Sep 28, 2010

Acorn Squash Quesadilla

Acorn Squash Quesadilla with Confetti Black Bean Salad

Ever since Jor and I learned the trick to making quesadillas without the greasiness I’ve been quite a fan! I think it’s the slight crunch from the toasted tortilla and then the melted cheese that glues everything together…YUM! We’re always looking for creative vegetarian meals to alternate with our meat dinners and this was a perfect option for us! We started by making black bean, cherry tomato quesadillas (delicious by the way) and our recent adventure was with these acorn nut squash quesadillas. Acorn squash is an excellent option for these because it’s not as strong of squash and doesn’t overpower every bight. If you are or you know someone who is hesitant about the squash world, this is a great dish to start off with. There are so many other wonderful flavors to compliment the squash plus, add cheese to anything and I think it tastes better!

Here’s what you’ll need for the quesadillas:


(Adapted from smitten kitchen. Makes 4 half quesadillas or 8 slices.)

  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • olive oil
  • 1 quarter of a medium sized onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed (or not if you like spicy!)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 poblano chili peppers, sliced
  • ~1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 4 flour tortillas

This is a multi-step dish to put together but I promise it’s low maintenance and not too tricky! To start, line a baking sheet with tinfoil, lightly oil and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven warms up, cut the acorn squash in half and then cut each half into slices. Lay the slices out on the baking sheet, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the slices and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Let the squash roast for about 20 minutes but be sure to keep an eye on things so the squash doesn’t get too mushy! When the squash is ready to come out, let it sit for just a few minutes and then peel the skin off and cut into smaller pieces. Because you let it cook for a little bit of time the skin should come off relatively easily. Just watch your fingers, as it can be quite hot!

Acorn squash ready to roast in the oven.

As your squash are resting for a few minutes, begin to saute the garlic, onion and jalapeno pepper. After a few minutes, add the poblano slices and let all these flavors really come together. Last in is the squash that you peeled and chopped up. Depending on how cooked the squash got in the oven, you will need to saute the squash with the onions and peppers for 5-10 minutes.

It’s time for quesadilla making time! Now, the acorn squash filling was already a bit on the unique side but how we actually cook the quesadillas is also “different”! It’s what I guess you could classify as the healthier version but to be completely honest, I enjoy these so much more than the normal quesadilla that is cooked in lots of oil or butter in a pan on the stove. Here, you take a baking sheet covered in tinfoil again and make half quesadillas. Fill each tortilla with some of the squash mixture, sprinkle on some cheddar cheese and fold the top over.

Squash and pepper mixture added to the tortilla.

You still need to add a little something to tops of the tortillas so you can add a light cooking spray or brush on a very light layer of canola oil, it doesn’t take much at all! Turn the oven up to broil and let the quesadillas cook for 3-5 minutes on each side. Keep an on eye these guys, as they’ll go quick and get toasty on you really fast! After the first few minutes, take them out and give them a quick flip so the other side has a chance to turn golden brown.

Crisp and toasty quesadillas straight from the oven!

The cheese will be perfectly melted and your tortillas will have just the right amount of crunch to them! You won’t be disappointed or wishing for the work of individual quesadilla making that a stove top preparation requires! This is less mess but just as much flavor, if not more! You can make this a complete meal with some rice and a side salad, we did a colorful black bean salad, or you can do a smaller version for a nice lunch! This meal was a fantastic addition to our vegetarian meals, as we are always trying to mix it up and find creative recipes that don’t involve meat. We, or I should say “I” got to the point where all my meals were centered around chicken and we just needed a break. This meal will definitely stay in the books! Next time you feel adventurous, try these quesadillas and I bet they’ll surprise you, in a good way! For now, that’s acorn squash quesadillas…in the shell of a nut!


  • Definitely going to make this over the weekend! Sounds delicious and I’m looking forward to a non-greasy quesadilla!

    • ANNA!! These quesadillas really were delicious and I was shocked because it lacked all the butter usually required for such a recipe! The acorn squash was pretty exciting too…I know we used to talk a lot about good veggie meals that mixed it up a bit! Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did! 🙂

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