“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.”
-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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Filling mixture mashed then with beans added.