Recipe | Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Kale and Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadilla
There are two things you should know about this recipe:

1. The name is a lie. There’s no queso in these quesadillas. But calling them “dillas” makes them sound like something cutesy off of a children’s menu, doesn’t it?

2. Yes, if it sounds familiar, it’s because I made these with leftovers from my Sweet Potato & Kale Wraps. I decided to save the recipe for a rainy day and its day has finally come!

So yeah, about #2. We had tortillas and fillings leftover after making those wraps. But, as you saw, I am no burrito wrapper, so the second night around, I made these Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas for dinner. Instead of binding everything together with cheese like in a traditional quesadillas, I used mashed sweet potatoes. Is this weird? Okay, fine, maybe it sounds weird, but sweet potatoes and kale go really well together (this is one of my most popular posts, after all!) and so do sweet potatoes and black beans.

Oh, and one note about the chorizo: if you can purchase Field Roast locally, use their Mexican Chipotle sausage. Their sausage is made with real vegetables, grains, and spices and it’s minimally processed. (Yes, I’m talking up Field Roast again.)

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Kale & Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Prep Time

1 hour 20 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes

Total Time

1 hour 30 minutes




  • 1 small sweet potato, pierced with fork
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 1/2 c. kale, chopped
  • 1 vegetarian chorizo sausage, crumbled (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. black beans, cooked or canned (rinse well if using canned)
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • olive oil cooking spray or mister
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • salsa for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place sweet potato on a small baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until tender. Cool slightly, then remove skin, transfer to a small bowl, and mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth.
  3. While potato is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add onion and cook until just starting to caramelize, about 45-60 minutes. Add chorizo (if using) and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in kale and continue to cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine black beans and paprika in a small bowl.
  5. Divide sweet potatoes, caramelized onion mixture, and beans evenly onto one half of each tortilla, leaving about 1/2 inch of space along the edges. Fold empty half onto the half with filling.
  6. At this point, you can cook your quesadillas however you prefer. I like to cook mine on a grill sprayed with olive oil and heated at medium. You can also use a quesadilla maker if you have one or cook them in a skillet on medium-high heat, flipping over after tortilla begins to brown.
  7. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa.


Prep time includes time spent baking the sweet potato and caramelizing the onion. Yes, it takes a long time for both, but it’s worth it! For a quicker dinner, caramelize the onions and roast the sweet potato the night before.


The sell it at Trader Joe’s! A lot of people are huge fans of the soy kind, but I have to tell you, I’m not–I like the Field Roast kind instead. The one time I had the soy kind, I could barely choke it down and then I threw it up an hour later. (TMI?)

Turning burrito leftovers into quesadilla leftovers isn’t much of a challenge, but now you’ve given me the idea to make leftovers from other types of meals into burritos or quesadillas. 😀 I imagine that the successes will be very tasty, but the disasters will be pretty epic.

Not weird at all Sweet potato and kale really do go well together. Sometimes I whip up sweet potato and kale taquitos. Your quesadillas look great. But that pizza you linked to has me drooling over here. It’s like a work of art! 🙂

Thank you! It’s so funny, when I first published that pizza recipe, it was like crickets. And then in January (almost a year later!), people discovered it. With the mashed sweet potatoes, it’s very easy to just omit the cheese–everything still holds together well!

I love the sweet potato and kale taquito idea!

I love sweet potatoes! I’ll try anything (vegan) with them in it. Can’t wait to make these! I’m sure they won’t look as nice as yours though 😛

i’ve made these time and time again since i first found your site – and i’m making them again today. seriously. i think i’m kinda secretly addicted to ’em 🙂 i just love the way you cook. high five. xxxx

You just solved my quesadila problem. I was looking for a way to make a vegan black bean quesadila, but I couldn’t think of something good to replace the cheese. And I’m not about to use fake vegan cheese (don’t like them and want to avoid the processed foods). The sweet potato makes a perfect binder to hold it together, and tastes even better than cheese. Thank you for this recipe. 🙂

Hi Kiersten,
I just made these tonight and they were so delicious! Next time I make them I am definitely going to double the batch!

Thank you for the wonderful recipe,

Yum! I made these today and they were so tasty! Thanks for sharing. I’m going to do a round-up on my blog soon of recipes that I’ve recently tried and loved and this one’s definitely featuring!

This quesadilla was so good! I did not have black beans on hand so I substituted kidney beans and it was still very delicious. I also substituted some seasoned ground turkey for the chorizo sausage and it was delicious as well. I wish I had the information for the calories, carbs and fiber so I could keep up with my caloric intake for the day.

what a delicious recipe! I served it to three skeptical meat lovers and they just raved about all the flavor. roasting the sweet potatoes the night before made this pretty easy, too. thanks so much!

I’m about to make these, but I’m just curious if that is a typo in step 3..i dont have to cook the onions for 45-60 minutes do I?


Caramelizing onions takes time. If you have a gas range, it can take less time, but I had an electric range when I developed this recipe and it usually took me about an hour. If you don’t want to wait that long, you can sauté them over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes instead, until they’re tender.

I used this recipe with Chorizo and it was delicious! This was my second vegetarian recipe and if the first two are this good I can see me eating a lot more vegetarian meals.

I think the transition to vegetarian is difficult because the vegetarian meals look nothing like what we traditionally eat. Traditionally there would be a main meat dish with sides of veggies and a starch like corn or potatoes. I am seeing vegetarian main courses being presented as a quesadilla or pizza or soup or some grain with veggies on top. None of these are traditionally views as main courses. I look at pizza as junk food and quesadillas as snacks or bar food.

I took many short cuts with this and it still came out great. I microwaved my sweet potatoes and when soft, peeled and sprinkled w/chili powder. I used red onions and only sautéed, as I didn’t have the time. I used veggie breakfast sausage and added Bragg’s Aminos, some nooch, and liquid smoke. Cooked them in a waffle iron and topped w/guac. So good. Thanks for the inspiration.

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