acorn squash quesadillas + tomatillo salsa

A few weeks ago (oh, you didn’t think that meant I was all caught up, did you?) a friend and I went to a cooking demonstration at a great little modern Mexican restaurant named Dos Caminos. I know very close to nothing about Mexican cooking, despite adoring the flavor palate–the sour and tangy citruses against smoky peppers and hearty beans and meats and seriously, I don’t know why it has taken me so long to try to learn a few new things. Chalk it up to intimidation.

acorn squashacorn squash, sliced thincharring the poblanosliced skinned poblanos

The focus of the demonstration was on fall meals, which was particularly awesome because I think we largely associate Mexican cooking with warm weather, a la pico de gaillos and fresh corn everything. I learned a ton. Like, did you know that Mennonites brought cheese to Mexico and that muenster is a great cheese to use in quesadillas? Did you know that tomatillos are the same family as potatoes? Seriously, I was just swimming in information.

lightly roastedred and green jalapenosmuenstersauteeing filling

Oh, and delicious booziness. They made a fall punch with triple sec, tequila, black tea and a ton of diced fruit, from persimmons to guavas, grapes and pineapple that made me certain I had died and gone to heaven. But what wowed me even more were the squash blossom quesadillas. I always thinking of these delicate little numbers stuffed and battered and deep-fried, you know, the kind of thing you’d order out and adore, but not really fuss with at home. Yet they sliced and sauteed them with poblanos and onion and it was so approachable, I had to try it again at home.

tomatillostomatillossalsa verda crudaacorn squash quesadilla

But when I got to the Greenmarket that weekend all eager to buy the pound of squash blossoms the recipe suggested, I was all but laughed out of Union Square. I guess people who buy squash blossoms there do so early and often, and apparently everyone but me knows not to even bother seeking them out at 4:30 p.m. Then, because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to humor myself by asking the super-diligent produce guy at Garden of Eden if they had some–and they did! In fact, they sold them individually wrapped with a baby zucchini on the end for $2.75 each. Hoo hoo hee hee hee. So much for peasant food!

So, without further ado, may I present to you my fall twist on their recipe with what I could actually get, acorn squash. We also made a quick salsa verde cruda with tomatillos which was heavenly. I’ve never been much of a quesadilla eater before–too much cheese, too little substance for me–but this has me converted. And I hadn’t ever worked with tomatillos before, but this surely won’t be the last time.

acorn squash quesadilla

One year ago: Gazpacho and Lentil-Chorizo Salads

Acorn Squash Quesadilla
Adapted from a Dos Caminos demonstration recipe, but similar to many found in their awesome book, ModMex

The secret to getting your quesadillas crisp, Lindquist insisted, is to cook them in either butter or lard, and no skimping. A griddle is best if you have one, but a regular old frying pan will do in a pinch.

1 small/medium acorn squash
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons diced white onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
1 clove garlic, minced
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and cut into strips
Salt and pepper to taste
10-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend of your choice (I used Muenster, not Mexican but worked great!)
Butter for frying quesadillas
Garnishes: Julienned radishes, crema or sour cream and/or salsa verde cruda (recipe below)

First, roast the acorn squash. Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly oil a baking sheet. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds (you can save them to toast later, if you wish) and cut each half into half-inch slices. Lay them on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, until soft but not cooked to mush. (You’ll finish it in the pan.)

When cool enough to work with, use a paring knife or your hands to peel the skin off each slice. Lightly chop the squash and put it in a bowl.

Saute the onions, garlic and jalapeno in the oil until translucent. Add the poblano strips and cook for a couple minutes more. Add the squash and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes, until the squash is tender and the flavors have melded. Season with salt and pepper and take off heat.

Spread a few tablespoons of the cooked squash mixture onto one half of a 10-inch flour tortilla. Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of the cheese. Fold over and place in a hot pan with melted butter, and fry until crispy. Cut the finished quesadilla into four triangles and top with your choice of garnishes. Eat while warm.

Tomatilla Salsa [Salsa Verde Cruda]

10 tomatillos, husked and well washed, quartered
1/2 bunch of scallions, roots and green ends trimmed, cut into big segements
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 jalapenos, roughly chopped
Pinch of allspice
Salt to taste

Puree all ingredients together until very smooth either in a blender or food processor. Season with salt.

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141 comments on acorn squash quesadillas + tomatillo salsa

  1. Yum! I’m not such a huge fan of squash blossoms, anyway (they can be bitter) so acorn squash is perfect!
    What kind of tortillas did you use? I have yet to find an amazing tortilla in Manhattan…

  2. danielle

    so i’ve actually been saying to myself, “i need a good recipe that involves tomatillos” and here you go and post one.

    i’m making these tonight, hands down.

  3. Laura

    I went to the grocery store this morning and acorn squash was on sale for 99c/lb so I bought one, not having the slightest idea what I was going to do with it. I think this is fate!

  4. An outdoor grill works wonders in making a quesadilla ultra smoky and crisp, if you are fortunate to have access to one- and no fat needed. I love quesadillas and we make them often with just about anything inside them. Just a touch of cheese is all that’s needed to make them adhere and I’ve made a sweet potato and gouda blend that is killer good.

  5. Must make immediately! And thanks a million for the muenster cheese tip. I never know what to use in Mexican recipes. Why is it that grocery stores (Whole Foods, I’m looking at you) sell every fancy cheese from around the world, but they never have any Mexican cheeses — even though there are tons of Mexican immigrants here??

  6. That looks amazing – and I hear you, Half-Assed Kitchen, I rely heavily on Lactaid. This post is ALSO reminding me that I never did write up the salsa verde I made. I wonder if I’ll find tomatillos at the market tomorrow? Well, at least I know I can find squash…

  7. Jen

    Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! This looks delicious. I LOVE Mexican food and love even more that you’re studying up and sharing the goods with us. Thank you!

  8. As a Texan in exile I have a suggestion to push your new Mexican food acquaintance a little further. When/if you get tired of tomatillo salsa, cooked tomatillo sauce/salsa verde is about the easiest sauce in the world and makes amazing enchiladas and chilaquiles. Basically, take the ingredients above (leave the garlic unpeeled and the jalapenos whole; I would skip the allspice) and boil them until tender. Toss them all in a blender (removing garlic peel and jalapeno stems, and adding maybe cilantro or epazote or oregano) and puree. Heat lard or oil in a big pan til shimmering, *carefully* add the puree (spatters!), and let it sizzle until it reduces and darkens a bit. Pues, salsa verde. Some people add stock at this point and let it reduce again, but it’s not necessary. So yummy.

  9. Peggasus

    Anything can go into a quesadilla! They’re just as good as omelettes for using up bits and pieces of leftovers, though cheese is always the binder. I make them for the family at least once a week.

    I keep a small jar of canola oil and a silicone brush in my cupboard by the stove, and that is what I brush on the tortillas before they hit the pan or griddle. It doesn’t take hardly any to make them brown nicely.

  10. Irene

    Oooooooooooh, I LOVE tomatilla salsa, to the point where the red salsas don’t even get a second look anymore. Try roasting the tomatillas (no husks) first next time in the oven on a large flat baking sheet, turning them as they char. Adds a different flavor depth to the salsa.

  11. My roommate made green enchiladas the other day and it was my first time trying tomatillos as well, and oh my god they were so good! Her recipe sounds similar to Maryn’s (#16) but I think she blanched the tomatillos and sauteed the other ingredients (jalapeno, onion, garlic). Then it all got pureed and simmered down and it was heavenly. I’m curious to try the raw version now too!

  12. kristin

    Looks delicious. I love squash tacos, so I’ve got to try this quesadilla. Question – do you have the recipe for the drink with the triple sec, tequila, black tea and fruit? I could probably figure one out but it sounds too good not to try.

  13. I always plant a few squash in my gardens just for the blossoms. We love them fried with green chiles & cheese inside. Squash blossom poppers of sorts. I’ll have to give squash quesadillas a try. We’ve been trying to eat more seasonally, and this definitely fits the seasonal menu!

  14. What beautiful photos, as always.
    I love acorn squash but it kills my hand to cut it. I have a sharp knife, but it doesn’t really matter to the squash. It doesn’t care about my Global chef knife.
    What is you trick to cut it so perfectly? Please do tell.
    Family. Friendly. Food. –
    Good Food and Bad Food –

  15. These look SO GOOD. I would think you’d need less cheese since the squash would add creamy texture. I might try this with butternut squash or pumpkin. I don’t know why but I feel like pumpkin might be good with mozzarella, or maybe a cheese that’s mildly sweet.

  16. Julie

    Being a long-time quesadilla fiend, I can’t wait to try this one. I’m thinking about making them when my sister comes to visit. Would it be possible to share the punch recipe? Sounds fantastic as well! Beautiful photos, as always.

  17. beth

    I have an unrelated question: can you recommend a stuffing recipe? (preferably one with sausage, or bacon or some other kind of cured meat to satisfy the men at my table)? Every year my family tries a different stuffing for Thanksgiving and the traditional ones are bland, the cornbread ones are dry, the pineapple ones are clearly meant to go with ham and not turkey… I know it’s a bit early for this sort of thing, but I was about to start making a batch per weekend in an effort to find a good one before Thanksgiving and I then I thought about what my hips would look like 6 weeks from now if I actually followed through on that plan. Any thoughts?

  18. You know it’s funny you mention being intimidated by Mexican food. I always make the excuse that it’s too labor intensive, but I’m secretly intimidated. I live in Texas and just about every restaurant here has their own version of Mexican food. So, we always just eat Mexican out… Except for Christmas… it’s always enchiladas or tacos. Acorn squash sounds like it’ll be much better suited for the holidays though. We might just give these a spin this year! Oh – and I have to agree on the cheese… Muenster seems to be a great sub for some Mexican cheeses because it has the perfect degree of meltiness!

  19. I LOVE Mexican food and I love cooking Mexican food and I have never used squash blossoms–for all of the reasons you encountered. When I grew zucchini I kept swearing I would, but I couldn’t bear to cut off the promise of the actual zucchini if that makes any twisted sense.

    This recipe looks great–thanks for sharing. It is going into the to-do file. I have had decent results with a couple drizzles of olive oil in a nonstick pan for a lighter alternative, although it is not quite as good.

  20. Fermina

    Habana Outpost has a yummy quesadilla with smoked cheese which might be interesting with the squash. And Trader Joe’s handmade tortillas are the best I’ve found though there have got to be more authentic places to get some.

  21. Erica

    It figures that I made my own, idly waiting acorn squash into plain old squash last week. Alas.
    On a shallow, unrelated note, I really like the speckly plate on which your quesadillas are displayed. (The quesadillas, it goes without saying, look fabulous. I must now close Firefox before I start licking the monitor.)

  22. Alexis

    I’m still reeling. “Too much cheese.” ….wha? This is possible??
    I’ma go get some squash and make these tomorrow night.

  23. Mimi Pond

    This looks utterly fab! As a native Californian I can dig it the most. Another very refreshing drink is jamaica, that is to say, pronounced to rhyme with Formica, Ha-mica. Which is a tea made of dried hibiscus flowers, with sugar added. If you mix jamaica with lemonade and vodka, heaven is not too far!

  24. Ohiogirl

    Wow – this looks fantastic! I must try it.

    And I will confess my lazy quesadilla tricks. A) bake them (two at a time) on a sprayed cookie sheet, then flip. B) Cut them after they have cooled a tad with a pizza wheel.

  25. Susan

    I’ve never tried the tomatillo raw in verde. We puree pretty much the same ingredients as your recipe, but then toss it in a fry pan with a very little olive oil and saute it for a few minutes. It heats it just enough to render some juice while still retaining the brighter green color, then squeeze a little lime juice on it. We toss in lots of cilantro after it cools. I love dipping grilled cheese sandwiches in it, too!

  26. Emilie

    I can’t wait to make these! One suggestion, for anyone who’s interested, is to make homemade tortillas. I had always bought the packaged kind and a few months ago decided to make them from scratch after I saw a recipe at the Fine Cooking website. They are SO easy and SO good. You’ll never go back to storebought!

  27. deb

    Which reminds me, the pastry chef was talking about how Mexican tastes and American tastes don’t always blend. For example, he said that a popular dessert this time of year is candied pumpkin, something most Americans can’t get their head around. So, they make them into empanadas (like yours!) or fold them into crepes, and everyone is happy. Ugh, I didn’t even tell you guys about the crepes with homemade vanilla bean cajeta (goats milk caramel, like dulce de leche but tangier), dusted with canela (Mexican soft cinnamon). I didn’t want to be cruel.

  28. SEC

    Argh, this is killing me! I’m stuck over here in the UK, and have yet to see tomatillos anywhere. I don’t think I can justify a 2 hr trip into London (where I’m sure they could be found) every time I feel like tomatillo salsa!

  29. Yum! I’ll have to give these a go. I posted a recipe recently on yam and swiss chard quesadillas.We love them. Great for this Fall weather. I love mexican food. Tamales are next on my to-do list…

  30. I love these photos of yours! The cut up squash is absolutely gorgeous. Great combination of ingredients for quesadillas. I just wish I had a good gluten-free tortilla. Brown rice tortillas just don’t cut it for stuff like this. These big, fluffy white flour ones are the best for quesadillas. Sniff, sniff.

  31. I’m so glad to hear you gave tomatillos a try in Smitten Kitchen. I am a huge fan of them, espeically the heirloom variety we grow on our urban farm here in Philly. If you want to become a true fanatic and can still find fresh sweet corn at Union Sq, be sure to give this amazing soup a try:

    As for the squash blossoms, another reason to buy them as early in the morning as you can is because they wilt very quickly out in the elements at the market. it’s best to get them while they’re still perky and put them in a sealed plastic bag (with lots of air inside with them) and put them in the crisper drawer of your fridge until you’re ready to use them. They’ll last about 2 days that way. Hope that helps!

  32. Sami

    I really appreciate how your blog features specific recipies instead of meaningless meals.
    The photos are really amazing too, so sharp.
    My dream is to be able to cook like this as often as you do.
    Have you ever tried making manti?
    They’re little turkish dumplings.
    They seem right up your alley.

  33. Longtime fan. Just love you.

    As for quesadillas, I live in Texas and I’ve never used any type of oil or butter to cook them once assembled. If you have a good non-stick skillet or a well seasoned cast iron griddle you simply assemble and place as is on the pan. The lard in the flour tortillas and even corn tortillas will crisp them…I rather prefer them brown but soft.

    I’m not a chef by any stretch of the imagination. (Which is why I regularly visit your site).

  34. So glad you shared this. I don’t cook Mexican foods as often as I should (we love Mexican food, just tend to go out for it), so this gives me some inspiration to get into the kitchen and dive in! These quesadillas look fabulous.

  35. Nicole M

    This is great. About a week ago my annual squash craving kicked in! I dabble with Mexican style dishes a lot and really want to learn how to use tomatillas.

  36. Donna

    Ooh! Candied pumpkin, yum. – It’s a close second to my favorite Mexican sweet – milk candy. :) If you’re ever in Dallas, you’ll have to come visit the “little Mexico” section of town for some seriously delicious and authentic foods like cabrito and menudo and horchata – it’s like I’m back home in the Rio Grande Valley eating in my mother-in-law’s kitchen. The quesadillas look so delicious – I love acorn squash – and tomatillas are my favorite – I always prefer enchiladas verdes. Yum!

  37. geetlord

    I read this recipe at about 6:00 last night, and I was enjoying some of the most delicious quesadillas Ive ever had by 9:00. Sadly the grocery store, for the first time that I can recall, did not have fresh tomatillos, so I had to buy tomatillo salsa.

    I once had a similar tasting quesadilla at a restaurant, it used sweet potato instead of squash and fontina instead of munster. I think that I may try recreating it after my luck with your recipe last night.

  38. Mona

    How could Americans not wrap their head around candied pumpkin? I mean, we like pumpkin butter, pumpkin bread and of course, pumpkin pie. We mix pumpkin with sugar all the time…………..Now, I have heard of other countries not fathoming us combining pumpkin + sweet, to them pumpkin is savory.


    Your dish looks awesome, as always! :-)

  39. 2.75 for a *baby* zucchini plant with its flower? You are crazy! Might as well wait until next year and plant your own zucchini and suffer from boatloads of veggies instead; they grow like weeds. Seriously. (Or beg them off anyone who has a garden.) The quesadilla looks delicious, by the way. I’ll have to try the butter tip, maybe later tonight. I’m sure I have some in the fridge at home.

  40. I can’t believe I’m the only person to ask, but are you going to tackle (or at least give us some approximately proportions) for the fall punch?????? That sounds awesome. So do the quesadillas – yum. I’m making those as soon as we get a cold snap here in Alabama.

  41. deb

    Not until I give the recipe a spin at home, which won’t be… for a couple weeks, at least. Sorry to be a tease! Those thirsting for more of their recipes should definitely pick up the cookbook. Everything in there looks amazing.

  42. tanvi

    I adore quesadillas but always felt like they weren’t dressy enough to serve as an appetizer during a dinner party- you just solved my problem with this recipe, what a delightful fall treat!

  43. Whoa! This is great! I remember when I eat on greenwich restaurant I order pizzadilla some kinda similar with this one. Thanks for the share on the recipe. I’m gonna try this.

  44. wes

    This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try it. I make my quesadillas without any lard or butter. It just takes patience to crisp them up. I use a heavy skillet or a cast iro pan or griddle. medium to medium high heat. And just keep heating and checking until the bottom is the desired toastyness, then flip and repeat.

  45. Erica

    Woohoo, my little farmers’ market had acorn squash, tomatillos, AND poblano chiles!

    Alas, I have no scallions for the tomatillo salsa, but I’m sure onions will be a perfectly acceptable substitute.

    My boyfriend is a good eater and he loves Mexican food, but he’s one of those this-would-be-so-much-better-with-meat-in-it types, so I’m going to do some chicken breasts in the oven and make the quesadillas with some chicken added in. That ought to shut him up. :)

  46. Anna

    Ever since I saw this recipe I have been eager to try it. We had it for dinner last night — delicious. Tomatillos are definitely not available at the Farmer’s Market in Portland, Maine this time of year, but cranberries are. I made a cranberry salsa that was tart and crisp — the perfect balance to the sweet soft squash and cheese. Thanks for the inspiration!

  47. Quadrupling the call for the punch recipe – I just bought 3 acorn squash this weekend at the farmer’s market, so I might try to make this recipe this week, but the punch…that might be a weekly thing, by the sounds of it.

  48. wes

    I finally got around to trying these quesadillas (I’m like you, and can never try anything without making it my own along the way, so they were slightly different) and it is definitely a keeper. We loved the salsa, and I was eating it on everything from tacos to leftovers. I was able to toast them in my Calphalon pan without any added fat too. Loved it. Thanks!

  49. Aniket

    I tried both the salsa and the quesadilla recipe almost exactly for my wife and sister who was visiting. I’m relatively inexperienced as a cook. The outcome was fabulous. Many thanks.

  50. Hi. I love your website and I congratulate you on also posting about the failures. You’re sincere. Other than that, I am posting to tell you that I invented a quesadilla recipe myself, which you would like: on half of your tortilla spread cheese, top with caramelized onion, top with roasted bell peppers, olives if you like them and then more cheese, and then fold the other half over. Repeat with another tortilla and place both to form a circle in a preheated non stick skillet with a tight fitting lid. Cook on medium high for 4 minutes thereabout on each side or until it roasts a bit on the bottom, then flip and cook again for approx 4 more minutes. The cheese will melt and maybe ooze and the tortilla shell will be crisp when you bite into it. Please try it !

  51. Lizzie

    These were really delicious. We got a ton of tomatillos in our CSA and this was a perfect was to use them- the tomatillo salsa was bright and flavorful. Great recipe!

  52. Megan

    In a search for vegetarian options (we’ve recently decided to cut back on our meat intake) I found this offering. Wow- they were soooo good! My husband, toddler, and a friend all agreed. My husband was stuffed after eating these (well, he did eat 3), which is pretty uncommon on the nights we go veggie (feeling full, that is). I used fontina cheese and doubled the recipe, which made 10 quesadillas.

    I’ve tried several of your recipes and they have all been fabulous- thanks so much for all you do- amazing with a little one so cute! I have a 6 mos old as well(they’re 15 mos. apart) so I know how hard, yet satisfying, it is to spend time (when you have so little)on a recipe and have it turn out really well! Take care…

  53. these look WONDERFUL. I must try them when I can get my hands on tomatillos again.

    a question about roasting over an open flame: I have Indian friends who use this technique for eggplant, but we have gross electric-coil skillets on our apartment stove. Is my only option using the oven? I love roasting in the oven, but it does not have an identical charring effect.

    Thanks, Deb! I adore your blog.

  54. erin

    I just made these tonight and they are ridiculously good. I roasted my tomatillos for the salsa. Two jalapenos, which in retrospect, I should have known I wouldn’t be able to tolerate, because I am a spice wimp. I couldn’t stop eating it even though it was burning my lips off. On the upside, I kind of look like I got collagen injections…

  55. Jess

    I just made these tonight, for my mother and I. I was skeptical at first but decided I needed to try these – they looked too good to pass up! I am SO glad that I did. These will definitely be a new staple. Such great flavors – and I didn’t even need to put the salsa on it.

  56. I LOVED these quesadillas!!! For the past few weeks we’ve been turning more towards vegetarian meals without even trying to. I don’t know if it’s the hot summer and we just aren’t in the mood for heavy meat, but it’s been refreshing! With this turn in our culinary tastes, we’ve also had to become more creative with our meals and these quesadillas are really a fantastic addition. We’ve been doing black bean, cherry tomato quesadillas and those are great, but you can only eat those so many times. This was a great twist to one of our favorite meals and something that I probably would not have turned to myself. I love butternut squash over pasta, so I knew right away when I saw your recipe I’d love it! Making and eating it confirmed my thoughts!! You’re always full of wonderful ideas and have such wonderful recipes to share! It’s always a treat to see what you’ll share with us next! Thanks!!!

  57. Veggiesaurus

    Scrumptious! I’ve been wanting to make these forever and finally a family member had an excess of tomatillos and poblano peppers. It was fate. I found the roasting and peeling of the poblanos to be more time consuming than expected, but well worth the effort. They were delicious! I used whole wheat tortillas and garnished with greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) and the salsa verde cruda and they were perfect. I will definitely be making this recipe again. Thanks again for a wonderful recipe!

  58. This was a wonderful recipe. The first time I made it, I only put one jalepeno in the salsa and it was too spicy for us! The quesadillas were fantastic, also a bit spicier than I like.

  59. Melissa

    I made this last night for my boyfriend and I, and upon hitting the overly-small grocery store by his apartment, I had to make many subsitutions (butternut squash – not acorn, a mix of bell peppers and jalapenos roasted instead of poblano, and canned tomatillos + white onion for the salsa). Regardless, it still made for a delicious fall dinner and I will absolutely make this again!

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  60. AMN

    I need to echo the last comment. Made this last night with lots of substitutions (roasted a sweet pepper instead of the poblanos and added broccoli) and loved it. I never really get that excited about acorn squash but this recipe was perfecto.

    I always use a tomatillo recipe that calls for boiling the tomatillos. I like it so much I’m afraid not to boil them.

  61. So delicious! I was looking for a new mexican recipe and had an acorn squash along with some local salsa already in my kitchen. I roasted a red pepper along with the poblano pepper and served the dish “fajita style” instead of in a quesadilla. Loved it. Thank you for sharing.

  62. Anna

    Just made these tonight – they were awesome! Although I used canned hatch chiles instead of poblanos because I had them on hand. Super tasty. I also made my own sauce out of sour cream, the leftover hatch chiles, salt, and hot sauce. Loved every bite!

    PS I recommend buying uncooked tortillas from the store and frying them up just before using. It is very little extra effort and time. The taste and texture are fantastic and so much better quality than those that have been sitting in the grocery store for a few days.

  63. Jessica G

    Wow! My friend and I had a dinner party last night, and these were the star. We were doing a vegan meal so we made these using vegan cheese (which I was nervous about) but wow – they were incredible. We grilled them on my panini press and ended up with triangles that had really appetizing looking grill marks on them. The acorn squash was genius. Thank you!!

  64. Ellie

    Yum! I just made these. Actually, I made the squash mixture yesterday. Then when I got home from work today and needed a snack, I spooned the mixture on tortillas, added the cheese, sauteed, and voila! Such a delicious treat. The quesadillas look yellow and cheesy but are lighter and nuttier than your typical kind. I like them because I don’t feel so full and lethargic after eating them. Thank you!

  65. Stephanie

    Wow. Just wow. So I made these tonight for dinner and introduced them as “squash quesadillas by our new friend Deb”. Everything about them was right on, although the universe hatched a plan where it obviously didn’t want me to find tomatillos today, and so I ended up paying out the wazoo for some (admittedly delicious) heirloom tomatoes and making a regular old salsa. I’m definitely throwing this recipe into my arsenal; it was a total hit and yes, go for the butter! Also, I must have been living under a rock, because I just learned about you and your fancy site this week. I’ve wasted no time in pouring through and salivating over your recipes, lovely writing, and incredible images. These quesadillas will be the first of many Smitten recipes to come out of my (equally tiny) kitchen.

  66. Sara

    I love this recipe. I have made it a couple of times and really enjoy it. I just made it for my parents who are not adventurous eaters and they both really liked it. I find it is much easier to cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then roast it. I then scoop out the squash and mash it a little when adding it to the saute mixture. I find it’s much easier this way than to cut the squash up and then peel it and cut it after it roasts. I would think it tastes the same with just roasting the squash when cut in half. If you want chunks of squash you don’t have to mash it a little after scooping it out of the shell. Delicious! I can’t wait to make this several times this fall!

  67. Sara

    I also like to put the squash mix on the tortilla and top it with the cheese then another tortilla and bake it until the cheese melts. I prefer this to frying it in butter.

  68. Sue

    THANK YOU for this recipe. It is EXACTLY what I was looking for!!! It is obvious that you tested it well, so I will be making this for dinner tonight!

  69. Keri

    These were so good! Even the leftovers were good. Everyone who came into our home that night and the next morning mentioned how good the house smelled! We will definitely make these again.

  70. I finally got around to making these and wow, so good. I just made the quesadillas, not the salsa, and we topped them with sour cream + some spicy corn relish we had in the fridge already. I love fall/winter squash of all kinds, but usually turn them into soups or purees or just roast them with butter and brown sugar – so this was a really nice change.

  71. This is a great recipe! I never thought of using acorns. It’s just not a traditional Mexican ingredient. I’m always up for vegetarian dishes. My family is Mexican, and I’ve been privileged to a lot of authentic Mexican cooking. Though, I feel like I’ve perfected salsa verde. You can find it in my e-book.

  72. Laura

    Made this for supper tonight, and it was fantastic! Loved the complex, fall Mexican flavors. They paired especially well with a simple kohlrabi slaw (shredded kohlrabi, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper) and some sour cream.

  73. Megan

    Saw this recipe and had an acorn squash on hand. So I had to make this. Then I had to run to the store for tomatillos because the salsa looked tasty. I blended all the raw salsa ingredients down (with lime juice and cilantro) and then put them in a warm, ungreased skillet to cook down. Very good. By the end, I became lazy and only made corn tortilla tacos with this. Still it was amaze-balls. Thanks for a veggie Mexican recipe. Mucho <3.

  74. Allison

    Made these tonight with an acorn squash from our CSA. Used Muenster cheese. We also made the salsa, and added avocado and cilantro. It was all so delicious! Deb, I love your recipes – the perfect balance of healthy, fresh, convenient, and yummy.

  75. Stef

    I’ve made some pretty amazing pumpkin and caramelized onion quesadillas before. I’ve also experimented with other types of winter squash with awesome results…something about the creamy semi-sweetness of the squash blends so well with the cheese and with a crispy flour tortilla holding it all together it almost becomes some sort of flaky delicious pastry…thanks for sharing a recipe for salsa verde, I’ve been wanting to give that a whirl for a while now :)

  76. mizizzle

    Made these and the salsa verde tonight and they were fab! Most of the ingredients came from our CSA share, but I substituted in chipotle in adobe sauce since i didn’t have poblanos. What a nice combination of sweet and smoky and savory and spicy. In fact, I’m going to have another right now…

  77. mapleleafmeg

    I was looking for something to make with tomatillos and I knew you wouldn’t let me down!
    I think there is a typo though, they are related to the tomato, not the potato. (Same family as tomato, different genus)

  78. Megan

    I made these tonight and they were great. I cooked the onion, garlic, and squash in coconut oil instead of vegetable oil since I heard that vegetable oil isn’t as healthy (of course I guess the oil in the tortillas wasn’t good either). I only had a few tomatillos so I also mixed in tomatoes in the salsa. I had no peppers but it was still good and spicy (I guess the allspice gave it plenty of flavor).

  79. squashlover

    I too love almost any kind of squash….almost. I’ve only tried acorn squash once…about 9 years ago. I wasn’t so fond of the texture, but I think we just baked it and salted it. So when I got 3 in my local produce co-op basket, I wanted a recipe so I could venture into the acorn squash world again. Since my husband will try anything Mexican, I figured this will be a great one to try! Here’s to new adventures! Thank you!

  80. Jay

    Okay, so I’m 4 years late to this recipe, but I had an acorn squash laying around (as you do), and found my way to your site via your NYT profile. Just finished eating the last of the quesadilla triangles. Even without the salsa (was too lazy and hungry to run to the store for tomatillos), these were outstanding. Thank you so much for the recipe, and congrats on the cookbook and all your success!

  81. Shelly

    This is yummy! I used a butternut squash I had instead. The salsa verde came out WAY spicy :) We love spicy food and it was hot even for us. I know jalapeños vary a lot in terms of heat.

  82. Julie

    Hmmm… I’d love to know how to use the squash blossoms in this recipe. Like you, I only think of stuffing the, with risotto and lightly frying them….

  83. Heather

    Just finished eating this for dinner! Awesome! I got both tomatillos and acorn squash in my share last week. I didn’t use the poblanos and I used canned jalapeño in both the filling and salsa. Can’t wait for my hubby to try it!

  84. Chase

    Loved it, but my tomatillo salsa was a little off, I added some lime. The lime helped the salsa but definitely clashed with the squash in the quesadilla. My quesadilla itself without the salsa and a some bottled El Pato on top was great. I will make this again. Thank you!

  85. Katherine

    I love that plant family! Other nightshades (aka solanaceae) are tomatoes, tomatillos, potatoes, peppers, and also tobacco and eggplants (the ones I don’t like).

    Near cousin…ready? Petunias.

  86. NinaK

    Read this yesterday, made it for lunch today! Fantastic. I used prechopped butternut squash instead of acorn, since I can’t stand puttering around with acorn.

    Changed proportions slightly, as I only bought one poblano.

  87. aiminee

    I stumbled across this while looking for something else. I just wanted to tell you that I first made this back in ’08 when you first posted it….. and I still make it. It’s my go-to when I have acorn squash. I’ve found this is pretty much the only way I like acorn squash.

  88. Rebecca

    Made this over the weekend to use up some acorn squash. Subbed bell peppers for poblano because that’s all I had! Turned out nicely although I’m sure the poblanos would have given it a different flavor. Let Trader Joe’s make the salsa verde ;-)

    Question in the squash category, is there a reason in your recipes page why “summer squash” has so many fewer entries than “zucchini”? I think of zucchini as a subset of summer squash, the way you’ve grouped this recipe in the winter squash category. I was confused looking for summer squash/zucchini recipes why I couldn’t find more until I realized they were split up! Just a note/thought.

    1. deb

      It’s exactly why you say — it’s a categorization issue. Zucchini are a type of summer squash and it would help if I reorganize accordingly. It’s also tricky because I want to redirect someone who searches for zucchini recipes to summer squash because any would work in zucchini’s place and vice-versa but most people will just search for zucchini and think if they land on summer squash “I can’t make this, I don’t have summer squash,” picturing a crook-neck yellow thing. :) (I did it too for years!)

  89. Sarah E

    I just made this, and I’m about to make it again. It’s really such an excellent combination of savory and spicy flavors. Every friend I’ve mentioned my recent dinners to has literally groaned, it sounds (and is!) that good! I don’t have a gas stove, though, so I didn’t roast my poblanos. Any idea of how to do this without a gas stove?

  90. Barbara Johns

    FYI, Some grocery stores sell the squash cut up. I know it is not the same as cooking them in their skin, but it is a time and mess saver. Also, for gluten free, I make a crepe using Schar’s flour and recipe. Makes for an adequate substitute when I cannot get good corn tortillas.

  91. My children unhepfully stood behind me while I cooked sharing all the reasons why they couldn’t eat this: squash! Peppers! Onions! All mixed together! I ignored it all. Needless to say, they devoured it; cheese always wins. I loved it, too!

  92. Lisa O

    Try roasting your tomatillos (with onions, whole jalapeno(s), and whole peeled garlic cloves), then proceed with your recipe. Add a little cumin. It’s a different set of flavors; changes from “fresh” to “deep!”

  93. Lauren B

    Hello! Made these for lunch and we thought they were very good. I did find myself wishing for slightly more detailed instructions, though. I had the squash all roasted and was ready to start sauteeing then realized that the recipe called for the poblanos to be roasted. Some of this confusion probably came from the fact that I had the recipe printed, with no pictures. So then I came online to check for instructions on roasting and peeling the poblanos and unfortunately didn’t find any here. I had never worked with poblanos before, and didn’t have a gas stove as demonstrated in the pictures so I just roasted it in the oven and winged it. And then when I came online to look at the instructions I noticed that you roasted the jalapenos in the photos as well, which isn’t mentioned in the instructions, and I had already cut mine up! It was all good because the quesadillas still turned out well, but as I know you sometimes refresh old recipes, I nominate this one as a candidate for refreshing! Thanks for your consideration and as always for the great veggie ideas!

  94. T.M.

    I just wanted to say how much I love this recipe– I’ve been making this (and versions of it) since you’ve posted it all the way back in 2008, I want to let you know how versatile and well loved this dish is to me, even though this recipe started out if necessary improvisation itself. It has followed me from my last year of high school when I started making meals for my folks, through college, living alone post college, into marriage and now into the craziness of 2020. It is up there in my top ten favorite meals of all time. I’ve done my own twists on it throughout the years (mainly using butternut squash in place of acorn, and adding a bit of black beans to the mix for protein) and I even make extra filling every yime.i make it so I can put it on sandwiches, use it as a side in other meals or, incorporate it into cassroles. The tomatillo salsa is sometimes used in other recipes (cooked and uncooked). It is part of the backbone of my collected recipes book and has inspired me to experiment in all the various kitchens I’ve used. Thanks Deb!

  95. MLB

    Why am I always surprised when I try one of your recipes and… it’s drop-dead delicious? These are the new favourite quesadillas (with the roasted cauliflower ones now being a close second). Added vaquero beans to the filling and used whole wheat tortillas with a mix of Monterey Jack and habanero cheddar. Topped off with mango-avocado salsa, red cabbage slaw, and quick-pickled red onions. It was altogether the best combo of so many flavors and textures – sweet/spicy/crunchy/fresh.

    Deb, you never let us down. Thank you!!