It's time to think outside the box with pumpkin. These flavorful pockets of savory scrumptiousness are filled to the brim with seasoned and roasted pumpkin, pan grilled onions and mushrooms, wilted spinach, and cashew cream pumped up with ancho chili powder. Serve these warm quesadillas with a sprinkle of cool cilantro.

Roasted Pumpkin and Mushroom Quesadillas With Ancho Chili Cream [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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For the Quesadillas:

  • 4-6 tortillas of your choice
  • 1 small pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms of any variety
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or coconut aminos, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups baby spinach, washed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic and onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2-3 teaspoons olive, avocado, or coconut oil for roasting (or use vegetable broth to make it oil-free)

For the Ancho Chili Cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2-4 hours, and drained
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Topping:

  • Fresh cilantro leaves


  1. If possible, make the cashew cream ahead of time so the flavors can develop (it will also thicken). Blend everything for the cashew cream together in a high-speed blender, and taste, adding more spices, salt or lemon juice if desired. You can make it thinner by adding more water (and conversely, you can have a thicker cream by adding less water). Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss the pumpkin cubes with the oil or broth, spices, and salt and roast in a casserole dish for about 35 minutes, or until tender and lightly caramelized.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté your onion slices and mushrooms. Start with a hot, dry large skillet pan, add the onions, and cook over medium-high heat. Sear for a minute or so before moving them; this helps get them caramelized.
  4. After a couple minutes, add the mushrooms. Try not to add liquid at first, if possible, the mushrooms will release some. If needed, add a little splash of water. After about 5 minutes, add the tamari/water and stir the onions and mushrooms.
  5. Once they have browned, add the spinach and allow it to wilt. If you’d like, you can also add a pinch or two of ancho chili powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Remove from heat.
  6. To assemble and cook the quesadillas, add a tablespoon of cashew cream to a tortilla and spread it on both sides. Add roasted pumpkin, grilled onions, mushrooms, and spinach, and fold.
  7. Heat a pan over medium heat, adding a little bit of oil if needed. Heat the quesadilla on both sides until lightly golden brown and hot. Continue with remaining ingredients. Serve with more cashew cream and fresh cilantro.


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