November 4, 2010

Butternut Rancheros

by IsaChandra

Serves 6

Sink your fork into a slice of Charbroiled Butternut Squash, and then scoop up some saucy black beans in a spicy ranchero sauce. It is not unlike a little bite of autumn heaven in Mexico. If Mexico had the kind of autumn that New England does. But instead of wrapping your head around that, just wrap your tastebuds around this recipe. Ooh, and you can serve with guacamole, too. For perfect timing, just start the squash recipe before starting the ranchero sauce. And remember to be careful when handling jalapenos! Don’t touch the seeds and definitely don’t touch your eyes after handling.

1 recipe Charbroiled Butternut Squash

2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons oil
1  yellow onion, diced medium
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp maple syrup or agave
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed

Sliced scallions to serve

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Dry toast the seeds in the pan for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re fragrant and a few shades darker, just be careful not to burn. Raise the heat to medium high, add the oil and saute the onion, peppers and garlic for about 10 minutes, until onions are browned. Add the tomato sauce, salt and syrup and cook for about 5 minutes.

Transfer to the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If using a blender, intermittently lift the lid to let steam escape so that it doesn’t build up and explode and kill you.

Return sauce to the pan and add beans. Cook over medium heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.

To plate:

If you’ve got some large shallow bowls they would be perfect to use here. Pour a layer of saucy beans in the bowl and top off with 2 or 3 slices of squash. Garnish with scallions.

  • November 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm: lazysmurf

    That looks glorious! WOW, the polenta rancheros is one of my favorites so I have to try this

  • November 5, 2010 at 12:03 am: amanda

    i think i’m going to be a pig and make butternut polenta rancheros

  • November 5, 2010 at 12:17 am: Dani

    OKAY. YUM. Making this tomorrow with the half of butt nut I have left. Perfect.

  • November 5, 2010 at 12:50 am: Keri - I Eat Trees

    Yumm, and I’m hungry too. Drool.

  • November 5, 2010 at 1:51 am: JoLynn-dreaminitvegan

    Look at you showing off with butternut rancheros. Man this looks awesomely good. Is awesomely a word?

  • November 5, 2010 at 1:56 am: Jenn

    This is freaking delicious!!! I made this tonight and just finished eating it. It is the best thing I’ve put into my mouth in a looooong time. And this is coming from a confirmed meat eater! Will have to try the polenta version too!

  • November 5, 2010 at 2:03 am: kittee

    oh yes. adding butternut squash to my list right now. these sound great, but the pictures made my eyeballs squirt.

  • November 5, 2010 at 3:22 am: Tiffany

    That looks so good mmmmm.

  • November 5, 2010 at 3:29 am: Meredith

    This looks incredible!

  • November 5, 2010 at 4:55 am: jodye @ 'scend food

    Ooh the crusty top of that squash looks amaaaazing. I seriously have to try this tomorrow

  • November 5, 2010 at 8:57 am: Jeni Treehugger

    That looks soooo good.
    *licks lips*

  • November 5, 2010 at 11:18 am: Jojo

    I love butternut squash & that looks really delicious.

  • November 5, 2010 at 1:26 pm: amanda

    you’re the best

  • November 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm: Sophia

    Mmmmm! That looks so yummy, I might have to make this soon!

    Please enter my great CSN stores giveaway:


  • November 5, 2010 at 7:12 pm: William

    “If using a blender, intermittently lift the lid to let steam escape so that it doesn’t build up and explode and kill you.” but would death by food ever taste so delicious?

  • November 5, 2010 at 11:45 pm: Melissa

    Just made this, sans oven and blender since I have neither. Left the sauce unpureed and did the squash on my George Foreman grill, and it was still fantastic. I will be eating the leftovers for days and I can’t freakin wait.

  • November 6, 2010 at 2:29 am: Diana

    This was one of the best meals I have had in a long time. Amazingly good!

  • November 6, 2010 at 3:48 am: Mo

    This is so pretty!

  • November 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm: Ai

    oh no you di–int! This looks so good i can’t handle it. making it tomorrow. thank you!

  • November 8, 2010 at 2:13 am: marko

    made this tonight – opened up a can of chipotle in adobo and added a spoonful of the sauce and one of the peppers, diced. Awesome smokiness.

  • November 8, 2010 at 4:19 am: Jason

    Wow!!! Made this last night with the polenta. One of the best things I’ve had in a long time. Thank you for being awesome.

  • November 8, 2010 at 6:30 am: Tessa

    Ever since I first cracked open Vegan Brunch I have been such a fan of your Ranchero Beans. Ladled over polenta, wrapped in tortillas, stuffed into tamales, … nom nom nom! Never imagined them with winter squash, but wow so good! The sweetness really balances the spicy beans.

  • November 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm: jordanpattern

    These are great! I omitted the jalepeno, because I can’t handle spice lately, but the cumin and coriander seed with the tomato and hint of sweetness in the sauce and in the squash were amazing. Good one, Isa!

  • November 8, 2010 at 7:25 pm: Amy

    My husband made the the other night for company (non vegan company) and they loved it! We loved it. We are making it again tonight! Awesome recipe!

  • November 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm: Noelle

    Yum and yum. I’m putting this ranchero sauce inside baked delicata squash! Because I’m crazy like that!

  • November 13, 2010 at 6:49 pm: Get Healthy

    This is my new favorite recipe. It is fantastic! Love that you added a little humor into the recipe :)

  • November 13, 2010 at 6:57 pm: Amy

    Just made this for dinner last night – loved it!

  • November 13, 2010 at 10:15 pm: carrie

    made this this week and it was AMAZING! thank you!!!

  • November 15, 2010 at 12:14 am: kelly

    Made it for our Manlovers brunch this morning in SE Portland… all approved! We love men, squash and beans :)

  • November 18, 2010 at 2:29 am: danakscully64

    Oh my gosh, this is good. I’m eating it right now. I didn’t have cumin and coriander seeds, so I used powder. I also used red pepper flakes instead of chiles and used a little bit extra onion and garlic. Yummmmmmm!

  • November 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm: Barbara

    I had this for dinner last night and leftover for lunch today – really YUMMY! Thanks

  • November 22, 2010 at 4:24 am: vulchy

    mmm… what an awesome dinner. i love the squash like this, it was like butternut squash fries! i had mine with toast and some kale. perfect.

  • November 26, 2010 at 1:06 am: Jenny

    I made this today as one of the cornerstones of my (Mexican food themed) vegetarian Thanksgiving meal. It was so delicious! Thanks for sharing! I’m planning to make it again, and soon.

  • December 2, 2010 at 7:12 am: Melissa

    Amazing pic…I keep coming back to it. Excellent job.

  • December 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm: LadySinja

    This was amazing. I didn’t change a thing and it my dinner guest was floored. THANKS!

  • December 16, 2010 at 4:04 am: zeebo

    made this for dinner and it was deeelish. Very hearty (like that word). Very quick and super easy recipe…thank ya for it.

  • December 30, 2010 at 1:04 am: Claryn

    I made this with chipotles instead of jalapenos, and it was awesome. This is definitely my new favorite way to do butternut squash, too!

  • January 2, 2011 at 3:38 am: Steph

    We loved it. Very tasty, but it could hardly serve 6 in our house. There’s just two of us, and there’s not much left. There was sufficient squash, but we could maybe squeeze four servings out of the bean mixture. We want to make this for friends but we will double the sauce to serve 4. We also served it over red quinoa which was perfect, with some guac and chips on the side. Thanks.

  • January 7, 2011 at 5:18 am: Jaime

    I missed the part about blending the sauce…chomping into the whole coriander seeds was a bit overwhelming. Will learn to read all directions next time. Otherwise was delicious!

  • January 10, 2011 at 2:16 am: Diane

    I made this tonight, I added a little bit of cayenne to the sauce to make my husband happy. It was delicious. I cannot believe how well the the butternut squash went with the bean and sauce. Absolutely delicious. Will be looking to buy a cookbook from Isa! Thanks for putting it on your blog.

  • January 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm: Michael James

    Thanks for sharing Isa! Making this now can’t wait till it’s done!

  • February 8, 2011 at 5:22 am: daisymama

    My kid, the picky one, exclaimed “This is the BEST, I would eat it for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner!” I agree. It’s a keeper. So insanely good!

  • February 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm: mick morentin

    this was outrageous!! can’t wait to share with family and friends.

  • February 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm: Melissa McMahon

    I made this last night. It was fast and awesome! I changed the ration of beans to tomato slightly as the cans only came in 14oz and 19oz. I also added 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and some spinach to the sauce. DA BOMB! Thanks!

  • February 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm: Miss Niss

    This has to be one of the best flavour and texture combinations, thank you SO much! I’ve had a squash sitting on my countertop for weeks, this was perfect.

  • April 20, 2011 at 3:07 am: Megan

    This is the awesomest thing I have eaten in recent memory!!! Soooo good with a little avocado thrown on top. Loved it.

  • September 13, 2011 at 1:52 pm: Jay

    Making this Saturday night for a friend, can’t wait..

  • September 21, 2011 at 12:15 am: Julie

    Tried it again, and I don’t know what I did wrong the first time– but the second time was FANTASTIC. Didn’t have a jalepeno, used a serrano pepper and some red chile pepper flakes. WAS DELICIOUS. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • October 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm: ErinAve

    Loved this! The sweet yet spicy sauce was so good. I think it would make a great pizza sauce for a mexican pizza with roasted red peppers, corn, black beans, etc. And I agree with the polenta idea, can’t wait to try this.

  • October 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm: Hollie

    This is so great! I made it with less oil and it still turned out fantastic. Also, I highly recommend taking the butternut seeds (I put them in a strainer and kind of massage the pulp out of them), tossing them with a little oil and salt, and putting them in the oven for the last 15 minutes when you are roasting the squash – they make a delicious topping along with the scallions!

  • December 9, 2011 at 3:50 am: Maggie

    Yum! I made a tofu omelet, stuffed it with the butternut squash, and poured this saue over it. It was delicious.

  • December 22, 2011 at 2:33 am: Jessie

    So good. I used powdered cumin and coriander (1tsp, 1+ tsp respectively) and subbed chipotle (3peppers) with 1tsp adobo. Also 2 hefty heirloom tomatoes plus 1 tsp tomato paste for the tomato sauce. Why would I ever make butternut squash another way after this?

  • January 3, 2012 at 11:36 pm: Caresse

    This was wonderful… used sweet potatoes and a baby butternut squash!

  • April 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm: Crystal/paprikapapaya

    This was soooo good. Wow.

  • April 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm: janet @ the taste space

    This was nice. Not really sure what I was expecting but I nice Mexican dinner. Thank you for another fabulous way to eat squash!

  • July 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm: Stormy

    Just made this tonight – seriously one of the best vegan meals I’ve eaten EVER. Even my carnivore hubby said to me, “Hey, this is really good.” And that is coming from someone who almost never compliments my cooking, LOL. Love all of Isa’s recipes I’ve tried and this one was just fantastic. Toasting whole spices, I think, is what brings the dish together. I wouldn’t skip this step. Ground spices are fine in a pinch, but if you’ve never toasted and ground your own spices, do try it. Your belly will thank you :)

  • September 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm: carrie

    just made for the 3rd time since this was posted… always so delicious!

  • December 27, 2012 at 5:44 am: Sheila

    So far, this has been a BIG hit with everyone I’ve served it to, meat eaters and vegans alike!! So amazing I thought “how about doing this as a tamale filling?”, turned out amazing! I’ve tried many of your recipes and they are all super mega hits!! Thank you!

  • December 29, 2012 at 12:48 am: Caiti

    Seriously one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. I literally licked the plate. I was a bit concerned home alone putting everything in the blender, but just made sure to let the steam out every so often.

  • December 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm: Birgit

    These are wonderful YUMMERS