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dinner healthy lunch Mexican Vegetarian

Butternut Squash Tacos al Pastor

Vegetarian tacos! None of the guilt, all of the flavor.

It seems like a lot of us are attempting to eat less meat these days, whether for our health or the health of the planet. Plus – it’s more affordable! I’ve been eating a lot less meat, and I’m really enjoying it. I feel better, I consume less calories, and it forces me to get creative- which is so fun. This recipe is the result of having A: too much squash on my counter that desperately needed to be used and B: a craving for tacos. Let me tell you – I do not miss the meat at ALL here – and this is infinitely faster than roasting a pork shoulder for traditional al pastor! It’s vegetarian – and if you choose the right tortilla – it can even be vegan. I just made tacos into a pile of veggies. You’re welcome.

  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed (about two small or one large squash)
  • 1 pineapple, skin removed, sliced into ½” thick rounds (7 rounds are needed)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 chipotles plus one Tbs of the adobo sauce from the can
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 4 Tbs neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola
  • 2 tbs lime juice, plus quartered limes for serving
  • ¼ Chopped cilantro, plus a little more for garnish
  • ½ cup finely diced white onion, for serving
  • Tortillas – we like the “street taco” size

Line a small sheet tray with foil and brush 5 slices of pineapple with a little oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Broil on a rack 4” from the top for about 7-10 minutes, until speckled brown.

Meanwhile, start to assemble your sauce.  Add the garlic, ancho powder, cumin, chipotles and adobo sauce, salt, brown sugar and oil to a blender.  When the pineapple is done, remove and discard the core from two pieces, then add to the blender.   Blend until smooth. Set the oven to 450°. 

On a foil lined full size rimmed baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with half of the sauce, spread the pieces out evenly to promote browning, rather than steaming, and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning once, until tender but not yet mush.

While the squash roasts, core and dice the remaining pieces of pineapple and mix with 1 tbs lime juice and ¼ cup chopped cilantro.  Mix the other Tbs of lime juice with the remaining sauce.  Toast your tortillas in a skillet with a touch of oil, one at a time, removing to a plate.  Cover the plate with a kitchen towel to keep warm.

Build your tacos with some squash, a drizzle of extra sauce, diced pineapple mixture, onion, and a little more cilantro or a squeeze of lime, if you wish.  Serve with my amazingly adaptable black beans, rice, or a bright slaw salad. 

One reply on “Butternut Squash Tacos al Pastor”

I’m one month into my plant based diet and I was starting to get into a rut as far as what to make. This recipe will be a welcome addition.

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