Easy to make in any quantity, ultra-affordable, and universally loved by anyone who’s ever tried them, these Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas are one of the longest-running recipes in my repertoire.
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With a crispy exterior and cheesy, smoky sweet potato and black bean filling. It’s no wonder I’ve been making these bad boys on repeat since 2008 (along with these Mushroom Quesadilla).
This sweet potato and black bean quesadilla recipe came into my life shortly after I graduated college, moved to Minneapolis, and was truly “on my own” when it came to cooking for the first time (farewell college cafeteria).
During this time, I sought recipes that were easy to make (like this Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries), relatively cheap, and healthy (like this Vegetarian Chili). Bonus points were awarded to recipes if they were easy to pack for lunch too.
These sweet potato black bean quesadillas met each of these recipe needs and best of all, they tasted incredible too!
5 Star Review
“Just tried these for the first time today and loved them! Even my meat-loving hubby enjoyed them.”— Theresa —
How to Make Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas
These sweet potato quesadillas with black beans are a healthy, fast, vegetarian Mexican recipe (like these Butternut Squash Spinach Enchiladas) that even the most ardent meat-lovers will enjoy.
(Of course, for a non-vegetarian option, there’s always this Chicken Quesadilla.)
- Sweet Potatoes. Not just for Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole on Thanksgiving. Sweet potatoes are also the star of today’s dinner offering TONS of vitamin C and vitamin B6 along with a healthy daily dose of potassium and fiber.
- Black Beans. Add fiber, protein, and a little extra texture to the creamy, spicy sweet potato filling. (I also love them in this Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad.)
- Green Peppers + Onions. Lends that south-of-the-border flair and flavor to these sweet potato quesadillas.
- Garlic. For a little zip.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Maximizes the cheesy flavor of these healthy vegetarian quesadillas.
- Tortillas. Whole wheat tortillas are my favorite for this recipe however you may use any variety that you enjoy (Extra tortillas? Try these Vegetarian Tacos next).
- Chili Powder. I like to use a blend of regular chili powder and smoky chipotle chili powder. (It’s also what I use in my Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatoes.)
- Cinnamon. Counters the spiciness of the chili powder with its earthy sweetness. I LOVE cinnamon so I didn’t skimp. If you want a lighter cinnamon flavor, feel free to adjust to suit your taste preferences.
- Cumin + Paprika. A duo of warm, smoky spices whose savory profiles balance the sweetness of the cinnamon.
- Cut, boil, and mash the sweet potatoes.
- Season the potatoes with the chili powders, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Set aside.
- Saute the onions, peppers, and garlic until tender and fragrant.
- Add the sautéed vegetables to the seasoned sweet potatoes and stir in black beans.
- Assemble the quesadillas by spooning a bit of filling onto half of a tortilla and top with cheese. Fold and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Cook in a skillet until the quesadillas are browned on both sides and crisp. Serve with toppings and ENJOY!
- To Store. Leftover sweet potato black bean quesadilla filling can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Whole assembled and cooked quesadillas may be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat filling in the microwave until heated through then assemble and cook as directed. Assembled quesadillas may be warmed in a skillet over medium-low heat until the filling is heated through and the tortilla is crisp.
- To Freeze. Leftover filling may be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before using to assemble quesadillas.
Tools Used to Make These Quesadillas
- Potato Masher. Will be your best friend for making these quesadillas and Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole around the holidays.
- Cast Iron Skillet. This is my all-time favorite affordable cast-iron skillet for sweet and savory dishes alike.
Fiesta time, sweet potato black bean quesadilla style!
Frequently Asked Questions
No. While common practice, you don’t have to peel sweet potatoes. The skins, in addition to being edible, are actually very healthy for you. Therefore, in this particular recipe, I choose not to peel the sweet potatoes. If you do not enjoy the texture of the skins, you can, of course, peel the sweet potatoes.
While I have always made these with whole wheat flour tortillas, many readers have reported success swapping the traditional flour tortillas for gluten free corn tortillas.
To make this recipe vegan, swap the cheddar cheese for your favorite vegan cheese-style shreds and choose a vegan-friendly tortilla (some tortillas are processed with lard). or serving skip the sour cream and Greek yogurt and opt for your favorite non-dairy yogurt or vegan sour cream alternative.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas
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- 3 small sweet potatoes (about 6 ounces) peeling is optional
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon (more or less to suit your personal taste)
- 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 can reduced sodium black beans (15 ounces) 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Combine the sautéed vegetables with the sweet potato mash. Stir in black beans until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then lightly coat with cooking spray. Place a single tortilla in a 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 slightly crispy (about 1-2 minutes), then flip and brown the other side. Serve immediately with any desired toppings.
- TO STORE: Leftover sweet potato black bean quesadilla filling can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Whole assembled and cooked quesadillas may be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat filling in the microwave until heated through then assemble and cook as directed. Assembled quesadillas may be warmed in a skillet over medium-low heat until the filling is heated through and the tortilla is crisp.
- TO FREEZE: Leftover filling may be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before using to assemble quesadillas.
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