Welcome to Kiera Wright-Ruiz’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring six staples stocking Kiera’s kitchen.
Nothing makes me realize …
Welcome to Kiera Wright-Ruiz’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring six staples stocking Kiera’s kitchen.
Nothing makes me realize how packed my pantry is as when I move. It’s easy to toss everything into a box and (sort of easy to) lug them to the next place. Once, an unopened 35.2-oz jar of Nutella somehow made its way from my San Francisco studio to my new spot in Brooklyn. (What was I supposed to do, just leave it?) But when I moved from New York to Hawaii last year, there was no room for Nutella. I had to do a complete pantry purge. As I laid out every half-used bottle of vinegar and seasoning jar in front of me, I felt like I had been slapped in the face. Did I really need all of this? But as I examined each item closer, memories of why I bought them flooded back.
These sweet potato black bean enchiladas are a total crowd pleaser! This tried and true vegetarian dinner is easy and full of flavor.
Here’s an incredible vegetarian recipe that’s impressive every time: these Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas! This recipe is one we originally published in 2012. And guess what? It’s stood the test of time and is a favorite of ours to this day. Tender sweet potatoes are the perfect contrast to savory black beans and tangy salsa verde. Top it off with Colby cheese, it’s the best gooey comfort food around. This one will please everyone: we guarantee it. Here we’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it even better than ever!
Ingredients in sweet potato black bean enchiladas
The first reference to the modern enchilada dates back to 1885 in Mexico, but the tradition of rolling a tortilla around fillings has been around since the Aztec times. We honor the great tradition of Mexican cuisine in this recipe! Here the combination of sweet and savory makes the flavors sing. Here’s what you’ll need for this sweet potato enchiladas recipe:
Salsa verde (green enchilada sauce): For quick enchiladas, use a great store-bought salsa verde. Mild salsa is nice if you’re cooking for a crowd, then each eater can add hot sauce to taste. Or, we think it’s perfect with a medium heat salsa.
Sweet potatoes: Boil them for quickest prep: no need to roast here!
Red onion, green chiles and black beans: Canned beans and chiles make it fast and easy.
Colby jack cheese: Colby brings massive flavor versus a cheddar cheese.
Spices: Grab the chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder for this one.
Tortillas: Corn tortillas are traditional in Mexican enchiladas; flour tortillas are American-style and tend to be more durable
You’ll boil the sweet potatoes, a non-traditional but quick way to cook them! Then add to the filling ingredients, roll them into tortillas with cheese, and douse with salsa verde (and more cheese). It takes just 15 minutes to bake: just until the cheese melts!
Flour tortillas vs corn tortillas
What are the best tortillas for sweet potato enchiladas? Corn tortillas are traditional in Mexican-style enchiladas, and flour tortillas are more traditional in Tex Mex and American style. Here’s what to know about the differences:
Corn tortillas are gluten-free. Some brands can split when you go to roll them! To combat this, find the best quality corn tortilla brand you can. Then brush it with oil and cook it 15 seconds per side before assembling. This makes it easier to roll.
Flour tortillas are not gluten-free, but they are much easier to roll and more durable in general. They also get nice and gooey from the enchilada sauce.
What about grain free tortillas? There are are other types of grain-free tortillas available at many grocery stores: almond flour, cassava flour, or chickpea flour (try Siete brand). We haven’t tested these, so let us know in the comments below if you try them!
Make ahead instructions / how to freeze enchiladas
One great thing about sweet potato enchiladas is that you can make a big batch and freeze some for later! Or, you can prep everything the night before, then slide it into the oven the day of serving. Here’s how to make these sweet potato black bean enchiladas in advance or prepare them for freezing:
Assemble the enchiladas. Fill and roll the enchiladas as you normally would, but don’t bake them yet!
Cover with plastic wrap. Put a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the pan of enchiladas. (This will prevent freezer burn).
Cover with aluminum foil. Put 1 or 2 layers of aluminum foil on top of the enchilada pan, making sure to seal the edges tightly shut.
Refrigerate overnight, or freeze up to 2 months. You can refrigerate the night before, then bake the next day. Otherwise, pop them in the freezer! Frozen enchiladas should last 1 to 2 months in the freezer as long as the foil doesn’t tear (if it does, the enchiladas will be more susceptible to freezer burn).
Bake. When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the plastic wrap and foil. Bake until fully heated through and the cheese is melted: about 20 to 30 minutes if refrigerated and about 45 minutes if frozen.
For the topping: sour cream, chopped cilantro, guacamole, pico de gallo, feta or queso fresco
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Boil the sweet potatoes: Dice the sweet potatoes into roughly 3/4-inch cubes (you can leave the skin on or peel; make sure to cut off any dark or black spots). Place them in a pot and cover with 1 inch of water; add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, around 7 to 12 minutes. Drain.
Prep the filling: Finely dice the onion. Drain and rinse the black beans. In a large bowl, combine the cooked sweet potato, red onion, black beans, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Mix to combine. Taste and add a few more pinches of kosher salt if desired.
Roll the enchiladas: Warm the tortillas for a minute in the microwave, or in a pan for a few seconds per side, so that they are flexible. In a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet*, spread 1 cup of the salsa verde. Fill each tortilla with a ½ cup scoop of the filling, add 2 tablespoons of the cheese, and roll it up. Place each enchilada seam-side down in the baking dish (there will be some leftover filling). Repeat for the remaining tortillas.
Top with salsa and cheese: When all enchiladas are in the dish, top with the remaining 1 cup salsa verde and the remaining cheese.
Bake: Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve garnished with sour cream, chopped cilantro, and other garnishes as desired.
Make ahead instructions: See the section above called “Make Ahead Instructions”.
*Depending on your baking dish, you may need 2 dishes to fit all 10 tortillas. This recipe technically makes enough for 12 tortillas, if you can fit them all in a baking dish or baking sheet.
Keywords: Sweet potato black bean enchiladas, Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Welcome to Marisel Salazar’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring 8 staples stocking Marisel’s Panamanian, Cuban, and Japanese kitch…
Welcome to Marisel Salazar’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring 8 staples stocking Marisel’s Panamanian, Cuban, and Japanese kitchen.
When you think of Latin American cuisine, Panama may not jump to your mind; we’re mostly known for the canal, as a financial hub, and for our breathtaking beaches. Our food is a mix of African, Spanish, and indigenous (like the Kuna Indians) techniques, dishes, and ingredients, with rice, beans, and corn as basic staples. Since the country is surrounded on both sides by oceans, we have incredible seafood, tropical fruits, and vegetables. In fact, our unique terroir has contributed to the worldwide popularity of the award-winning Geisha coffee.