Sweet potato black bean quesadillas are a delicious Mexican-inspired vegan dinner recipe! Crispy tortillas are filled with a creamy sweet potato cheese + spicy black bean and corn mixture. They are filling, satisfying, comforting, and flavor-packed. Serve them alongside guacamole, salsa, and pico de gallo to complete the meal!
With Cinco de Mayo approaching, now is the perfect time to re-share one of my absolute favorite dinner recipes: sweet potato black bean quesadillas. These vegan quesadillas are, dare I say it, even better than the traditional cheese quesadillas we all know and love.
This vegan dinner recipe is guaranteed to please the whole family. They are filling, satisfying, flavor-packed, and healthy, while providing that classic “comfort food” feeling. Meat eaters have raved about this meatless dinner, and you know that’s always a win in my book!
It all begins with a super creamy, surprisingly “cheesy” sweet potato puree spread across a large tortilla. Then, a spicy black bean, corn, and onion mixture is sprinkled on top. The tortilla is folded in half, cooked until crispy golden-brown, and sliced into triangles. Yum, yum, yum!
Don’t forget the dips, too. I recommend serving these quesadillas alongside guacamole, pico de gallo, and salsa for the ultimate Mexican-inspired meal.
These sweet potato black bean quesadillas are:
- Vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, and refined sugar-free
- Easily gluten-free with GF tortillas
- Spicy, smoky, savory, yet subtly sweet
- Surprisingly easy to make // uses pantry staples
- Made without cheese and without meat
- Vegetarian approved and meat-eater approved
- A crowd-pleasing vegan meal for the whole family!
What ingredients are in sweet potato quesadillas?
- Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes are the star of the show. Combined with a few other ingredients, they create a super creamy filling that replaces cheese. Sweet potatoes are also rich in key nutrients, like vitamins A, C, E, and potassium.
- Black beans: Black beans are packed with plant-based protein, making them a great replacement for meat. They also contain fiber, iron, and folate.
- Corn: Corn is cooked with the black beans for added texture and a subtle sweet flavor.
- Cashews: The creamy consistency of the sweet potato spread can be attributed to cashews. Be sure to use raw cashews and soak them in hot water.
- Nutritional yeast: The “cheesy” flavor comes from nutritional yeast. Additionally, it’s packed with B vitamins and contains protein.
- Tortillas: Feel free to use your favorite tortillas. The larger the size, the better! If you follow a gluten-free diet, be sure to use gluten-free tortillas. I love and recommend the Siete brand.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice adds a hint of sour flavor to the sweet potato cheese spread, making it taste more realistic.
- Spices: In particular, we will use a blend of chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, smoke paprika, salt, and black pepper.
How to make sweet potato black bean quesadillas
For the full ingredients list and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card below.
Soak the cashews
In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add raw cashews to a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cashews. Soak for 20 minutes, then drain the water.
Boil the sweet potatoes
While the cashews are soaking, cook the sweet potatoes.
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the cubed sweet potatoes. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. After, drain the water.
Make the sweet potato cheese sauce
Add all sweet potato cheese ingredients to a blender. This includes the cooked sweet potatoes, soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.
Blend the ingredients until a thick, creamy, orange puree is formed. If needed, you can add extra non-dairy milk to thin the consistency.
Cook spicy black beans and corn
Warm a skillet over medium heat. Add oil and diced onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onion is fragrant and translucent. Add minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add black beans, corn, chili powder, chipotle powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until fragrant and warm.
Assemble the vegan quesadillas
Time for the fun part! Place a large tortilla on a plate, cutting board, or any flat surface.
Spread the sweet potato cheese across half of the tortilla. Add several spoonfuls of the black bean/corn mixture on top. Fold the tortilla in half, forming a quesadilla.
Warm a lightly-greased skillet over medium heat. Carefully transfer the quesadilla to the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then gently flip to cook the other side.
The quesadilla should be crispy and golden-brown on both sides. After, remove from heat and slice into triangles. Serve and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is used to make the vegan cheese?
These sweet potato black bean quesadillas are vegan and dairy-free, so they are made without cheese. However, quesadillas are not complete without some sort of “cheesy” flavor, right?
To replace dairy cheese, we are using a homemade sweet potato cheese spread. It’s super creamy and has a slightly tangy/sour flavor. The ingredients include sweet potatoes, cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Nutritional yeast and lemon juice are important here. Don’t skip them.
What tortillas are used for quesadillas?
Flour tortillas work best for quesadillas. They are pliable, large in size, and strong enough to hold the ingredients together. You can either use white flour or whole wheat flour tortillas.
If you are following a gluten-free diet, be sure to use gluten-free flour tortillas. I do not recommend brown rice or corn tortillas; they are not pliable and sturdy enough. Oftentimes, they easily break and fall apart. From my experience, the Siete brand makes the best gluten-free tortillas. You can find options made from cassava flour, almond flour, or chickpea flour.
How do you flip a quesadilla?
First, make sure you are preparing the quesadilla properly. There are two ways to prepare it:
- Option 1: Spread the filling across the whole tortilla. Place an additional tortilla on top.
- Option 2: Spread the filling across half the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half to cover the filling.
In my opinion, option 2 is the superior choice. It is far easier to flip a half quesadilla than an entire quesadilla all at once.
- Warm a skillet over medium temperature. Lightly grease it with oil or non-stick spray.
- Carefully lift the quesadilla with a large turner spatula. Place it on the skillet.
- Cook the quesadilla for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Using the large turner spatula, gently lift the quesadilla off of the skillet. Swiftly flip to cook the other side for 1-2 minutes.
- Gently remove the quesadilla from the skillet. Slice into triangles and enjoy.
How do you keep quesadillas crispy?
To create crispy quesadillas, they need to be cooked on a hot skillet with a dash of oil. At the very least, spray the skillet with nonstick spray. Allow the quesadilla to cook until golden brown before flipping to cook the other side. They will be hot, crispy, and cooked to perfection if you follow these instructions.
How to serve them
These sweet potato black bean quesadillas are quite filling and satisfying all on their own. However, there are various ways to spruce up the dish. Add toppings, serve ’em alongside your favorite dips and sauces, or enjoy with a side dish.
Toppings: Garnish with fresh cilantro, pickled jalapeño, pico de gallo, a drizzle of cashew cream, or dairy-free sour cream.
Dips: I love dipping these crispy triangular pockets in guacamole. Nothing beats this combo, in my opinion. Choose from the following popular dips:
- The BEST Guacamole
- Liquid Salsa
- Vegan Chipotle Aioli
- Avocado Cilantro Dressing
- Pico de Gallo (Salsa Fresca)
- Hot Sauce
Sides: Pair these sweet potato quesadillas with cilantro lime rice, refried beans, a fresh side salad, a bowl of soup, or corn tortilla chips.
More healthy vegan recipes with sweet potatoes
- Vegan Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Taquitos
- Vegan Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Soup
- Sweet Potato, Kale, and Chickpea Curry
If you try these Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a rating and comment below! Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Instagram and YouTube!Print
Sweet potato black bean quesadillas are a delicious Mexican-inspired vegan dinner recipe! Crispy tortillas are filled with a creamy sweet potato cheese + spicy black bean and corn mixture. They are filling, satisfying, comforting, and flavor-packed. Serve these vegan quesadillas with guacamole, salsa, and pico de gallo.
Sweet Potato Cheese
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cubed (~3 heaping cups)
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 6 flour tortillas*
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can corn kernels, drained and rinsed
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp chipotle powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Soak cashews: In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add cashews to a bowl. Pour boiling water over the cashews and soak for 20 minutes. After, drain the water.
- Cook sweet potatoes: While the cashews are soaking, cook the sweet potatoes. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add cubed sweet potatoes. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. After, drain the water.
- Create sweet potato cheese: Add soaked cashews, cooked sweet potatoes, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Cook black beans and corn: Warm a skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil and diced onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are fragrant and translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add black beans, corn, chili powder, chipotle powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until warm and fragrant.
- Assemble quesadillas: Spread the sweet potato cheese across half a tortilla. Add several spoonfuls of the black bean/corn mixture on top. Fold the tortilla in half.
- Cook quesadillas: Warm a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully transfer the quesadilla onto the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, then flip to cook the other side. Remove from the skillet and slice into triangles. Repeat until all tortillas are used.
- Serve: Serve quesadillas with guacamole, salsa, and pico de gallo.
- *Flour tortillas are best for this recipe. Use whole wheat, white, or gluten-free flour tortillas. I do not recommend brown rice or corn tortillas; they are not pliable or sturdy enough. Oftentimes, flourless tortillas break apart.
- This post was updated with new photos on May 2nd, 2021. The recipe remained the same.
- Serving Size: 1 quesadilla
- Calories: 384
- Sugar: 6g
- Fat: 10g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 58g
- Fiber: 13g
- Protein: 16g
Keywords: sweet potato black bean quesadillas, vegan sweet potato quesadillas
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