Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole

Roasted butternut squash and peppers combine with protein-rich beans, melty cheese, and spicy salsa for a delicious make-ahead meal! All in one pan and less than an hour, you'll have healthy lunches for the whole week.

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I've spent the past 3 days at Austin City Limits Music Festival and I am not well.

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I'm not like, dead, but as I write this post at my office aka Mozart's Coffee (why I booked a 5:30 PM flight home is beyond me) I am definitely struggling. It was all SO worth it, though, to spend time with my friends, have the MOST fun ever, and see amazing performances (The Killers! Red Hot Chili Peppers! Louis the Child! LAUV!!!). But I am DEFINITELY ready to get back on the healthy living wagon. Enter - this casserole.

On my baking/cooking day last week (mostly inspired by a stylish apron I picked up at Anthro the day before), I knew I wanted to make something that I could pack for all my lunches that week so I would stop spending my entire life savings at Sweetgreen. (Me: BUT THEIR NEW FALL MENU!; Also me: HOW MUCH DID YOU SPEND ON ALCOHOL THIS WEEKEND?? EVALUATE YOUR CHOICES BETCH).

I know I talk about make-ahead meals on here all the damn time, but I don't think I've ever gone over my criteria for developing them. So here we go:
- Delicious! (DUH - if I'm gonna eat it every day for a week, I need to enjoy it!)
- Healthy because I like not feeling horrible about myself
- QUICK because ain't no one got time to be slaving away over a hot oven all day!! (JK I absolutely do this like once a week but YOU are too busy and important to have to do this as well)
- Easy to portion and transport. Like, I absolutely love making and eating soup but my tupperware kind of sucks and I WILL spill it all over myself on the Metro. Smelling like soup is generally frowned upon in most office environments.

This casserole has all of the above qualities, and it is a winner! Take just an hour out of your week to make this and your wallet and stomach will be full for days to come. Or make it for your next potluck and immediately become the real MVP of your friend group.

Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole

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To make this casserole, you will need:
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 bell pepper, sliced thinly
- 2 jalapeños, diced
- 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
- 2 cups salsa or enchilada sauce
- 1 15-oz can black beans
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 6 flour tortillas (I used these fun ones from TJs and they were delicious!)
- 1/2 cup cheese (or omit to make vegan)
- 2 t cumin

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We'll start off by roasting your veggies! Preheat your oven to 400F. Dice up your butternut squash (using this method, or buy pre-diced - I'm not judging you!), slice your green pepper, onion, and jalapeños, and place them in a casserole dish. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, then let roast in the oven for 40 minutes, until squash is fork tender. Remove and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix your salsa (or enchilada sauce), beans and cumin. Set aside.

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Reduce oven heat to 350F. Spread half of your salsa (or enchilada sauce) mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish, then top with half of the quartered tortillas. Add half of the roasted vegetables, a handful of cheese, and then the spinach.

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Repeat this process - salsa, tortillas, veggies, and cheese - to complete the casserole. Then, pop it in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Once that cools, you can simply slice and serve! Or portion into tupperware. Easy as that.

So, friends, RUN - do not walk - to your kitchen and make this today! Your future self will thank you.

XOXO,
Jesse