A complete vegan meal. Sheet pan quesadilla layered with sweet potato, black beans, corn, salsa and brown rice.
We’re hooked on the idea of sheet pan quesadillas. Consider this fair warning, you are going to be seeing many variations on this theme. Our obsession started with our sheet pan spanakopita quesadilla (which is divine!!) and has now extended to this vegan meal. Sweet potato and black bean sheet pan quesadilla is our latest new favourite thing!
It is hard not to love a meal like our sweet potato and black bean sheet pan quesadilla. It is easy (there are a few steps, but none of them complicated), nutritious, budget-friendly and vegan. That last one is important because it allows someone following a plant-based diet to dine with carnivores while they all eat the same thing, and are happy doing so. We have yet to meet a meat eater who found this recipe lacking. It’s just that good!
What you will need to make sweet potato and black bean sheet pan quesadillas
- Onion. We like to use regular yellow onions for this recipe
- Garlic. Do you know how to select the best garlic at the grocery store? You can find some information here.
- Olive oil. Greek, of course.
- Cumin, turmeric, chili flakes. These spices give a wonderful flavour to the quesadilla. A little goes a long way!
- Sweet potatoes, already cooked and mashed. Depending on the size of your potatoes you will need 2 – 3 sweet potatoes.
- Canned corn
- Canned black beans. Of course you can soak, boil and use dry black beans and we usually recommend going this route. But for this recipe, you already have a bit of prep to do so go ahead and open a can.
- Cilantro or parsley. Our preference is to use cilantro in this recipe but a few members of our family find that it tastes like soap, which is apparently a thing. If that’s a thing for you too, use parsley instead.
- Brown rice. You can use another kind of rice, but brown rice has a great nutty flavour and is full of nutrients.
- Salsa. We use bottled salsa and here we used red salsa with medium heat. You can use whatever salsa you like (and have).
- Tortillas. Make this recipe with whole wheat tortillas, white tortillas, corn tortillas…whatever you like. So long as they are large enough to cover the surface of the baking pan.
- Salt & pepper
Substitutions and additions you can make to this sweet potato and black bean sheet pan quesadilla recipe
- Use green salsa instead of the red salsa we did.
- Add some sliced avocado on top of the rice layer
- Add shredded cheese
- Use another type of bean, such as small navy beans or lima beans
Feed a crowd with this sweet potato and black bean sheet pan quesadilla.
Sheet pan meals such as this one are a great way to feed a bunch of people. This meal easily makes eight generous servings. Serve with a side salad or a vegetable, like sautéed green peppers and you are set!
How to keep your quesadilla crispy.
Your sweet potato and black bean sheet pan quesadilla will come out of the oven with the tortillas nice and crispy, on the top and the bottom. If you leave your quesadilla in the pan to cool however the bottom will get soggy. As soon as you take the quesadilla out of the oven , carefully transfer it onto a cooling rack (like you would use to cool cookies). We take two smaller cooling racks and place them side by side so that our quesadilla fits. Let it sit there for a few minutes and then transfer it to a cutting board to serve.
How to reheat sweet potato and black bean sheet pan quesadilla.
Best to reheat in the oven, or individual pieces can be reheated on the stove top using a non-stick skillet.
Looking for more plant-based meals to feed a crowd on a budget? Check these out:
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Sweet potato and black bean sheet pan quesadilla
- 2 baking trays 15.25 x 10.25 x 0.75 inches
- 1 skillet
- 1 Off-set spatula optional
- 1 Cooling rack
- Parchment paper
- 1 cup brown rice uncooked
- ½ cup onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 2½ cups sweet potatoes, mashed
- 1 ½ tsp salt divided
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 19 ounces black beans, canned 550 ml
- 12 ounces corn niblets, canned 341 ml
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro or parsley
- 17.6 ounces salsa 500 grams
- 8 large tortillas corn or wheat
- olive oil for brushing pan and tortillas
- Rinse your brown rice (See Recipe Note) and cook it according to package directions. Set aside the cooked rice.1 cup brown rice
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic. After 2 - 3 minutes add the cumin, turmeric, and chili flakes. Continue cooking until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir regularly during this time to prevent anything from burning.½ cup onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp chili flakes
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add in the sweet potato mash, 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Mix well to combine. Set aside.2½ cups sweet potatoes, mashed, ¼ tsp pepper
- Drain and rinse your black beans and corn and combine them in a clean bowl. Add the cilantro or parsley, ½ teaspoon salt and mix to combine. Set aside.19 ounces black beans, canned, 12 ounces corn niblets, canned, ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- Take one of your baking trays and brush the bottom with some olive oil. Place 6 tortillas around the edges of the baking tray so that half of the tortilla is on the tray and the other half is hanging over the side. Take a 7th tortilla and place it in the center of your baking tray. The goal is to ensure that you do not see any part of your baking tray. Set aside.8 large tortillas
- Begin assembling your quesadilla. Spread the sweet potato mixture across your tortillas in the pan; this is your bottom layer. We like to use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to make this as even and smooth as possible.
- On top of the sweet potatoes place the corn and black bean mixture. Even that out as well. Next pour the salsa over the top of the corn and black beans and finally top with the cooked rice.17.6 ounces salsa
- Once all of the filling is added, place an 8th tortilla in the center of the baking tray and then fold over the tortillas which were hanging over the side of the baking tray. You should completely cover your filling. See video here.
- Brush the top of your tortillas with a bit of olive oil and cover the top with a sheet of parchment paper. Next, place your second baking tray on top of your parchment paper and press down. See video here.
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 20 - 25 minutes. You may need to remove the top baking tray and parchment paper near the end of the cooking time in order to brown the top. You can also set your oven to broil for a minute or so (watch carefully so that you don't burn it).
- Once cooked, transfer to a cooling rack to prevent the bottom of your quesadilla from getting soggy. Wait 5 minutes and then transfer to a cutting board to continue cooling. Your sheet pan sweet potato and black bean quesadilla is easier to cut when it has cooled a bit.
- Cut into serving sizes of your choice. A large serrated knife (like a bread knife) works best for this