Marcelle enjoys preparing delicious meals for family and friends. She especially loves creating original, plant-based, vegan recipes.
Break away from the traditional meat-laden, sodium-rich enchilada recipes for this vegetarian winner! Sweet potatoes pair with black beans, seasonings, and an easy-to-make, low-sodium enchilada sauce for this classic Mexican dish. It’s colorful, fragrant, and delicious!
Sweet Potato or Yam?
Yams and sweet potatoes are simply not the same. Though they can be easily interchanged in recipes, they belong to separate plant families, and their nutritional profile is different. Both provide a healthy dose of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and other nutrients, but unlike sweet potatoes, yams provide only a trace of vitamin A and are lower in fiber.
So how do you know what’s what at the grocery store? Labeling in U.S. grocery stores can sometimes be confusing. Often what is labeled a yam is actually a sweet potato. Yams are not grown in the U.S., so it is rare to find a true yam in a typical U.S. grocery store. To find true yams in the U.S., you would likely need to visit a specialty grocery store or international market.
A Healthy Sweet
How can something that tastes so deliciously sweet be a nutrition superstar? Sweet potatoes are among the most nutritious vegetables you can add to your diet, according to a vegetable rating study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy organization.1
The orange flesh provides an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, providing more than 200% of the daily value required in one medium sweet potato. This vegetable is also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6, and it's a good source of potassium, fiber, and other B vitamins.
Anthocyanin and other color pigment antioxidants found in sweet potatoes have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits. According to a study abstract published by the US National Institutes of Health, anthocyanin is suggested to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activity, cardiovascular disease prevention, obesity control, and diabetes alleviation properties.2
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe
Light on calories and sodium but heavy on flavor, this enchilada recipe is sure to please! Be sure to check the labels of the different brands of corn tortillas as the sodium can vary quite a bit. Also, consider making your own homemade enchilada sauce to avoid the sodium in store-bought brands; a recipe is provided at the bottom of the article.
How to Microwave a Sweet Potato
You can cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave beforehand.
- Wash and scrub the sweet potato, poke holes with a fork all around, and place on a microwave-safe plate or paper towel.
- Cook in the microwave for 5 to 8 minutes, rotating halfway through.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added organic black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Fresh juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 cup green onions, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sodium-free chili powder (try Frontier brand)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups cooked sweet potatoes, slightly mashed
- 1 1/2 cups Easy Low-Sodium Enchilada Sauce (see recipe below)
- 8–9 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup organic shredded Monterey Jack or a Mexican blend cheese, or sub dairy-free cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine drained black beans with the garlic, lime juice, green onions and spices in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, slightly mash the cooked sweet potato.
- Pour about 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish.
- Place 1–2 tortillas between 2 paper towels and warm in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Spoon about 1/8 of mashed sweet potatoes down the center of a warmed tortilla. Top with 1/8 of the bean mixture. Wrap and roll the tortilla and carefully place seam side down in the sauced baking dish. Repeat with each tortilla.
- Pour the remainder of the sauce on top and sprinkle with the cheese. For a vegan version, leave off the cheese or use a plant-based cheese.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
Sodium in Enchilada Sauce
Before running out to purchase a processed can of enchilada sauce, consider making your own at home (recipe below). It is fast and easy to make, and you will reduce the sodium significantly in most cases. Be sure to purchase tomato sauce that is labeled “no-salt-added” or a brand that is naturally low in sodium, such as Pomi. You can find this brand in most whole food grocers, Target, and online. As always, check labels. The table below shows sodium content in some commonly store-bought brands.
Comparing Sodium in Enchilada Sauces
|Brand||Sodium Per Serving|
Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce, Mild
La Victoria Enchilada Sauce, Mild
Las Palmas Original Style Enchilada Sauce
Pace Enchilada Sauce
Hatch Red Enchilada Sauce
Easy Enchilada Sauce Recipe
This sauce takes no time to make and will reduce the sodium content of the sweet potato and black bean enchilada meal. You can spice it up or down depending on your taste. Use this sauce for all your enchilada recipes!
I highly recommend using Pomi brand tomato sauce. The flavor easily surpasses other tomato sauce brands available on grocer shelves. Another bonus is that each half cup serving only has 10mg of sodium, keeping this enchilada sauce recipe low in sodium. You can purchase this brand at some whole food grocers or online.
- 16 ounces no-salt-added tomato sauce (try Pomi brand)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon sodium-free chili powder (try Frontier brand)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Mix and heat through.
1 Liebman, Bonnie, and Jayne Hurley. "Rating Rutabagas: Not All Vegetables Are Created Equal." Nutrition Action Health Letter (2009): n. pag. The Center for Science in the Public Interest. Jan. 2009. Web. https://www.cspinet.org/nah/01_09/ratings.pdf.
2 He J, Guisti MM. "Anthocyanins: Natural Colorants with Health-Promoting Properties." Annual Revew Food Science Technology. 2010;1:163-87. Doi:10.1146/annurev.food.080708.100754. Review. PMID: 22129334 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129334.
© 2014 Marcelle Bell
Laurie on April 16, 2020:
I made this recipe and enjoyed it It could really benefit from more spices I used canned enchilada sauce and would make my own next time I would also add more seasoning to the sweet potato mixture
Adrienne Lea Daniels from Columbus, Ohio on July 21, 2014:
This sounds and looks extremely delicious. I love enchiladas and sweet potatoes. I think I will try this out. Thanks!
Michelle Scoggins from Fresno, CA on July 18, 2014:
Thank you MyBell for the recipe sounds yummy. I love enchilada's but do not usually eat them because of the high fat, calorie and sodium in the ingredients. I will definitely try these..Voted Up :)
Katina Davenport from Michigan on July 17, 2014:
This looks really good. Really, really good.
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on July 17, 2014:
At long last - vegetarian enchilada recipe! Would never have thought of this combination and I love both. Will put on my oven mitt and whip this beautiful recipe up. Looks and sounds marvelous. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and will share. Thanks Peggy!
Better Yourself from North Carolina on July 17, 2014:
Love the recipe to make homemade sauce, great hub and great take on enchiladas! Will have to try sometime!
Oyewole Folarin from Lagos on July 17, 2014:
This is awesome indeed! I never thought of something as good as this vegetarian recipe. In fact I never knew sweet potatoes could blend well as demonstrated in this informative hub. Thanks.
cerdas dan pintar komputer on July 16, 2014:
Grace Marguerite Williams from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 16, 2014:
This is such a delicious spin on a favorite American dish. It appeals to the vegetarian, health food enthusiast, dieters, and anyone who wants an out-of-this-world but economical dish. I simply love recipes with an exotic twist. Yummm. Oh where is my manners, congratulations for being HOTD.
Pastor Wolfe on July 16, 2014:
I have to admit this looks delicious! Well directed as well, great hub! I just might make this for my family, thanks for sharing!
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on July 16, 2014:
I was just saying to hubby the other day that it's time I make enchiladas. Will have to try your recipe as we love sweet potatoes and black beans. Sounds and looks delicious.
CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on July 16, 2014:
Anything vegetarian is on my list! This is an exciting recipe and I will surely try it.
Well deserving HOTD! Way to go!
Cass Francavilla from North New Jersey on July 16, 2014:
Wow. This looks divine. Never heard of such a thing. I must try! Will do next week! Thanks!
Marcelle Bell (author) on July 16, 2014:
Thank you all again! All your comments have made me smile and I'm so happy that I was able to promote this delicious vegetarian recipe in the Hub community. I'm grateful that I joined Hubpages! Thank you for the pins and Google+ posts too.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2014:
This sounds delicious and looks even better with your wonderful photos. I am going to pin this, G+, tweet and share with my followers. Can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks!
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 16, 2014:
Sounds fantastic. I love sweet potatoes and this sounds like a wonderful way to serve them. Certainly a unique recipe you came up with. Congrats!
gryphin423 from Florida on July 16, 2014:
Interesting use of the sweet potatoes! I'll try this out. Thanks for the low sodium recipe!! Good job!
thefedorows from the Midwest on July 16, 2014:
This looks SO yummy! Pinning and printing so I can buy the ingredients in my next shopping trip. Your pictures are helpful and I liked your enchilada sauce recipe. Definitely will try. Congratulations on HOTD!
Kari on July 16, 2014:
Yay! A vegetarian recipe wins the spotlight. :)
I've never tried sweet potato in wraps or enchiladas before, so I will definitely be trying this one out.
Good to know about the sodium, that's something I don't often think about even though I try to be pretty conscious about what I'm putting in my body in way of preservatives etc.
Marcelle Bell (author) on July 16, 2014:
Thank you all so much for the awesome comments! Please do let me know what you think of this recipe when you make it and rate it too if you'd like. Stay tuned . . there are many more to come!
Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 16, 2014:
What a great casserole dish, beautiful and nutritious. Your explanations and instructions were nicely done and understandable, accompanied by your awesome photos. Thanks and congratulations on Hub of the Day. Well deserved!
Al Wordlaw from Chicago on July 16, 2014:
Ummm, yum, yum, yum! Gonna try all this! Thanks for sharing. Congrats for HOTD!
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 16, 2014:
Congratulations for HOTD!
Your recipe looks gorgeous and I am sure it tastes yummy too. Thanks for providing the details and the pictures are so helpful.
Thanks and voted up!
Christine P Ann from Australia on July 16, 2014:
Love this idea. Never thought of using sweet potato. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)
hubsy on July 13, 2014:
I've never seen sweet potatoes in an enchilada! How delicious!!!! I can't wait to make this and let you know how it turns out. Voted up!
Josh Robert from PA on July 13, 2014:
That looks and sounds delicious!
pattyknap from Long Island, NY on July 10, 2014:
I'm gonna try this!
Marcelle Bell (author) on July 10, 2014:
Thank you all for the awesome comments! Jackie - you can certainly doctor it up in different ways. For instance, for more spice, you can added a diced jalapeño and you could also adjust the quantities of spices for the sauce. Sharon - so glad that you and your husband enjoyed this so much! It's one of my family's favorite meals!
Sharon Pike on July 10, 2014:
I made this last night doubled the recipe and can't wait for lunch today...it is out if this world crazy good! My meat loving husband couldn't stop saying how good ut was....this is a keeper for sure!
Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on July 10, 2014:
Oh my gosh ! I love all these ingredients and your enchiladas sound wonderful -- makes me hungry. Your recipe for the sauce is great with low sodium. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Saved in my favorite recipes bookmark. Voted up and shared with followers.
Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 10, 2014:
Wow; I will sure try this. I love sweet potato and always try to watch my salt. Hope this will be as good as it sounds and looks! Long as it is close I can doctor it my way; right? Thanks!^
Claudia Mitchell on July 10, 2014:
Yummy what a gorgeous recipe. We will definitely be trying this soon. Shared around.
swilliams on July 09, 2014:
This looks very good! Thanks for sharing. Voted up Beautiful.
Marcelle Bell (author) on July 06, 2014:
Thank you, Ms Lizzy! My family loves this recipe and requests it often. It's also one of my go to recipes for delivering meals to families that have a new baby. The black beans in this recipe can easily be switched out for another bean. I think pinto beans would work very well. The black beans add a nice color contrast to the orange sweet potato and are delicious too, in my opinion, but all beans are good and good for you!
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 06, 2014:
Oh, man---these sound yummy! I'm always looking for good veggie recipes. The only change I'd have to make would be the type of beans. Hubby cannot stand black beans; he thinks they taste like dirt. LOL
Bookmarking for future reference!