Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

Sweet potato black bean quesadillas are a healthy, fast, vegetarian Mexican meal. Cheesy and crispy quesadillas with a sweet, smoky sweet potato and black bean filling. Even meat eaters love this easy quesadilla recipe! Perfect for dinner or as an easy appetizer or game day food.

If you came to my place for dinner at any point after 2008, chances are that I served you a crispy, cheesy stack of Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas. Easy to make in any quantity, ultra affordable, and universally loved by anyone who’s ever tried them, these veggie quesadillas are one of the longest-running recipes in my repertoire.

close up image of Cheesy Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadilla History

This sweet potato and black bean quesadilla recipe came into my life shortly after I graduated college and moved to Minneapolis. Although I grew up baking with my grandmothers, post-undergrad was the first time I was truly tasked with feeding myself on a daily basis and maintaining a grocery budget. I sought recipes that were easy to make, relatively cheap, and healthy. Bonus points were awarded to recipes I could make in big batches and freeze, and double bonus points if they were easy to pack for lunch too.

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas on parchment paper surrounded by fresh cilantro, avocado, and shredded cheese

These Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas met my every recipe need and best of all, they tasted incredible too! I made them often when I had friends over for dinner, and they quickly became a favorite amongst our group. Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas, one of the first meals I cooked for Ben, were a staple during for our first few years of marriage, and are even one of the earliest recipes I ever posted on my blog.

3 whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes

This sweet potato black bean quesadillas recipe has evolved a bit over the years, and the version I’m sharing today is my favorite yet. The filling is incredibly healthy and satisfying, and its playful mix of cinnamon, chili powder, and smoked paprika make the sweet potato black bean quesadillas bewitching and addictive.

mashing sweet potatoes with spices to make vegan sweet potato quesadillas

Although I repeat recipes less often now than I did prior to starting a blog, these Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas have remained one of my go-tos for fast weeknight meals, and I still enjoy serving them for casual gatherings. They suit every diet (omit the cheese and you have a vegan sweet potato black bean quesadilla; use corn tortillas to make them gluten free), are easy to make in big quantities, and dirty few dishes (the filling is made in a single pot). Plus everyone loves them. I serve the sweet potato quesadillas hot off the skillet, then let guests add their own toppings like avocado, salsa, and sour cream.

Assembling Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

These Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas are excellent year-round, but I think you should hurry and make them in the next few weeks, because February is National Potato Month! I picked up my sweet potatoes at Pick ‘N Save, the local grocery store I am lucky enough to have right down the street from my house. Pick ‘N Save is the largest buyer of Wisconsin produce, so I love knowing that I’m supporting state growers when I shop.

4 Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

Fiesta time, Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadilla style!

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

Sweet potato black bean quesadillas are a healthy, fast vegetarian meal! Cheesy and crispy with a sweet, smokey filling. Even meat eaters love this recipe!

Yield: Serves 6

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (15-ounce) can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 medium-sized 100% whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional toppings for serving: light sour cream (or plain non-fat Greek yogurt), diced avocado, salsa, chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. Cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large saucepan, cover with water, then bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the potato chunks are fork tender, about 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat, drain the potatoes, then return the potatoes to the pot and mash. Stir in the chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and chipotle chili pepper until incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and peppers and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Continue to sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes more. Stir the sautéed vegetables into sweet potato mash. Stir in black beans until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then lightly coat with cooking spray. Place a single tortilla in skillet, then spoon a heaping 1/2 cup of filling onto half of the tortilla and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Fold the empty half of tortilla over the top. Let cook until the bottom of the tortilla is browned and lightly crispy (about 1-2 minutes), then flip and brown the other side. Serve immediately with any desired toppings.

Leftover sweet potato black bean quesadilla filling can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

All images and text ©Erin Clarke/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 quesadilla without extra toppings

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 364 Calories
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg
  • Sodium: 716mg
  • Carbohydrates: 52g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 15g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Quesadillas aren’t just for dinner! Try this reader favorite:

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Make Ahead Freezer Breakfast Quesadilla

I am sharing this post in partnership with Pick ‘N Save. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you!

photo collage of sweet potato black bean quesadillas

Sweet potato black bean quesadillas are a healthy, fast, vegetarian Mexican meal! Cheesy and crispy quesadillas with a sweet, smoky sweet potato and black bean filling. Even meat eaters love this easy quesadilla recipe! #Mexicanrecipes #recipe #appetizers #vegetarian #easydinner

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

69 comments

  1. I can’t wait to try these! Love your site!

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  3. Lovely! I prefer quesadillas to tacos, it’s just so much easier to eat. 

  4. My mom was just telling me about a recipe she makes that is similar to this. She’s visiting this week…I think I’m starting to plan what we’ll be eating. ;) These look amazing! I want to come to your house for dinner.

  5. If you freeze them, what’s the best way to defrost and serve?

    • Susan, I recommend freezing only the filling, then assembling and cooking the quesadillas right before serving to make sure they stay nice and crispy. The filling freezes in an airtight container. You can thaw it gently in the microwave (in a pinch), but overnight in the refrigerator is even better.

  6. oh yummy! This looks like it’s worth trying!

  7. I just found some pretty good gluten free, non-GMO tortillas.  We are now eating quesadillas again. This sounds like a combo right up our alley. YUM! 

  8. Hi Erin, these look awesome! My niece gave up fried food, gluten and meat for Lent; these will be perfect for her! Hope you and Ben had a wonderful Valentine’s celebration! Thanks for posting!

  9. I will never say no to a ‘dilla! These look like the perfect way to start the week!

  10. These quesadillas look so delicious- seriously, sweet potatos and black beans were made for each other!

  11. I saw a picture of these babies on instagram this morning and they’re all I’ve been thinking about since! They look so, so yummy! 

  12. My roommate and I are making these for dinner tonight! What a perfect meal for Meatless Monday on a college budget! Thanks so much for posting!

  13. I make something like this all the time! It’s so good — the ultimate Mexican healthy comfort food!

  14. Ohhh I can see why these are a long time favorite! I’m a big time quesadilla girl and these are so right up my alley. Putting this on the dinner list! :)

  15. These are absolutely fantastic. I use the filling in a low carb wrap and make them for breakfast (I’ve also done the egg/spinach/white bean ones – delicious). Love the spice combination. I added a little more onion/garlic and some crushed red pepper. Thanks for another great recipe, Erin!

  16. I thought the cinnamon flavor was way too overpowering.  I might reduce it to a half or a third.  

    • Lindsay, these definitely have a cinnamon kick to them. Reducing the amount by half sounds like a great place to start. You can always taste the filling and add more, but it definitely isn’t possible to take away! I hope you find them more to your liking the next time around.

  17. Made these wonderful quesadillas and they were even better than I imagined!! Whole grain tortillas, fresh salsa and the fantastic filling made for a satisfying meal. Every recipe I try from your site is an A+. Seriously. Thanks!

  18. I made these with corn tortillas instead of wheat so they could be gluten-free. They were an accompaniment to avocado lime chicken soup, and the combination was delicious. Thank you!

  19. Hi there! I just made these and got requests for the recipe including exclamations of “healthy” and “delicious”! It is fairer to say that this recipe makes eight rather than six. I left out the green pepper. Also I used corn tortillas. On the sautéed onions, it would be better to state medium heat and add the garlic at the beginning, skipping the salt just to simplify things. Also 1/4 cup of filling per tortilla seems plenty. Otherwise I followed the recipe as is. Thank you for sharing.

    • Arthur, I’m so happy to hear that you all  enjoyed this recipe! I agree that the serving size of 6 was pretty generous—I sometimes struggle with that, since people eat different amounts. Thanks so much for letting me know how it came out for you!

  20. Delicious and very simple to make – I loved the cinnamon in them – fantastic, thanks!

  21. I fondly recall you making these for me when I visited you in Minneapolis over my 21st birthday. You’re right, recipe is still great :). We enjoyed these for dinner tonight! And yes, I went a whole day without eating meat!

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  26. Made these tonight – OMG soooo good and cheap too! We used corn tortillas and fried them up and added the ingredients then folder over for tacos. Next time will try quesadillas. we added a little cheddar, sour cream, cilantro and lime juice – great flavors!! I cant wait to have leftovers tomorrow!

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  28. These were delicious! I loved the spice combination – thank you!
    I do have a question though: you said to not peel the sweet potatoes. I was always under the impression that sweet potato skin was not edible. But I followed directions of not peeling and hoped that maybe the skins would float to the top while boiling, making it easy to deal with… Not so. But because I didn’t want to eat sweet potato skin, I hand picked out all of the little pieces of skin. A time consuming and messy process… but still worth it.
    There will definitely be a next time making these – and soon! I will just peel my potatoes first! :)

    • Hi Lynnea! I choose not to peel the sweet potatoes, because the skins don’t bother me, and in addition to being edible, they are actually very healthy for you! You can peel the sweet potatoes if you prefer that texture, but there is no need to pick them out if you don’t mind it. I’m glad that you enjoyed the recipe!

  29. I made a couple of these quesadillas a couple of times now and I think the cinnamon is too overpowering. Even when I add more cheese, I can barely taste it because all I taste is the cinnamon. They’re good but I want more of the cheesy taste when I make a quesadilla. I would cut way back on the cinnamon next time and maybe add another can of black beans. My husband really liked them though. He said they taste like Disneyland haha.

    • Hi Rachel! I’m glad to hear your husband enjoyed the recipe as written—Disneyland is definitely a new one, too funny! Next time for yourself, I’d suggest dialing the cinnamon way back, then adding it a little at a time, tasting as you go. That way, it will turn out just the way you like.

  30. I just made this for lunch today – love the combination of spicy and sweet! Will definitely make again!

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  34. Hi…Want to try this recipe. What are the fix container counts per serving?

    • Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry but I’m not sure! I haven’t heard the term “fix container counts” before. You may have already checked out the nutrition info at the bottom of the recipe, but just in case not, that might have some information that’ll help you get to what you’re looking for.

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  39. I made this for dinner tonight, it was very good! It definitely made way too much, i will cut it in half next tine but i really enjoyed it! I used more smoked paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper because i didn’t have chipotle pepper. I served it with some steamed corn on the side and homemade tomato salsa. Thanks for the recipe, it’s definitely in my vegetarian rotation now!

    Rating: 5
    • Marie, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! The smoked paprika/cayenne sounds like a great substitute for the chipotle. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this great review!

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  41. David whitaker Reply

    I have a question isnt the skin of the sweet potatoes hard to mash ? Ive never done this ?

    Rating: 2.5
    • Hi David, I don’t find it difficult to mash. I like the texture and the extra nutrients the skin provides, but you can peel the potatoes first if you prefer!

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  44. Terrie Caddell Reply

    Seriously delicious! I made extra filling and froze it by portion so all I need to do is thaw and have a super quick lunch or dinner!

    Rating: 5
  45. We made this  delicious dish and it was amazing! We had read through the comments first and so the only thing we changed was putting in less cinnamon. We started out with about a quarter of the amount that the recipe called for and gradually increased it to our liking. This recipe will become a staple in our household and one we will share with many friends and family members! Thank you so much for this wonderful dish!

    Rating: 5
  46. I made this for dinner last night. It was delicious and I have filling leftover for tonight!I used the full amount of cinnamon and it was perfect for us.

    Rating: 5
  47. I made this recipe tonight (I did omit a few things) and it turned out great. My 6 year old who didn’t want to try the quesadillas with mashed sweet potato gave it a go & he ended up enjoying them very much!!

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