This sweet potato black bean taco recipe features smoky roasted sweet potato, black beans, chipotle queso and an easy cabbage lime slaw.

Overhead view of a colourful sweet potato and black bean taco topped with red cabbage slaw and a creamy sauce on a plate. There is a plate of tortillas beside the plate and bowls of cilantro, cabbage slaw and the sauce.

Why Make this Recipe

If you’re looking for a healthy vegetarian taco recipe, you’re going to love these sweet potato tacos! These are perfect for taco Tuesday, meatless Monday, entertaining or a fun and delicious, crowd-pleasing meal any night of the week!

The recipe features seasoned sweet potato cubes and black beans and onions with a creamy chipotle sauce and cabbage slaw.

The queso and slaw are optional though, so the tacos are easy to customize with your favourite toppings.

Enjoy these easy vegan tacos for your next taco night. They’re sure to be a huge hit!

Recipe Highlights

  • Vegetarian, vegan (dairy-free) and naturally gluten-free.
  • Easy to make.
  • Customize with your favourite taco toppings.
  • Ready in about 30 minutes.

Ingredient Notes

A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.

All the ingredients needed for making a vegetarian sweet potato and black bean taco recipe gathered in bowls. Each ingredient is labelled with text and the list can be found on the corresponding blog page for the recipe.

For the Tacos & Slaw

  • Sweet Potato: You’ll need 2 medium sweet potatoes or about 5 cups cubed. You could also use white potato or yam.
  • Oil: Your choice of cooking oil. I used olive oil.
  • Smoked Paprika: I love smoked paprika for a bit of smokiness but regular paprika also works.
  • Other Spices: You’ll also need cumin, garlic powder and any mild chili powder.
  • Onion: You can use white onion, red onion or yellow onion.
  • Garlic: The black beans call for garlic cloves but you could also use garlic powder here.
  • Black Beans: You’ll need 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • Cabbage: You can use purple or green cabbage for the slaw. The slaw is optional, of course, but adds some nice freshness and zing to the tacos.
  • Cilantro: Use fresh cilantro in the slaw.
  • Sugar: You’ll need just a little pinch of sugar to balance the acidity in the slaw.
  • Tortillas: Use your favourite corn tortillas, or you can use wheat tortillas. You can also skip the tortillas and make a taco salad or taco bowl.
All the ingredients needed for making a cashew and chipotle queso recipe with lime and nutritional yeast gathered in bowls. Each ingredient is labelled with text and the list can be found on the corresponding blog page for the recipe.

For the Queso

  • Cashews: Use plain, raw cashews with no added oil or salt.
  • Tomato Paste: Any brand of canned tomato paste works!
  • Nutritional Yeast: This adds the “chessiness” to the queso so it can’t be substituted.
  • Spices: You’ll need smoked paprika and garlic powder, though you could use garlic cloves instead of garlic powder if you like.
  • Chipotle Pepper: Use 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. Save the extras for another use or freeze in an ice cube tray then transfer to a freezer-bag. If you don’t have these on hand or for regular queso, replace with an extra tablespoon of tomato paste.
  • Lime Juice: You’ll need 1-2 limes depending on how juicy they are.
A colourful sweet potato and black bean taco topped with red cabbage slaw, cilantro and a creamy sauce on a plate. There's a jar of queso sauce with a spoon in it in the background.

Step-by-Step with Photos

It might seem like there’s a lot to do for this recipe but it’s actually quite easy and comes together fairly quickly once you get going.

Get the sweet potato in the oven first, then make the slaw and queso and set those aside, then cook up the onion and black beans for a few minutes. That’s really it – assemble your tacos and enjoy!

Before You Start: If you’re making the chipotle queso sauce, you’ll need to soak the cashews ahead of time. If you have a high-speed blender, 15-20 minutes in just boiled water should do the trick. If not, soak for at least an hour.

Step 1: Roast the Sweet Potato

Add the sweet potato cubes to a baking tray and toss with the spices, oil and salt. Roast them for 22-25 minutes at 425 F until they’re tender.

Sweet potato cubes coated in taco spices on a baking tray.

Step 2: Make the Slaw

While the sweet potato is roasting, add the cabbage, lime, salt and a pinch of sugar to a bowl and massage with your hands to coat. Mix in the cilantro and set that aside for now.

Red cabbage and cilantro slaw in a mixing bowl with a spoon and fork resting in the bowl.

Step 3: Make the Queso

Add the drained soaked cashews and the rest of the queso ingredients to a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Taste it and add more salt, if needed.

What if I don’t have a high-speed blender? You can also use a single-serving blender like a Magic Bullet or a smaller-sized food processor. A high-powered blender will give you the creamiest result but any blending device works.

A Weck jar of creamy queso sauce on a checkered countertop..

Step 4: Cook the Black Beans

Heat the oil then cook the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper for a few minutes until they’re softened. Add the garlic and spices and cook for another minute while stirring constantly.

Diced onions with spices cooking in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Add the black beans and water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once it’s simmering, reduce the heat to low and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced.

Note: You can leave the beans whole or smash them up a bit with a potato masher, fork or back of a wooden spoon for more of a refried beans texture, adding more water as needed to reach your desired consistency.

Black beans and onions cooking with spices in a skillet. The mixture is steaming and there's a wooden spoon resting in the skillet.

Step 5: Assemble your Tacos

If you like, warm your tortillas in a skillet, directly on a gas range or briefly on a plate in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel.

Add a scoop of the onion and black bean mixture to each tortilla and top with some of the roasted sweet potatoes.

If you didn’t make the queso or slaw, add your choice of toppings like salsa, sour cream, hot sauce or one of the other taco topping ideas listed below.

A corn tortilla on a plate. The tortilla is topped with an onion and black bean mixture with a wooden spoon scooping some spiced sweet potato cubes onto the tortilla. There's a glass jar of queso sauce in the background.

If you made the slaw and queso, top your taco with some slaw and drizzle it with the queso sauce. Add any extra toppings you’d like and enjoy your delicious creation!

A spoon drizzling queso sauce over a sweet potato and black bean taco on a plate.

Topping Ideas

If you’re making the queso and slaw, the tacos don’t really need anything else but here are some alternative or additional taco topping ideas:

Two folded over black bean and sweet potato tacos with red cabbage slaw and queso sauce on a plate.

FAQs

Are sweet potato tacos gluten-free?

Yes. This recipe is naturally gluten-free as long as you use corn tortillas and not wheat tortillas.

Can I make this recipe nut-free?

Yes. Omit the cashew chipotle sauce and try this tofu-based lime crema, one of the other topping ideas listed above or another queso recipe you enjoy.

Variations

  • Try these fajita-marinated mushrooms instead of the black bean mixture.
  • For spicy sweet potatoes and/or black beans, add up to 1 tsp cayenne pepper or chili flakes.
  • Use kidney beans, pinto beans or chickpeas instead of black beans.
  • Add 1 cup of corn to the black beans.
  • Roast 1 cup diced pineapple with the sweet potato.
  • Serve everything over rice to make a sweet potato taco bowl.
  • Serve everything over chopped romaine for a taco salad.
Overhead view of a colourful sweet potato and black bean taco topped with red cabbage slaw and a creamy sauce on a plate. Chopped fresh cilantro is sprinkled around the plate.

Storing & Making Ahead

  • The queso can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge. If it’s thickened after storing you can stir in a little water to thin.
  • The slaw can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
  • The cashews can be soaked in advance for up to 12 hours.
  • Leftover sweet potato and black bean mixtures can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Enjoy leftovers in a taco bowl, salad or reheated for more tacos.
Two hands picked up a sweet potato black bean taco with cabbage slaw, cilantro and queso sauce from a plate.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review.

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Taco Recipe

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 tacos 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These restaurant-quality sweet potato and black bean tacos with queso and slaw are sure to be a big hit! Despite the various components, they’re quick and easy to whip up for a crowd-pleasing meal packed with bold flavours.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Roasted Sweet Potato

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (595 g, approx 5 cups cubed)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • salt

For the Slaw

  • 2 cups red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 lime, juiced (approx. 3-4 tbsp)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper

For the Queso

For the Black Beans

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (115 g/1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt and pepper

For Serving

  • 12 small corn tortillas or flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Soak Cashews: Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with just boiled water. If you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, you can soak for a minimum of 15 minutes. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, soak for a minimum of 1 hour. After soaking, drain well.
  2. When you’re ready to proceed, preheat the oven to 425 F.
  3. Make the Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Add the sweet potato cubes, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder and cumin to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, season with a pinch of salt, then toss with your hands to coat and spread in a single layer. Roast on the middle rack for 22-25 minutes until tender.
  4. Make the Slaw: Add the cabbage, lime juice, salt and a pinch of sugar to a mixing bowl and mix with your hands, massaging the cabbage to coat. Add the cilantro and toss to combine. Set aside.
  5. Make the Queso: Add the soaked cashews and the rest of the queso ingredients to a high-powered blender. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Taste and season with more salt or blend in a bit more water to adjust the consistency, if needed.
  6. Cook the Onions: Heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.
  7. Add the Spices: Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
  8. Add the Black Beans and Water: Add the black beans and water and bring to a simmer. Once the mixture is simmering, reduce the heat to low and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced. Note: You can smash some of the beans with a potato masher, fork or back of a wooden spoon for a refried bean-like texture, adding more water as needed to reach your desired consistency.
  9. Warm Tortillas: If desired, warm tortillas over medium heat in a large pan or directly on a gas range.
  10. Assemble Tacos: Place a scoop of the black bean mixture into a warm tortilla, top with sweet potatoes and a little slaw. Drizzle the queso over top. Add any other toppings you desire and enjoy. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Notes

Queso can be made 2-3 days in advance and stored in the fridge in a sealed container. The slaw can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge. The cashews can be soaked in advance up to overnight.

Leftover sweet potato and black bean mixtures can be stored 3-4 days in a sealed container in the fridge and used in taco bowls, salads or for more tacos. Reheat as needed in the microwave or on the stovetop before adding to tortillas.

Nutritional facts are an estimate based on creating 12 tacos including using all of the queso sauce and will vary based on the tortillas used.

The queso and slaw are optional. If you’re not making that portion of the recipe, see blog post above for alternative topping and sauce ideas.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 taco
  • Calories: 236
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Keywords: sweet potato black bean tacos, sweet potato tacos