This is one of those recipes where you'll cross your eyes in pleasure after tasting. Great for vegetarian meat substitute or hiding veggies from your kids. They do not taste like squash. If you don't have cotija cheese, you can substitute Parmesan. But cotija marries well with cumin. Serve with refried beans for extra yum.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
15 mins
total:
40 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat canola oil in a deep fryer or heavy pot over medium heat.

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  • Mix squash, onion, serrano pepper, flour, egg, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.

  • Drop squash mixture by the spoonful, working in batches, in the hot oil; fry until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer squash fritters to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Fry the corn tortillas in the hot oil until crisp, about 2 minutes per side.

  • Layer each tortilla with lettuce, squash fritters, avocado, tomato, and a tablespoon of cotija cheese.

Cook's Note:

Test the peppers for spiciness and use them to taste. Depending on their heat, a little can go a long way. If they turn out not to be hot, add a little more cayenne.

Grate the squash by hand or by running through the food processor.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

332 calories; protein 8.4g 17% DV; carbohydrates 39.6g 13% DV; fat 18g 28% DV; cholesterol 55.2mg 18% DV; sodium 429.2mg 17% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/26/2013
Honestly it didn't sound appetizing in the least (you should have seen the look of unenthusiasm on my husband's face when I told him what we were having for dinner) but WOW is it yummy! He requests it over and over again! We made quick work of shredding the squash by using a food processor otherwise you risk losing a fingertip or two. We've also made the tomato and avocado into guac and used that as a topping and it was yummy as well! This one's a definite keeper:) Thanks so much for the awesome recipe! Read More
(5)
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 12
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
08/26/2013
Honestly it didn't sound appetizing in the least (you should have seen the look of unenthusiasm on my husband's face when I told him what we were having for dinner) but WOW is it yummy! He requests it over and over again! We made quick work of shredding the squash by using a food processor otherwise you risk losing a fingertip or two. We've also made the tomato and avocado into guac and used that as a topping and it was yummy as well! This one's a definite keeper:) Thanks so much for the awesome recipe! Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2013
This was so tasty. The store was out of acorn squash so we used a small butternut squash and it was awesome. I did not "fry" them just a smidge of olive oil in a pan and they cooked nicely. I also forgot about the cheese entirely (until we ate the left overs) and it was still delicious. My husband liked them with a bit of taco sauce on top. A great recipe Thank you Becky! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
03/27/2013
This was incredibly delicious!! I made a few changes. 1) I used coconut oil. I NEVER use canola. EVER. 2) I added about 4-5 cloves of fresh garlic. 3) Used brown rice tortilla. 3. Used rice "cheese". We are vegetarian but I still eat eggs so I did not change that up.This did take some time to prepare everything but it cooked up rather quick and easy. And was just delicious. I also added some sweet chili pepper sauce to top off the flavors!! This is amazing!! Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/10/2013
I made this recipe as written and it was delicious! A few days later I wanted to make it again but peeling the acorn squash was so difficult that I decided to omit it and used a sweet potato instead. I also didn't have another serrano chile so I used canned chopped green chiles. And since I was out of eggs I substituted flax seed and a few tablespoons water. And it was still great! Will definitely make again Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
05/06/2014
very nice change of pace from the standard (american/) mexican fare. i think some lime juice and fresh cilantro on top of it would be really great. probably will make it again sometime but i didn't love it enough to spend all this time grating the squash again for it to become a frequent meal in our house. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/11/2013
Hand shredding the squash was a pain but absolutely worth the effort. My kids didn't know that there wasn't any meat in the recipe and asked for more! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/05/2013
Loved these! Didn't miss the meat at all! Could have been a bit more zippy but I attribute that to some "cool" peppers. Great recipe - worth the work to peel the squash. Definite make again recipe - thank you Becky! Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
02/17/2018
Delicious but labor-intensive. Not the best for leftovers. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/24/2013
Surprising use of acorn squash yielding a savory delight. This recipe is now our second favorite taco recipe (right below "Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Dressing"). I'm so glad we tried this! I prepped the acorn squash for peeling by poking holes in it (as you would for a potato) and microwaving it for 3 minutes. Peeling took a while and grating took a while so for us it was at least more like an hour start to finish. This is worth the effort though we will definitely make this again. Read More