Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Yup, another sweet potato recipe!

That’s two this week! Don’t be mad…I’ll let you in on a littttttttttle secret: I made the spicy lentil recipe first and used leftover sweet potatoes from that to make this. I guess it helped that I started with two sweet potatoes the size of my head (does anyone else always buy the LARGEST vegetable they see at the store?). This is a prime example of me attempting to get creative with leftovers—and it didn’t turn out too shabby if you ask me!

These quesadillas are super simple. But that’s just how I like ’em.

I would say they are more fit to be a snack than a meal. I couldn’t have been the only kid who rushed home from school to melt cheddar cheese between two flour tortillas while watching Saved by the Bell re-runs.

No biggie.

I digress.

Instead, let’s get back to these quesadillas! Like I said, they are super simple snacky snacks….I tossed the roasted sweet potatoes in cumin, cayenne, garlic powder and chili powder then sandwiched them with black beans and cheese in between two whole-wheat tortillas.

Like I said….more of a snack or appetizer than a full meal, but perfect with a glass of wine around noon 5pm or even cold straight out of the fridge. Another fun idea would be to drizzle barbecue sauce inside each quesadilla before heating for a Southwestern flair….or adding goat cheese! The opportunities are endless. I know these aren’t fancy, but I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I did! Love quesadillas and want more? Try these tomorrow morning. Your welcome.

I’m off to enjoy my last day home with my parents, but before I forget! The winner of the Cookie Cravings e-cookbook package is comment number 90—Megan Meyer! Megan, email me at jenna {at} and I’ll hook you up! Congrats!

You can purchase your own copy of Cookie Cravings here! (Thanks Maria and Josh for providing such a fun giveaway! love you guys!)

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

makes two quesadillas

Print this recipe!


16 oz small diced sweet potatoes (from about two average size sweet potatoes)

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 tsp oil

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

salsa/hot sauce for serving


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl and sprinkle over with spices and salt. Drizzle oil over as well and toss well to combine. Spread sweet potatoes out on a lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until very tender.

Heat up a large skillet over high heat. Place one tortilla at the bottom and spread roasted sweet potatoes over top. Then, add about 1/2 cup black beans and a large handful of cheese. Place another tortilla on top. Press another heavy skillet over top of the quesadilla while cooking (I like to cook my quesadillas in a grill pan and then press a cast iron skillet on top).

Serve quesadilla with hot sauce and/or salsa with a glass of wine ’round snacktime.


15 minutes


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  • Kathryn
    March 23, 2012 at 3:34 am

    You can never have too many sweet potato recipes! Lovely lovely flavours.

  • mary (sisters running the kitchen)
    March 23, 2012 at 3:57 am

    i love the combo of sweet potatoes and black beans!

  • Julia Steele
    March 23, 2012 at 4:13 am

    That’s a great idea. Thanks!

  • Sarah
    March 23, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Yep, I will be making these! Thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚

  • Annie @ What's Annie Making?
    March 23, 2012 at 4:40 am

    I love making quesadillas like this and serving them with roasted red pepper soup. It’s a perfect lunch!

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    March 23, 2012 at 4:47 am

    These look amazing! Anything with sweet potatoes has to be good πŸ˜‰

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    March 23, 2012 at 4:47 am

    You’ve sparked a black bean craving with these! I need to transform this into a dinner for tonight!

  • Katrina
    March 23, 2012 at 5:06 am

    This is so filled with goodness! Love it!

  • Samantha
    March 23, 2012 at 5:18 am

    These are also delicious if you use goat cheese instead of Mexican blend cheese. So good!

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    March 23, 2012 at 5:39 am

    love it! They look so good!

  • Amanda
    March 23, 2012 at 5:48 am

    A restaurant near where I live makes sweet potato enchiladas that are to die for! These quesadillas look so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe – must try!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    March 23, 2012 at 6:03 am

    Such a great and simple recipe!!

  • Maria
    March 23, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I think I need to make these for lunch! Love sweet potatoes! Thanks again for doing the Cookie Cravings giveaway! xoxo

  • sara
    March 23, 2012 at 6:03 am

    yum. i will be making a gluten free version with corn tortillas…and goat cheese!!! lunch is served.

  • Alisha
    March 23, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Oh, how I WISH I liked sweet potatoes. These LOOK delicious, but the sweet potato is just one of those vegetables that is all wrong for me. I so wish it weren’t. Beautiful meal though!

  • Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray
    March 23, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Ahhhh this is *exactly* the sort of meatless dinner I love when I’m not feelin’ the chicken-cooking thing. And I love the black bean / sweet potato combo!! Can’t wait to try this one really, really. soon πŸ™‚

  • marla
    March 23, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Ha! Was just pinning these gorgeous quesadillas then saw your tweet. LOVE sweet potatoes in everything!

  • Full-Flavored Life
    March 23, 2012 at 6:34 am

    These would be great with the pineapple-mango pico de gallo I am making today! Yummmm

  • Michelle
    March 23, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I get SO excited when a restaurant has sweet potato or squash in their quesadillas. It’s such an unexpected, welcomed ingredient.

  • Elisabeth
    March 23, 2012 at 6:41 am

    These look delicious, Jenna! I love all things sweet potato, and yes, I always buy the biggest ones I can find πŸ˜‰ And yes, I was one of those kids who rushed home for the Saved by the Bell reruns (and loved the original run on Saturday mornings)!

    By the way, I just can’t wait for your book to come out!

  • Jen
    March 23, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Don’t “apologize” for them not being fancy – just stay true to what you want to post. Besides, I’d rather have simple and accessible stuff that I can actually cook πŸ™‚

  • Karen
    March 23, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I love Saved by the Bell! (I used to watch it after school too). I also love sweet potatoes! Can’t wait to try this. I’m a little scared of black beans… I used to think I hated all beans, but have recently discovered I’ll eat kidney beans, so I should give black beans a try too.

  • Karen
    March 23, 2012 at 6:49 am

    YUM, love the sound of these, and have all the ingredients to make today!!!
    Just curious, what is the calorie/fat … content, or are you not sure??
    Thanks for another good one!

    • jenna
      March 23, 2012 at 6:50 am

      I don’t calculate nutritional information for my recipes—so sorry!

  • Margarita
    March 23, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Love quesadillas! I did something like this a couple months ago coz I had a ton of roasted butternut squash leftover. Black beans and salsa would definitely have made it taste better!

  • Amber
    March 23, 2012 at 7:01 am

    You just read my mind! I’m planning on making my own version very soon or I’ll make your recipe. They look awesome. And I would totally call these dinner worthy πŸ™‚ Yummy.

  • Marnely Rodriguez
    March 23, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Love the addition of sweet potatoes, one of my favorite veggies! Bet it adds a great substance without all the added calories!

  • Kristie
    March 23, 2012 at 7:06 am

    My after-school snack of choice was cheesy roll-ups – the quicker and easier version of the quesadilla ;).

  • joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    March 23, 2012 at 7:18 am

    OMG I totally remember that episode of Saved By the Bell! SUPERB acting right there.

    My after-school snack was usually pancakes. Really.

  • Nicole
    March 23, 2012 at 7:19 am

    I LOVE Saved by the Bell!! I would totally like to curl up and watch Zach Morris while eating a cheesy torilla right now… sigh…

  • Cookin' Canuck
    March 23, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I’m a fan of using leftover veggies, meat, etc. for other dishes and this is a wonderful way to use up those sweet potatoes. I could happily eat this for lunch today.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    March 23, 2012 at 7:33 am

    This looks so good and hearty and easy to whip up.

    And I am taking a wild guess and thinking that I spy a bottle of salsa verde from TJs in the background in the last pic. I have that salsa in my fridge at almost all times…so good!

  • Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner
    March 23, 2012 at 7:57 am

    yes, this is simple recipe but it looks and sounds mighty good!

  • Laurie {Simply Scratch}
    March 23, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Ohhh yes! SBTB is the best! They don’t make shows like that any more. Ps… lovin’ these quesadillas… like wanna marry kind of love! Have a great weekend Jenna!

  • Nicole
    March 23, 2012 at 8:17 am

    THANK YOU for the Saved By the Bell throw-back. You got a genuine LOL out of me.

  • Cassie
    March 23, 2012 at 8:19 am

    This is incredible, Jenna! keep bringing the sweet potatoes!

  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated
    March 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

    These look awesome! I love anything with sweet potato. And gooey cheese is an added bonus. πŸ˜‰

  • Em (Wine and Butter)
    March 23, 2012 at 8:39 am

    You’re so cute! And cultured! I rushed home from school to watch Full House re-runs and eat Cool Ranch doritos! And now Im training to be a thereputic chef!?

    I bet these are AMAZING with a glass of wine – cant wait to try! Have a great weekend!

  • mary @ what's cookin with mary
    March 23, 2012 at 9:16 am

    “does anyone else always buy the LARGEST vegetable they see at the store?” – I thought I was the only one ?! I can’t help it. I had sweet pot’s on the list last week and now am the proud owner of two the size of my head. HAHA. I’m a sucker for huge vegetables ;0)

    I’m a huge sweet pot (yam??) + black bean fan. I have an enchilada casserole that uses them plus some protein of choice. YUM YUM YUM!

  • Judith
    March 23, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I love your recent habit of putting these “non-recipes” on the blog. It’s the idea and creativity that count. While I practically live on quesdillas, with the occasional burrito thrown in, I would never have thought of this combination. I do happen to have a batch of your Cuban Black Beans (put into 1 cup size baggies and frozen for things just like this) and will go hunting for a large sweet potato to whip them up. Don’t get me started on my hunts for the largest head of lettuce and the hugest avocado…if they’re priced invidually, why not get your money’s worth?
    BTW, didn’t watch SBTB when it was originally on, but find it entertaining in the reruns, have been known to watch day long marathons. That hair, those clothes, Mario Lopez! And whatever happened to Zack???

  • Amy
    March 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Ummmmmmmm making these TONIGHT!

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  • lauren
    March 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

    there are about 50 recipes for some variation of this recipe all over the blog world right now (joy the baker, bev cooks, just to name a few), and they all have “inspired by” or “adapted from” in their recipes. i do think you should take a bit more care to give credit to where you find inspiration for your recipes. it only takes a few extra minutes, but it’s the right thing to do!

    • Jaime
      March 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Get a grip…there are about 50 recipes or variations of everything ever made on the internet right now…its a freaking quesadilla!!

      Jenna: great recipe! This is perfect timing, I just had gum surgery and have to eat soft foods for 5-7 days and this is a great way to do that AND be healthy! Thanks! I will be sure that everytime I serve this I will make the announcement that I did not create this recipe, that it is in fact, inspired by Jenna at Eat Live Run. ;P

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    March 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I once saw Zack Morris in Northbeach in San Francisco, on St. Patties day a few years ago. He is much shorter than I thought. Strange!

    As for these, they look delish. I love sweet potatoes and especially love the combination of black beans and sweet potatoes!

  • elizabeth @ chronic venture
    March 23, 2012 at 10:51 am

    mmm love this combo! I always like to make my sweet potatoes with a little kick, so this is right up my alley!

  • Alison
    March 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I truly love the combination of sweet poatotes and black beans together. Amazing.

  • Kim
    March 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Making this tonight!!

  • Aylin @ Glow Kitchen
    March 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Quesadilla with sweet potato? That looks amazing!

  • Megan @ Megan's Miles
    March 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    I love sweet potatoes and simple recipes like this! I tried your lentil sweet potato recipe and even my boyfriend (who is a picky eater and normally hates kale) loved it!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    March 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas are a weekly staple in our house. You can’t go wrong with that combination. I just posted a recipe about what I did with the leftover black beans yesterday – Black Bean Brownies!

  • elle @ nutritionella
    March 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I absolutley adore black beans and sweet potatoes. Looks wonderful!

  • Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous
    March 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    These look great….with a little crock of soup or a side salad, they could totally be a meal!

  • Taylor @ Nuts for Apples
    March 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Um no need to apologize about the sweet potatoes…I can’t get enough of them!! Keep them coming πŸ™‚

  • Luv What You Do
    March 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Wow, those look amazing!
    My lunch today was thrown together last minute. But I took a smashed sweet potato and added in some corn and black bean salsa to make sweet potato tacos with avocado. Incredibly easy!

  • Sarah
    March 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Mmmm! I love sweet potato quesadillas. I haven’t had one for a long time though. This makes me want one.

  • Camille
    March 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I loved (still love) microwaving cheese in tortillas! We called them mexi-melts. So good! But the sweet potato and black beans may top them. I guess I’ll find out.

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    March 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Yum, yum, yum! I love quesadillas (and Saved By The Bell).

  • Urban Wife
    March 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Another quesadilla recipe for my arsenal – thanks!!

  • Anna
    March 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    quesadillas were (and still are!) my go-to easy snack while I watch reruns of my favorite series. I have started rewatching all of The City and The Hills on Netflix, and it’s amazing how hungry such mindless TV can make you.

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    March 24, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Great twist with the sweet potato. I always end up with too much but that never upsets me. I made black bean and sweet potato enchiladas not too long ago and they were so good. This with goat cheese – yum!

  • Moni Meals
    March 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    awesome Idea! So my kinda of recipe. πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  • Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin
    March 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I can never get enough of sweet potatoes! Love this!

  • Stephie
    March 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I always buy the largest sweet potatoes, too! I can’t think of the last time I didn’t buy one that was the size of my head. It’s not worth my time if I don’t have to muscle my way through cutting it in half….

  • Kiran @
    March 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    LOVE black bean and sweet potato quesadilla’s. And the grill marks takes it to another level.

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  • Andrea
    August 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    These quesadillas are delicious!! My husband and I are obsessed with them. Thanks for the great recipe!

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    September 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    DELICIOUS! and you are hilarious!!!
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    October 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Made these for my family for dinner tonight – everyone LOVED them! Thank you for yet another great recipe!!!

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