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Hot Weather Recipes: Grilled Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

Vegan Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas

Continuing with my Hot Weather Recipe ideas (meals that require no cooking, or can be prepared on the grill), I present to you: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas! (if your grill doesn’t have a burner, you’ll have to boil the potatoes inside or microwave them, in which case I recommend a new grill, ha ha)

To answer your most important question first, YES there is cheese in there- Daiya Jack to be precise, but the creamy sweet potatoes allow you to cut back a little on the calories cheese if you’re so inclined (I was). Plus, it leaves you with more leftover Jack for Cheese n’ Crackers!

Vegan Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas

On a completely unrelated note, Jason and I went to a potluck dinner party last night hosted by our neighbors. These particular neighbors are kind, wonderful people who also happen to have owned one of the largest cattle ranches in Colorado (and if you know anything at all about cattle ranching in Colorado, that means it was really big), so needless to say they’re very big on meat. As in, when you’re invited to a BBQ at their house you can pretty much count on being served hamburgers and maybe chips and that’s about it. I was already vegetarian when we met them, so I’ve never partaken but I have gone home hungry, which is sad.  The other thing I’ve never done is tell them that I’m vegan. It hasn’t come up and I already know we’re not going to agree on anything to do with food politics or animal-agribusiness, so I’d prefer to just avoid it. I swear it has nothing to do with the fact that I’d be completely outnumbered 🙂

But I digress. This was the first time it was actually a potluck, and I was excited to know that I’d have more than chips and a few stray pickles to eat, yay! Someone made a wonderful salad with walnuts and strawberries which I gorged on, and I brought my Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese and Agave-Sriracha Grilled Sweet Potatoes (recipe to follow, I promise).

Not to toot my own horn, but everyone LOVED both, especially the m-n-c! I saw people going back for seconds and thirds, including the woman seated next to me, so I whispered to her that I had made it and it was vegan, and she couldn’t believe it. When she went back for just a little bit more after knowing it was vegan made me love her a little bit.  Shortly after that I got up to talk to someone, and by the time I came back she had told the whole table that it was vegan, and everyone was completely surprised. They were calling it “Macaroni and no cheese”, which I thought was cute. And they kept eating it!

The moral of the story? If you’re not sure what to serve to a room full of cattle ranchers and other omnivores, give my Butternut Mac n’ Cheese a try. They wont know it’s vegan, and even if you choose to tell them it is, they’ll love it anyway!

Grilled Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas (Makes 2 quesadillas)

These measurements are really just guidelines- you can change up the proportions to suit your own palate! ETA: When smashing the sweet potatoes, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get most of the lumps out!


  • 4 medium tortillas
  • 3 ounces Daiya jack cheese
  • 1 heaping cup smashed sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • Sour cream and salsa, if desired


  1. Using a butter knife or back of a spoon, schmear the cheese around on top of the 4 tortillas.
  2. Cover 2 of the tortillas with a mixture of the beans and sweet potatoes, then top with the remaining tortillas, cheese side down.
  3. Place the quesadillas on a grill heated to medium-low, making sure to move them around a bit for the first 10-15 seconds so they don’t start to stick. Leave still for about 5 minutes, then flip. Grill for another 5 minutes, then remove, cut, and serve with sour cream and salsa if desired.


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{ 23 comments… add one }
  • * Vegan Sparkles * July 16, 2012, 6:47 am

    Only 4 ingredients and Tex-Mex to boot?! That’s my kind of recipe! These look incredibly good and I can’t wait to try them. Nice work on the BBQ too – how cool is it when everyone loves the vegan food? 🙂

    • Barb July 16, 2012, 2:23 pm

      I’d say it’s REALLY cool!!

  • Sarah July 16, 2012, 9:24 am

    We have a bakery near us where all the cupcakes are vegan but they don’t post it loudly (although they have the ingredients posted upfront!). They found if they didn’t label it vegan people bought them like crazy. If they saw “vegan” they would assume it was not going to be good. Sigh! Sneaking in vegan foods is teh best way to convert folks 😉 You did well!

    • Barb July 16, 2012, 2:24 pm

      Thanks! We have a food truck here that serves Arepas, and they used to have one called “The Vegan”, it’s now called “The Original” and has better sales. Such a bummer…

  • Somer July 16, 2012, 10:41 am

    Way to go. I love surprising carnivores with excellent tasting food!

    • Barb July 16, 2012, 2:24 pm

      Thanks Somer! Maybe this can be my new form of activism 🙂

      • Somer July 16, 2012, 2:37 pm

        An excellent way to do it Barb! Confrontation and picketing isn’t my style, but we can always win them over with food!

  • Gabby @ the veggie nook July 16, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Well done you sneaky vegan, you! I love surprising people with vegan food. I’m mad impressed that you managed to impress cattle ranchers AFTER they were told it’s vegan. YOU GO GIRL!

    And this recipe looks delicious. Simple, easy and no oven. Exactly how summer meals should be 🙂

    • Barb July 16, 2012, 2:23 pm

      Darnit, is it too late to change the name of my blog to The Sneaky Vegan? 😉

  • Jen M. July 25, 2012, 7:50 am

    I just discovered your website and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! One request, is there a way that you could make it so we could print the recipes off easier so it’s just the recipe and not the whole page? Thanks!!!!!

    • Barb July 25, 2012, 7:52 am

      Thanks Jen! I love the positive feedback 🙂 I’m actually redesigning and getting ready to make the switch to self-hosting, and once everything is in place I will have a handy “print” option. Until then, my suggestion would be to copy n’ paste the recipe portion of the text onto a word document and print that- that’s what I do when I snag recipes from blogs that don’t have a print function.

  • Heather July 26, 2012, 5:35 am

    I swear sometimes we are the same person, must be those NE roots! My favorite fall dish to serve to my meat eating friends and family is butternut squash (or delicata too!) Mac n cheese – it is so amazing!

    Totally thinking I am making these quesadillas tonight, I was going to make Sweet Potato and black bean enchiladas but these look totally like justin food 🙂

    • Barb July 26, 2012, 5:41 am

      We are definitely on the same wavelength!! If you make them, let me know how you guys like them 🙂

  • iwishiwerevegan July 29, 2012, 11:21 pm

    This recipe looks amazing – I can’t wait to try it out!

    Thanks for sharing your story about the party you attended. I was at a family barbeque today, and while I had eaten before since they insisted they didn’t need additional dishes, I can’t wait for the day to bring my own delicious, vegan concoction to a party.

    • Barb July 30, 2012, 5:37 am

      Serving delicious vegan food to non-vegans is my favorite form of activism!

  • lucymfel October 19, 2012, 10:19 am

    tried this today. I did add some kale to the beans and it was awesome.

  • ghostwritingplus October 19, 2012, 11:30 am

    Yum, yum, yum!!! So simple and so healthy. Love it!

  • Terri October 15, 2015, 5:25 pm

    Do you make your own tortillas? How do I find Vegan torts? Most all i have found have lard. Thanks so much. Love your recipes.

    • Barb October 15, 2015, 5:31 pm

      Some Mission ones are. And Ole. I’ve also had a lot of luck buying them at local “international” markets. Good luck, and thanks so much!!

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