These butternut squash tacos are inspired by a little Mexican bar in Perth we used to frequent. In Australia, there is just about always a vegetarian option on the menu with pumpkin or squash in it! From salads to pizzas, burgers to tacos… roasted squash make everything more delicious. These homemade beauties are Taco-Tuesday certified, filled with sweet spiced roasted butternut squash, crunchy pickled cabbage, creamy Queso Fresco cheese & a little kick of lime. These are some of our very favorites!
Speaking of fresh, once you have tasted homemade corn tortillas you will never want to go back. They are so flavorful and easy to make. With only two ingredients, they contain no preservatives or any of the unnecessary fillers the store-bought versions contain… and as an added bonus are naturally gluten-free. The best way to make these homemade tortillas is with a cast iron tortilla press. While you could get one as souvenir on your next trip to Mexico from the local mercado, they are also available on amazon or at some specialty cooking stores.
- 1 medium butternut squash, diced (3 cups or 450 g)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- ¼ tsp each red chili powder and paprika
- ¼ small head red cabbage, shredded (2 cups or 200 grams)
- ⅓ cup (80ml) apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup (80ml) water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar or honey
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 2 cups (224g) masa harina flour
- 1⅓ cup (315 ml) warm water
- 1 tortilla press
- (Or substitute 16 fresh corn tortillas)
- ¼ cup (245 g) yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tbsp lime
- 1 tbsp water (as needed)
- (Or substitute guacamole)
- 8-10 oz package of Queso Fresco (could substitute dry ricotta)
- Pre-heat the oven to 380 F | 190 C
- Peel and deseed the squash. Chop into ¾ inch (2 cm) pieces.
- Place on a baking tray, and drizzle with olive oil, chili and paprika. Mix together until evenly coated.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring the squash every 15 minutes.
- Shred the cabbage into fine strips and place in a jar with one smashed garlic clove.
- Combine the apple cider vinegar, water, salt and sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Pour the liquid over the cabbage, and press down with a wooden spoon or muddler. At this stage the liquid will not completely cover the cabbage. Set aside for 30+ minutes, pushing the cabbage down into the brine with a muddler, from time to time.
- In a large bowl, mix together the masa harina flour and warm water. Knead for 1-2 minutes until the dough is soft but not sticky.
- Divide the dough into 16 balls, each roughly the size of a ping pong ball. Cover with a damp cloth and rest 30 minutes.
- Heat up a skillet or large pan on medium heat.
- To press the tortilla place a ball of dough in the tortilla press between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic. You can cut a ziplock bag open or use a clean plastic shopping bag.
- Press down once, open the press, and turn the tortilla 180 degrees. Press down again to make the tortilla an even thickness.
- Cook the tortillas on each side for approximately 1 minute or until golden brown.
- Keep fresh tortillas wrapped in a dishtowel, or in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Mix together yogurt, lime, and enough water to create a good drizzle consistency.
- Layer each tortilla with some butternut squash, pickled cabbage, crumbled queso fresco, and drizzle with yogurt lime sauce.
- Enjoy with a cold Modelo Especial or a top-shelf margarita!
Health conscious? Of course! Red cabbage is high in antioxidants & butternut squash is a great source of Vitamin A, so rest easy and plan your next fiesta around these flavorful and healthy vegetarian tacos.
Try pairing them with a Spicy Vegan Ceviche for a great Mexican meal to share with friends and family.
Let us know what you think in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!