Butternut buffet Squash, Kale, and Crunchy Pepitas Taco

Drummed up by way of our intrepid recipe tester Lauren Godfrey, this nontraditional taco buffet, sweet with squash, earthy and nutty with kale, and crunchy with fried pumpkin seeds (pepitas), is—shhhhh—vegan. Don’t inform all people, but due to the fact it’s so tasty, nobody will care. The cashew cream may be replaced via save-bought crema or our Cumin-lime crema, but after polling both vegetarian and carnivorous buddies, everyone favored the nutty and wealthy nondairy cashew version (which need to be made with uncooked cashews to work). To put together the butternut squash, use a sharp peeler to get rid of the difficult pores and skin before slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds and fibers. Lazy prepare dinner’s tip: Some markets sell butternut squash already peeled and seeded and ready to head.

 Butternut  buffet Squash, Kale, and Crunchy Pepitas Taco

Butternut buffet Squash, Kale, and Crunchy Pepitas Taco


  1. Cashew Crema:
    • 2/3 cup raw cashews
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 3 limes)
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  2. Pumpkin Seeds:
    • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    • 1/3 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  3. Filling:
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3 cups 1/2-inch-diced butternut squash
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 4 cups finely chopped kale
    • Corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
    • Chopped white onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and salsa of choice, for serving (optional)


    1. To make the crema, soak the raw cashews in room-temperature water to cover for at least 1 hour. Drain and reserve.
    2. Toast the cumin in a small, dry, heavy skillet over medium heat for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder, let cool and grind finely.
    3. In a blender, combine the cashews, cumin, lime juice, water, and salt. Start the blender on the lowest speed and gradually increase to the highest speed. Blend for at least 1 minute, until a creamy consistency. Pour into a serving bowl and set aside.
    4. To make the pumpkin seeds, heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the pumpkin seeds and sauté for about 2 minutes, taking care that they do not burn. The seeds will begin to puff up and pop. Once they appear toasted, immediately pour them into a bowl. Toss with the cayenne and salt and set aside.
    5. To make the filling, heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute more. Add the squash and sauté for 6 to 7 minutes, just until the squash begins to soften. Season with the chili powder and salt.
    6. Add the kale and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until it begins to wilt. Remove from the heat, taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.
    7. Serve with the tortillas, crema, pumpkin seeds, onion, cilantro, and salsa. To assemble each taco, invite guests to spoon about 1/2 cup of the warm filling into a tortilla and top with some cream and pumpkin seeds. If guests want more toppings, they can finish off their tacos with onion, cilantro, and salsa.

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