Vegetarian Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

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These vegetarian sweet potato black bean enchiladas are the perfect big batch recipe for weekly meal prep or feeding a hungry crowd! Make them with homemade ranchero sauce for an extra spicy kick.

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This week’s recipe is one of our favorite big batch meals: vegetarian sweet potato black bean enchiladas. A deliciously spicy, saucy, Mexican enchilada stuffed with sweet potato, rice, and beans is a treat for dinner. But it’s almost even better the next day, since these enchiladas are the perfect microwavable lunch for bringing to work or heating up at home in between meetings. 

These sweet potato enchiladas are relatively cheap, super easy to make in large quantities, and leave you feeling satisfied without being stuffed. That’s why this recipe is our go-to meal prep dish on Sunday nights! One batch makes about 14 enchiladas, which is perfect for prepping a week’s worth of lunches or dinners for 2 people – or feeding a large crowd.

Our recipe is an adaptation of these sweet potato enchiladas from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. We discovered her take on vegetarian enchiladas in college and fell in love with how easy and affordable they were! We started making this dish so often that we decided to put our own spin on it with our favorite spicy peppers and homemade ranchero sauce.

Sweet potato black bean enchiladas in a casserole dish

Ingredients For Vegetarian Sweet Potato And Black Bean Enchiladas

You’ll need a few ingredients to make the potato and bean filling for these enchiladas, plus tortillas, ranchero sauce, and plenty of shredded cheese. Here’s a full breakdown of what you’ll need to make vegetarian enchiladas:

  • Sweet potato – Diced, so the potatoes become tender during cooking.
  • Peppers – Our recipe calls for pasilla pepper, which is sometimes labeled as poblano peppers at the grocery store. You can also use Anaheim peppers, jalapeno peppers, or bell peppers.
  • Taco seasoning – We recommend making your own blend with a few ingredients you probably already have on your spice rack, instead of using store-bought. Our blend uses chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.
  • Black beans – Simply drain and rinse canned black beans before using them.
  • Minced garlic – For extra flavor!
  • Picante sauce – We recommend using picante sauce instead of salsa for this enchilada filling since it’s often less chunky (or has no chunks at all).
  • Lime juice – A little acid contrasts the sweet flavor of the potatoes and adds some zing.
  • White or brown rice – Rice helps bind everything together and makes these enchiladas extra filling.
  • Ranchero sauce – Our homemade ranchero sauce gives these enchiladas a fun and spicy twist, versus using traditional red enchilada sauce! Just make sure to use vegetable broth when making a batch for these enchiladas.
  • Flour tortillas – 8 inch tortillas are the perfect size for enchiladas.
  • Shredded Mexican-blend cheese – All the best enchiladas are topped with copious amounts of cheese. Just the way we like it!

How To Make Vegetarian Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas 

Although it takes some time to prepare these sweet potato enchiladas, none of the steps involved are difficult. Here’s a quick breakdown of how to make sweet potato black bean enchiladas, along with a few tips for ensuring success:

  1. Begin by steaming the rice so it’s cooked by the time you need to mix it into the enchilada filling. If it’s ready early, that’s okay! It can sit off to the side and will get warmed back up in the oven anyways.
  2. Prepare the ranchero sauce while the rice cooks, or make it up to 4 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Alternatively, use store-bought enchilada sauce.
  3. Dice the sweet potato, slice the peppers, and mix the taco seasoning before starting to cook anything. Having these ingredients ready to go (especially the taco seasoning) will make cooking the filling much easier.
  4. Prepare the sweet potato black bean filling on the stovetop, adding ingredients in stages since they all have different cook times. Start with the potatoes, then add the peppers once the potatoes are just beginning to feel tender. Cook until the peppers are just beginning to soften, then add the seasonings and garlic. Next, add the beans and cook until they’re softened and warmed through. Finally, you’ll stir the picante sauce, lime juice, and cooked rice into the potatoes, beans, and peppers.
  5. Set up a large workstation for rolling the enchiladas, with your filling, the tortillas, ranchero sauce or enchilada sauce, shredded cheese, and one or two large baking dishes. Spread some of the sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish.
  6. Assemble the enchiladas one at a time: First, spread a thin layer of ranchero or enchilada sauce over the tortilla, leaving some room around the edges. Then spoon the filling in a line down the center. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, then tightly roll the tortilla and place it in the baking dish with the seam facing down. This will help keep your enchiladas rolled as you fill out the dish!
  7. Snuggle your enchiladas closely together in the baking dish so they stay tightly rolled during baking.
  8. Finally, once the baking dish is full, top enchiladas with ranchero sauce and a layer of shredded cheese.
  9. Bake in the oven until fully warmed through and the cheese is melted. Optionally garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot!
A GIF showing enchiladas filling up a pan

Recipe Notes & Serving Suggestions

Depending on how much you fill your enchiladas and how large your baking dishes are, you may end up with some leftover filling. You can store this in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and use it in a variety of ways! This simple filling of rice, sweet potato, black beans, and peppers with Mexican flavors is super versatile and serves as a great starting point for easy dinners. Use it for tacos or burrito bowls, topped with some mashed avocado and cheese, for a tasty meal.

Serve these vegetarian enchiladas alongside a batch of homemade guacamole and tortilla chips. There’s nothing better than scooping up a bite of creamy, mashed avocado with these warm and cheesy enchiladas!

Storing & Reheating Vegetarian Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

These sweet potato enchiladas will store for up to 5 days in the fridge. Pro tip: make them in a baking dish that comes with a lid so you don’t have to transfer the leftovers to a different container! We love making these enchiladas in our 9×13 glass baking dish by OXO for easy meal prep and storage. 

Simply reheat sweet potato enchiladas on a plate or in a microwave-safe container by microwaving for about 2 minutes per enchilada, or until warmed through.

A serving dish of sweet potato black bean enchiladas

These vegetarian sweet potato and black bean enchiladas are absolutely delicious and are so worth the upfront effort, whether you’re feeding an army or preparing meals for the week. They’re so flavorful that they’ll please even the most skeptical meat-lovers! So go ahead and cook up a batch of this tried-and-true recipe, and let us know what you think in the comments.

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5 from 2 votes

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

These vegetarian sweet potato black bean enchiladas are the perfect big batch recipe for weekly meal prep or feeding a hungry crowd! Make them with homemade ranchero sauce for an extra spicy kick.
Servings 14 enchiladas
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry white rice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 poblano (pasilla) pepper
  • Taco Seasoning see below
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup picante sauce
  • 15 oz canned black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 14 medium flour tortillas
  • 5 cups Homemade Ranchero Sauce*
  • cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese

Taco Seasoning

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground red cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in dry rice, turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel sweet potato and dice into 1/4″ cubes.
  • Slice pasilla pepper into short, thin strips.
  • Prepare the taco seasoning: combine chili powder, paprika, cumin, ground red cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add diced sweet potatoes and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until potatoes start to soften, stirring occasionally.
  • Add sliced pasilla pepper and the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn heat to medium and stir in taco seasoning and minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add black beans and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in picante sauce and lime juice. Add the cooked rice to the pan and stir well to combine.
  • Lightly grease two 9×13 baking dishes. Pour about ½ cup of Homemade Ranchero Sauce into each baking dish and spread it around evenly.
  • Prepare the enchiladas: spoon about 1 tbsp ranchero sauce onto a tortilla, then spread in a thin layer using the back of the spoon. Add about 1/3 cup of the sweet potato black bean filling in a line down the center of the tortilla. Sprinkle with about 2 tbsp shredded Mexican-blend cheese, then roll up the tortilla and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat until both pans are filled with enchiladas.*
  • Top enchiladas with ranchero sauce: evenly pour about 1-1/2 cups per pan over the enchiladas, spreading it with the back of a spoon until fully coated.
  • Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the enchiladas, about 1 cup per pan.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Serve hot with a side of guacamole and tortilla chips, or let cool and store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.*

Notes

Homemade Ranchero Sauce: Our spicy homemade ranchero sauce is super easy to make and tastes delicious on these enchiladas! Make sure to use vegetable broth for the vegetarian version (or, alternatively, you can reserve the liquid from the canned beans in this enchilada recipe and use that in place of the broth). Substitute ranchero with red enchilada sauce for a store-bought alternative.
Preparing the enchiladas: Spread the ranchero sauce on the tortilla like you’re making a pizza – you want a thin, even layer that doesn’t quite reach the edge of the tortilla – and be careful not to over-fill the enchiladas. The more filling you add, the harder it is to roll them.
Serving suggestions: Serve these with a side of our homemade guacamole and tortilla chips!
Storing: Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also prepare the enchiladas – but don’t bake them – and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To cook after freezing, allow enchiladas to fully defrost, then bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until heated through.
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Author: Nicole
Calories: 290kcal
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: black beans, cheese, meal prep, ranchero sauce, rice, sweet potato

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 774mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3098IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 3mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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  1. Patricia Langdon says:

    5 stars
    We love these and have made them several times. They freeze well, so it’s easy to make a big batch to have something delicious to pull out of the freezer at a later time. We’re actually having them tonight!

    1. Nicole Author says:

      We’re so glad you love them, enjoy! They really are the best for freezer meal prep 🙂

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