Well hello, TACOS. Nice to see you. You look scrumptious… and healthy too? Hearty spaghetti squash, lime juice and garlic, toothsome black beans and spices. It’s veggie taco time… open wide and say YUM!
As a kid, tacos were part of my family’s regular dinner rotation. 6 mouths to feed, 1 big pan… it was the perfect weeknight dinner.
Each year my parents bought a half steer from the county fair to feed us throughout the year. I can still picture the deep freezer out in the garage, with it’s parcels, neatly wrapped in white butcher’s paper. Back then, tacos meant ground beef, sauteed up with onions and some taco seasoning, and served with HARD taco shells and sour cream… I can still taste it!
We all loved taco night. Happy kiddos, happy family.
No doubt about it, tacos hold a special place in my heart ??. Though, since the 1980s, tacos have evolved for our family. More often than not, we fill them with veggies or fresh seafood (check out my Cornmeal Crusted Grouper Tacos).
The choices of what you can stuff inside are infinite! And toppings can make them SO zesty.
Sometimes I still take them in a totally decadent direction, using pork for carnitas or soft shredded lamb- but often, like for healthy January, I stuff them full of veggies!
You’ll love how fully satisfying the spaghetti squash is as the staple, and with SO much flavor from the garlic and spices, well, it’ll almost feel like cheating!
Think squash tacos are out of the wheelhouse for a weeknight dinner? Think again. I’ve got a quick microwave option to cook the squash, cutting cook time by three-quarters, and making your dinner prep a snap. The rest of the recipe can be prepared while the squash cooks, meaning dinner is on the table in minutes!
Can You Tell Me More About the Quick Pickled Red Onion?
Absolutely. I ADORE anything pickled. SO MUCH FLAVOR!! All summer long I pickle farmers market cucumbers and whatever else I can get my hands on. But traditional pickling takes days… and a quick vinegar pickle can be done in minutes! And adds so much zesty crunch and the perfect acidity to whatever dish it adorns. Best of all, they keep in the fridge, so you can totally do it ahead of time and if you make a big enough batch, can use it on all sorts of meals throughout the next week.
If you’d rather not do this part of the recipe, the tacos will still be great. You can use regular chopped onion (red, white, or green onions would all be good), or if onions aren’t your thing, just leave them off altogether.
Anything Else I Should Know?
- Omit the cheese and these tacos are vegan.
- With corn tortillas, they are entirely gluten free.
- You can make the filling ahead of time. Rewarm it in the microwave, stirring occasionally.
How Can I Make these Squash Tacos Even More Zesty?
Simple answer. MORE TOPPINGS!
- Try pickled jalapeno (canned or make your own with the same method as the onions).
- Serve with Mexican hot sauce
- Toast hulled pumpkin seeds and sprinkle on top
- Zest a lime and squeeze half the juice into plain Greek yogurt. Stir well and serve alongside tacos.
Watch me make my Squash Tacos:
Spaghetti Squash Tacos with Black Beans & Quick Pickled Red Onion
- 1 large spaghetti squash about 3 pounds
- Juice and zest from 1 lime
- 2 garlic clove grated or minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- ½ cup chopped cilantro lightly packed
- ½ cup crumbled feta or cotija cheese
- 16 corn tortillas
For the red onion:
- 1 small red onion large dice (about 6 ounces)
- ¼ cup red or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Begin by making the quick pickled red onion. Warm the water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Place the chopped onion in a bowl or jar and pour the liquid over top, making sure the onion is submerged. If it is not fully submerged, add a little more vinegar. Let it sit at room temperature while you prepare the tacos. (Onions will keep covered and refrigerated for 1-2 weeks).
- Pierce the squash all over with a sharp knife. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 6 minutes. Turn it over, then microwave again for another 6 minutes. Test if it is done by spearing it with a sharp knife. It should go through easily. If it is not totally softened, cook for another few minutes. Let it cool slightly.
- Split open the squash and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Using a spoon or fork, shred the spaghetti squash into strands and place in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice and zest, chili powder, cumin, allspice and salt. Stir then pour over the squash and toss to combine.
- Cook the tortillas in a dry skillet about 1 minute per side. Alternately, wrap them in foil and warm them in an oven set to about 250 degrees for about 10 minutes. Wrap in a dish towel or keep in a taco warmer.
- To serve, place a scoop of the squash in the bottom of a tortilla. Top with some black beans, then garnish with onions, cilantro and feta. Serve right away. Alternatively, set everything out and let everyone make their own taco with desired toppings.
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