Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas are simple and comforting. The hearty filling cooks all together in one skillet, and then they bake to perfection in the oven, for an easy vegetarian dinner. No store-bought enchilada sauce required!
I originally posted this recipe back in 2013, but that was before I tested and double-tested recipes to make sure they are fool-proof. So, these needed to be revisited!
The resulting recipe is ultra-flavorful and delicious, and I’m especially proud of the simplicity of the enchilada sauce. No need to break out another skillet to make a homemade version; this one comes together in just seconds in a blender.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in Sweet Potato Enchiladas?
- Sweet potatoes
- Black beans
- Red onion
- Diced tomatoes with green chiles
The filling is surprisingly quick and easy to prepare, then you just roll it up in your favorite tortillas, top it off with a sauce, and bake until everything is piping hot. If you’d like to add extra veggies or seasonings, like a bell pepper or chili powder, feel free to add those in, too.
I’ve purposefully kept this recipe dairy-free and vegan, but if your family prefers a cheesy enchilada, you can certainly sprinkle shredded cheese over the top of this before you bake.
How to Make Enchiladas
1. Saute. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion until it’s softened, about 5 minutes.
Add in the garlic and cumin, and stir for one more minute, just until it’s fragrant.
2. Complete the filling. Add the sweet potatoes, black beans (set aside a 1/4 cup beans for the sauce), diced tomatoes and salt to the pan, and bring the liquid to a simmer. Once it’s simmering, lower the heat and cover the pan, letting the sweet potatoes cook until they are easily mashed with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir occasionally, so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
3. Make the enchilada sauce. While the filling is cooking, you can make my super-easy enchilada sauce by adding a jar of salsa to a blender, along with the reserved black beans, and ground cumin.
Use red salsa, or salsa verde, if you like!
The beans help to thicken up the sauce, just like flour does in traditional recipes, but this version is even easier! Pour 3/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and spread it out evenly.
4. Fill the tortillas. When the sweet potatoes are tender, mash the filling in the skillet with fork, to help it all meld together. You don’t want it perfectly smooth, but it’s nice if it sticks together a bit.
You can use cassava or corn tortillas to keep this recipe gluten-free, or you can use simple flour tortillas if you don’t need a gluten-free recipe. I used Cassava tortillas in the photos here, which worked beautifully!
Quickly warm each tortilla on a skillet over medium heat for 15 to 30 seconds on each side. This will soften them up, so they don’t crack as you roll them.
Add a generous amount of filling into the center of each tortilla (see photos for reference), then roll it up and place it seam-side-down in the pan prepared with enchilada sauce. Repeat with the remaining filling, until you’ve filled the pan and used up your tortillas.
Note: The package I used came with 8 tortillas, and I had enough filling to probably fill 2 more tortillas. The amount of filling will vary based on the size of your sweet potato, and how much filling you add to each tortilla, but if you have leftovers, you can either make 2 extra roll-ups if you have enough tortillas, or save them as a burrito bowl filling or salad topping for another meal later.
Note: While the enchiladas are baking, you can whip up a batch of Nacho Cheese Sauce, if you’d like a creamy, dairy-free topping. I like to add this sauce after baking, so it won’t dry out in the oven.
5. Bake. Cover the rolled-up tortillas with the remaining enchilada sauce, and then bake at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are piping hot.
Let the enchiladas cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then serve warm with the cheese sauce on top, along with diced avocado and fresh cilantro on top, if desired.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small red onion , chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 medium sweet potato , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans (reserve a 1/4 cup for sauce)
- 16 ounces salsa
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 8 to 10 tortillas (7-inch or similar)
- 1 batch Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce (optional topping)
- 1/2 avocado (optional topping)
- fresh cilantro (optional topping)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and saute the onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cumin, and stir until fragrant, about one more minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes and green chilies to the pan (do not drain-- you want the juices here!), along with the sweet potatoes, salt, and most of the drained and rinsed black beans. Be sure to save a 1/4 cup of beans for the enchilada sauce. Stir well, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat, and cover the pan to let the sweet potatoes cook until they are easily mashed with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the filling is cooking, prepare the enchilada sauce. Add the reserved 1/4 cup of black beans to a blender, along with the salsa and cumin. Blend until smooth, then pour 3/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- When the sweet potatoes are tender, use a fork to mash them, so the filling will stick together well. If you're using a corn or cassava tortilla, heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla on the skillet for 15 to 30 seconds on each side, so it's easy to roll. (They will break if you don't do this first!)
- Add some of the filling to the center of the warm tortilla, then roll it up and place the roll in the prepared pan, seam-side-down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling, warming up each tortilla as you go so its easy to roll. (You can skip heating them if you use flour tortillas, as they don't tear too easily.)
- Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top of the rolled-up tortillas, and spread it out evenly so the shells are covered. Bake at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes.
- While the enchiladas are baking, you can prepare the optional toppings, including the vegan nacho cheese sauce, if you'd like a creamy topping. When the enchiladas are done cooking, let them cool for 5 minutes, then serve warm with the toppings. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Update note: I used to serve this filling in thinly sliced zucchini instead of using a tortilla at all. Feel free to try that if you’d like to! You can see an (old) photo of my method below.
If you try these Sweet Potato Enchiladas, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like them. I can’t wait to hear what you think!