These Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas are the perfect weeknight casserole for the changing fall weather! They are hearty yet vegetarian, and full of tons of flavor without being overly spicy. Your family will love it! Originally published September 25, 2017.
Table of Contents
- These Black Bean Enchiladas are so flavorful!
- What’s typically in an enchilada?
- What you’ll need for Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
- How to make this Black Bean Enchilada Recipe
- How to serve Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
- How to store Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
- Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas FAQs
- Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas Recipe
Eric and I have this tradition where whenever one of us sees an incredible sunset, we text/call/holler to the other person, “Sunset alert!” That way we can both enjoy a pretty sunset, even if we’re in different places. The other night we’re sitting together in the living room and he calls out, Sunset alert! I’m a little confused because it’s completely dark outside. Then I realize he’s talking about the sunset that Link is viewing on Zelda (a video game). Are.you.kidding.me.
We are still in Richmond, Virginia this week visiting my brother Nathan. (The kids are at home with GG and Grandpa! Lucky kids! Lucky us!) Richmond is a SUPER cool city, have you been? Totally worth a trip.
Today we ate at this amazing restaurant called Mama J’s. Best fried chicken in Richmond, according to Nathan and half the town apparently. (It was totally delicious.) Anyway they had a Candied Sweet Potatoes side dish that was supposed to be one of the best items on the menu, so we ordered it. It really was so good.
Sometimes I try to finagle recipes out of restaurant cooks. It rarely works for me. In fact, it never does. I hear about other people getting recipes from restaurants but I literally have had zero luck with it. Have you ever asked? I don’t even mention the blog (I would if they gave me the recipe, just for full disclosure) but man! I guess I need to learn how to schmooze better.
I asked the waitress about Mama J’s Sweet Potatoes, and she told me that it’s a secret recipe. But I took notes and am going to try to recreate it in time for Thanksgiving, because it was worth the hype. It was very simple, the sweet potatoes really had a chance to shine.
These Black Bean Enchiladas are so flavorful!
These sweet potato enchiladas are not from a restaurant, but guys they are amazing! Sweet potatoes and black beans go together like salt and pepper. I smothered them with the Killer Red Enchilada Sauce That’s Done in 10 Minutes, which is a slightly smoky sauce with tons of flavor. If you are short on time, you can totally use a 28 ounce can. But if you have an extra 10 minutes, make your own sauce. It’s worth it.
What’s typically in an enchilada?
Enchiladas are not just one thing. There are super authentic enchilada recipes from Mexico, and there are back-of-the-McCormick-packet recipes your mom always made. Enchiladas can include fillings of meat, seafood, beans, cheese, salsa, creamy sauces, and more. Basically, when you think of an enchilada, you can think of food wrapped in a tortilla that also involves being doused in or drizzled with salsa or sauce, making it a fork food rather than an eat-with-your-hands food. That’s what makes enchiladas different from tacos, burritos, and other popular Mexican, Tex-Mex, or Mexican-inspired foods.
I’m no vegetarian, but these enchiladas leave me feeling totally satisfied. I’m not going to lie, some vegetarian dishes I have (particularly in restaurants), I finish it and I’m like, okay where’s the rest of my food. (Sorry, vegetarians :) But not these babies. These enchiladas are completely stuffed and hearty, and you won’t miss the meat at all. It’s a good option for Meatless Monday, I’m trying to do at least 1 or 2 meatless meals every week lately. It’s cheaper and there are so many good options these days. (The access to produce we have is amazing, right??) Enjoy the enchiladas, let me know if you try them out!
Oh and here is the enchilada sauce that I used for this recipe! Killer Red Enchilada Sauce That’s Done in 10 Minutes. 10 minutes guys. Promise.
What you’ll need for Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
Here’s a quick shopping list to help you gather your ingredients. See the recipe card below for the full ingredients and instructions!
- Olive oil
- Sweet potatoes
- Red bell pepper
- Onion powder
- Black beans
- Fresh spinach
- Flour tortillas
- Mozzarella cheese
- White onions (to garnish)
- Homemade red enchilada sauce OR 28 oz. can red enchilada sauce (the homemade sauce including butter, flour, New Mexican chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, chicken broth, and tomato sauce)
Are enchiladas better with corn or flour tortillas?
How can you choose just one?? I love both flour and corn tortillas, but in these enchiladas I like flour tortillas. If you try it with corn, come back and let us know in the comments!
What’s the best cheese for enchiladas?
Again, how could you possibly choose just one favorite cheese?? (Cheese is a love language, at least for me.) I love the mild flavor and easy melt of mozzarella cheese in these sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, but you can substitute Monterey jack, pepper jack, Mexican blend, or even cheddar if you want.
How to make this Black Bean Enchilada Recipe
Here’s a quick overview of how to make these enchiladas. For complete instructions, scroll down to the recipe card below!
- Heat olive oil and add chopped sweet potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes, season with salt.
- Add chopped bell pepper, garlic, onion powder, cumin, and oregano and saute for another 10 minutes.
- Add black beans and season with salt and pepper. Add spinach, cilantro, and 3 tablespoons of enchilada sauce.
- Preheat the oven and grease your pan.
- Add filling and cheese to tortillas; roll up and place in pan.
- Top enchiladas with sauce and additional cheese.
- Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes; top with cilantro and onions after cooling for 5 minutes.
How to serve Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
These enchiladas make a great meal all by themselves! If you’d like to add a side or two, here are some of my favorites.
Tejano Beans << these tender slow cooked Tex-Mex beans are a family favorite.
Spanish Cauliflower Rice << no, it’s not actual rice, but it is delicious and filling!
Mexican Cucumber Salad with Cilantro and Lime << the perfect light and fresh salad to go with hearty enchiladas.
Horchata << if you’ve never had this amazing sweetened rice drink you are missing out! And it’s so easy to make at home.
Brazilian Limeade Recipe << are you citrus obsessed like me? This drink is frothy, tart, sweet, and kind of addictive.
How to store Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
These enchiladas can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days and warmed up individually whenever you want some. If you prefer, you can always cover them in foil and heat up the whole pan in oven.
If you’d like to freeze these, I recommend wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap, then tin foil, to avoid freezer burn. They’ll last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas FAQs
Many traditional Mexican enchiladas are filled with meat, cheese, vegetables (or some combination of the above) and then served with rice and beans on the side. That’s ok, we’re not going for authentic Mexican food here–just an easy and healthy weeknight meal. Sweet potatoes and black beans are a great combination, I hope you love it as much as I do!
Yes, you can use whatever tortillas you want for enchiladas. What, are the enchilada police going to stop you?? Use flour, use corn, use low-carb tortillas, make your tortillas out of cauliflower, you do you. As long as you like it, it’s just great!
I like to add the enchilada sauce as a topping rather than a tortilla coating in this recipe, so your tortillas aren’t soaked in sauce. This works pretty well for the non-traditional enchiladas we’re making and the flour tortillas we’re using. The edges can even get crispy if you add the sauce as shown in the photos above, leaving some parts of the tortillas uncovered.
Enchiladas are Mexican in origin, and are now enjoyed in many variations all over the world.
The secret to good enchiladas is delicious, fresh ingredients. Whether you’re filling your enchiladas with meat, vegetables, or cheese, you need to choose high quality options. I also strongly recommend making your own homemade sauce. It only takes 10 minutes, and it’s a huge improvement over canned sauce (though of course that’s fine in a pinch).
More Mexican inspired food!
Baked Black Bean Taquitos << these are SO EASY and delicious.
Taqueria Style Chicken Tacos << flavorful juicy chicken tacos, done in 30 minutes on the stovetop (or throw the meat in your slow cooker). No jars of salsa here!!
Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas << Bad picture. Good food. Trust me.
Carne Asada Made with Juicy Skirt Steak << even better than your favorite Mexican restaurant!
Slow Cooker Cheesy Enchilada Quinoa Bake from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
Cheesy Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas from Aggie’s Kitchen
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Taquitos from I Heart Naptime << this is actually a post I contributed to Jamielyn’s site! (meaning it’s my recipe.)
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Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 can black beans, don’t drain it
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 1 recipe for homemade red enchilada sauce*
- 10 flour tortillas
- 2-3 cups shredded mozzarella, **
- chopped cilantro, to garnish
- chopped white onions, to garnish
- In a wide skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into 1/2 inch cubes. Try to make them somewhat uniform so that they cook evenly.
- When the oil shimmers, add the sweet potatoes to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with 1 teaspoon salt.
- Add the chopped bell pepper and garlic.
- Add the onion powder, cumin, and oregano.
- Saute for another 8-10 minutes, until the sweet potatoes and bell peppers are tender.
- Add 1 can of black beans, undrained.
- Season with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Add chopped spinach. You don’t have to chop it if you don’t want to, I just don’t like big gloops of spinach in my enchiladas.
- Add 1/4 cup cilantro. Of course the cilantro is optional for all you haters out there.
- Add about 3 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce. You don’t have to measure it, just eyeball it. We want to keep the filling nice and moist and get some more flavor in there.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick spray.
- Add a few tablespoons of filling down the center of 1 tortilla. Top with 1-2 tablespoons shredded cheese. Roll it up tightly and place it snugly on the edge of the pan.
- Continue with the rest of the tortillas. I misjudged and put 8 enchiladas in a 11×8 inch pan, so your arrangement might not look as tight as the photos. I used 10 tortillas total, (8 in 1 smaller pan). If you use a 9×13 they will fit just fine.
- Top the enchiladas with the enchilada sauce. Move the tortillas around a little bit so the sauce gets in between the enchiladas. I like to leave the edges of the enchiladas sauce-free so that they get a little crispy in the oven. I’m sure that’s not authentic at all, but neither are sweet potatoes and black beans in enchiladas, so I’m rolling with it.
- Top the enchiladas with remaining cheese. How much you put on is really up to you!
- Bake the enchiladas at 375 for about 20-30 minutes. Take them out when the cheese is melted and the sauce looks a little bubbly. The edges of the tortillas will crisp up if you leave them in closer to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it and take it out when it looks good to you!
- Let the enchiladas cool down for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle a copious amount of cilantro (copious! Copious I say!) and white onions down the middle. Don’t skip this step unless you are a true cilantro hater! That fresh garnish really does make a huge difference.
- I would serve this with Tejano beans, or maybe this Spanish Cauliflower Rice if you are trying to low-carb it.
I am new to cooking and this was my first time cooking enchiladas! These were so so good and great for meal prep! I cooked the sweet potatoes separately in the air fryer to get them crispy and added in chickpeas to be cooked with the black beans. I also cooked meatless crumbles separately to add to the dish!
These were great! Made them last night using canned enchilada sauce (Rosarita), gluten free flour tortillas (celiac husband) and green onions on top instead of white, along with tons of cilantro. Yum!
Tons of cilantro sounds perfect to me Careen! Thanks for sharing all your notes, that is super helpful. And thank you for coming back to leave a review, it means so much to me!
Best veggie enchiladas ever! I substituted corn tortillas for flour, the rest was by your recipe. Love them, will definitely make again😊
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe Kim! I bet it was really good with the corn tortillas, good substitute. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and review!
Hi, these look fabulous! I’m planning a Christmas party. I was thinking this would be a great addition to my buffet….vegetarians in the group and those that love Mexican food. Can I make most of it ahead of time (day before or latest the morning of) and just adding the sauce when I pop them in the oven before eating. Doable?
My concern is the tortillas…will they hold up? I don’t know how saucy the sweet potatoe/bean mix is.
Thanks for your help…
Hi Diane! What a fun Christmas party idea! I think this recipe is great for making ahead. The bean mixture is not overly saucy. I would assemble it all in the morning, and add the sauce right before baking, just like you said! Enjoy!!
Thanks for your response… I’ll definitely try it out!!!
Can this be made into a freezer meal? I love this meal and would love to make it for my new mom friends!
Hi Delaney! So happy to hear you are enjoying the enchiladas! Yes, these are so easy to freeze. Once the final step of adding the cheese on top is done, seal well and freeze for 2-3 months. Bake straight from frozen, it will probably take 1-2 hours at 350. I would keep it covered with aluminum foil to avoid drying it out. It’s done when the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. I hope this helps!
Wonderful! Thanks so much!
Mozzarella cheese? Flour tortillas? One teaspoon salt for the whole recipe? These should not be called enchiladas. Sounds more like a food crime. Nooooo.
But that’s what America is Ryn. Delicious, glorious food crimes! Embrace it!
Your vegetarian sweet potato and black bean enchilada recipe sounds great, but the 10 minute enchilada sauce recipe contains chicken broth, which is NOT vegetarian!
True! I’ll add a note and thanks for pointing it out. I figure anyone who cooks vegetarian knows to swap out chicken broth for vegetable broth, I didn’t even think to mention it!
Made these last night with the Killer Enchilada Sauce also. Big hit!! Even my husband who claims to “hate” sweet potatoes and any kind of red sauce, loved them. This recipe goes in the “keeper” file! Thanks!
Yes! That is the best! I love proving people wrong about foods they “hate.” So satisfying :) Hah! Thanks for coming back to comment Lana!
I liked the part where Karen says “…sprinkle a copious amount of cilantro (copious! Copious I say!)” To me, that’s the whole bunch!
Exactly what I did. In fact, when all is said and done after photos and garnishes, it might have been more than a bunch. I know I bought 2…
I actually have a similar recipe in my cookbook. Love your version, too! DELISH.
Oh fun I didn’t know that! When I get back from DC I’m totally going to check it out! Great minds think alike Amy! :)