Sweetie Pie Quesadilla

I’ve been making chili with black beans and sweet potatoes for years. This takes those two winning flavors and pairs them with melted Monterey Jack cheese for a quesa­dilla that is far more satisfying than the norm. Cooking the quesadilla over medium instead of high heat allows the sweet potato to get tender by the time the outside is crispy and the cheese is melted. Leftover cooked vegetables such as broc­coli, zucchini, or peppers can be chopped up and substituted for the sweet potato.
By | September 08, 2015


Makes 2 servings

1. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over one tortilla. Scatter the sweet potato over the cheese, followed by the beans. Spoon the taco sauce over the beans and top with the remaining cheese and the remaining tortilla.

2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Put the quesa­dilla in the pan and cook until golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. With a spatula, flip the quesadilla and cook until the second side is golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes.

3. Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board and let cool for a few minutes.

4. Cut into quarters. Wrap or pack into two containers.

Make-ahead notes: can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. In the morning before school, reheat in a pan or pop into the toaster oven to restore crispiness, if you like.

Recipe excerpted from Best Lunch Box Ever (Chronicle Books, 2013).


About this recipe

This is a good recipe for school lunches because quesadillas are a universal kid favorite, but often are lacking on the nutrition front. Here, I've boosted both flavor and nutrition by adding grated sweet potato and black beans all packaged in a whole grain tortilla. My own three kids are big fans (it's a favorite for simple weeknight suppers as well). 


  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Two 8-inch whole-wheat flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup grated peeled raw sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup cooked black beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons mild green taco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
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