Black bean and sweet potato quesadillas with lime-infused cabbage slaw

This healthier version of the popular snack is filling, delicious, and vegan.

Black bean and sweet potato quesadillas with lime-infused cabbage slaw

Quesadillas are delicious snacks, but they can easily be high in fat and carbohydrates. This healthier version is made with black beans, sweet potato, and whole-grain tortillas, making them high in vitamin A, potassium, iron, and fiber. Enjoy with some lime-infused cabbage slaw, which adds a refreshing kick to the dish.

Some tips:

  • Switch up your beans: black-eyed peas or any other bean would go well with this recipe.
  • Make a double batch and have enough for multiple meals.
  • Purchase fresh salsa from your local taqueria; vary the salsa to suit your taste buds.
  • For extra creaminess, add 1/4 sliced avocado to your quesadilla.

Servings: 6


  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, divided
  • 1/2 medium-sized head of red or green cabbage, thinly sliced into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
  • Juice of 1 to 2 limes, to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 9 ounces), chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup of fresh salsa (mild or spicy, it’s up to you)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 8 ounces vegetarian, no added oil, refried beans (about half a 15-ounce can)
  • 8 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed (1 full can or fresh)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced (optional and HOT)
  • 6 small (taco-sized) whole-grain tortillas or corn tortillas


  1. In a medium pot, combine red onion and 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar with enough water to cover. Boil for one minute. Drain in colander and run under cold water to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, onion, carrot, and bell pepper. 
  3. Add juice of 1 lime, remaining 2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar, ground cumin, cilantro, and a dash of sea salt. Adjust seasoning. Add more lime juice to taste.
  4. Toss together thoroughly, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  5. While the cabbage slaw is chilling, start on the quesadillas.
  6. In a medium pot, steam chopped, unpeeled sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes.
  7. Drain sweet potatoes and return to pot used for steaming. 
  8. Mash with the salsa, rice, and fresh spinach. 
  9. Then mix in black beans and refried beans, heating mixture thoroughly over medium heat. 
  10. Add onion powder, chili powder, and cumin to taste and stir.
  11. In a dry frying pan over medium heat, place a tortilla, and slather half of the tortilla with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the sweet potato and bean mixture. Add jalapeños if desired.
  12. Fold tortilla in half and cook quesadilla on medium heat for about 3 minutes, then flip with spatula and cook for another 3 minutes. Repeat with each tortilla. Cut into desired number of sections and serve with cabbage slaw and additional salsa, if desired.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 170
  • Total fat: 1 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 310 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 36 g
  • Dietary fiber: 8 g
  • Total sugars: 8 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Includes 1/4 teaspoon added salt in the cabbage slaw