BBQ Sweetpotato Quesadilla #spon

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Sweetpotato Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


I’ve always found the difference between yams and sweet potatoes confusing, especially because so many people use the names interchangeably.  When a recipe called for one or the other, I would just grab what I happened to run in to at the store and hope for the best (note: the results were NOT always the best).  California sweetpotatoes have made it a little simpler for the easily confused like me by removing the space to distinguish themselves from that confusing mess.

BBQ Sweet Potato Quesadilla #spon

In case you are still struggling with the difference, yams are dry and starchy – and I find them to be a little stringy, though there are a variety of yams called sweet potatoes.  True sweetpotatoes are sweet and moist – and I find them to be delicious both in recipes that compliment their sweetness as well as in recipes with a little spice.  With this recipe, I combined both flavor profiles for an amazing time with sweetpotatoes.

BBQ Sweet Potato Quesadilla #spon

Please note that this dish really wouldn’t work if you swapped out for a standard white potato.  You’d lose the sweetness and moisture and miss out on extra nutrition.  Normally I don’t like to promote carb on carb action, but a medium California sweetpotato has 4g of fiber and 2 g of protein, plus vitamins C and A.

BBQ Sweet Potato Quesadilla #spon
Serves: 4

  • 1 medium California Sweetpotato
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin Powder
  • Salt
  • 2 burrito sized whole grain or corn tortillas (or 4 medium/small)
  • ½ c pinto beans, cooked or canned
  • 2 tbsp red onion
  • ½ c reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded (Vegan option: drizzle vegan cheese sauce or use avocado slices)
  • ~ ¼ c BBQ sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Thinly slice California sweetpotato (¼ inch). Spread in a single layer over a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously (to taste) with chili and cumin powders and salt.
  3. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until soft. Set aside and let cool until they are safe to handle.
  4. Bring a skillet to medium heat or preheat a quesadilla maker.
  5. Drizzle skilled with olive oil or spritz with nonstick spray.
  6. Spread whole tortillas with a thin layer of BBQ sauce. Layer with sweetpotatoes, cheddar, onion, and pintos, dividing ingredients evenly.
  7. Carefully place quesadilla on the skillet or in the quesadilla maker. If using the skillet, carefully flip after the bottom has browned. Cook until cheese is melty.

If using the larger tortillas, be VERY careful flipping and use two spatulas if necessary. It is easy to lose some filling, especially if making this vegan.
If making these gluten free, use corn tortillas and a GF barbeque sauce.
Sweetpotatoes can be cooked up to two days in advance.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 200 Fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 38g Fiber: 6g Protein: 11g

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    Serena Ball Oct 13, 2013

    Yum! Sweetpotatoes and BBQ sauce …yes please!

    Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens Oct 10, 2013

    Ohhh – love the suggestion for the avocado!! I would add cheese and avocado – and tons of those awesome sweet potatoes! I just love this!
    PS – I totally laughed at carb-on-carb action! Hilarious!!

    Joanne Oct 09, 2013

    I’m fairly certain I’ve never had an actual yam, but I am perfectly content to nosh on sweetpotatoes indefinitely!! These quesadillas are fabulous!! Simple yet so delicious.

      Kelly Oct 09, 2013

      Yams are not the best — they’re kind of stringy! I’m not really sure how I ended up with the one grocery store in America that decided to carry them. Sweetpotatoes are definitely wineners though.

    makingthymeforhealth Oct 08, 2013

    Wow! This sounds amazing. I’ve never thought to put BBQ sauce with sweet potato but I like the idea. Plus the pinto beans make it healthy too.Thanks for the weeknight meal idea!

      Kelly Oct 08, 2013

      If I lived alone, I’d probably put BBQ sauce on everything I made. I’ll try to keep inspiring new foods to put it on 😀

    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl Oct 07, 2013

    I want a closeup of your nails – please! Besides that I want a quesadilla, well I want 2! Great recipe! 🙂

      Kelly Oct 08, 2013

      My nails were basically dipped in confetti. They’re pretty awesome 😉

    Erin @ The Speckled Palate Oct 07, 2013

    You’ve totally taught me something new with yam vs. sweet potato, Kelly, and I’m super excited to give this recipe a go, especially since sweet potatoes are abundant in Texas around this time of year. There’s nothing like a nice sweet potato, and I think adding it to a quesadilla sounds like a perfect addition!

    Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat Oct 07, 2013

    Great idea! I love sweet potatoes and quesadillas but never thought of combining them!

    Becky @ Olives n Wine Oct 07, 2013

    Yummm! BBQ Sweet Potato Mexican goodness? You know how to win my heart <3

    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green Oct 07, 2013

    I just posted a recipe for sweet potato quesadillas as well! Aren’t they amazing? I love that you added BBQ sauce to yours. I must try that!

    cleaneatingveggiegirl Oct 07, 2013

    I SO want to try this!! I am ALL about anything that involves barbecue sauce, especially if it has sweet potatoes, too!

      Kelly Oct 07, 2013

      I had never thought to combine the two before this! Silly me.

    Em @ Love A Latte Oct 07, 2013

    Since the last week I’ve basically survied off chia seed pancakes and quesadillas, these fit right in and look fantastic! 🙂

      Kelly Oct 07, 2013

      mmmm It sounds like you’ve had a great week then!