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Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean, and Caramelized Onion Tacos

May 5, 2012

I’ve been wanting to try out the sweet potato/black bean combination that I seem to see popping up all over the place… enchiladas, burritos, burgers. If so many people are recommending this combination, I reasoned, it must be good! Since sweet potatoes are so full of nutrients and my little boy loves them so, I had even more motivation to make them. I read through a few recipes to get the jist of the flavor profile I was going for and then made up my own recipe. It was a huge success! (I should mention that I am starting to realize how silly — or maybe arrogant — it seems to say on every recipe I post how tasty the food is. I would like to remind you, if you don’t already know, that one of the reasons I post so infrequently on Mrs. Smith Cooks, is that I only post the successes. Food that tastes sort of “meh,” or didn’t live up to my expectations, or failed in some way doesn’t make it to the blog. Perhaps I should have a sister blog called “Mrs. Smith Burned It!” where I can document those things.)

Back to these seriously amazing tacos. Everyone who posted about the combination of sweet potato and black bean was right. It sounds weird at first (at least, it did to me) but there’s something about the balance of sweet and savory that makes it a winner. Roasting the potatoes and caramelizing the onion adds depth of flavor and additional sweetness. As I loathe doing dishes, I adapted this recipe to be made in just one pan (yay!) If I were making this for company, I might consider dirtying another pan and quick frying the tortillas to give them that special something, but for a family dinner, I just heated the tortillas in the microwave to soften them before serving. The toppings are completely up to your personal taste. I found that sour cream, cilantro, and lime were the only toppings I really wanted, so that the flavor of the beans and sweet potato really came through. Elias enjoyed his with all the above plus pico de gallo and cotija cheese.  A note about the recipe: I read this article this week about how most recipe writers lie about how long it takes to caramelize onions. I think I am probably guilty of this. It takes awhile, up to 30 minutes to get good caramelization on your onions without burning them. Good things come to those who wait. If you’re in a hurry, you can certainly just soften them up for a few minutes. The end result will be a little less rich, but still delicious. NOTE: After having the leftovers for lunch, I had an inspiration that some slaw, cabbage, or lettuce of some type would be great on these too for some crunch! Give it a try and report back.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos, Makes enough filling for about 10 6 inch tacos


For the sweet potato mixture…

1 can of black beans (15 ounces), drained and rinsed.  Or 1 and 1/2 cups cooked black beans

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped in small dice (1/2 inch dice)

1 medium onion, diced

1 1/2 TBS vegetable oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp black pepper

To assemble the tacos…

Tortillas, warmed in microwave or individually pan fried for a few seconds in a small amount of oil

Sour Cream


Cheese (cotija, queso fresco, etc.)


Pico de Gallo


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Heat 1 TBS of oil in an ovenproof pan or dutch oven over medium low heat. Add chopped onion and cook for up to 30 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly caramelized.

2. Add sweet potato to the pan and drizzle with another 1/2 TBS oil

3. Add cumin, salt and pepper, toss with a spatula for 2 minutes

4. Transfer mixture to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft

5. While potato mixture is cooking, prepare toppings (warm tortillas, cut limes and cilantro, etc.)

6. Remove potatoes from the oven and toss with the black beans. The heat of the pan and potatoes will warm the beans sufficiently for serving

7. Assemble tacos to your liking and devour!


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