Do you need to mix up your quesadilla game? This Crispy Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Quesadilla is the perfect way to bring new life to those gorgeous spuds and spice up your TexMex night!
We take Mexican food very seriously in my house. It’s on heavy rotation throughout the week, and we religiously follow Taco Tuesday.
And after loading up on sweet potatoes for my Maple Sweet Potato Casserole on Thanksgiving, I was stuck wondering how I would incorporate these orange beauties into my family’s meals for the week.
This Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Quesadilla fits the bill and has been on our lunch and dinner menus ever since.
Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Quesadilla Tips & Tricks
All Delicious Things Come to Those Who Wait
The star of this Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Quesadilla dish is—you guessed it— the sweet potato! So the success of your lunch hangs on getting the taters just right!
Don’t rush the boiling of your sweet potatoes. Your aim is to transform them into a light and fluffy puree, and even with the best of blenders, this can only be achieved with a little bit of patience.
Usually if I peel my sweet potatoes and cut them into small chunks, I can get them fully cooked in boiling water after about 15 minutes. But sometimes they can be stubborn lil’ spuds.
Make sure they’re truly cooked through before draining them and adding them to your blender.
The best way to check if they are ready is to take a fork and poke your biggest chunk of potato. If it easily pierces right through, your are good to go! If you’re feeling some resistance, let them cook a little longer.
Dry Those Eyes, Then Caramelize
Slicing onions are so worth the tears! Once you peel and chop your onion, simmer it in a little bit of butter until it starts to caramelize. You should be able to achieve beautifully caramelized onions over medium heat in about 10 minutes, but be careful not to burn them!
The caramelized onions will go straight into your golden brown tortillas. Burning the onions will make your quesadilla too bitter.
Gadgets and Gizmos a Plenty
You can also choose to just use a potato smasher or hand mixer to get your potatoes fluffy.
Both options are delicious, but I find that pureeing your potato lends a smoother texture throughout your quesadilla.
Load Her Up
Time for the fun part: the Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Quesadilla assembly! Start by laying your tortilla out flat on a clean surface. Cover one half of the tortilla with your puree, then add your caramelized onions and black beans and top it with about 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
Now take the half that is not covered in deliciousness, and fold it over the filled half to form a quesadilla.
When assembling your quesadilla, you want to achieve that perfect balance of filling and flavorful while avoiding an exploding mess. That being said, you may not use up all of your puree and all of your black beans to make two quesadillas.
To put it simply, don’t overstuff it. It will be hard to flip and even harder to eat.
Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes. It’s always best to avoid food waste as much as you can! Any leftover sweet potato or black bean puree will last 3-5 days. You’re sure to crave another quesadilla by then!
Getting That Coveted Golden Brown Finish
The key is to get your pan hot first. Set a medium-sized nonstick frying pan or cast-iron skillet on your stove over medium heat and give it about 3 minutes to warm up. I use this cast-iron pizza pan and it works beautifully (affiliate link)!
Then lay your quesadilla directly on the hot pan—no need for any grease. Wait a good 3 minutes before using your spatula to lift your quesadilla and check underneath.
If you see crispy, golden brown perfection, you’re ready to flip! It doesn’t take long to go from nice ‘n crisp to burnt, so keep a close eye.
Once you flip, if you notice your tortillas are browning fast, but your cheese is not melting, cover your pan to trap some heat—this will encourage the cheese to start becoming the ooey-gooey delight it was meant to be!
I recommend frying up one quesadilla at a time, so your can get your timing just right.
Hot ‘N Ready
Once your quesadillas are ready, serve them hot and melty. A pizza cutter will slice through them perfectly! These Pan-Fried Sweet Potato Quesadillas are absolutely dynamite on their own, but I also like to eat them with some Creamy Guacamole or spicy salsa.
Why You Should Make This Sweet Potato Quesadilla
- It’s balanced. The perfect combination of both sweet and spicy.
- It’s hearty. Between the potatoes and black beans, it will keep you full and energized.
- It’s crispy. Pan-fried perfection.
- It’s loaded with complex flavor. The spice and cheese blend makes this so incredibly tasty!