Panko-Crusted Squash Tacos With Creamy Jalapeno Lime Sauce

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Crunchy.  Spicy.  Creamy.  Those are probably my three favourite food descriptives and these vegan squash tacos are deserving of all three.  Panko-crusted baked butternut squash brings the crunch to this game-day treat and my cashew jalapeno-lime “sour cream” sauce is both spicy and luxuriousy creamy.   We topped the tacos with shredded kale, salsa, red onion, tomato, cilantro and hot sauce, but pretty much anything goes!  Honestly, even the crispy squash by itself dipped in the jalapeno-lime sauce would make me happy any day of the week (yum!).

Growing up I think the only tacos I had were courtesy of TacoBell;  so this recipe is a huge nutritional improvement.  In addition to replacing the meat and dairy with plant-based deliciousness, the crispy squash is baked, not fried.  A mixture of ground flax and water to substitutes really well as an egg-wash for making breaded or crusted vegetables (I promise you won’t even miss the egg).   For these tacos we had run out of flax so I used cornstarch and water which also worked really well.

When I was doing the photos for this post I was wishing I had one of those taco stands or holders.  Unfortunately there were none to be found in our kitchen.   Tim Horton’s coffee-cup taco holder anyone?  Ha!  I don’t even know why I took this ridiculous photo but once it happened I couldn’t resist sharing.  Just imagine it’s one of those fancy taco holders.

And on to the recipe!

Panko-Crusted Squash Tacos with Creamy Jalapeno-Lime Sauce

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins


For the Panko-Crusted Squash

  • 1/2 a butternut squash,  cut into 1-2cm sticks
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch + 4 tbsp water (or substitute ground flax using a 3:1 water/flax ratio)
  • all-purpose flour
  • panko bread crumbs

For the Jalapeno-Lime Sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for 2-4 hours, or overnight)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp lime juice (or more to taste depending on how thick of a sauce you want)
  • 1 tbsp minced jalapeno pepper,  seeds removed
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch cayenne pepper

For the Tacos

  • small corn tortillas
  • panko crusted squash (see above)
  • shredded kale
  • red onion, finely diced
  • tomato, chopped
  • salsa
  • jalapeno-lime sauce (see above)
  • cilantro to garnish
  • sriracha hot sauce (optional)


For the Panko-Crusted Squash

  • Preheat oven to 400 and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Chop butternut squash into 1-2 cm sticks.
  • Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, wait a few minutes to thicken.
  • Prepare 2 plates; one with all purpose flour, the other with panko mixed with a pinch of salt.
  • Coat squash pieces first in flour, dip into cornstarch mixture, then coat with panko crumbs (roll the squash pieces into the panko crumbs, pressing down to make sure it sticks).  To avoid getting your hands sticky, use a fork to dip the squash in the cornstarch mixture.
  • Bake for 30min at 400 until browned and crispy.

For the Jalapeno-Lime Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in blender (we use Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth and creamy. The sauce will be smoothest the longer the cashews have soaked.

For the Tacos

  • Top corn tortillas starting with a base of shredded kale, followed by salsa, squash, veggies and jalapeno-lime sauce. Add sriracha or other hot sauce for extra spice if desired.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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