Mexican Squash on a Budget

Name: Sarah Carter
Class Year: 2017
Country of Residence: Ireland

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

I recently moved to Ireland to begin my PhD studies. Busy with work and struggling to find the time to go the grocery store, I quickly discovered the joy of grocery home delivery. One time, they accidentally delivered a butternut squash instead of bananas. By the time I noticed the mistake, it was too late. A PhD stipend is not much – and requires one to live frugally, on a budget. I was not about to let any food got to waste. So I dug around in my pantry, found a can of black beans and a few veggies, and – voilà ! The Mexican squash was born. It’s become a regular to cook for dinner – quick to make; very filling; and great for anyone living on a budget!

Mexican Squash on a Budget

Serves 2. Takes approx. 1 hour.


  • 1 medium-sized or large butternut squash
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Teaspoon of parsley
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • 1 onion
  • A clove of garlic
  • Veggies of choice (I recommend a colorful assortment of peppers!)
  • ½ Can of black beans
  • ½ Can of diced tomatoes
  • Hot sauce or salsa
  • Tablespoon of olive oil


  1. Cut the squash in half, cover with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper, and put in the oven for 40-50 minutes at 200 C.
  2. While the squash is cooking, stir fry the onion and garlic in olive oil with the parsley, paprika, salt, pepper, and chili powder until the onions start to look translucent. Then, add the veggies. Cook for a few more minutes until the veggies start to get soft.
  3. Add the black beans and the tomatoes. Re-season with chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, then cool down and let simmer until the squash is ready.
  4. Fill the squash with the black bean/veggie stuffing and stack any extra filling on top of the squash. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top.
  5. Cook the squash for an extra 5-10 minutes in the oven, checking the squash periodically using a fork (If the fork can easily pierce the squash, then it is ready!)
  6. Add your favorite hot sauce or salsa and enjoy!


Added ingredients are my own invention – but I must give some credit to my dad, who taught me how to cook a butternut squash 🙂 

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