Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chipotle Enchiladas

Vegetarian Times touted this dish as their reader recipe contest winner in their December 2011 issue.  For a non-traditional enchilada recipe to win the cover photo for their holiday issue, I knew this had to be something special . . . and it is!  I don’t especially love sweet potatoes in savory casseroles but when I took my first bite, the unique flavor was nothing like I expected.  This is a very spicy, flavorful dish that will have your tastebuds (and dinner guests) begging for more. Oh, and if you want to make this vegan, just eliminate the queso fresco.”

sweet potato enchiladas - left

-Adapted from Vegetarian Times



  • 1 – 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable or no chicken broth
  • 2 tsp mild chili powder (ancho or molido work nicely-or your regular run of the mill “chili powder is just fine)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder (see footnotes)


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 – 16 oz jar prepared medium salsa (I like Arriba! brand Fire Roasted Chipotle Salsa)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 – 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 12 oz round queso fresco, divided (a little more or less won’t hurt)


  • 16-20 – 8-10 inch corn tortillas (the 6-inch are difficult to roll)
  • sliced limes, avocado, sour cream and/or cilantro for garnish (optional)


  1. FOR SAUCE: Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
  2. FOR FILLING:  In large skillet or braiser, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute for 5-6 minutes or until tender.  Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, salsa, garlic, chipotle chile, and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-40 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.  If you need to add a little more water to mixture during the process, you can do so. You want the mixture to be thick at the end but you also need the potatoes to cook. Mash mixture a little to combine ingredients and break down some of the potato (see pic below).  Add black beans and cook 5 minutes. Stir in half the queso fresco and remove from heat.
  3. FOR ENCHILADAS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush large casserole dish (I had to use 2 medium ones as my large one did not fit all of my enchiladas) with olive oil. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of dish. Warm your tortillas (so they roll without breaking) and then fill each one with filling, roll and pack closely together with the seam side down in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and queso fresco.  Bake 15 minutes.
  4. Adjust oven to broil. Broil enchiladas 5 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with lime wedges, avocado, sour cream and cilantro if desired.


Don’t skimp on the chipotle chile powder.  This is a key ingredient in my kitchen and it adds an incredible smoky and spicy flavor you won’t get from regular chili powder. I find mine in the hispanic aisle where the spices hang in bags.  Just be careful, this is hot stuff!

I don’t like the 6 inch tortillas because they are impossible to roll.  It’s worth getting the larger 8-10 inch tortillas but make sure you heat them in the microwave or steam them first so they are pliable enough to roll.  Even so, some will likely crack but they’ll still work.  If you look closely at the pics, you’ll see some of mine are cracked.

This dish can be vegan-ized fairly easy be eliminating the queso freso. It’s a nice touch but not totally necessary.

Filling Mixture Mashed – Don’t mash it all!

Sweet potato black bean enchiladas-mashed step

Filling mixture mashed then with beans added. 

Sweet potato black bean enchiladas-with beans step

sweet potato enchiladas-angle

sweet potato enchiladas-overview

sweet potato enchiladas right

sweet potato enchiladas - left

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Categories: Beans & Lentils, Mexican/Latin, Recipes


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16 Comments on “Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chipotle Enchiladas”

  1. January 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    I saw this recipe in Vegetarian Times and have been meaning to try it. Thanks for testing it out!

    • January 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

      It’s worth trying. I only made a few small revisions. Oh, and you might want to make a little extra sauce so you have some to garnish with when they are done.

  2. January 12, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    I made something similar to this at the weekend using pumpkin! I used the roasted pepper chipotle sauce from my mex lasagne, it was so good you should try it! I’m definitely going to try it with sweet potatoes next time, sounds delish!!

    • January 13, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      That sounds great, Natalie! I love that roasted red pepper sauce and I bet it would go great in this recipe or with pumpkin… mmm! Are you going to post your pumpkin dish? I’d love to get that recipe!

  3. January 15, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Ciao, first time here, what a lovely blog (and blog name!), I am also a vegetarian, I will be back 🙂


  4. Toni Berry
    January 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    This recipe is to die for! It is tasty and spicy. You don’t miss the meat one little bit1

  5. January 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I can’t wait to try this… I love anything with sweet potatoes. I am going to just use raw cashew sour cream and no cheese to veganize it.

  6. February 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    Sounds absolutely delicious and enticing to me as I transition toward vegetarian. And GREAT close up photos. Can’t wait to try it!

    • February 27, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy this! All the best in your endeavors to eat more vegetarian. I never would have thought I could be vegetarian as I loved a good steak. But when I entered the world of vegetarian eating and discovered all the array of flavors and dishes that opened up when I eliminated meat, I never looked back. Happy eating!

  7. February 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    this sounds delicious. i swear i can taste it

  8. February 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Girl This looks delicious 🙂 Can’t wait to try it!

  9. May 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Thanks for liking my food blog – it got me to find out about your own! Wow, your recipes look delicious, and I love the step photos! I will definitely try out some of your recipes as they`re the type of dishes I`m less familiar with making.

    • May 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

      You’re welcome! Those breakfast muffins look so delicious. I’m going to have to give those a try this week. I love things like that to make breakfast fast and easy… even on the go when you are running late for work. Thanks!

  10. Ruth Mahalia
    January 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    I made this without the cheese when my step daughter and her husband came to visit (they and I are vegans). The whole family loved it – even my carnivorous husband and in laws. I am making it again right now dinner. Yummy!

    • January 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

      Wow, thanks for sharing! That really means a lot to me. This is one of my favorites and you are totally right. You don’t miss the cheese if you make it without. I just bought ingredients to make this tomorrow. Enjoy dinner!

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