I've shared these a few times on instagram and now I've finally put pen to paper to write the recipe. These sweet potato enchiladas are about the most comforting meal I cook, without an overload of cheese. The sweet potato and beans provide the filling while and easy homemade enchilada sauce brings it all together.
Sweet Potato Enchiladas: Components
This recipe is involved, there’s no two ways around it. While I’ve tried to limit the amount of prep by relying heavily on pre-ground spices and garlic powder, this meal is heavy on components.
The great thing for you, however, is that all these components can be made ahead of time and used not only in this meal but meals across the week. For example:
The sweet potatoes
Sweet potato puree, during the cooler months, is an automatic go-to. I make wraps, pasta dishes, risottos, and even my morning toast with a little help from a simple sweet potato puree. Make a couple-potatoes worth by simply roasting whole potatoes and scooping out the potato once cool. The sweet potato puree will last for up to 5 days.
Don’t want to use sweet potatoes? Any puree will do. Pumpkin or butternut squash would be my next two choices. You can also add in greens, sweet corn, or roasted tomatoes during the spring and summer months.
When it comes to beans, these are a riff on my spiced pinto beans (made a little easier in this enchilada recipe if you’re making the night-of). I love these beans as taco filling, as a toast topper, or as a topping to a creamy polenta bowl. I usually batch and use them twice in one week: once for these enchiladas and once in a grain bowl.
The Enchilada Sauce
Similar to the beans, I make a much more involved enchilada sauce that uses dried chilis, toasted whole spices, and a slower cooking time. However, I wanted to keep this recipe as close to weeknight friendly as I could (I realize a 60-minute ordeal isn’t super weeknight friendly but these are so good!)
Enchilada sauce is a good batch and freeze project. Make triple of what I have here and freeze it in 2-cup increments. I love using this sauce to cook eggs in too.
Beyond the idea of prepping the components ahead of time, this is also one of my favorite meals to make for other people. Think new families! The entire dish freezes after assembly so the only thing left to do is bake (which will take about 20 minutes longer but other than that-everything stays the same!)
Pinto Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Hearty sweet potato enchiladas made with easy spiced pinto beans and a quick, homemade enchilada sauce.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
The base items
1 large sweet potato (1 to 1 ½ pounds)
4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8, 6 to 8” corn/flour tortillas
For the sauce
1, 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For the beans
1 ½ cups pinto beans with liquid (or 1 can of beans, with liquid)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Take a fork and pierce the sweet potato a few times. Place in a roasting pan and bake until tender; 40 to 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can also steam or boil peeled/cubed sweet potato pieces- just pick whichever method is easiest.
- While the sweet potato is roasting, combine the tomatoes and spices for the sauce in a pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook until the tomatoes are hot enough to mash and the liquid begins to thicken, 30 to 40 minutes. Mash with a fork to break down tomatoes and stir in the cilantro and vinegar.
- For the beans, combine the beans, their liquid, and spices in a separate pan. Bring to a boil reduce to a simmer, and cook until the beans are hot and the liquid has thickened.
- Once the sweet potato is done, remove the skin and lightly mash.
- To assemble the enchiladas, pour about ⅓ of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x9 (or similar sized) pan. Take a tortilla, dip it in the tomato sauce to soften, then place in the pan. In the center of the tortilla, layer a scoop of the sweet potatoes followed by a couple spoonfuls of beans, and a small sprinkle of the cheese. Roll the tortilla so that it is seam-side down in the pan and repeat with the remaining tortilla/filling.
- Top the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and cheese. Return the pan to the oven, drop the oven temperature to 375˚F and bake until the cheese has melted and is starting to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve the enchiladas with extra cilantro, hot sauce, and/or sour cream.
These enchiladas freeze well. Simple assemble, cover, and freeze until you're ready to bake. Bake at the same temperature but for about 20 to 30 minutes longer.
Keywords: sweet potato enchiladas
I liked the ease with which the recipe came together. Great combination of flavors. We like our enchiladas a little saucier than the recipe made, if we had made all 8 enchiladas. I made three large enchiladas for meal one, and then made bowls for the second meal, adding arroz verde as our base. Thanks!
Beth K. says
Hi there! I just put this in the oven. The length of time in the oven isn't mentioned in the recipe. It just states until the cheese browns. Thankfully, the blog mentions the oven time as 20 minutes. Could you please update the recipe so that the timing shows up when it's printed? Looking forward to a yummy meal in a bit!
two of my favorites (sweet potato and pintos), thank you, great alternative to the default enchilada ingredients, much appreciated!
Can you use real tomatoes instead of canned?
Erin Alderson says
Sure! I usually do a roasted tomato sauce or something similar.
I've never seen a recipe use the liquid of a can of beans, it's always drain and rinse. Are you finding good flavor in that liquid, or is a texture thing? The recipe looks great but I'm nervous about that part!
Erin Alderson says
Yes! You think the beans are soaked in that liquid, it's much like a broth. I find the liquid in cans of beans are usually base-level flavor but beans from dried, the broth is really flavorful.
Super delicious. I made these this evening for dinner. I followed the recipe exactly with the only exception being I added roasted corn into the enchilada too (I was nervous they’d be too mushy without but in hindsight I don’t think it was necessary (although a great addition)). I also made homemade tortillas and use those in the enchiladas. My meat loving husband didn’t stop complimenting this dish. I accompanied it with Mexican rice and a roasted sweetcorn and red pepper salad.