Recipes

sweet potato tacos

One of the places I love to lurk on the internet is on boards and groups where people discuss their menu plans for the week. I am so sorry you thought I was going to say something more exciting here. I mean, of all the place to lurk on the internet, Deb. I am truly a bore — possibly to everyone but people who love to cook.


peeled, then cubed
tossed with oil and dry spices

But these posts! Forget the blogs, forget the cookbooks — just kidding, please do not do either — this is how people really eat, or aspire to at the ambitious start of their week, and I can’t help but take mental notes. One of the things that comes up frequently is something called a “sweet potato taco,” and it got stuck in my head because we like sweet potatoes, we like tacos… Maybe I should try my hand at them! I envisioned cubes of sweet potatoes roasted with so much spice, it almost forms a crust, and then something with black beans, and a bright, acidic finish to cut through the carb-starch-carbiness of it. The first time I made it, I threw them together and, because this is the year 2018, tossed a picture of our dinner onto Instagram Stories* and it turns out, a lot of people wanted the recipe. I promised to write it up good and proper one day, “one day” in Deb-ese is 5 weeks minimum, and that brings us up to today.

roasted and spiced
a few other things

In this time, they’ve quickly become a staple because in the rarest, unicorn of occurrences, every single person in my family cleaned their plates, even the 2.5 year-old, probably for the first time in the history of her life. [It’s only fair that a food writer gets a kid that — in practice or on principle, only time will tell — basically refuses caloric sustenance.] On occasion, she’d bite into a piece that had a slightly heavier dusting of chipotle on it and scream with rage while pointing to her gums (see also: 2.5 years old) but I’d assure her that it was just a fluke piece and the next one would be fine and she bought it and I bought a lottery ticket. So now I have to make them again and again. They’re incredibly simple, just a charred flour tortilla, tray of roasted spiced sweet potatoes, a little schmear of refried black beans to hold them in place, and then anything you want to put on top. I began dreaming up pepita salsas and other more complex toppings but in the end, because this is real life, I didn’t have time to do anything particularly extra and nobody minds at all.

charred flour tortillas taste bettera schmear of refried black beansadd the potatoes plus some limeadd your fixings

* Tomorrow! 3/16! At 1 p.m. Eastern, I’m going to do something I haven’t done before: Make dinner. And invite you to watch. On Smitten Kitchen Instagram Stories, I’ll do a live demo of, well, the meal my family requested (sometimes I listen to them): spaghetti and meatballs, and then if time permits, some crispy broccoli, and maybe even our house favorite cookie. Should you not be able to tune in then, the Story will be available for 24 hours to watch at your leisure. Come say hi!

sweet potato tacos

Previously

One year ago: Butterscotch Pie and Punjabi-Style Black Lentils
Two years ago: Everyday Meatballs and Roasted Yams with Chickpeas and Yogurt
Three years ago: The ‘I Want Chocolate Cake’ Cake and Cornmeal Fried Pork Chops and Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes
Four years ago: Morning Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel and Kale and Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Salad
Five years ago: French Onion Tart and My Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits
Six years ago: Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon and Blue Cheese and Multigrain Apple Crisps
Seven years ago: Pina Colada Cake and Whole Wheat Goldfish Crackers
Eight years ago: Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze and Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart
Nine years ago: Thick Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Soft Pretzels
Ten years ago: Homemade Hostess Cake and Sweet Potato Wedges
Eleven years ago: Baked Tomato Sauce and Recipes from a Cumin Junkie

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Corn Chowder with Lime, Chile and Cotija and Tomato Bread + A Bit About Spain
1.5 Years Ago: Eggplant Parmesan Melts and Even More Perfect Blueberry Muffins
2.5 Years Ago: Angel Hair Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce and Crispy Peach Cobbler
3.5 Years Ago: Smoky Eggplant Dip and Strawberries and Cream with Graham Crumbles
4.5 Years Ago: Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes and Almond Crisped Peaches

Sweet Potato Tacos

  • Servings: Makes 12 small tacos, which fed 4 people
  • Print

I used small tortillas (6″) and this fills 12 of them for an unheavy meal for 4 people. Please double the recipe if you’re even a little nervous that this won’t be enough food for you or your crew.

Heat is the trickiest thing for me to get right for everyone in recipes; some chili powders (and I’m referring to chili powder, the blend, not chile powder, which is just ground chiles) ranges wildly in heat. If yours is spicy and you like things spicy, go up to 1 tablespoon. If yours is mild but you’d like it spicier, also use 1 tablespoon and add some chipotle powder, cayenne or a few shakes of hot sauce to taste. If yours is very hot but you don’t want the dish to be too spicy for people who don’t like heat, just 1 teaspoon may be fine.

  • 2 pounds (about 4 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 3/4″ cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons chili powder, to taste (see Note)
  • Chipotle powder, cayenne, or shakes of hot sauce, to taste (see Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 12 small (6-inch) or 6 medium (8 to 9-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 15-ounce can refried black beans
  • 1 lime, in wedges
  • Sliced avocado, pickled red onions, pickled jalapenos, chopped fresh cilantro, hot sauce, Lazy Taco Slaw, or your choice(s) thereof, to finish

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss tweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, chipotle powder, and paprika and toss to evenly coat. If you’d like to roast the vegetables (for easier cleanup) on parchment paper, line a large baking sheet with it and spread the potatoes in a single layer. If you’d like to roast them directly on your baking sheet (I find they get more crisp this way), first coat it with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil, then spread potatoes in an even layer.

Roast potatoes for 40 to 45 minutes, tossing once or twice for even color.

To assemble, if you have a gas stove, I love running flour tortillas over an open flame to give them a little char and complexity. Otherwise, you can wrap the stack of them in foil and let them warm in the oven while the potatoes roast for 5 minutes.

Schmear some refried black beans on each tortilla. Add a big spoonful or two of roasted sweet potatoes. Squeeze a little lime juice over the potatoes and black beans (don’t skip this, please), and finish with toppings of your choice, shown here with a shake of hot sauce, sliced avocado, pickled red onions, and cilantro. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

To get ours ready for the family meal, I get the tacos as far as the black beans, sweet potatoes, lime juice, and avocado, and let everyone take it from there. They stay warm for about 15 minutes nested, as shown, in a casserole dish.

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183 comments on sweet potato tacos

    1. deb

      Oh, it’s not one specific place. I just mean that if I’m in a FB group or find myself on a Reddit thread about food or parenting and meal planning comes up, my ears instantly perk up and I cannot not read every word.

      1. I LOVE meal planning for the week. Not meal planning that involves prep on the weekend (no salads in jars here, thank you very much) but meal planning that is interesting, healthy and quick to put together after full-time working? LOVE IT. I have thought about trying to monetize this skill because apparently not everyone in the world gets excited about planning out their family meals for the week.

        1. Cassie

          Oh man, I’m right there with you. I planned 50 of 52 weeks last year! I enjoy finding new recipes, getting the 30-45 minutes in the kitchen alone, and not having a lot of food waste.

        2. Pam

          Me too. I cannot fathom using a service like blue apron and letting someone else get to pick meals for us, no way! Glad to know I’m not alone :)

        3. Kimberly

          Monetize!!!! What a great idea!! Planning the meals (for a WHOLE week ???? Do people do that???) is NOT my thing! Daily stops at the grocery get tedious, take out TOO convenient! I think you’re on to something!!

          1. Yes, a WHOLE week– precisely because going to the grocery store all the time is too much (and ends up being more expensive) and then because take-out is also expensive and not as healthy, usually. (Although the kids would like take-out all the time– ha!)

        4. Brittany W.

          My jaw dropped over this thread. I plan about 2-3 meals a week and eat left overs or wing it the rest of the week. Also, 30-45 minutes is all it takes on a weekend to do this? It takes me that long to cook one meal, let alone prep five others……

      2. Have you checked out what’s gaby cooking (www.whatsgabycooking.com)? She emails a week’s worth of recipes from her site every week, and while I rarely cook all five (ok, I rarely cook one), they look delicious

  1. Megan

    I am literally right this second making my menu for the coming week, and just remembered I have random sweet potatoes to use up. You the best!!

  2. krick21

    Yes!! We make a version of this all the time! My kids prefer the components separately, but it’s still a winner. We also like to add tomatillo salsa, but I’m loving your pickled red onion suggestion.

  3. Emily

    I made these last week based on your Instagram recipe and they were freaking delicious! We ended up with leftover roasted sweet potatoes that we planned to use the next morning for breakfast tacos — essentially this recipe minus slaw plus cheesy scrambled eggs. Those would’ve been great, too, had I not burned the tortillas beyond recognition (typical). We still ended up with a delicious eggs + sweet potatoes + beans scramble, SmittenKitchen for the double win!

  4. Lynn

    I have all of the makings for this on hand INCLUDING some leftover “sorta salsa verde” from my “SKED” (as we lovingly named your book over on the Food52 Cookbook Club’s FB page) Zucchini Stuffed Zucchini. I think it will add a great punch of color and brightness. Upcycling a great ingredient from one SK meal to another!!!

  5. EKP

    I’ve made something similar to these for years, though served with a blackberry mole sauce. Yum! Come to think of it, if you could re-engineer mole for mothers with toddlers that would be an amazing addition to the sauces-that-go-with-everything, like your harissa. Traditional moles, as good as they are, are quite time consuming…

  6. rachel

    I was so very chuffed to see “and that about bring us up to today” type of line in the story because it brings up nostalgia for when it showed up consistently in the early SK days, which then makes me wonder…was it quoting Alex originally that started that trope all along?

  7. Marissa

    I’ve been making your spaghetti squash tacos with sweet potatoes instead, and sweet potato/black bean burritos for years. Looking forward to this variation!

  8. Emily

    Do you have any tips for chopping sweet potatoes? I always end up with weird size and shaped pieces–not these lovely little squares and bits that I’m seeing here. These look amazing, btw.

    1. deb

      Take a 1/2-inch slice off one long side. Lay the potato on that now flat part, so it doesn’t fly around. Cut it in 1/2-inch slices. Turn them on their side, do the same (now you have matchsticks). Rotate them and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes and you’re done. A sharp knife helps. Mine are pitifully dull right now!

  9. Love how you put them all together in a casserole dish! With 3 kids and 2 adults trying to assemble tacos (or anything) at the table, it can be chaotic and people end up waiting for a someone else to use a topping and bursting into hangry tears. . .. So I like the idea of assembling in the kitchen and calling them all to the table to just pick up a complete taco.

    Also, occasionally on my blog, I do a post called “the week in suppers” or “the week in breakfasts” where I list what we ate (and sometimes differs from what I planned) for a week. Got the idea from carriesnyder.com. I adore menu planning!!!

  10. I make something similar to this often. Because you like mushrooms, you might like roasting half of the sweet potatoes separately, and adding in sliced brown mushrooms towards the end of cooking time

  11. Mimi

    I am literally plotzing at the cuteness of that little girl on her tricycle. You have given birth to Ramona and nothing could be more heavenly! Also, as a fellow straight-ish haired mom of a boing-boing-haired girl, can I just congratulate you on how well you’re handling the curls? There was definitely a learning curve for me. My little girl is 17 now and off to college in the fall 😭😭😭. It goes fast.

  12. briannajillhunter

    These looks AWESOME. Also, sooo relate to 2.5 year old daughters that don’t eat. For a while I worried my daughter might insight on drinking her calories for life. Eek. Luckily she’s growing out of it, well until she hits her early twenties…anyhoo, these look super delish!

  13. Rosemary

    I would like to make these for a friend. If I make them and give them to her in the morning, would they be too soggy for her to have at her family dinner? In other words, can they be made ahead?

    Many thanks.

    1. deb

      They can be made ahead. But the sweet potatoes aren’t going to stay as crispy. But, if you get good texture on them when roasting, it shouldn’t fall to mush or anything by dinner.

  14. csterritt

    “Toss tweet potatoes”? I thought you were an Instagrammer :-)

    These look awesome, and I’ll just mention that both our girls went through the “won’t eat anything” and “eat everything except the plate” cycle several times… and they grew up fine.

  15. I used to make goat cheese, mashed sweet potato, and black bean quesadillas that were amazing. I always served with a smoky chipotle salsa. I am definitely going to try these!

  16. Alissa

    Yum! I’ve often done a stovetop version of this, and now I can’t believe roasting the sweet potatoes never happened. I’d sauté the sweet potatoes and spices, and then add drained black beans to the mix. I haven’t made them for my crew in awhile, thanks for both the reminder and the new inspiration! (We had your sheet pan meatballs and chickpeas for probably the third or fourth time already last night – saying we’re having a Smitten Kitchen recipe is a big selling point around here!)

  17. Jane

    I have a gas stove for the first time in my apartment, and I’m constantly wary of burning the place down. That being said, could you provide a little more detail on how you char your tortillas on the open flame? I can just envision my whole tortilla going up in flames…

    1. deb

      I use the smallest burner and put it on a medium flame. I have very flat grates on top and just leave it up there for a bit, keeping an eye on it, and then flip it with tongs.

  18. 8th Street SE

    I make all kinds of tacos but sweet potato is my favorite vegetarian filling. I use a similar blend of spices but cook the sweet potato cubes in a pan with oil and a little bit of water.

  19. Rachel

    I made this from your Instagram story (screenshot FTW) earlier this week and I loved it! I topped them with a dollop of your smokey sesame dressing (although I switch out the cumin with chipotle powder). I loved the smokey taste of the dressing with the sweetness. I’m definitely adding this to the weekly rotation.

  20. Jill

    For what it’s worth, you can place the tortilla on an electric burner, as well, to get that smokey grilled flavor. Of course, with either gas or electric, this only takes a matter of seconds. Yum! Great recipe, Deb!

  21. Laura

    Not a question about this recipe, but I’m curious about these boards/groups where people share their weekly meal plans. Wanna help a mom out and point me toward any places I can lurk along with you?!

    1. Shannon

      NY Times Cooking Facebook Page has a what are you cooking / eating post weekly? Sometimes more than weekly, usually on Fridays.

  22. JP

    This looks delicious, but first, I have a comment to make as a preschool teacher. I can not believe how adept Anna is on that trike. I am here to tell you that most of my three-year-old class can not pedal and we are getting towards the end of the year! Look at Anna go!

    I guess sweet potato tacos would not be very good with cheese? Maybe it’s just me, but I could see putting some cheese (grated Monterey Jack?) on the black refried bean portion before adding the sweet potatoes, but I realize it would not be vegetarian that way (with regular cheese, that is). I have never had cheese with sweet potatoes, but I am definitely pro-cheese. Thanks for another great recipe.

          1. Jane Doe

            That is interesting. I checked; it is definitely the case for more “industrialized” cheeses; were I live in Europe, smaller cheese shops and “artisanal” cheeses are still quite common and they mostly use rennet. I am neither vegetarian nor vegan, but I have a friend who checks these things religiously.

            1. Thea

              Oh that is interesting! I was referring to statistics I found on mass-produced cheeses but in Australia (where I live) even the locally produced cheeses are usually made with vegetable rennet. The vegetarians I know don’t think twice about eating cheese!

    1. deb

      Aw, thanks. I think she figured it out right then. I was holding the back and then I wasn’t. Also: it’s a hyperlapse (sped-up video); she’s fast but not maybe *that* fast. :)

  23. GREYFAVORITE

    I always read the list of what you posted around this time in prior years. It’s satisfying to see the seasonal patterns in the food we crave. This week was particularly fun; your sweet potato wedges were the first recipe of yours that I read and then made immediately. Thanks for being a part of my food inspiration for the last 10 years, Deb!

  24. Emily

    I know this question may defeat the whole point of these, but I love sweet potatoes and love the idea of this—but I’m allergic to beans. Any suggestions of something that might serve a similar purpose in terms of balancing flavors and keeping the sweet potatoes nestled in there?

    1. deb

      I might just mash up the avocado with lime and guac-ish ingredients and lay it down first. I don’t think it’s a big deal if the taco has loose parts or anything, but a bedding of flavor might still be nice.

    1. Karen Brown

      I second that! The skin gets super-caramelised, and most of the vitamins are near the peel. I just scrub and bake.

  25. They look unreal!

    I love reading peoples meal plans, I find it so interesting what people choose to eat after a hard days work. I’m always so lazy when I get home, I love to live through other peoples food.

    Katie xoxo

  26. Dahlink

    Meal planning? The best I can do is to add ingredients not on hand to my shopping list, and then hope they help me remember what it was I planned to make when it comes time to make dinner.

  27. Laura

    I’ve been making a version of this, that I modified from https://cookieandkate.com/2016/sweet-potato-black-bean-tacos/. This is a favorite, and it’s on the regular rotation. The recipe is a bit different, and I cook the black beans with onion, some of the spices you use for the sweet potatoes plus others, and some veggie broth to loosen and basically make my own refried beans (mashing somewhat when they’re cooked). I just salt, cayenne, and oil the sweet potatoes before roasting. Then I add sliced/diced avocado, and diced tomato in season to give good textures. Corn tortillas are amazing with the sweet potatoes – they fall apart pretty easily, but the taste is worth it! Also try adding some crumbled feta or goat cheese – yum!

  28. I do something similar whenever my husband is gone and I want an easy but healthy dinner. I roast cubed sweet potatoes, a red or green pepper, and an onion in the over — toss them all with olive oil and cumin, salt and pepper before roasting. Add to a warm tortilla with sour cream mixed with lime juice. So good, healthy and easy. If only my 3-year old would eat them! She refuses to try sweet potato even though I know she would love them.

  29. We had almost this same dinner two nights ago and the whole family said it was one of their favorites ever. The only differences being butternut squash instead of sweet potato, and instead of a spice dusting, the squash cubes were rolled in a purée of chipotles in adobo. I spiced my black beans with garlic and cumin, and served in warm corn tortillas. Recipe from Brooke Dojny’s Dishing Up Maine cookbook. Not a very Maine-sounding recipe, but I guess sweet orange root vegetable tacos with black beans are truly a nationwide thing.

  30. Marcella

    As a Texan, it makes me so happy to see you cooking the tortillas over the flame!!! Nothing upsets me more than microwaved tortillas…

    1. Jen

      @Marcella As a fellow Texan, microwave tortillas = shudder.
      Actually we’ve moved away from Texas and now can’t find good fresh tortillas here so I finally made the leap and learned to make home-made. It’s made my Texas-raised kiddos very, very happy. The fresh taste is well worth the effort.

      Black bean and sweet potato tacos have been in the meal rotation for a long while and loved in our family of 5. Tacos are great: everyone gets the same base and then flavors to their preference.

  31. Nicole

    Made these last night! I was looking for some sweet potato inspiration and this post on Instagram was perfect timing. Husband and 8-month old baby and I all loved them – although for the baby I made a small batch of the potatoes without the chile and chipotle powders. Definitely going into my meal rotation.

  32. Erin

    Looks amazing! We eat A LOT of sweet potatoes. Recently started dicing them super small (think sweet potato rubble), toss with olive oil and spices (cumin! Chili powder!) and roast. They get crispy and kind of crunchy? Tasty and versatile side dish (or in a taco!)

  33. manglin

    Six thumbs up! (Mine, my husband’s and my daughter’s, that is.) And it’s made of ingredients we almost always have on hand—what could be better? :)

  34. Mel

    Deb!! I missed your instagram cooking “show” yesterday! (How was I not on instagram in 24 hours??) Will you do another? Puhleeze? ;)

    P.S. Making these for dinner tomorrow night!

    1. deb

      I would definitely like to. Here would be a good time for me to have a staff (ha!) or the like because basically there’s nobody around Friday afternoons to hold the phone and read questions to me usually. Working on it!

  35. Tanya

    This was incredible. I have been a fan of yours ever since I saw your first cookbook in my mother in law’s house, and every single time I need a recipe, I turn to you first. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  36. Justine

    For slaw, these days I am loving a simple concoction of not-from-concentrate orange juice, fresh lime juice, sugar, dijon, olive oil and s&p. Let your slaw marinade in that mixture for a good half hour or more. It is so bright and perfect. I just whip it together winging the measurements. If you’ve ever made salad dressing, it’s relatively intuitive. This lovely mixture has made me want tacos all the time. Will now be trying it with this recipe – thanks!

  37. Pamela

    Made the sweet potatoes last night. Turned out perfect. I crowded on the pan a bit and was worried they were steaming rather than roasting, but a quick zip under the broiler took away the moisture and they were indeed toasty.

  38. Rachel

    Made these for dinner last week per your insta story instructions and we loved them! Kept ’em simple and added some greens and an avocado cilantro sauce. They managed to make it onto this week’s meal plan too…

  39. alison

    Yum! We’ve been enjoying our version of this for a few years now, but use corn tortillas instead of flour because they’re very low in sodium. It didn’t occur to me to use onion and garlic powder with the cumin/coriander/cayenne/smoked paprika mix, so will def add those in!

  40. Alice K.

    Another winner! Made these last night, and they were terrific! Cut the recipe in half (there are only two of us eating) and still had plenty left over for another round tonight or tomorrow. Definitely a keeper. I even made the pickled red onions!

  41. Jules

    I do this with sweet potatoes frequently! I like to use a heftier amount of cumin and red pepper flakes instead of the chili powder. I don’t know why but chili powder has never really done it for me. Why do I find such fault with it?

    Sometimes I just put the roasted sweet potatoes and black beans in a bowl and make a taco “salad” sans tortillas, with extra typical taco toppings, of course (radishes, cilantro, picked red onions, jalapenos).

    Basically, roasted sweet potatoes with any variation of typical taco fillings/toppings makes me very happy.

  42. Rachel

    We Loved these and are them all weekend. Thank you for sharing! One friend said “did you put chorizo seasoning on these sweet potatoes?” Delish.

  43. Erica B

    re: parchment to line the pan… was watching Martha the other day and she, too was roasting vegetables and suggested that “if you are *lazy* and do not want to deal with a very dirty pan, you could line with parchment”. She un-lazily proceeded with unlined pans. I’ll be over here w/ my lazy parchment paper…

  44. margot

    wow. unreal. i roasted them for ten minutes less than suggested to make them a bit crunchier. my red onions weren’t pickled and gave the tacos a stronger onion than vinegar flavor (which i love). don’t skimp out on the cumin or cayenne. i didn’t have flour tortillas and instead used double corn tortillas which really brought out the flavor. had left over for breakfast!!

  45. Mita

    Just made these and I love them! So quick/easy, flavorful, and filling. I used 1 Tbsp. of chili powder and several dashes of cayenne, which added just a bit of heat, so I would probably go with 1/4 tsp of cayenne next time. I also added the pickled red onions, cheddar, and sour cream. These are definitely in the dinner rotation, thank you Deb!

    1. deb

      Um, good question. I schmeared them on cold. I think that the tortilla was hot and the potatoes were so it didn’t occur to me to warm the black beans too. You definitely could, though!

      1. Panya

        When we make tacos [or even taco salad] we heat up the canned refried beans on the stove with some extra garlic, so that it’s easier to spread onto the tortilla.

  46. Coco

    I did something similar all winter long, and I’m completely in love with them now. My variations: I mostly used the purple Murasaki sweet potatoes, which are amazing; if I’m feeling lazier (which means almost always), I roast the whole potatoes, and then “dice” them… they come out a bit squidgier, but that’s actually better for the structural integrity of the taco as you eat it, although it doesn’t look as pretty. I use corn tortillas instead of flour. If I want to go meatless, I pair the sweet potatoes with black beans, too, but they’re also really, really good with thin strips of stir fry beef. Also, the first time I made them, I was out of chili powder, so I used the Nashville Hot Chicken blend from Savory Spice, and it worked really well. Also… I promise I don’t work for Trader Joe’s, but there’s something I’ve been doing with all of my tacos lately: I’ve been mixing the Zhoug (from the deli case) with a little sour cream. It makes basically a cilantro/jalapeno crema, and if you add a dollop on top of a taco, it’s so good…

  47. Kate Ward

    Deb, I notice you and other food bloggers always say to toss roasted veggies with spices and oil in a bowl (and you’re doing it in the pic above.) Does this provide any benefits over my lazy method of pouring oil on a cookie sheet, dumping veggies on, dumping spices and and swirling it all with my hands? If you say it’s worth it, I may mend my ways.

  48. Dee

    O.K. Not everyone can get canned refried black beans – unless that’s the same as refried beans. Is it? If not, can you just open a can, put in hot oil, mush?

  49. Carrie

    Seriously fantastic. Made exactly as written with pickled red onion, avocado, and lime. This is a meal I feel really good about feeding my family! It’s so flavorful you don’t even notice that it’s nutritious and low-budget.

    I did find that putting the foil wrapped tortillas in the oven for the last 7 minutes was not enough (Deb suggests 5). The outside ones were only slightly warm and the middle ones were still room temp. Finished them in the microwave.

  50. MC

    Absolutely outstanding. My husband made this for dinner and used chipotle chili powder instead of regular chili powder. (He also made guacamole & pico de gallo to go with.) So delicious; this will be part of our regular rotation!

  51. Jill RINGOLD

    I have been making a version of this for years; seasoned, roasted sweet potatoes and black beans make for great partners in burritos, enchiladas, and other veg items! I made exactly as written but added in your “My Lazy Taco Slaw: 1 bag of coleslaw mix + 2 scallions, thinly sliced + a spoonful or two of mayo + lime juice + salt to taste.” Just a little bit of slaw went PERFECTLY with these tacos. The pickled red onions added flavor and crunch, but the slaw was the perfect condiment!

  52. Crystal Radford

    I have both of your cookbooks and always enjoy your recipes but this one might be my favorite ever. And my husband and kids loved these too. So many flavors and quite filling. I always look forward to what you will come up with next.

  53. Megan

    These are delicious! We had them in crispy blue corn shells, with guacamole and pickled red onions, and the next day broke up the remaining shells and added cheese to make nachos–an even bigger hit! This is definitely entering the regular rotation, thank you!

  54. Nicole B.

    Roasted sweet potatoes (or winter squash) and black beans is one of my most favorite, go-to combinations. I put them in tacos, in enchiladas, over rice and with eggs for breakfast. Honestly, I could eat them everyday. I’m looking forward to giving your take a try!

  55. Heather Cosby

    I was making my weekly meal plan and had one empty day left. I thought I’d like something vegetarian and flavorful. Sweet potato and black bean enchiladas came to mind but I thought, “I’ll just go see what the latest on Smitten Kitchen is.” And here they are! It’s a sign. On to the list it went. I’m going to go the taco over the enchilada route this time. Because it’s spring!

  56. smathes1

    I made these for lunch today and LOVED them. I threw in some leftover carrots to roast with the sweet potatoes (since I only had 2 potatoes), and then mashed my black beans after heating them . I did feel as though there needed a bit of a punch in the base– my black beans didn’t have any additional spices, which may have been it– but the avocado and pickled red onions were fantastic on top. Thank you!

  57. Autumn Fern

    Just made this tonight and my 15 yo veg daughter said, “You have found the sweet potato taco recipe.” I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t stop eating the cubes before dinner was served – only downside to the recipe is that I ate way too much. Paired with Trader Joe’s refried pinto beans which were also delicious.

  58. Susan Skilton

    Sounds delicious! Can you please give a little more direction about how to warm up the tortillas over a gas stove? I’ve never waved anything over a burner other than a pan!

    1. Alice K.

      I held the taco in metal tongs (not ones with rubber tips!) and placed it gently on top of the “spider”. In a few seconds it was charred on one side. I flipped it carefully, waited a few moments, then it was charred (lightly) on the other side. Voila!

  59. Tundra

    An odd coincidence… Mostly Australian soft wraps are wheat flour so when I saw white corn tortillas in the supermarket for the first time the other day I bought some on spec not knowing what I would do with them… and voila you provided a recipe! They were delicious and surprisingly filling so my daughter’s boyfriend dropped by after work to finish them off for us.

  60. Becki

    I made these tonight, and loved them. I’m so glad I made the pickled red onion, just wish I’d made a double batch. Together with the squeeze of lime, they really make the tacos ‘sing’!

    Thank you so much for a plant-based recipe that doesn’t need any cheese and for keeping it so simple. Refried beans out of a can are just fine, thank you!

  61. Stephanie

    I made these for dinner tonight and was kind of underwhelmed. I ALWAYS love your recipes, and all of the other reviews are raving, so clearly I did something wrong. :/ It’s such a simple recipe, I can’t imagine how I screwed it up. I thought I followed it to the letter. It was lacking in both texture and flavor. Next time I’ll punch up the spices significantly, and bake it for longer to get more of a crisp. Open to any suggestions as to where I might have gone wrong.

    1. Lindsay S

      Same here, Stephanie. And I was truly hoping to love it. Made them for dinner last night, and not one person thought they were anything special. I think two things contributed, and I’ll try to fix it for the leftovers we’re having later this week. 1) potatoes needed more crispness (even though they had roasted for 45 min at 400F), so I’ll toss into a pan with some oil to get more texture. 2) I mashed some avocados and it needed more seasoning (more lime & salt). Hopefully those changes will make the dish into more of a winner.

  62. Yesss! This is easily one of favorite dishes that I make pretty regularly. I lived in Mexico for a while and made it mostly because all of the ingredients were easy to find.

    One tweak I make is to add a garlic to a pan and heat my tortillas there. I have deep love of garlic, so adding that hint of flavor to the tortilla adds another punch of flavor. :)

  63. thank you for this. I’m dairy-free and gluten free (NOT BY CHOICE) and so I’ll make these with corn tortillas. I’m ooking forward to trying another one of your outstanding recipes.

  64. Sandy

    Hi Deb! These sounds really good – a couple questions from this kitchen novice: Do you heat the refried black beans first and how – also, are refried black beans an actual thing, or are you just mashing up black beans? Also, can you just mash up black beans?! lol Thanks! Looking forward to trying this!

  65. Added this to our Meal Plan last week. The kids gobbled it up and the Hubs didn’t even mention the lack of meat. This is going as a regular in our taco rotation! Thanks for a healthy addition to my Meal Planning Board.

  66. Hillary

    Made these last night and we really enjoyed them, would repeat again. Very filling and satisfying vegetarian meal – and we are meat lovers.

  67. Heather Cosby

    I was so excited to make this and was enjoying every step of the way. So much so that I completely forgot to go to the hair appointment I’d made for the evening! I drowned my sorrows in delicious tacos.

    And thank you for linking to the pickled onions. I do like red onion, but they’re just a leeeetle too much usually. This made them perfect!

    I used the leftover sweet potatoes and onions and fried up some bacon later in the week to make a riff on this pizza. https://smittenkitchen.com/2011/01/pizza-with-bacon-onions-and-cream/

    Oh Deb! I owe so much joy in my life to the food you share with us! Thank you! (And my haircut is rescheduled for today!)

  68. Wow!! I found you when I m finding a delicious recipe for sweet potatoes…

    I love this variation of tacos

    Thank you for sharing this recipe

    I will make this tonight for sure

  69. Leah

    Deb, I feel like the frequency of new posts has changed – not complaining, just wondering if this was a conscious shift?

    1. Leah

      Just read your latest post. I’m so sorry for the enormous and painful loss you’ve suffered, Deb. I’m around your age and recently lost Mom; I never felt so small, lost, bewildered, empty. All my hopes for light and peace to you.

  70. Raykay

    I just came here to say I’ve made these three times in the past week and the last time I used your crispy roast broccoli instead of sweet potatoes and it was awesomeeeee

  71. Gabrielle Eaton

    I could tell my family was skeptical when I said this was on our menu board this week. Oh my gosh, everyone loved it! The were a huge hit! I used a southwestern spice blend in place of the cumin and chili powder once I realized I was out of chili. Served it with the lazy slaw, pickled onions, and some sour cream. Thank you for a recipe I would have never come up with on my own.

  72. Carole Converse

    My sincere condolences on the passing of your father, your biggest fan. He will still be with you in your memories of him, and he will be watching and guiding you from God’s heaven. May you heal your sad heart as you cook and create new recipes as your dad would want you to do.

  73. Molly G

    This recipe is soooo good! It’s perfect and I cannot wait to make it again and again. It’s a super easy weeknight meal.

  74. Kristine M.

    Oh my gosh! These were wonderful. My daughter and I were licking our plates clean! And it is completely worth pickling the onions beforehand as they add a bit of crunch to the taco.

  75. don’t like peeling off potatoes, but love to try this just because the pictures looks fantastically amazing.
    However, it can be difficult for me to plan daily meals for the entire week. Spaghetti can meatballs are
    my go-getter meals and it quite easier for me to prepare.

  76. An

    Made this and *loved* it, as did my family (the +1 and 2 sons, ages 11 and 14). I added the pickled onions from the linked recipe, which were a great addition. Great combination of flavors; will definitely go on the regular rotation. Thanks, Deb!

  77. Nancy Turner

    This is a total winner! I used grilled corn tortillas instead of flour. Canned refried beans is easy, but homemade ones using the original Moosewood recipe (black beans instead of pinto) amps up the winner-ness. A really good, easy vegetarian dinner.

  78. Looking forward to trying these. When I was pregnant, sweet potato burritos were my go-to food for my first-trimester. While I was initially skeptical, I love the flavour of the sweet potato with the spicier Mexican seasonings. My local burrito restaurant does it with a smear of mashed sweet potato and then whole black beans (and the rest of the usual toppings).

  79. Grace

    This recipe is delicious and easy to make! My friend and I made these tacos for dinner. Our shortcut was using half a package of Trader Joe’s taco seasoning mix instead of measuring out each spice. Next time we will make pickled onions for crunch and acidity. Thanks for an awesome vegan recipe that’s gluten free with corn tortillas.

  80. claire

    Made these this week and loved them. We’ll definitely be using the roasted sweet potatoes on a regular basis, and not just for tacos! I’m also thinking of using/adding different veggies…the spice combination is delicious and versatile. Thanks for sharing!

  81. This. Was. So. Good! I made this for the family last night and we’re very pleased with the spice mixture on these potatoes. I made fresh tortillas while the potatoes were roasting because sometimes you got to be a little extra. Topped with a knockoff of “That Green Sauce” which if you don’t know what that is, check it out. Thanks for the recipe, Deb!

  82. Jessica

    We had a “Taco TWOsday” birthday party for my son yesterday and these were a HUGE hit…and yes, the birthday boy and his toddler friends gobbled up the sweet potatoes. So good.

  83. Made this last night together with a vegan friend. It’s so nice to have vegan recipes to genuinely be excited about, as opposed to something that just ticks the boxes of being this- and that-free. So let me just say it loud and clear that these kinds of recipes, where deliciousness comes first and it being vegan is almost an after-thought, are seriously appreciated! Another one we loved was the crispy tofu and broccoli with sesame-peanut pesto from your new book. Thank you for that!

    On another note, if other European readers are having trouble with finding (or even figuring out what they are) refried beans, a quick google will give you tons of super simple recipes, and if you use canned beans it won’t take you more than 10 minutes to make them. We were delighted to discover this new delicacy and I have the feeling we’ll be putting them on everything from now on…

  84. Lauren

    I’ve made these so many times now I thought I’d comment… this is now a go-to weeknight dinner staple in our house.
    – the spice mix works on any veg.. have made these tacos with cauliflower instead. Still delicious! I made a big batch of it and store in a spice jar.
    – sometimes throw black beans in, instead of refried. Or I mash black beans with a little spice mix & lime and spread that on the taco.
    – queso, or feta, is defintely a must have.
    – also I add sour cream or plain greek yogurt.

  85. These were so good – definitely one of your recipes that I’ll have in my regular rotation. We had them with avocado, cilantro, and lime, and that really made the difference. I’m also going to try adding queso when I can find some.

  86. Stacy B

    Made these tacos last night for friends and they were a huge hit. North Vancouver is a bit of a chipotle desert, so I substituted about a teaspoon of minced canned chipotle pepper for some heat. The pico de mayo, taco slaw and pickled red onions were 100% on point.

  87. Rebecca

    Have now made these several times and the recipe is now a regular in the rotation. My biggest issue is having enough roasted potatoes because people (ok, me) tend to snack on them before assembling the dish. While we are not vegan, this is a fantastic plant based meal. My son’s 11 year old friend whose family recently went vegan said it was the best vegan meal he’d ever eaten (we helped him rephrase it for when he went home to tell his mom ;)
    A few findings:
    1. have made a combo with butternut squash – deelish
    2. never skip the lime step or pickled onions.
    3. I prep everything on weekends – cut up potatoes, make spice blend, make pickled onions (if we don’t have) and lazy slaw. Then it becomes is a fairly hands-off weeknight dinner prep. A lot of homework help can be done while sweet potatoes are roasting – and once that is done, dinner can be on the table in 5 minutes
    4. the kids LOVE warming the tortillas over the stove element. A fun way to get them in the kitchen and helping out. we just wrap in a clean dish cloth to keep warm until assembly
    5. assembling the tacos and putting them in the casserole dish was a great tip for me. I leave the onions, cilantro and slaw for individualization

  88. Question from a chili-powder free zone!
    I live in Germany, and would love to have a general recipe for chili powder. Your sweet potato black bean tacos look amazing, and they shouldn’t be missing anything. Many thanks!

  89. What do you think of cutting the sweet potatoes in strips or fry shape vs cubes? Like how nopales are in strips in nopales tacos. I’d imagine that it would be negligibly less time intensive but more importantly less likely to have runaway potatoes falling out but maybe it’s just ’cause I’m an impressively messy eater.

  90. What do you think of cutting the sweet potatoes in strips or fry shape vs cubes? Like how nopales are in strips in nopales tacos. I’d imagine that it would be negligibly less time intensive but more importantly less likely to have runaway potatoes falling out but maybe it’s just ’cause I’m an impressively messy eater.

  91. Never thought to make tacos using sweet potato! I ended up giving it a go, but using a sweet potato salad that I sometimes make as my taco filling (sweet potatoes roasted in the same spices you’ve used, tossed with chickpeas and chopped bacon) and then adding in some onion, salad etc…The family loved it! Thanks for sharing your idea.

  92. Christina H.

    Finally got around to making this–I don’t know what took me so long. It is absolutely DELICIOUS. I think I could eat this every day. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  93. Abby

    Love this recipe. Since I live by myself and don’t always want to buy 12 tortillas, I’ve taken to just making the potatoes with a side of whatever Rancho Gordo beans are open. I don’t even measure the spices anymore, just sprinkle them on. Simple and delicious.

  94. Delicious!!! My carnivore husband was quite pleased as well. I made a half recipe and then proceeded to add three cloves of garlic to the black beans, and generally didn’t measure any of the spices. Served with the pickled red onions as well as radishes and limes.

  95. Uh, I do believe this recipe will probably make my world explode! I am always looking for new recipes with sweet potatoes. They are one of my absolute favorite foods and so good for you. And it’s a perfect combination of two of my favorite things: sweet potatoes and tacos. I can’t wait to try it!

  96. Amelia Ryan

    I’ve made this 3 or 4 times now because it’s a great lunch recipe. Plus, IT’S SO GOOD. Today I’m making another batch but I don’t have tortillas or refried black beans or any of the toppings… so I’m going for a regular black beans-sweet potatoes-goat cheese-pepitas-rice situation. Wish me luck :)

  97. Greg Mangino

    Sweet potato tacos is a keeper recipe! We used fresh corn tortillas and added a little star anise and clove to the pickeled onion. Wish i could leave a picture. It was lovely in every way!

  98. My carnivore husband LOVES these (and so do I)! He confessed to being disappointed the first time he saw them, but then was converted in the first bite. I often make them with homemade corn tortillas, or just quickly pan-fry store corn tortillas to bring out the flavor and keep them from breaking. We eat them with queso fresco, lime, fresh cabbage, and avocado. Amazing. Even the toddler eats the black beans and avocado. On repeat forever!

  99. Rebecca in SoCal

    This was SO GOOD! I made just the sweet potato filling (already had pickled red onions) and loved it!

    Back story: a group of friends likes to get together for tacos and quesadillas, but I can’t/don’t eat meat anymore (besides, the cooker of the meat seasons ground beef with only salt and pepper!?). I have been using ground turkey for a few years, but tried this recently. It was so excellent, I felt sorry for the meat eaters. Yum!

    The next day, I had some leftover filling over home-cooked pinto beans, with the pickled onions and some lime crema. Not only was it delicious, but I had made everything on the plate at home.

  100. Nan

    Deb, I would be so happy if at some point you tackled homemade refried beans! I consider myself a pretty good and intuitive cook, but I’ve just never been able to nail refried beans. They always seem too dry and no matter how much seasoning I put in, they taste bland. I occasionally buy Amy’s canned refried beans for very quick quesadillas/tacos but they have so much sodium. Also, they look like dog food. Would love to see what magic you could make with them!