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Speedy Vegan Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Quesadillas are an anytime meal. They take just five minutes to make, and everyone loves them. You can snack on them at a...

Speedy Vegan Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Quesadillas are an anytime meal. They take just five minutes to make, and everyone loves them. You can snack on them at a party, they make a late-home-from-work dinner, and they even work at breakfast with an egg inside.

These quesadillas are a bit different — the regular, white flour, cheese-loaded version doesn’t do it for me. So instead, these are filled with a super quick sweet potato and white bean mash. You will never look back.

Two types of chiles are featured here, but don’t worry — they are not super hot. I don’t like that intense chile burn feeling. To me, any food that sends your body into panic or out of balance can’t be good. But I do crave heat, and this blend of the deep smokiness of the chipotle and the sweet raw heat of the fresh chile packs a well-rounded punch.

Many places have started to stock chipotle paste, which has made its sweet smokiness more easy to come by. If you can’t get your hands on chipotle, half a teaspoon of hot smoked paprika will do.

It’s worth making a mention of what chilies have hidden in their colorful little packages. They are super high in antioxidants and vitamins, and they boost the immune system and help speed your metabolism: chile magic. — Anna Jones, author of A Modern Way to Eat.


As part of a bigger meal:

Serve with a couple of handfuls of lemon-dressed salad leaves.

Serve with a crunchy salad of radishes, leaves, shaved fennel, and cilantro and a quick tomato salsa.

“Reprinted with permission from A Modern Way to Eat: 200+ Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes by Anna Jones, copyright © 2015Brian Ferry. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.” Photography credit: Aya Brackett © 2014


  • Olive oil
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon chipotle paste
  • 1 red chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ lime
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint or cilantro, leaves picked and chopped
  • 4 corn tortillas


Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan, add the sweet potato and the maple syrup, and season with salt and pepper. Add the chipotle paste and the chopped chile and cook for a few minutes, until the potato has softened and lost its rawness.

Transfer to a bowl and add the beans, then use a potato masher to mash everything a little — you will still have some flecks of unmashed sweet potato. Season if needed.

Mash the avocado with a little lime juice and stir in the herbs. I use the potato masher again here.

Now heat a frying pan big enough for your tortillas. Lay a tortilla flat in the pan, spoon a quarter of the mixture onto one half of it, then fold over the other half. Dry fry on one side until it’s blistered and golden brown, then flip over and do the same on the other side. Keep the quesadilla warm in a low oven while you do this with the rest of the tortillas.

Serve straight from the pan with the mashed avocado.