Sweet Potato & Spinach Quesadillas

Snow has officially fallen in Seattle and provided a stark reminder that winter is still here. Indeed, I must resign myself to the fact that farmers markets filled with the bounty of spring are months away. Thus I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and make use of the bounty of winter; butternut squash, yukon golds, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. I decided to start with sweet potatoes.

And spinach. There’s something so comforting about the beautiful bright orange and dark green mingling together that brightens a cold winter day.

Now you see, I’m the type of person that usually starts cooking before I know exactly what I want to make. When I saw the sweet potatoes humbly perched in a bowl on my counter top I decided to bake them all in one swoop. A couple baked sweet potatoes could serve as a side dish for dinner but what about the rest? I figured it would be easier to find a use for them once they were already baked. How right I was.

The addition of sweet potatoes to these quesadillas transform them into something totally different. Satisfying. Slightly sweet. Wholesome. Did I mention delicious?

In case you didn’t already realize this, quesadillas make a great quick-to-prepare and satisfying meal. Tortillas + cheese + whatever-else-you-have-lying-around. Black beans, corn, leftover meat, avocados, pickled jalapenos, diced green chilis, peppers, or sauteed onions all fit the bill nicely.  Or spinach and leftover baked sweet potatoes.

Have I convinced you yet?

In case you didn’t already get the point, you’ll need some spinach.

Leftover baked sweet potato (about 1/2 per quesadilla).  Chop into small pieces.

And some grated cheese.  I used white cheddar but feel free to use what you have on hand.

I imagine gouda, queso fresco, or goat cheese would all be quite tasty additions.

Now place a tortilla in your skillet of choice  (no oil or anything necessary) and add half of the desired amount of grated cheese.

Now you could make your quesadilla in the microwave but why would you?  Have you ever had a quesadilla made on the stove top with it’s crispy flaky tortilla and oozing melted cheese?

I can still remember the first time I had a quesadilla made on the stove top.  It must have been in middle school when I was at my friend Leah’s house and she asked me if I was okay with quesadillas for lunch. Sure. But then why was she turning on the stove when the microwave was right there? One bite of that crispy and beautifully speckled tortilla and I was hooked.  You see, growing up I had always made my quesadillas in the microwave (which was probably a safe idea for my absent minded small child self) but one bite of a quesadilla made on the stove top and I was hooked for good.

Are you convinced yet?  Okay, moving on…

Add your desired amount of spinach and chopped sweet potatoes.  Keep in mind that the spinach will shrink in size as it cooks.

Add the rest of the grated cheese.  By adding cheese as both the first and last ingredient it will help the toppings adhere to both tortillas and make your life much easier when you go to flip your quesadilla.  Trust me.

Add a sprinkling of pepper too, just for kicks, and top with a second tortilla.  Go ahead and press it all down with the palm of your hand to help everything adhere.  If your skillet is already hot, use a spatula.  Kitchen safety.

Now go put it on the stove on medium heat until the cheese has melted.  Don’t try and flip it before then or you’ll encounter a big mess.  If you lift up a corner of the tortilla and it’s getting too browned before the cheese is melting, turn down the heat.  Likewise, if you’re starting with a preheated skillet you will likely find you need a lower level of heat.

Once it’s melted flip it over to brown the other side.  At this point you can turn the heat up if you want it to brown faster.  Your choice.

Wait a minute or two (if you can stand it), cut the quesadilla into slices and enjoy.  It’s especially delicious served with some hot sauce, sour cream, and/or guacamole.

Speaking of hot sauce, I just discovered Cholula in January and I’m already working on my second bottle.  My husband and I are addicted.  A-d-d-i-c-t-e-d.  Please send help.

Only after you’ve enjoyed a bite of your quesadilla, of course.

Sweet Potato & Spinach Quesadillas

  • Handful of baby spinach
  • 1/2 small baked sweet potato*, cut into small cubes
  • Handful of shredded cheese
  • 2 8-inch flour tortillas
  • pepper (optional)

Place one tortilla in the skillet.  Cover with half the cheese.  Add the spinach and chopped sweet potatoes.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and a touch of freshly ground (or not) pepper.  Top with the second tortilla.  Cook over medium heat until the cheese has melted.  Flip and cook other side until tortilla is speckled with color.  Place on cutting board, slice into wedges, and enjoy!

*To bake sweet potatoes: Rinse. Scrub. Prick with a fork.  Place on baking sheet.  400 F for 40-60 minutes depending on the size.

What do you like to make with Sweet Potatoes?  I’ve still got a couple months of winter-y weather to get through and I need some inspiration!


8 Responses

  1. Carin says:

    Detta var en bra idé! Ska genast testa det i helgen… men det blir utan sweet potatoes och vi provar Västerbottensost! Mums!

  2. i never would have thought to put sweet potatoes in quesadillas! these look awesome… quesadillas are just the best. so easy and pretty hard to screw up! and it’s so funny that you’ve just discovered cholula… i did, too! i blame my brother, who can consume an entire bottle himself in the span of a few days. no joke. we like the chipotle cholula – have you tried it?

    as for sweet potato ideas, i make a soup with onion/garlic/tomato/crushed red pepper/pancetta/chard/cannelini beans that always hits the spot :) i’ll have to make that again soon!

  3. What a perfect combo! I love sweet potatoes but have never used them in a quesadilla! This is a keeper!

  4. Kathe says:

    Auntee Kathe here…I just love your writing style…your voice

  5. Kathe says:

    comes through just like we were talking. Kim and I are going to buy pork and make that pulled pork. Can’t wait!

  6. Anita says:

    Auntee Anita here….I need to work on my Gravatar, but I’m also going to make this Sweet Potato & Spinach Quesadilla!! I looks incredible!! Thank you for this wonderful blog! Can’t wait to explore more!

  7. Sarah says:

    Hi Kathe & Anita! I’m glad you guys are enjoying my blog. Now I just need to update it…

    Anyways, I hope the recipes turn out well for you both. It was so wonderful to see everyone in NY and hopefully it won’t be too long before Dirk & I make it over there again.

  8. Ratatouille with feta, a mild curried sweet potato, baked beens with kale, and collard greens with garlic and lemon.

Leave a Reply

Using Gravatars in the comments - get your own and be recognized!

XHTML: These are some of the tags you can use: <a href=""> <b> <blockquote> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>