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Simply Cooking with Sierra: Sweet potato enchiladas

Graphic illustration for A&C column "Simply Cooking with Sierra" depicting cross sections of fruits and veggies
(Graphic Illustration by Charlie Dillon | The Collegian)

There are few things with as much flavor as traditional Mexican enchiladas. Those same great flavors often come with a bigger calorie count, and the fat-heavy meats and cheeses in many enchiladas, while tasty, are sometimes more than bargained for. I love enchiladas, but I’m also a big fan of sweet potatoes, so I decided to make up a homemade dish that combined the two in a somewhat healthier alternative.

Usually, enchiladas are prepared with some meat, but I thought beans and sweet potato would be an excellent substitute to get the protein. Now that I’ve tried them, I don’t think I will ever eat any other enchiladas again. 



1 large sweet potato

1 can of organic black beans (drained)

1 white onion (chopped)

1/2 cup of canned corn (drained)

4 ounces of green chilies 

3 cloves of garlic (minced) 

1 jalapeño (minced)

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of salt


1 cup of red enchilada sauce

12 corn tortillas

2 cups of shredded cheese (optional) 


Before we start prepping, turn that oven on to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Now we can start prepping the food.

  1. Grab your large pot, and put it on medium-high heat on the stove with some oil drizzled on.
  2. Go ahead and peel and dice your onion completely. Do the same with the sweet potato.
  3. Now your pot should be all warmed up. Pop in the chopped onion for about five minutes or until they are soft. While the onion is cooking, mince the garlic and open and drain the black beans and corn. 
  4. Once those onions are soft and tender, and the oil has evaporated, add water to the pot, and put the chopped sweet potatoes in. They should soften after 12-15 minutes. Make sure all the water has evaporated. Remove the pot from heat, and add in the rest of the ingredients: jalapeño, minced garlic, chilies, corn, beans, salt and cumin. Stir until mixed evenly, and set aside. 
  5. Tortilla time. On a cooking sheet, lightly rub olive oil all over the tortillas — you should be able to fit six tortillas at a time. Place those in the oven for two minutes. Repeat that step one more time for a total of 12 warm tortillas. 
  6. While your second batch of tortillas is baking, pour 1/4 of a cup of your enchilada sauce in the bottom of a small-to-medium baking dish. 
  7. Once all your tortillas are finished, grab your sweet potato mixture and spoon about 1/4 cup into each tortilla and roll them up tightly but not to the point of ripping. For better results, have the opening of the tortilla face down. Add the rest of the enchilada sauce on top of the 12 tortillas, and add cheese if desired. Once complete, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake until enchiladas are a bit brown on the edges. 
  8. When finished, let the enchiladas sit for a couple of minutes to cool off before consuming. These can be saved as leftovers or frozen. 

Sierra Grimm can be reached at or Twitter @CSUram5.

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