Sep 022011

Delectable Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos

For the past year or so, I’ve been spending Monday nights getting together with friends to share dinner along with good conversation and some awful reality TV.  Each week, whoever is hosting prepares dinner, and dinner guests bring along an appetizer, drinks, or dessert.  (Another sign I must officially be an adult…)  Up until recently, the usual spot was my college roommate’s apartment in Bayside, Queens.  In June she moved up to Westchester, so now we’re taking turns between her place and mine down in the East Village.

For my first night making the main meal, I wanted to put together something new and different.  It needed to be healthy, protein rich, tasty, and something that lends itself well to a great side dish. I remembered my roommate’s legendary guacamole, and I racked my brain for a creative course in the Mexican genre.  Then it came to me:  a fabulous lunch I had back in January at el Museo del Barrio.  The cafe of this Spanish Harlem museum is known to be a delicious lunch spot, and my butternut squash-sweet potato-black bean burrito was no disappointment.  I never thought to make this heavenly dish on my own, but decided to find a similar recipe and give it a go.  I happened to have two sweet potatoes on hand, so I decided to make them the focal point along with some black beans.

My recipe is a blend of two recipes I found, one on and one on, but with some modifications thrown in.

I couldn’t be happier with the results.  Looking at all the steps, it looks a bit harder than it is.  Aside from roasting the sweet potatoes, which is super easy, the recipe is really about popping different ingredients in the pan and warming them up.

Black bean and sweet potato burritos


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalepeño, diced and seeds removed
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese

1.  Peel and dice sweet potatoes into 1″ cubes.  Roast in oven at 350 degrees for approx. 30 – 45 minutes, until golden brown on edges.  Remove potatoes.  Keep oven on at 350 degrees.

2.  Heat oil; sauté onion for 7 minutes until tender.  Add garlic and jalepeño, sauté another 1 minute.  Add cumin and chili powder.

3.  Add black beans to the pan to warm up for 3 minutes.  Add mustard, soy sauce, sweet potatoes, and cilantro; stir.

4.  Once heated through, pour mixture in a bowl.  Mash with potato masher until desired texture is achieved (some chunks recommended).

5.  Lightly oil baking dish bottom.

6.  Spoon 1/4 of mixture in middle of tortilla (or a smaller portion if your tortillas are smaller), sprinkle with cheese, and roll up into burrito.  Place in dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes until hot.  Serve with salsa, guacamole, and/or sour cream.


The burritos were a big hit.  I’m sorry to say photos just don’t do them justice.  They simply look like a rolled tortilla.  But I promise, they are so flavorful with a mixture of sweet, hearty and spicy.

I recommend serving a big salad and splitting the burrito in half if they turned out to be really big.  The first time I made four humongous burritos, but the second time with a different brand of burrito-sized tortillas it made seven smaller portions so that meant a whole burrito for each person. recipe analyzer (awesomeness) showed that when making seven smaller portions, each burrito contained 388 calories, 12 grams of fiber and 17 grams of protein, and an additional 15 calories if you tack on 2 tablespoons of salsa.  Not a big fan of sour cream here, and that has worked to my benefit over the years.

If you have any left over, they keep really well in the freezer.  I wrapped them in foil, making it really easy to pop them back in the oven for a half hour.  It brought them back just as delicious as the first day I made them.  Definitely a great item to have tucked away for a quick and easy dinner!

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