Step up your dinner game with these balanced and flavorful sweet potato and black bean quesadillas. This vegetarian meal requires just 15 minutes of active time and just 10 main ingredients to make!
The subtle sweetness from the sweet potato really complements the savory flavors from chipotle-seasoned black beans. Combine that with a flour tortilla and cheese, and you have yourself a simple but super satisfying lunch or dinner in the form of sweet potato black bean quesadillas.
- Dietary features: vegetarian, nut-free, soy-free, gluten-free & vegan optional
- Quick & easy: Requires just 15 minutes active time and just 10 main ingredients
- Balanced, flavorful and great for weeknight meals!
What you'll need
- Sweet potato: One large orange-fleshed sweet potato is all that you need.
- Black beans: I like to choose "no salt added" black beans but any kind will do. You can swap these with chickpeas, white beans, pinto beans or whatever pantry staples you have on hand.
- Chipotle chili powder adds a lot to this recipe. If you don't have chipotle chili powder you can add ½ teaspoon chili powder instead and add ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika if you have it.
- Shredded cheese: I like to use shredded mozzarella but a Mexican blend cheese would go well here too. Choose vegan cheese to make this recipe dairy-free.
- Tortillas: I use 12 inch tortillas but you can use 9 inch tortillas for a smaller meal. Choose your favorite gluten-free tortillas to make this meal gluten-free.
- Hot sauce: I absolutely love Aardvark hot sauce and think it goes so well in here because it has a very garlicky flavor without as much salt as most hot sauces. You can definitely decrease or omit the hot sauce depending on your preferences.
Step by step instructions
These sweet potato black bean quesadillas are made just like any other quesadilla, but a few extra minutes are required to prep the sweet potato filling.
Start by roasting the sweet potato. Poke a few holes on top of the sweet potato. Roast it in the oven at 400 degrees for 45-55 minutes. It's ready when a fork can be inserted in the center without resistance.
Remove the skin and mash the sweet potato with a fork or potato masher until mostly broken down.
Combine all ingredients, except the cheese and tortillas, together in a medium sauce pot. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes. Stir as needed to prevent sticking.
Tip: Simmering helps the flavors develop and warms up the beans. You don't have to simmer the sweet potato and black bean mixture if you're short on time because it will heat up as it cooks in the quesadillas.
Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tortilla. Layer ¼ of the mixture, or a little under 1 cup, on half of the tortilla. Sprinkle shredded cheese across the other half.
Fold so that the cheesy side cooks first. Flip when golden.
Tip: You can assemble the quesadilla in the pan or outside of it. If making multiple quesadillas, it will be easiest to assemble them outside the pan then transfer them in as you're ready to cook.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Sweet potato prep: Even if I only use one sweet potato I usually roast 2-3 at a time for meal prep later in the week. You can keep roasted sweet potatoes wrapped in foil in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
- Healthy swaps: Choose a whole wheat tortilla, no added salt black beans and reduce the cheese to half for a lighter option. Omit or decrease hot sauce to limit added salt.
- Additions: You can add sautéd onion, bell pepper, zucchini, etc. to the filling. I think fajita veggies and tofu chorizo would go really well in here. Add a handful of fresh spinach to the tortilla for extra nutrients and plant-based iron!
- Try roasted butternut squash instead of sweet potato for a fall twist.
Refrigerate the filling in a closed container for 3-4 days. For best quality, I recommend assembling the quesadillas as you are ready to make them instead of making them in advance.
No. You don't need oil to cook quesadillas. I recommend using a non-stick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
You can roast and mash the sweet potato 2-3 days in advance and make the filling 3-4 days in advance. Wait to assemble the quesadillas until you're ready to eat them to prevent them from getting soggy.
I haven't actually tried making quesadillas in the oven but it should work with this recipe. I will update the recipe when I get a chance to try it, but leave a comment if you do try it out.
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Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas
- 1 large orange sweet potato equals ~1 cup mashed sweet potato
- 15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder see note #1
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- ½ to 1 teaspoon hot sauce optional! see note #2
- 4 12" tortillas
- 1 and ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 medium avocado sliced for serving
- ½ cup salsa of choice for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Poke a few holes on top of the sweet potato. Put on a sheet pan and roast on the middle oven rack for 45-55 minutes. It's ready when juices are starting to drip out and a knife can pierce the center without resistance.
- Remove the skin and mash the sweet potato with a fork or potato masher until mostly broken down.
- To a medium sauce pot add the mashed sweet potato, black beans, chipotle chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, vegetable broth and optional hot sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes. Stir as needed to prevent sticking.
- Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tortilla. Spread ¼ of the mixture, or a little under 1 cup, on half of the tortilla. Sprinkle shredded cheese across the other half.
- Fold so that the cheesy side cooks first. Flip when the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden.
- Serve topped with salsa and fresh avocado. Enjoy!
- Chipotle chili powder: If you don't have chipotle chili powder you can add ½ teaspoon chili powder instead and add ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika if you have it.
- Hot sauce: I absolutely love Aardvark hot sauce and think it goes so well in here because it has a very garlicky flavor without as much salt as most hot sauce. You can definitely decrease or omit the hot sauce depending on your preferences.
- Storage: Refrigerate the filling in a closed container for 3-4 days. For best quality, I recommend assembling the quesadillas as you are ready to make them instead of making them all at once.
- Check out the full YouTube video for more tips & tricks.