Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas


I love trying vegetarian recipes, but so often they call for things that some dinner party guests might not recognize – tempeh, or quinoa, or other plant-based protein. Tofu is pretty well known but not universally enjoyed, so when I found an enchilada recipe that mentioned both sweet potatoes and black beans on Pinterest, I thought, “that sounds hearty and recognizeable!”

I started by roasting a giant pan of sweet potatoes; I wanted to make sure no one had an under-done sweet potato in their enchilada. Then I mixed one can of black beans with chipotle chili pepper, garlic, salt, and a half cup of pepper jack cheese. In hindsight, I’d probably mix in some rice, though I think that takes the recipe more in the direction of a burrito, if I understand my burrito/taco/enchilada continuum correctly. We ended up doing rice on the side, so that was fine.

After the sweet potatoes were tender, I mixed them in with the beans and spices, and took out my store-bought enchilada sauce. I’d certainly love to try my own spice blend on some enchiladas, but this was for a party and I wanted to be sure… I recommend tomatillo and roasted garlic green enchilada sauce! I put enough sauce to wet the sides of the dish, and then began folding flour soft taco shells in half and lining the pan. Once the pan was full, I’d add some of the beans and sweet potatoes, fold up the taco shell, and flip it upside down, making sure it wouldn’t fall apart (I hoped?). It was a little messy and there’s probably a better way to do it, but if you’ve read Eating Together Isn’t Always about the Food, you know I was a little nervous at the time and was improvising.

Once those were all done, I covered them in more cheese and the rest of the sauce; I made 7 sweet potato enchiladas in my 9×13 pan. Into the 400 degree oven then went, though I turned it way down when guests arrived and I just wanted them to stay warm. The nice part was that cooking was good but not necessary for the food to be edible, so I felt confident my guests wouldn’t experience any scary food poisoning… a perpetual fear of dinner party hostesses, or maybe just me.

The result was spicy and hearty, flavorful and surprisingly healthy! It came across as a little different from normal enchiladas but not intense or fancy, which was exactly the balance I wanted to strike. 🙂