As we’ve been trying new recipes, this Creamy Butternut Squash and Lentil Taco recipe is one I’ve been meaning to try for awhile. I’ve made something similar but this recipe is definitely a turned up version – here, the roasted squash gets mixed in with some lime juice and a little vegan mayo (or canned coconut milk) to make it creamy and extra flavorful. The interesting thing about cooking the lentils with some vegetable broth, cumin, and coconut aminos (or tamari), is the aroma smelled almost identical to taco meat. This was a great dinner, and also makes a great lunch from the leftovers.
Creamy Butternut Squash and Lentil Tacos
makes about 10-12 tacos
adapted from One Part Plant
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes (about 4 cups)
2 1/2 tsp cumin (more or less to taste)
Sea salt and pepper
Olive or coconut oil
3/4 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
3 tsp tamari or coconut aminos
10-12 corn tortillas
2 tbsp vegan mayo (I like Just Mayo Light)* OR canned full-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp lime juice
Toppings – avocado, sunflower seeds, hot sauce, lettuce (something crunchy since the squash and lentils are soft)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the squash with 1/2 tsp of the cumin and about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, some salt and pepper. Spread the cubes out on the baking sheet and roast them for 30-35 minutes, until they’re soft. (Don’t worry if some get extra toasty, it’ll just make the color of the mixture a little darker).
Meanwhile, in a small pot, combine the lentils with enough broth to cover them and stir in the coconut aminos and remaining 2 tsp of cumin. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are soft, but still a little firm, 20-25 minutes. Make sure to watch the pot and add more broth or water if needed to cover the lentils. Taste them as you go to make sure they’re not overcooked and mushy. When they’re done, drain any excess liquid that hasn’t been absorbed.
Transfer the cooked squash to a food processor and add the mayo or coconut milk with the lime juice, and process until smooth. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if needed.
When you’re almost ready to serve, warm the tortillas, however you usually do.
Assemble the tacos: spread a layer of the creamy squash on a warm tortilla and top it with a scoop of lentils (about 2-3 tbsp). Add your favorite toppings and serve.
*I usually find Just Mayo Light at Whole Foods. I also wouldn’t sub an egg-based mayo here, because I think it’ll change the texture. If not using vegan mayo, use full-fat canned coconut milk to get the right creamy texture needed.