With the trademark Croccantini crunch, and zesty flavors of butternut squash, ancho chile, and queso blanco, this hearty appetizer will satisfy even the hungriest houseguests.

20 oz butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 tsp ancho chile powder, divided

1/2 tsp salt

1 15oz can black or pinto beans, rinsed

2 scallions, sliced

3 tbsp lime juice, divided

2 tbsp grapeseed oil or canola oil, divided

1/2 tsp ground cumin

3 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco or feta cheese

1/4 cup toasted unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


  1. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket.  Add squash, cover, and steam until very tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and return to pan.  Add 1 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder and salt.  Mash until mostly smooth, and cover to keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, combine beans, scallions, 2 tbsp lime juice, 1 tbsp oil, cumin, and the remaining 1/2 tsp chile powder in a medium bowl.  Toss the lettuce with the remaining lime juice and oil in another bowl.
  3. Spread squash on full-size Croccantini, and top with approx. 3 tablespoons of the bean mixture, 1/4 cup lettuce, and 1 tbsp cheese.  Sprinkle with pepitas.
Original recipe found at eatingwell.com
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