Canada’s food guide

Three Sisters tacos

Squash, corn, and beans grow well together in the ground, and taste just as good on the plate. These tacos include all three and are deeply satisfying.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 1.125 kg/2 ¼ lb)
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) olive oil
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) chili powder 
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) dried oregano

Refried Beans:

  • 15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 ½ cans (1 ½ x 540 mL/19 oz) no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) ground cumin
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) chili powder 


  • 12 small whole grain corn tortillas
  • 125 mL (½ cup) light feta cheese or queso fresco
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C (350 °F). Peel squash, slice in half, and scoop out seeds. Chop squash into 1x3-inch sticks and place in a medium bowl. 
  2. Drizzle 10 mL (2 tsp) of olive oil over squash and season with chili powder and dried oregano. Toss to coat then transfer on parchment paper lined baking sheet and arrange squash in an even layer. Roast for 20 minutes or until nicely browned and tender inside. Remove from heat and let them cool.
  3. In a high-sided skillet, heat 15 mL (1 tbsp) of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until brown on both side, turning once. In the skillet, mash garlic cloves with a fork. 
  4. Stir in black beans, ground cumin and chili powder and add 500 mL (2 cups) of water. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Mash bean mixture to the texture of a thick, chunky paste with a potato masher or a fork. Cook beans for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add lime juice and stir to combine.
  6. In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm tortillas. Transfer them into a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm. Spread a spoonful of the beans, 2 or 3 chunks of squash, and crumbled cheese. Season with salt to taste.


  • Set up an assembly line of toppings and go for it! Here is an idea: salsa, lower fat plain Greek yogurt, avocado, lettuce, cilantro, coriander, and lime.
  • You can substitute frozen cubed butternut squash for fresh.
  • These tacos are a great way to encourage your kids to try butternut squash. Adjust the chili powder quantity to please their taste buds.
  • If you decide to use dry instead of canned beans, make sure to soak and cook them before adding them to the pan. 
  • Try using less of the ingredients that contain a lot of sodium, sugars or saturated fat. Adding salt or sugars directly to your recipe? Remember, a little often goes a long way.