Greetings, peeps! Got a light and healthy recipe to share with you today, Black Bean & Butternut Squash Quesadillas with Lazy Girl’s Guacamole. I dreamed this dish up the other day while thinking about holiday weight gain. It’s always a popular topic this time of year, isn’t it?
Holiday-centric foods tend to be the heaviest but since this special time only comes once a year it’s easy to justify splurging. The holidays also mean potlucks and parties full of caloric dips and boozy sips though (aka all my favorite things!) and seemingly every week, so it’s also easy to gain a few lbs without even trying.
That being said, I’ve concocted a dish to make on a day when the office cookie exchange has left you looking for something lighter for dinner. Or when you don’t want to show up hungry to a Christmas party where you know the buffet table will be calling your name all night.
Black Bean & Butternut Squash Quesadillas are vegetarian, light yet filling, and full of healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. The definition of feel-good food!
Roasted butternut squash, southwest-seasoned black beans, sweet caramelized onions, and creamy fontina cheese is sandwiched between flour tortillas then griddled until golden brown and crisp. Served with chunky guacamole which takes less than a minute to make – they are so, so good.
I have even better news. Each component in this dish can be made ahead of time so you can assemble, heat, and eat in under 10 minutes. Squee!
Start by caramelizing 1 jumbo sweet onion. This sucker was the size of a softball! If you’ve been reading IGE for any length of time then you know how much I adore caramelized onions. They’re sweet, sticky, and make absolutely everything they’re added to that much better – Black Bean & Butternut Squash Quesadillas included.
Cut the onion in half then thinly slice. Add the slices to a large skillet with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat then cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re golden brown and very soft, about 20-30 minutes. This step can be done up to 2 days ahead of time.
Meanwhile, get your butternut squash ready. I have been all over butternut squash this fall. It’s so good! Creamy and mildly sweet, it’ll win over the heart of any squash hater, I can almost guarantee it.
I used squash that I had previously chopped then stashed in the freezer, which you don’t have to thaw before using. How easy is that? You’ll need 4 cups 1/2″ cubed butternut squash, which is about 1 medium squash. Here’s how to cube butternut squash >>
Add the cubes to a baking sheet lined with foil then sprayed with nonstick spray. Toss with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread into an even layer and roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. You’ll want the squash to be caramelized but not mushy. Also, don’t skip the nonstick spray on the foil or you’ll be sorry! You can also do this step one day ahead of time.
While the onions are caramelizing and the squash is roasting heat 1-15oz can black beans with 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, a pinch of cayenne pepper and 2 Tablespoons water. Say it with me now – you can do this a couple days ahead of time! You could also just buy a can of seasoned black beans to make this step super quick. : )
K! Now you can’t have quesadillas without a little cheese. I chose fontina for it’s mild flavor and superb melting capabilities. You’ll need 2 cups shredded fontina cheese.
Time to cook! Lay 1 gluten-free or flour tortilla on a griddle or skillet (I used my Griddler,) over medium heat then layer on 1/4 cup cheese then a quarter of the caramelized onions, roasted butternut squash, and seasoned black beans.
Sprinkle on 1/4 cup more cheese then top with another tortilla and then cook until golden brown on both sides.
Zip through the quesadillas with a pizza cutter then serve ’em up hot!
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Black Bean & Butternut Squash Quesadillas with Lazy Girl’s Guacamole
Black Bean & Butternut Squash Quesadillas with Lazy Girl’s Guacamole are full of good for you ingredients!
- 1 jumbo sweet onion, cut in half then thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 cups 1/2" cubed butternut squash (about 1 medium butternut squash)
- salt and pepper
- 1-15oz can black beans
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 cups grated fontina cheese
- 8 gluten-free or flour tortillas
- 3 ripe avocados
- garlic salt, to taste
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat then add sliced onions. Cook over medium heat stirring every so often until golden brown and caramelized, 20-30 minutes. Can be made a day ahead of time.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees then line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Add butternut squash, remaining Tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper then toss to coat and spread into an even layer. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until caramelized but not mushy. Can be made a day ahead of time.
- Combine black beans, water, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan then heat through over medium heat. Can be made a day ahead of time.
- Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat then lay down 1 flour tortilla. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup cheese then layer on a quarter of the roasted butternut squash, seasoned black beans, and caramelized onions. Top with another 1/4 cup cheese then place another tortilla on top and griddle until golden brown on both sides. Slice with a pizza cutter then serve with Lazy Girl's Guacamole.
- For the Lazy Girl's Guacamole: Mash avocados and garlic salt to desired consistency. Taste and adjust garlic salt if necessary.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
I served a big scoop of Lazy Girl’s Guacamole on the side, which I’m calling MANDATORY for this dish! The quesadillas are amazing on their own – slightly sweet, smokey and perfectly cheesy – but the garlicky guac takes them over the edge of deliciousness. All you do is mash ripe avocados with garlic salt. So simple. So delicious. Don’t skip it! :)
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