Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Kale Quesadillas

Sweet potato, black bean and kale quesadillas

Do you remember these mexican sweet potato skins?  Yeah – they are still one of my favorite meals to date.  I kept planning to use the leftover filling from them to make quesadillas, but somehow we always ate all of it a little too quickly.  You know, for snacking or lunches.  Or more snacking.  Oops.  So I figured why not just start from scratch and use those potato skins as inspiration?

Sweet potato, black bean and kale quesadillas

I’m happy to say that I finally got my quesadillas.  While these aren’t quite the same as those potato skins, they are still so very good … and very different from your standard quesadilla.  I think my husband was a little surprised when he took his first bite.  I sometimes don’t tell him what I put in things – it’s a game I play called can you guess what’s in this??  Lame, I know.

But anyway… the mashed sweet potatoes make the base for the filling, with bites of black beans and kale, along with plenty of spices.  Freshly grated cheese rounds these out, making a great vegetarian option for lunch or dinner.  My husband liked these best with a good dose of hot sauce, while I preferred them with a touch of greek yogurt for dipping.  As good as they were for dinner, we both thought that the filling got even better the next day, making for a quick and easy weekend lunch.

Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Kale Quesadillas
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
For the quesadillas:
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, sliced ½ inch thick*
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 to 10 large flour tortillas
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
For serving:
  • hot sauce, optional
  • greek yogurt or sour cream, optional
  • salsa, optional
  1. Add the sliced potatoes to a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Add ½ teaspoon of the salt to the pot. With the heat on high, bring the water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and then add to a large bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, cumin, chili powder, oregano and chipotle peppers. Mix until well combined.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add in the kale and green onions. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the kale is bright green and tender. Add the mixture to the bowl with the mashed sweet potatoes. Next add in the black beans and mix until well combined.
  3. Place the tortillas on a work surface. Use a spatula to smear about ⅓ to ½ cup of the filling on half of the tortilla. Top with about ¼ cup of the cheese (or to taste). Fold the empty half of the tortilla over the filling to form a semicircle. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  4. Wipe out the skillet you used for the kale and set over medium high heat. When hot, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Place an assembled quesadilla in the pan and cook, flipping once halfway through, until both sides are browned and the cheese is melted. Cut into triangles and serve with hot sauce, greek yogurt and/or salsa.
*You can peel your sweet potatoes if desired. We like the skins, so I left them on.

Cookie Monster Cooking.  Inspired by these mexican sweet potato skins, originally from Pinch of Yum.


More from Cookie Monster Cooking:


  1. I don’t normally comment… But this is one of my go-to recipes we’ve had in rotation for over a year now. It’s delicious and easy- a quick meal that’s actually pretty packed with greens goodness and tons of flavour. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Gillian @ Hissy Fits & Happiness says:

    These look delicious. Packed with healthy goodness. Can’t wait to try!

  3. This is the perfect recipe for tonight! I knew I wanted to make some version of sweet potato and black bean quesadillas so this is the perfect way to jazz them up! Can’t wait to try it!

  4. I made these last night and my partner and I loved them! I used vegan cheese and baked them instead of panfrying. I served them with hot sauce, gaucamole, and fresh salsa, and it was such a delicious dinner. They are very filling too, which meant there were leftover for lunch today! Thanks for a great recipe.

  5. These are delicious! I was looking for a way to use up some of the kale from our garden. We have more than we know what to do with! I’m glad I found this recipe! We can’t wait to use some of the leftovers tomorrow morning for breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs!

    • I’m so so happy to hear this! Thank you so much for letting me know! And that sounds amazing for breakfast tomorrow … you’re making me think I need to do something other than toast tomorrow morning : )

  6. Fabulous! Just made these tonight and they were wonderful!

  7. Have you ever just baked the sweet potatoes and then mashed them?

    • I haven’t for this recipe, but that should also work just fine! You just want them soft enough to mash easily.

  8. Would these come together without the black beans? It’s not that I’m Paleo or anything, I’m simply not a legume fan.

    • Hi Van – yes, they should definitely work without the black beans! The beans do bulk it up a little so if you want to replace them maybe try some shredded chicken, etc. in place.

  9. Just made these for lunch. Super fast, filling and delicious. We served ours with sour cream and a ton of sriracha. Thanks for a great Sunday lunch!

  10. These look amazing! Any idea if they would freeze well, either just the filling or pre-assembled? I’d love to double/triple the batch and have some easy weeknight dinners on hand for both us and my little guy.

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Hi Astra! I actually have no idea if they would freeze well – I’ve never given it a try. I’m thinking I would probably go with just freezing the filling (and then assembling / cooking when you want them). Please let me know if you give it a try! I’d love to know how they freeze : )

  11. Sarah OMara says:

    I made these and they were delicious! My whole family loved them. I added some avocados on top which added a pop of color and tasted amazing. Great recipe!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      So so glad you enjoyed them! I absolutely love the addition of avocado – definitely will be trying that next time we have these!

  12. I’m going to try these! I want to use some purple sweet potatoes. Love them!

  13. Abigail says:

    has anyone tried boneless skinless chicken with this recipe? I was wondering how it would be with chicken. Please let me know.

    Thank You

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Hi Abigail! I’ve never tried it myself but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! I bet it would be great shredded inside the quesadillas

  14. I added feta instead and it was amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Oooh I bet the feta was great in these! I’ll have to try that next time!

  15. These were amazing! I think I ate too much and I’m okay with that. For funzies I did a calorie count for them. http://caloriecount.about.com/sweet-potato-black-bean-kale-recipe-r1333639

    Thanks for sharing this phenomenal recipe.

  16. My family just snapped these up, they were incredible! I substituted spinach because we didn’t have any kale and I feel like we didn’t even need the cheese. Definitely a keeper!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      So glad your family liked them!! I bet the spinach was delicious in the filing too : )

  17. These are delicious! We dipped ours in mole sauce. Yum!

  18. I am making these right now. I added a little minced garlic to the pan when I sautéed the kale and green onion. The sweet potatoes and black beans got puréed together in the food processor, and the kale mixture got pulsed in as well. The flavor is amazing. I’m in love. Can’t wait to see how they turn out in the quesadilla form!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      So happy to hear this! Adding the garlic is a great idea – hope they turned out great!

  19. The flavor combination sounds wonderful! My vegetarian daughter is going to love this! Thanks.

  20. We tried these last night and loved them! Another brilliant use of kale that I can sneak past my picky husband. Thanks Ashley!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      So happy to hear this! Glad you guys liked them (and I do love that you’ve been sneaking kale past your husband!)

  21. Oh my gosh, I have a recipe just like this too! Although I skipped the cheese in mine. :) Sweet potatoes and kale make such a great combination–they just make everything seem so much healthier. These look awesome!

  22. Love this combination for quesadillas! Quesadillas are a favorite around here, we’ll be trying them soon!

  23. Sweet potato, kale, and black beans is one of my favorite combos! I love the idea of putting it into a quesadilla! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Your quesadillas look just perfect, mine never look that good! Love it!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Thank you! It took me a long time to get down how to flip any quesadilla without losing all the filling!

  25. Love quick quesadillas for weeknight dinner, and the combo in these is fantastic!

  26. Just saw these on FoodGawker and then realized it was you! :) These look so good, I am pinning them!

  27. Wow, these look so good! I’ve made a sweet potato black bean chili before and loved it, so I know I’ll love these. I’m crazy for kale, too!

  28. DUDE these are filled with everything that I love!! How did you know?!? And kale makes them healthy, right? ;) Def. saving this one for a Friday night dinner!

  29. ok, I am OBSESSED with the fillings of these quesadillas Ashley! Everything I love. I just made a sweet potato and black bean chili and am yearning for those flavors all over again. These are a must try. we love making quesadillas!

  30. Wow – these sound amazing. Non-traditional quesadillas have been popping up all over the blogosphere, but I think these are up in my favorite! Definitely need to try them. Pinned!

Speak Your Mind