How to Make Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas [Recipe]

If you like quesadillas, you will love this recipe. Merritt Bates-Thomas, Registered Dietitian at the Green River District Health Department, shares his recipe for Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas, an exceptionally healthy spin on a classic and beloved Latin American dish.

Check out this beauty! And, get this! It is served with an avocado and coriander cream, accompanied by a refreshing touch of lime.

Here’s how to do it!

Merritt Bates-Thomas

Merritt Bates-Thomas


1 can 29 oz yams, well drained

1 can 15 oz black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 package of 6 whole wheat tortillas (8 inches)

2 cups shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend


2 large avocados

1/3 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp. garlic granules

Juice of a fresh lime

fresh coriander


Prepare the cream first to allow the flavors to blend. Add the diced avocado, sour cream, garlic, lime juice and cilantro to taste in a food processor until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate while you prepare the quesadillas.

**I can tell you. It was my favorite part of the dish. For me, the cream really brought it all together and was the perfect complement to the surprising sweetness of the quesadilla.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the sweet potatoes and gently mash them using a potato masher. Add the black beans and gently mash them into the sweet potatoes. Sauté the onion, green pepper, smoked paprika and cumin in a medium skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add to sweet potato and black bean mixture and stir until all ingredients are well blended.

Place the tortilla in a skillet over medium heat, sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese on one half of one tortilla and the sweet potato and bean mixture on the other half. Fold in half with the cheese side down. With a spatula, flip to the other side after 2-3 minutes and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove to a serving platter and repeat for additional quesadillas. Quesadillas can be served whole or cut into wedges.

Merritt’s recipe makes a total of six quesadillas – enough to feed family or friends at a dinner party. I tasted the quesadilla when Merritt brought it for our What’s Cookin’? segment, then took the remaining quarters home for lunch. It was refreshing, light and delicious.

Fernando Andrade/Unsplash

Fernando Andrade/Unsplash
What’s cooking? is sponsored weekly by Kentucky Legend. For delicious recipes inspired by Kentucky legend, CLICK HERE!

WATCH: Here are recipes copied from 20 of America’s most popular fast food restaurants