on top of the burner on your gas stove, until the edges are a bit blackened and the tortilla puffs up a tiny bit. You won’t be sorry!
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We had these for dinner tonight and they are fabulous! We are new vegetarians and have been looking for some good taco alternatives, and these really hit the spot!
These are fabulous! I’ve made them twice in one week … and my meat eating husband loves them and asked for them again. He loves the ‘coleslaw’. Thanks!
These tacos combine some of my very favorite flavors. I’m going to give serious thought to making them…
Love the sound of crispy butternut!! Totally genius, Jeanine! xo
This is an amazingly creative spin! Roasted squash with a crispy breading and poblano peppers in a taco with a to-die-for looking sauce?? Sign me up. Love this idea:)
YUM!!! I am obsessed with these
Jeanine you are the queen of tacos! Seriously, so good.
Tacos aren’t a big thing here in NZ, but you always make them look so good.
I need to make one of your recipes sometime!
PS – got your book out from our local library, I love it. Think i might have to acquire my own version!
I’m drooling — this looks like an absolutely genius recipe. Love the sounds of the individual components and definitely the combination of them all in a taco. I’m a big fan of Sir Kensington’s too!
Omg crunchy crust and butternut squash are two of my favorite foods…I can’t believe I never thought to put them together! Trying this soon. 😛
Hi There – this looks great! Cant wait to try! Do you think the sauce would be okay with greek yogurt instead of the mayo?
Update – made this last night – AMAZING! And surprisingly simple. I used greek yogurt instead of the mayo, seseame seeds instead of the hemp seeds, and red cabbage instead of green (because that is what I had), and WOW, delicious! This will be something I make often! (also, yes…very difficult not to snack on the crunchy butternut squash cubes)! Thanks!
Glad you made this with greek yogurt!! I wanted to lighten it up somehow and mayo was one of the bigger offenders, calorie wise! Thanks 🙂