Orange-tinted meat, diced tomato, and a few lettuce bit were my singular conception of the taco from age one to something-teen. Anyone else? Oh, I forgot something. The crunchy shell. The tooth-cracking yellow case—well, let’s not talk about that anymore.
I am so glad that at some point real tacos were introduced into my taco-impaired schema. You know, the kind with slow-simmered shredded meat, slathered in cheese, guacamole, and pico de gallo or garden salsa? And wrapped in a lovely, soft, flour tortilla? THAT kind of taco. (PS, if your idea of the idea of the exalted taco is still ground beef hidden in a yellow crunch-crunch, you might want to leave before I reveal this recipe. It’s probably not for you.)
Nothing will ever supplant a legit shredded-meat-cheese-and-salsa taco. But, the tacos I am about to share with you are a really fantastic way to change up your Taco Tuesdays. The flavors make for a fabulous fresh meal that will have you wondering why you never thought to put sweet potatoes in a tortilla before. (PPS—if your idea of sweet potatoes is still those squishy canned yams smothered in marshmallow soup, the idea of sweet potatoes in a taco is probably abhorrent. We need to fundamentally change your ideas about how sweet potatoes can look, smell, and taste. No mush, no marshmallows. Amen)
In this recipe, you’re going to peel and dice your sweet potato, coat it with some oil and spices, and place it on a tray in the oven to roast. Meanwhile, you’ll sauté a chopped onion to caramel-y perfection, add in the garlic, beans, and corn, and toss them in honey and lime juice. Then pull the sweet potatoes out of the oven and toss them into the skillet along with a little chopped cilantro. Serve with your favorite toppings (I’m thinking avocados plus some cotija/queso fresco or crema), and you’re done. Once you’ve made this a couple times, it will become one of the fastest fresh meals you can make. It takes me only 20 minutes to get it on the table, largely because the recipe is easy to memorize and hard to mess up!
I never guessed the textures and flavors of honey, lime, sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, and caramelized onions could make such a delicious taco. Tell me what you think!
- 1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 –inch pieces
- 4 TBS oil, divided
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ tsp salt (more to taste)
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup corn, drained (about ½ can)
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
- Flour tortillas
- Optional toppings: Diced avocados, cheese (such as cotija, queso fresco, feta, Monterey, pepperjack), fresh salsa or pico de gallo
Preheat oven to 425* F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Place sweet potatoes on foil-lined sheet. Drizzle 3 TBS of the oil over the sweet potatoes and toss them with your hands until coated. Sprinkle the paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt and pepper and toss with your hands again until coated evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 TBSP of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they turn golden-brown and taste sweet. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds more. Reduce heat and add in the black beans, corn, honey, and lime juice. When everything is heated through, remove from the heat and stir in the sweet potatoes and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy