A while back I spied a recipe by The Pioneer Woman for butternut squash and kale quesadillas that looked simply divine. I’ve been meaning to make a version of those ever since. This past week, I FINALLY got around to doing it. It only took me about 6 months of time. Seriously. Where do the days go?
Since it’s May and butternut squash isn’t really in season, I switched it out for some roasted sweet potatoes. I also added in a can of pinto beans, some garlic and additional spices. And oh boy, are these delicious! A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy and a little bit cheesy. You really can’t go wrong with that combination of awesomeness.
These Sweet Potato, Pinto Bean and Kale Quesadillas have quickly become a new favorite around my house. I like to think that they are kind of healthy (don’t quote me on that), since they’re packed with a lot of good-for-you ingredients. And the filling stores very well in the refrigerator, so you can make up a batch of filling and then just cook off one or two quesadillas at a time, which helps to streamline the weeknight dinner routine. And that’s always a win in my book.
Recipe inspired by The Pioneer Woman
Sweet Potato, Pinto Bean and Kale Quesadillas
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combination of Cheddar and Monterey Jack)
- 8 large flour tortillas
- Cook the sweet potatoes, either in the oven or the microwave. Too cook them in the oven, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork or knife, then place them in a baking pan and roast in your pre-heated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. To cook them in the microwave, pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork or knife and place them in a microwave safe dish. Cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Carefully rotate the sweet potatoes and cook on high for another 5 minutes. Then continue cooking them on high in 1-2 minute intervals (and continue rotation them) until the flesh is soft and can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the microwave and set aside to cool slightly.
- Once the cooked sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skins. Transfer the flesh to a medium sized bowl. Mash slightly with a fork. Stir in the cumin, chili powder and salt. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pinto beans and the red pepper flakes and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped kale and sauté for about 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. If things are getting dry, you can add a little more olive oil to the skillet during the cooking process. Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer everything in the skillet to your bowl with the mashed sweet potatoes. Stir to combine.
- Use the same skillet to build your quesadilla. Lightly grease the skillet with a small amount of olive oil or spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Place one flour tortilla in the skillet. Add about 1/2 cup of cheese and then spread about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the sweet potato filling on top. Place a second flour tortilla on top. Let the quesadilla cook about 2-3 minutes, or until the tortilla starts to get brown. Then flip it and cook on the second side until slightly browned, another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the quesadilla from the skillet. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining filling and tortillas. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve them immediately with the toppings of your choice. I like sour cream and some chopped cilantro.
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