Acorn Squash Tempura Tacos with Smoked Paprika-Lime Sauce

Acorn Squash Tempura Tacos

with Smoked Paprika-Lime Sauce

Group Created with Sketch. 25 min
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  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    2 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 700 Cals/serving

For these hearty vegetarian tacos, we’re taking one of our favorite cold-weather vegetables—sweet and nutty acorn squash—dredging it in a light tempura batter, then pan-frying it to perfection. (To keep your squash crisp and airy, be sure to use cold water when making the tempura batter!) For delicious flavor contrast, we’re adding smoked paprika to the batter and using it in a tart dipping sauce. Creamy avocado and crunchy red onion add layers of texture, while a garnish of crumbled Cotija cheese, cilantro and lime juice completes this authentic, delicious dinner.

Get Cooking
fresh
ingredients
Acorn Squash Tempura Tacos with Smoked Paprika-Lime Sauce
Title
  • 8 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 cup Rice Flour
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 lb Acorn Squash
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 2 oz Queso Fresco
  • 2 Tbsps Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsps Smoked Paprika
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the lime. Peel and mince the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Halve the squash lengthwise; using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Slice the squash lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Pit, peel and thinly slice the avocado; toss with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Make the smoked paprika-lime sauce:
2 Make the smoked paprika-lime sauce:

In a bowl, combine the garlic paste, mayonnaise, half the smoked paprika and the juice of 1 lime wedge; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Coat the squash:
3 Coat the squash:

Place ¼ of the rice flour in a large bowl and add the squash pieces. Season with salt and pepper and toss to thoroughly coat.

Make the batter:
4 Make the batter:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining rice flour, remaining smoked paprika and ¾ cup of water to create a thin batter. Season with salt and pepper. (If the batter starts to thicken, add up to ¼ cup of water to maintain a thin consistency.)

Batter & cook the squash:
5 Batter & cook the squash:

In a large pan, heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, dip the coated squash in the batter (letting any excess drip off). Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan, carefully add the battered squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt. Carefully discard any excess oil. Wipe out the pan.

Toast the tortillas & plate your dish:
6 Toast the tortillas & plate your dish:

Heat the pan used to cook the squash on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the tortillas. Toast 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until lightly browned and pliable. Transfer to a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Divide the toasted tortillas between 2 plates, layering 2 tortillas together for each taco. Spread each taco with a layer of the smoked paprika-lime sauce. Top with the cooked squash, avocado, onion and queso fresco (crumbling before adding). Garnish with the cilantro and remaining lime wedges. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Get This Recipe Delivered
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the lime. Peel and mince the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Halve the squash lengthwise; using a spoon, scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Slice the squash lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Pit, peel and thinly slice the avocado; toss with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

2 Make the smoked paprika-lime sauce:

In a bowl, combine the garlic paste, mayonnaise, half the smoked paprika and the juice of 1 lime wedge; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the smoked paprika-lime sauce:
Coat the squash:
3 Coat the squash:

Place ¼ of the rice flour in a large bowl and add the squash pieces. Season with salt and pepper and toss to thoroughly coat.

4 Make the batter:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining rice flour, remaining smoked paprika and ¾ cup of water to create a thin batter. Season with salt and pepper. (If the batter starts to thicken, add up to ¼ cup of water to maintain a thin consistency.)

Make the batter:
Batter & cook the squash:
5 Batter & cook the squash:

In a large pan, heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, dip the coated squash in the batter (letting any excess drip off). Once the oil is hot enough that a drop of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan, carefully add the battered squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; immediately season with salt. Carefully discard any excess oil. Wipe out the pan.

6 Toast the tortillas & plate your dish:

Heat the pan used to cook the squash on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the tortillas. Toast 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until lightly browned and pliable. Transfer to a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Divide the toasted tortillas between 2 plates, layering 2 tortillas together for each taco. Spread each taco with a layer of the smoked paprika-lime sauce. Top with the cooked squash, avocado, onion and queso fresco (crumbling before adding). Garnish with the cilantro and remaining lime wedges. Enjoy!

Toast the tortillas & plate your dish: