Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas (One-Pan!)
This easy, hearty, vegetarian black bean and sweet potato enchiladas recipe is simple to prepare and yields super flavorful, delicious results every time. And, since my specialty is simplifying recipes for busy weeknights, I’ve developed this recipe so it can be made in just one pan!
About this Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchilada Recipe
I’ll admit I’m a big fan of enchiladas of all kinds of (hello Easy Chicken Enchiladas, Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken Enchilada Skillet), but for this version I wanted to lean into a vegetarian version that includes hearty black beans, filling sweet potatoes, and a “secret” ingredient of cream cheese, which lends plenty of creaminess without being overly heavy.
I love how simple and versatile this particular sweet potato and black bean enchiladas recipe is – especially since everything bakes together in one pan, meaning that clean up is easy at the end of the night.
This is also one of my absolute favorite uses for this simple homemade enchilada sauce; however, it’s such a versatile recipe it will work with any store bought enchilada sauce you might have on hand.
I also highly recommend adding all the toppings to make this dish feel extra special and to take the flavors over the top! – try this easy 4-ingredient guacamole and fresh tomato salsa and thank me later.
Origins of Enchiladas
Enchiladas originated in Mexico, and likely date back to Aztec times (source). While not authentic, this recipe simplifies the method and relies on available ingredients. For an authentic Mexican enchilada recipe, I recommend this recipe from Mexico in My Kitchen.
Visual Guide: How to Make Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Process & Tips
This quick method for making these vegetarian enchiladas couldn’t be simpler – everything bakes together in one pan, so cleaning up is a total breeze.
To make your filling, you’ll first roast the sweet potatoes, then mash them together in a bowl with the other filling ingredients.
Then just assemble your enchiladas in the same pan you roasted the sweet potatoes in.
Once you’ve placed the black bean enchiladas in the casserole dish, just pour over your sauce, top with cheese and bake it in your oven.
Finally, bake it for a few minutes uncovered so the cheese is bubbling, golden and delicious.
Before you know it, you’ll have a delicious dinner ready to pile high with all your favorite toppings!
How to Make Extra Cheesy or Dairy-Free Vegetarian Enchiladas
We’re not personally fans of too much cheese in enchiladas, so you’ll notice I used a light hand with the cheese in this recipe.
But if you and your family love cheese, feel free to double the amount called for to make extra cheesy enchiladas.
And for a dairy-free enchiladas recipe, simply substitute your favorite dairy-free cheese shreds in this recipe in place of traditional cheese.
Make it Gluten Free
I love using my Easy Red Enchilada Sauce for this recipe, but you can use store bought red enchilada sauce as well. If you want this recipe to be gluten-free, be sure to use the gluten-free variation, or look for a store bought sauce that’s specifically labeled gluten-free!
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
Sweet potatoes: While “yam” and “sweet potato” are often used interchangeably, they are actually from completely different botanical families (source). For this recipe look for orange-fleshed sweet potatoes with dark orange-brown skin.
Diced green chilis: Use mild to keep the chili less spicy, or look for hot green chilis to kick up the heat.
Cream cheese: Adds a wonderful creaminess to this recipe. Use traditional, reduced fat, or dairy-free, depending on your dietary preferences.
Garlic powder: I like the ease of using granulated garlic powder in this recipe, but if you prefer fresh minced garlic you can substitute 2 minced garlic cloves in its place.
Mild chili powder: The chili powder (along with the garlic powder and cumin) is the base for making our own homemade taco seasoning. If you prefer to use a pre-made taco mix, substitute the taco seasoning for the garlic powder, chili powder and salt in this recipe. Use hot chili powder if you like things spicy.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Enchilada sauce: I used my homemade enchilada sauce, but any store bought red enchilada sauce will work.
Black beans: Drained and rinsed kidney or pinto beans will also work in this recipe.
Mexican cheese blend: Shredded Mexican cheese blend usually includes sharp cheddar, Colby jack, and Monterey jack cheese. If you can’t find it, feel free to use any shredded cheese blend. Dairy free shreds can also be used.
Corn tortillas: I prefer the flavor and texture of corn tortillas in this recipe, but small wheat tortillas will also work.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups 1-inch diced sweet potato, from about about 2 large peeled sweet potatoes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
- 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
- 1 (4-oz) can diced green chilis
- 1 ½ cups homemade red enchilada sauce, divided, (or 1 [5-oz] can red enchilada sauce)
- 12 corn tortillas, gently warmed
- Easy Guacamole
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Sour Cream
- Heat the oven to 350F.
- Add the diced sweet potatoes to a 10 x 7 rectangular baking dish. Add the olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, cumin, garlic, and chili powder, tossing to evenly coat the sweet potatoes.
Roast the Sweet Potatoes
- Cover tightly with foil, then bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very tender.
Prepare the Filling
- Meanwhile, begin the filling by adding the black beans, cream cheese, ½ cup cheese, green chilis, and ¼ cup enchilada sauce in a large bowl. Lightly mash about half of the beans, then stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
- When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove the foil and set aside to (you'll be able to use it again later in this recipe). In the same baking dish, lightly mash the sweet potatoes with a fork or potato masher.
- Carefully transfer the mashed sweet potatoes to the bowl containing the black bean mixture, scrapping any bits left in the baking dish. Stir until well combined.
Prepare the Enchiladas
- To the same baking dish, pour ¾ cup enchilada sauce. Dip both sides of each tortilla into the sauce, stacking each dipped tortilla on a plate.
- If the pan is dry after dipping the tortillas, add ¼ cup enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan.
- Fill each dipped tortilla with about 3 tablespoons of the black bean and sweet potato filling. Roll tightly, then nestle into the pan.
- Top with the remaining ¼ cup enchilada sauce and ½ cup cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
- Serve with toppings of your choice.
Can this be pre-assembled and made ahead of time?
Sarah, yes, it can be assembled and then refrigerated for up to 3 days. I recommend taking them out of the fridge and letting them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before baking or adding a few extra minutes to the baking time to compensate for the cold pan. I hope you enjoy!
Thanks so much Robyn!
You’re so welcome, Sarah, I hope you enjoy!
I made this last night and my husband and I thought it was delicious. I will definitely be making it often. Thank you for developing this excellent recipe, Robin.
Wonderful, so happy to hear this was a hit with your and your husband, Sheri! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!
I enjoyed the chicken version so much that I wanted to try this vegetarian option as well. I was a little wary of the texture at first (personal sensitivity), but the flavor was amazing! I may try to mix it with the chicken next time for a heartier meal. I also love to make ahead and freeze versatility of it.
I love the idea of adding chicken to this one Melissa, I think it would be fantastic and you’d still get the benefit of all the veggies. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!