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.

Cinnamon-spiced Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas cut into wedges with cilantro

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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!

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Quesadillas with black beans on parchment paper surrounded by fresh cilantro, avocado, and shredded cheese

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.


The Ingredients

  • 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.
3 whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes

The Directions

  1. Cut, boil, and mash the sweet potatoes.
  2. Season the potatoes with the chili powders, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Saute the onions, peppers, and garlic until tender and fragrant.
  4. Add the sautéed vegetables to the seasoned sweet potatoes and stir in black beans.
  5. 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.
  6. Cook in a skillet until the quesadillas are browned on both sides and crisp. Serve with toppings and ENJOY!
mashing sweet potatoes with spices in a saucepan to make vegetarian sweet potato quesadillas

Storage Tips

  • 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

Assembling healthy Sweet Potato Quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas, black beans, avocado, and cheese.

Fiesta time, sweet potato black bean quesadilla style!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Sweet Potatoes Need to Be Peeled?

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.

How to Make Gluten Free Sweet Potato Quesadillas

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.

How Can I Make Vegan Quesadillas with Sweet Potato?

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.

Cheesy Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas. A simple, delicious vegetarian dinner.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

4.87 from 29 votes
Sweet potato black bean quesadillas are a healthy, fast, vegetarian recipe made with whole wheat tortillas, cinnamon, and cheddar cheese.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla without extra toppingsCalories: 486kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 22gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 52mgPotassium: 600mgFiber: 12gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 10409IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 512mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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61 Comments

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  1. 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!5 stars

    1. I’m overjoyed to hear that, and they sound absolutely fabulous for breakfast! You’re making me hungry now :-) Thank you so much for trying the recipe and taking time to leave this kind comment!

  2. 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!5 stars

    1. Hooray Marnie!!! I’m so, so happy to hear this. Thanks for trying the recipe and for taking time to leave this kind review!

  3. 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!5 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that Sara!! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and letting me know how it turned out for you. Have a great day!

  4. 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.5 stars

    1. 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!

  5. 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!5 stars

    1. I’m so proud of you!!! And I’m also so happy you guys enjoyed this. Thanks for taking time to leave your review!

  6. 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!5 stars

    1. Amy, I’m so excited to hear you enjoyed this so much! Thanks so much for trying the recipe and sharing your review. Enjoy the leftovers!

  7. 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! :)5 stars

    1. 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!

  8. 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!5 stars

    1. 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!

  9. 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!5 stars

  10. 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!5 stars

  11. 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.5 stars

  12. 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!!5 stars

  13. These quesadillas are meatless, healthy, flavorful, satisfying and delicious! I served these quesadillas with homemade guacamole and @traderjoes Double Roasted Salsa.

    I MODIFIED THE RECIPE TO BE USED WITH ROASTED SPIRALIZED SWEET POTATOES: I used a poblano chili pepper in place of green bell pepper and used leftover roasted spiralized sweet potatoes (12 ounces) in place of mashed sweet potatoes. I added the spices and entire 1/2 tsp. KOSHER salt (I recommend using 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon) to the onion-poblano-garlic mixture and cooked until fragrant, stirring frequently. Then added the roasted sweet potatoes and beans, tossing with two spoons and continuing to cook until blended and heated through. Turned off heat and tossed in 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro to the filling. I made each quesadilla using two 8-inch 100% whole-wheat tortillas, placing a little cheese on the bottom and on top of the filling (total 2/3 cup cheese and 1 cup filling per quesadilla). Cooked the quesadilla like a grilled cheese sandwich in a preheated nonstick skillet over medium-high heat (7.0 on induction cooktop) with some EVOO. I continue to cook the quesadilla on a temperature between medium to medium-high heat (flectuating between 6.5 to 6.0), cooking each side until nicely browned and crispy, adding more EVOO as needed. Cut each quesadilla into quarters. Serve with guacamole and salsa.5 stars

  14. These look amazing! Would they be fine to make the night before and bring for lunch the next day? Im a student with long days and looking for delish food for lunches :) Thanks a bunch in advance!

  15. I made a double batch of this recipe to use as freezer meals. During a couple of crazy weeks. This recipe was kids approved and makes for a quick and easy lunch if the filling is premade.

    Since I was doubling the recipe I added a pound of ground beef to help stretch the meal a little farther, and give it a bit more protein.5 stars

  16. Just made these for lunch. They were very good. I used less of the spicy seasonings because I don’t enjoy spicy food and didn’t want to risk ruining the batch for myself. As a result they were a bit bland and I didn’t have salsa on hand to eat with them, which would have given them what they needed for me I think. Thanks for this recipe!4 stars

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review, Sara! I’m happy you enjoyed the recipe, and I hope you enjoy them more next time with some salsa!

  17. Oh my god I am late to this party but these were BANGING! As a recent vegetarian looking for new recipes these are 100% going in my regularly cooked category! I had run out of chilli powder though and used cayenne as an alternative. Was not a bad move as we love us some spicy in this house. Many thank for the recipe, loved it!5 stars

  18. This is my family’s new favorite dinner/lunch/snack. I have made it twice now, both times the filling makes enough to make additional quesadillas for a week. The second time I accidentally doubled the cayenne and my spice loving family thought that was just the right amount. We use a quesadilla maker and it makes it so easy that my husband and teenage will actually make their own quesadillas once I’ve made up the filling.5 stars

    1. I’m so pleased that the recipe was a hit, Jennifer! Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  19. I made these for the 2nd time this week with my boyfriend; they are so delicious! I wrote about it on my blog, Imperfect Pursuits, too.
    https://www.imperfectpursuits.com/sweet-potato-black-bean-quesadillas/5 stars

  20. Delicious! Made as is but next time would probably use half the cinnamon – agreed with other commenters that it was a bit much for me. Otherwise though, delicious, healthy, and easy! Thanks for the recipe!4 stars

  21. This was really good!! I added chicken, but would also be great without meat, it with steak. I would recommend NOT using the entire 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. It was a bit overpowering. Next time I will use 1 teaspoon. Otherwise, very good, will make again with the modifications.4 stars

  22. Very tasty! I thought the whole wheat tortillas especially complimented this recipe. The green pepper was an out-of-place flavor to me, so next time I think I’d sub some spinach or kale and saute it with the same spices as in the potatoes. The cheddar was good, but I might try this with mozzarella next time – let the other flavors shine a bit more! All in all, a tasty, simple meal. Thanks for sharing your recipe!4 stars

  23. I didn’t have onion, I used mushrooms instead. Very very good, and made plenty for a single college aged person. Probably 3 meals worth. I love cinnamon, and I love sweet potatoes so this is a win win. Thank you so much!5 stars

  24. Just tried these for the first time today and loved them! Even my meat-loving hubby enjoyed them. :) Thanks!5 stars

  25. Amazing meal prep lunch recipes!! Per other commenters, I used 1/2 cinnamon, but otherwise followed recipe to a T. It was delicious and super easy to meal prep for lunches for the week. For meal prep, I cooked quesadillas, let them cool, then refridgerated. Heated up at work in the toaster oven and tasted amazing. I also topped my quesadillas with pico de gallo for some extra flavor!5 stars

  26. This was great! Followed everyone’s advice and used half the amount of cinnamon, and I replaced the capsicum with kale. The rest of the spices went really well with the sweet potato, and I’m always a fan black beans + sweet potato. Thank you so much!5 stars

  27. I’ve been using this recipe for years! I thought I’d finally leave a comment and say thank you for such a simple and incredibly delicious recipe. This is the one recipe that will always be in my regular meal rotation, probably for life!5 stars