Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos

Goodbye, greasy taco meat; hello fresh vegetables! These easy weeknight vegetarian tacos are packed with flavor, nutrition, texture, and color – all important components of a satisfying meal! Make these sweet potato black bean tacos and take your Taco Tuesday to the next level! 

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato Tacos

Packed with veggies, plant-based protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and spices, you couldn’t ask for a healthier taco recipe! These ingredients are also all important components of MyPlate, which means that this is a balanced meal that meets all of your nutrient requirements! The featured ingredients in this plant forward taco recipe are black beans, sweet potatoes, and kale.

Black Beans

Beans of all varieties contain plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients promote gut health, decrease risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and promote a healthy weight. All of the world’s longest lived populations consume beans daily.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source of disease-fighting phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Different colored vegetables provide different phytochemicals, so consuming a variety of colors is ideal. 

Kale

Leafy green vegetables are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that promote health and help fight diseases. Adding kale to a taco recipe is an easy way to include one more serving of greens in your weekly diet!

Equipment Recommendations

We like this basic Hamilton Beach Food Processor for blending the beans, but a NutriBullet or an immersion blender will also do the job!

If you don’t want to clean a processor or blender, you can use a potato masher to mash the beans and salsa together. A fork will also do the job.

This recipe involves a good amount of chopping, so we recommend using a sharp chef’s knife and a sturdy cutting board.

You will also need a good skillet for cooking the veggies; a cast iron skillet, stainless steel skillet, or non-stick skillet all work!

Culinary Tips

Before you begin chopping, make sure that your cutting board is secure. On the note of knife safety, when chopping your sweet potatoes, create a flat surface first before dicing.

You can also use dried black beans in this recipe and either cook them according to our Instant Pot Dried Beans Base Recipe, or according to our culinary technique video on how to cook dried beans (quick soak or traditional soak).

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Black Beans: can substitute pinto beans.
  • Salsa: can substitute any salsa of your choice, though we recommend against fruit-flavored salsas. Fire-roasted salsa adds a nice smokey flavor.
  • Onion: use red, yellow, or white.
  • Garlic: can substitute 1 teaspoon pre-minced garlic, ½ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Sweet Potatoes: can use any variety: orange, white, or even purple! Butternut squash is another good option.
  • Kale: can substitute other tender leafy greens such as Swiss chard or spinach. Regular curly kale doesn’t soften as well and might be too tough – especially for little ones!
  • Corn Tortillas: can substitute whole wheat flour tortillas.

Recipe Variations

There are many ways that you can adjust this recipe to your taste. If you like spicy sweet potato tacos, add some hot sauce or crushed red pepper!

Want to turn these into sweet potato black bean burritos? Use larger whole wheat tortillas and wrap the filling inside.

Need more umami flavor in your vegetarian tacos? Make sweet potato mushroom tacos by adding sliced mushrooms in with the onions. If you want even more veggies, you can sauté bell pepper, corn, and/or zucchini too! 

Not feeling the tortilla tonight? Make a sweet potato taco bowl by leaving out the tortilla and serving over even more greens or on top of cooked quinoa.

This is a naturally vegan bean taco recipe, but if you want to add a sprinkle of cheese or a dollop of yogurt, both would be tasty additions.

Serving Suggestions

Garnish these healthy sweet potato and black bean tacos with any toppings of your choice. We like toasted pepitas, feta cheese, diced avocado, and fresh chopped cilantro. Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, salsa, and/or goat cheese would also make great garnishes! Serve these vegetarian tacos with black beans on their own or with a side of roasted spiced cauliflower and fresh fruit.

What to Do with Leftovers

Got leftovers? Lucky you! Store the leftover sweet potato kale mixture and bean spread in separate airtight containers. Both will keep their quality in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Keep the Taco Tuesday party going all week long, or mix the sweet potato kale filling with cooked quinoa and a homemade vinaigrette for a satisfying grain bowl. Leftover black bean spread is great for quesadillas, tostadas, wraps, or as a dip for veggies.

Want more healthy weeknight dinner recipes?

We’ve got you covered! Check out some of our other favorite recipes made with less than 10 ingredients!

One Pan Mexican Quinoa Skillet with Black Beans

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

Dill & Yogurt Salmon

Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

These easy sweet potato black bean tacos are plant forward and delicious. Top with feta, pepita seeds, cilantro or avocado!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegetarian
Yield: 12 tacos
Ingredients
Black Bean Spread
  • 15 ounce can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup chipotle-flavored salsa
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
Sweet Potato Kale Filling
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ small onion, diced (~½ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, diced ½” (~3 cups)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, shredded (~4 cups)
  • 12 corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, puree beans with salsa and lime juice until fairly smooth. Warm in the microwave or a small covered saucepan over low heat.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion. Sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin, and sauté for 30 seconds more, stirring constantly.

  3. Add the diced sweet potato, season with salt, and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Add a splash of water and scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon to get all of that stuck-on flavor.

  4. Add the kale and cook, stirring until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute.

  5. To serve, spread black bean mixture on tortillas. Top with sweet potato kale mixture. Sprinkle with desired garnishes. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you can’t find lacinato kale, we recommend substituting Swiss chard or spinach. Regular curly kale does not soften as well and might be too tough.

 

Optional Garnishes:

Toasted pepita seeds

Feta or goat cheese

Diced Avocado

Chopped Fresh Cilantro

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