Chicken, Black Bean, Kale, Roasted Butternut Squash, & Avocado Enchiladas


Say you have friends over on Monday, and you make an enormous roasted chicken. Then let’s say you have a ton of leftovers, since apparently an 8 lb. roast chicken is way too much for 4 people. And let’s also say that you would like Mexican food, but not turkey tacos, since although they are delicious, you make them all the time.  

Enchiladas??  Okay.

These were so tasty, and so filling, and I was able to convince myself that the kale, squash, and avocado made them healthy (enough). I thought the roasted butternut squash might add too much sweetness, but it ended up acting as sort of a binder for the filling, and lending just a little bit of flavor. This recipe uses a  tomatillo sauce that I found in the store, so if anyone has a tomatillo recipe they love, I’m all ears. These keep, and reheat, really well. I think they might actually even be good cold.

CHICKEN, BLACK BEAN, KALE, ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH & AVOCADO ENCHILADAS (makes 7 enormous enchiladas)

– 1 lb. shredded chicken
– 2 cups kale, “ribs” removed and roughly chopped
– 1 15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1/2 roasted butternut squash
– 1 small avocado, diced
– Mexican cheese – I was able to find a small wheel of “quesadilla cheese” in the grocery store which was perfect
– 2 cups tomatillo sauce
– Smaller-size flour tortillas
– 1 small onion, diced
– 2 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt or Herbamare
– Fresh-squeezed lime juice
– Sour cream, for topping

1. Roast your butternut squash. This is really easy but takes a little time. First, heat the oven to 400. The just take the whole squash, with a couple of holes poked into it, into the oven for about 15 minutes.  The squash will soften, and make cutting it a slightly less terrifying experience.
2. After 15 minutes, cut off the bottom of the squash, then cut it down the middle and scoop out all of the seeds.


3. Rub a little olive oil on the cut side of each half of the squash, then place cut-side down on an ungreased baking sheet.

4. Cook at 400 for approx. 30 – 45 minutes (depending on the size of the squash). Remove from the oven and let cool a bit.  The skin of the squash will peel right off, and you can then cut the squash into chunks for this recipe, or salads, or soup, or whatever.

5. While the squash is roasting, dice an onion.  The easiest way to do this is to cut the onion in half, then make vertical cuts along the onion’s natural lines.  When you then cut the onion, it will dice itself naturally.


6. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tsbp EVOO, and when hot, cook the onion until soft. 

7. Add the rinsed and drained black beans, chopped kale, and chicken. Stir to combine.
8. Add about 1/2 C. of the tomatillo sauce to the bean/kale/chicken/onion mixture for some flavor. Taste and adjust seasoning.

9. When the mixture is cooked, add the roasted squash and the avocado. Stir gently to combine.

10 Lower oven heat to 375.  In a microwave, heat the tortillas (4 at a time) in paper towels, for approx. 45 seconds.

11. Spread approx. 1/2 C. of the tomatillo sauce over the bottom of a large baking pan.


12. Assemble your enchiladas – spoon filling into the middle of a warm enchilada, grate some mexican cheese over the filling, and squeeze a little lime juice over it as well.  Roll up the enchilada and place in the baking pan seam-side down.

13. Step and repeat.

14. When all the enchiladas are in the baking pan, pour the remaining cup of tomatillo sauce over the top of them, then top with approx. 1/2 C. of shredded Mexican cheese.

15. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for approx. 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

16. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream, salsa, etc. Ole.

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