Red and Black Butternut Squash Enchilada Bake with Turkey (Healthy Comfort Food)

20160119_233530426_iOSLast night’s dinner was AWESOME.  IT WAS A HIT.  A SMASH HIT!!!  Do you know how rare it is for a dinner to be hearty, healthy, AND a hit with ALL FIVE family members?  It’s like the way of the dodo bird rare.  My family loves their pasta, potatoes and rice but the truth is I just don’t serve that very much, since I hopped on the low-gi bandwagon and stuck with it.  So when I manage to cook something that is TLS approved AND is a hit with everyone you can bet I’m filing it away to refer back to at a later time!  And, because I know that my followers and facebook feed are full of folks that really do want to keep their New Year’s resolutions but like me, really sometimes just want some comfort food- I had to post RIGHT AWAY!  A few weeks ago I posted a black bean and butternut squash chili that was also hearty and healthy and ended up being a pretty big hit.  It tasted yummy and since then I’ve been dying to try another variation of a butternut squash and black bean combo.

The spring semester started yesterday.  I think I finally got the modern college uniform down pat and I rocked my look yesterday with jeggings, a sweater, boots and boot socks peeking out over my boots for a really adorable look.  The boot socks did it.  They made the look.  I just bought 5 or 6 pairs of them in different colors.  It’s fun to dress now.  I used to put no effort into my look whatsoever and now I think it’s really a big ole confidence boost and feels really good to walk out of the house looking smokin’ hot.  You know I think I looked better than half the students there  and I’m old enough to be their mother!  Anyway I was off on a tangent but I really love those boot socks.  I can conquer the world as long as I’m wearing a pair.  ]

So back to the food.  In my fridge, I had a pound of organic ground turkey and a package of pre-cut butternut squash along with some salad fixings.  I’m so very bored of just plain roasted squash that I had to do something different with it quick or we were going to be eating out again!  I needed ideas!  I remembered my yummy chili dish so I did a quick google search of butternut squash and black bean combos.  Giving credit where credit is due, I found a great recipe from the that I had to try my own variation of.  I had the pound of turkey, a lot more quinoa and probably double the amount of butternut squash she used.  I also used ghee instead of olive oil.  I was in a rush and the ghee was closer to me.

20160119_231153425_iOS I added a cheddar blend to mine, but this can easily be a dairy free dish just as delish by leaving out the cheese.  I didn’t have any tortilla chips on hand but we could have used some to gather up the quinoa and black beans-SO YUM.  The kids just had theirs topped with sour cream.  I had mine over an iceberg salad blend also topped with sour cream.  Even with the cheese and sour cream I’m still calling this a healthy way to eat Mexican and it was DELISH.


  • 1 pound organic ground turkey
  • 1 cup dry quinoa (I used Bob’s red mill tricolor)
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 butternut squash cored and diced (I bought pre-cut)
  • 1 chopped onion (I had 2 small sweet onions, I used both)
  • 1 chopped bell pepper any color ( I used red)
  • 1 clove garlic (feel free to use more)
  • Enchilada Sauce  (SEE MY RECIPE BELOW.  I made a very quick almost ghetto version of my own, but feel free to buy 2 12 oz jars if preferred)
  • 1 16 oz package of shredded, blended cheese.  (I used cheddar/monterey)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (extra virgin olive oil is fine too)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, melt the ghee. Saute the onion for a minute until translucent and then add the pepper until the pepper is softened slightly.
  • Add the ground turkey to the onion/pepper mixture.  Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder.  Stir until incorporated.  Cook until turkey is browned completely.
  • Transfer the turkey/onion/pepper mixture to a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Cook your diced butternut squash.  I cooked mine by melting 1 tablespoon of ghee, tossing the butternut squash in it and sauteing in covered on low heat until it was soft.  It was very lightly browned. approximately 12-15 minutes.  If preferred you can also cook by roasting it too.  I just felt like doing it quickly, so I chose to saute.
  • Meanwhile, cook your 1 cup of dry quinoa.  I boiled 2.5 cups water and simply added the dry quinoa to it and cooked for approximately 10-12 minutes until it was soft and the water was absorbed.
  • Add all of the cooked quinoa to turkey mixture.
  • Drain the black beans, then add to your mixture
  • Add the cooked butternut squash
  • Add in a cup of shredded cheese mixture
  • make sure all the ingredients are blended and  gently smoothed and incorporated in the baking dish
  • pour your enchilada sauce into the baking dish and incorporate
  • top with as much of the remaining blended shredded cheese as you’d like.  If you want this to be dairy free, feel free to leave the cheese out altogether-it will be delicous anyway
  • Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the bake is bubbling.  It took about 12 minutes for mine to bubble.
  • Serve.  Feel free to top with avocados, olives, sour cream, serve with tortilla chips, lettuce, ANYTHING YOU WANT

Enchilada Sauce



  • 1 40 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 heaping teaspoon each of chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion salt
  • salt to taste

So, Enchilada sauce is supposed to be a tiny bit thicker therefore mine probably could have used some flour, oil and extra chili powder prepared like a rue first, but it’s just as well I didn’t read a recipe thoroughly because I was in such a rush and my dish was therefore able to remain starch free.  All I did, was literally add all the ingredients together in a small pot and mix until slightly thickened.  I then poured into my turkey/quinoa/squash/bean mixture, and topped with cheese.  It was still VERY good.

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