Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake

It’s almost Thanksgiving weekend and while it is tempting to post “10 ways to use leftover Turkey” recipes, I’ve decided to share a sweet potato recipe, but not one that is drenched in syrup and marshmallows!

I’ve been trying lately to incorporate more meatless meals into my regular rotation of weekday dinners, for various reasons, but mainly because eating meat every night can get expensive. This weeks flyers contain many deals on the Thanksgiving staples, one of them being sweet potatoes for .77 cents/lb at No Frills.  While they are admittedly delicious topped with melted marshmallows, they are also a great base for an easy, economical casserole that is packed with flavour, protein and other nutrients, but no meat!

I made this dish for dinner tonight and will definitely be making it again!

A few recipe notes before we get started:

  • The original recipe, which I adapted from a blog called eatingbirdfood.com (I’d re-think that name), calls for 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. I thought this was a tad much for my occasional heartburn to endure, so I reduced it to 1/4 tsp, but I still found it very spicy. Next time I make it, I will use just a pinch, but if you like it hot, go ahead and use the full amount.
  • it also calls for 2-3 Tbsp of chopped raw jalapeno, but I opted for 3 Tbsp of pickled jalapeno, which I find much milder, but still giving lots of flavour.
  • The recipe author used 2 cups of pre-shredded “mexican style” cheese, which I can’t bring myself to spend money on. Why buy 2 cups of shredded cheese (coated in starch and sugar) for $6 when you can buy a 450g bar of cheddar for $4.97?  Use whatever cheese you like.
  • Corn tortillas are used in this recipe and I really prefer them rather than flour tortillas for a couple of reasons, a) they are gluten free and b) they are authentic to mexican cuisine and much more tasty.  The only store in Picton that I have ever been able to find them at is No Frills.
  • If you don’t have a skillet that has a lid, use a cookie sheet to cover the skillet while the sweet potatoes are cooking. It is important that they be covered to cook properly.
  • By taking advantage of this weeks sales at No Frills, this meal will cost you approximately $18, and you will have some leftover ingredients such as the onions, spinach and jalapenos, and possibly some leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.

Here’s how to make it!


Enchilada Sauce

1 28oz can diced tomatoes ( .97 cents at no frills)

1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp Cumin (optional)

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

1 tsp salt

Enchilada Bake:

1 Tbsp oil

1 large onion, diced ( 2lb bag on sale at No Frills for .97 cents)

4 cloves garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder)

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into bite sized pieces ( I bought 2 & it cost $1.83)

2-3 Tbsp chopped jalapenos ( I bought the PC brand jar of pickled jalapeno for $1.97)

1 cup fresh spinach leaves ( No Frills, 8oz bag for $1.67)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (no frills .77 cents)

12 regular size corn tortillas ( $2.99 for 6 in a package at No Frills)

2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese

toppings of your choice, such as sour cream, salsa, green onions, etc


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once hot, add onion and saute for about 2 minutes, then add garlic and saute 1 more minute. Add chopped jalapeno and sweet potatoes. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. The cooking time will depend on the size of the sweet potato chunks. Make sure they are fully cooked and tender. Add black beans and spinach leaves.  Stir gently to combine and remove from heat.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, make the enchilada sauce.  You will need a blender or food processor for this step.  Add all enchilada sauce ingredients listed above to blender and puree until smooth.  Set aside.

Lightly grease a 9×13″ dish and start layering your ingredients.  Start by placing 4 corn tortillas in the dish, then add 1/3 of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 of the sweet potato mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Layer 4 more tortillas, 1/3 of the sauce and the other half of the sweet potato mixture. Finally, layer 4 more tortillas, the remaining sauce and top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.  Serve with your favourite toppings, such as sour cream, chopped green onions, salsa etc.

Serves 6

P.S. I can’t resist giving a Thanksgiving tip!  You know the feeling after you cook a turkey dinner, it’s 8pm,  you’re tired and staring at that turkey carcass that you feel obligated to boil and make into soup stock, but you really just want to go lay on the couch and watch Netflix?  Throw the carcass, some onions, carrots, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves, and water into your crock pot, set on low and let it cook all night.  In the morning, when you’re refreshed and feeling able to face the kitchen again, your stock is done, simply strain and you are ready to make a delicious Turkey soup!


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