Mary Knize

Lazy Sweet Potato, Squash, and Black Bean Enchiladas

3 min read


This is a recipe that I've made a bunch of times, adapted from the Thug Kitchen cookbook. It's a great cookbook, but I've adapted this recipe to fit my own needs. For starters, this is a vegan cookbook and I'm not vegan. Sorry, but I need cheese in my enchiladas! Second, I don't have a casserole dish and I do have an Instant Pot. Because of the Instant Pot, I save time on peeling, dicing, and steaming the sweet potato by pressure cooking it for 25 minutes. Third, I'm too lazy to make enchilada sauce from scratch!


  • 1 can of red enchilada sauce.
  • 1 large sweet potato.
  • 1 cup water.
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil.
  • 1 small onion.
  • 1 medium yellow squash.
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • A blop of jarred minced garlic (I don't actually measure).
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 5 to 6 medium tortillas.

Put the Instant Pot on the pressure cook setting and pour in the cup of water. Put the steaming trivet in the bottom of the pot. Put the sweet potato on top of the trivet. I usually cook 2 or 3 large sweet potatoes at once so I have extras on hand. Put the lid on and set the time for 25 minutes. (This time is for fat, chonky sweet potatoes. Adjust as needed for skinnier ones.)

Once the sweet potatoes are done, release the pressure and let them sit in there to cool. Chop up the onion and heat up the oil on medium in a large, nonstick skillet. When the oil is hot, throw in the onion pieces and let them sit there to brown while you prep the squash. Grate the squash on the large holes of a box grater. Don't use the small holes, it basically just turns the squash to mush. Once the onion is getting a little brown, throw the grated squash in there and give it a bit of a stir. Let that cook for a couple of minutes while you locate a can of beans. I like to open the beans, dump them into a strainer, and then rinse them off with a bit of water. Throw the beans into the skillet, stir, and add the chili powser, cumin, salt, and garlic. Don't skimp on the cumin, that's what gives the enchilidas a bit of "meaty" flavor. Let that cook for a few more minutes.

Now, your sweet potato should be cool enough to handle. If one exploded in the Instant Pot (I almost always have one explode even if I poke them with a fork), use that one. Open up the skin and scoop out the insides directly into the skillet. It should be soft all the way through. Use your spatula, spoon, or other stirring device to smush the sweet potato into the onion, squash, and bean mixture. Get it all nice and combined, and turn off the burner. I let it sit for a few minutes while I get on a chair to reach the mixing bowls that live on the highest shelf in the kitchen.

Since I don't have a casserole dish, I'm going to use the same skillet to cook the enchiladas. Dump the sweet potato mix into a mixing bowl and get the skillet all cleaned out. You don't have to wash it, just get it mostly clean. Also, turn off the burner and take the skillet off the heat. You don't want the enchilada sauce to start bubbling when you pour it in.

Open the can of enchilada sauce and pour a little less than half in the skillet. I like to give the skillet a swirl so it's nice and coated all over. Then, pick up a tortilla, and spoon in some of the sweet potato mix. Make sure you use enough to get a nice, chonky enchilada. Generally I get 5 enchiladas out of the mix, maybe 6, which is really more than the skillet can take. Roll the enchilada up and place it in the skillet, seam-side down. Yeah, I didn't dip the tortilla in the sauce before filling, because I am lazy. I generally get four enchiladas across the skillet, then one on the side of the others. Now, take the rest of the can of sauce, and evenly drizzle it over the enchiladas. Get them nice and saucy. Now, sprinkle on a ton of Mexican shredded cheese. You can also put cheese inside, but I usually forget about the cheese until this part. It's fine.

Now, put the skillet back on the burner and turn it up to medium heat. Put a lid on the skillet and heat until the sauce starts bubbling. Once that happens, turn the heat to low and let it bubble for 20 minutes. Once it's done, the cheese should be all melted and the sauce has seeped all into the enchiladas. Make an attempt at plating using a silicone spatula. Top with sour cream. Maybe add an avocado. Forget that you had cilantro in the fridge. Enjoy.

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