Sweet Potato and Black Bean Casserole is a classic, comforting casserole recipe for dinner that gets done in just 15 to 20 minutes.
What you will Love about this Casserole:
- Black Bean and Sweet Potatoes: Literally as the name of the post suggests, these two are the protagonist of this recipe. And, you will love the nutty texture of black beans and the way Sweet Potatoes turns mushy.
- Corn: Personally, I think corn has a sweetish tone to itself which makes the recipe stand out. It pairs really well with black beans.
- The Ease of Making: Seriously, whenever we are making a casserole, the only and only thing we want is the ease of making. Yes, you will have to caramelize the onions in the pan. This process takes a little time. But, eventually, you will see that by the time you are peeling the sweet potatoes your onions will be done.
- The Taste: After all the sole reason you should be making this casserole is nothing but the taste of it. Sweet potatoes, the nutty black beans, the cheese, the onions, and finally some fresh cilantro brings a beautiful taste that will stay with you for a long long time.
Sweet Potatoes are in the season. And so are black beans. And this the best way to use up these seasonal veggies is by making an easy peasy casserole out of it.
Takes just a few minutes and your dinner is ready.
Ingredients you will need to make this Casserole
- 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil - I always recommend a good brand of olive oil. I personally don't endorse any brand but you can choose your pick.
- 1 Medium Red Onion - I would have used Yellow onion or white onion. But, I was out of stock. So, I used red onions. Turns out, it was just as good.
- 4-5 Large Tomatoes: I love fire roasting my tomatoes and then chopping them up. This intensifies the flavors and makes it more delicious.
- 2 Pound Sweet Potatoes - Use good quality sweet potatoes which have been washed, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Remember, It's the hero of this dish.
- 15 Ounces Black Beans - You can use canned black beans for this recipe. 1 can of black beans will be good enough for us. But, make sure that it's thoroughly drained and rinsed.
- 1/2 Cup Corn: I used frozen corn. You can also use fresh corn off the cobb. I have seen that corn adds a little sweetness to this casserole and I just love this.
- 2 cups of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese - I would always suggest you shred your own cheese at home. However, if you already have shredded cheese then you can surely use it up.
- 1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese - Well adding cheddar is my personal choice. I and my family loves cheddar. And, we cannot imagine casserole without cheddar cheese. So, I just had to put this in.
- 1 Tablespoon of Smoked Paprika - I like a little heat in my casserole and therefore I always add a pinch of smoked paprika while baking this casserole.
- 1 Tablespoon of Cumin Powder - Cumin has a nutty and earthy texture which improves the taste drastically. And right when you add it to your casserole, the smell that you get is so good.
- 3 Cloves of Grated Garlic - I always add garlic in my recipes. But, instead of mincing my garlic I prefer grating my garlic. You can either grate your garlic or mince it up. The idea is to break it down into small pieces so that you get more intense flavors. In my experience, grated garlic gives out excellent flavors and disappears faster in the recipe.
- Kosher Salt - You can adjust the Salt as per your choice.
- Lemon Juice: Just a dash of lemon juice brightens up and livens up the flavors. But, I always add it at last just before adding the cheese on it. If you add it while it's hot then it will evaporate. We don't want that.
How to Make Sweet Potato and Black Bean Casserole?
This casserole recipe is pretty simple and straightforward. You can follow the instructions below and see how this works.
- First, grease a 9x11 inch baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. And, Preheat your oven to 400F.
- If you are using canned tomatoes you can skip this step. Or else, take a medium or small tomato and hold it near the fire from the stove with the help of your cooking tongs. In a few seconds, it will get beautifully charred. We need to get them lightly charred. Next, cool them down. Once they are at room temperature roughly chop them up.
- Now heat a pan with some oil. When the oil shimmers. Add Onions and Garlic. Caramelize the Onions on low heat.
- Add Chopped Sweet Potatoes and get them PARTIALLY cooked. (It will cook later when we bake them)
- Add a dash of Smoked Paprika and some Cumin powder and give it a good stir. Season it with some salt.
- Now add drained and rinsed black beans, corn, and fire-roasted chopped tomatoes. Get the tomatoes nicely blistered and then take it out in the prepared baking dish.
- Add Shredded Mozzarella cheese and shredded cheddar cheese on top.
- Squeeze Lemon juice. It will liven up the flavors.
- Bake this uncovered for about 30-40 minutes until the cheese is browned and the sweet potatoes are soft and tender.
- Enjoy with some freshly chopped parsley or cilantro on top.
Is this Recipe, Keto, and Low Carb Friendly? If not then how to do so?
The straightforward answer is NO.
- Both Mozzarella Cheese and Cheddar Cheese are low in carbs. 28gm of Cheddar Cheese provides 1gm of carb, while 1 ounce of Mozzarella cheese provides just 0.6gm of carbs. But, it is not suitable for someone with a heart condition because this contains sodium. And, therefore if you are not on a strict keto diet or you are looking forwards to a healthy low sodium recipe then you can replace this with Low Sodium Swiss Cheese.
- Sweet Potato is not keto-friendly and is therefore strictly NOT advisable for you to include it in your low carb and keto-friendly diet. But, you can replace Sweet Potato with Cauliflower. Check out this Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe for a clearer picture.
How Can I Make A Gluten-Free version of this recipe?
- The thing is Mozzarella Cheese is NOT gluten-free. This is because they are coated in breadcrumbs. But, Cheddar cheese actually IS gluten-free. Therefore you can skip Mozzarella cheese and just use cheddar cheese to make this casserole.
- Other than that Black Bean is Naturally gluten-free. Therefore you can easily enjoy black bean or pinto beans while making this casserole.
Top Tips to Make this Casserole Recipe Stand Out!
- Don't skip the caramelization of Onions. If you try adding onions in the oven it won't get soft enough. Therefore it's very important that you caramelize onions in a pan before you put it in the oven for baking.
- Grating Garlic: If you've been a regular reader of my blog, you might have seen that I always prefer grating garlic or rather mincing garlic. The idea is to get them really small so that you get intense garlic flavors.
- Addition of Corn: Corn has its own beauty. It can take any recipe from just mediocre to totally drool-worthy in a matter of minutes. In this particular casserole recipe, corn has a small but significant part to play. It brings a little sweetish along with a nutty texture to your casserole.
- Not Overcooking Sweet Potatoes: We'll anyway bake the sweet potatoes in the oven. You can also chop the sweet potatoes into small cubes and then put them in the oven with a little touch of oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. But, for me, getting them in the pan was easier. The idea is to get them slightly toasted so that you get a better taste.
- Fire-roasted Tomatoes: Though, you can always use canned tomato puree, and trust me I have nothing against it. It tastes really good. But, there is something so good about adding fire-roasted tomatoes to this casserole. You will love the charred texture of tomatoes.
- Paprika and Cumin: Paprika adds a little touch of heat while cumin brings a nutty and earthy tone to this recipe. Both of these spices are my favorite while I am making any Mexican Casseroles. Especially cumin. They enhance the flavors of the veggies and bring in a beautiful aroma to my food.
Is there a Vegan or Dairy-Free Version of this recipe?
Of Course yes. This is what you can do to make this recipe vegan friendly.
- In this recipe the only source of dairy is cheese. So you can just replace shredded Mozzarella cheese and shredded cheddar cheese with - Vegan Cheddar Cheese or Dairy Free Mozzarella Cheese.
How to Store the Leftovers?
This casserole recipe is so hearty and delicious that I really doubt that you'd be left with any leftovers. Still, If you happen to save some for a better flavor then do the following.
- First, make sure that the casserole has come down to room temperature.
- Take off all the cilantro from the top of the casserole, this is because they will dry out.
- Next, wrap it up in a plastic wrap and then again cover it up with a foil. Make sure you don't leave any room for air to penetrate.
- Keep it in the refrigerator. Or Freeze it in the freezer. Make sure you label it with the date.
- To re-heat this casserole, take it out and keep it on the counter-top for about 2-3 hours and let it come to room temperature. Never go directly from the freezer or the fridge to the oven directly. Then pop it in the oven and let it get completely heated at about 350F for 20-minutes until the cheese is bubbly on top.
How to Make this Casserole Ahead of time?
This is a make-ahead casserole. And you can surely use this as your Thanksgiving Casserole.
So, to make it ahead of time, just prepare everything as said. Add the cheese and then wrap it with a plastic wrap. Then cover it tightly with an Aluminium Foil. Now you can freeze this up to 3 months.
When you are about to use, make sure you thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning bring it to room temperature and then get it baked.
Substitutions and Replacements
- Yellow Onion or White Onion - If you don't have red onions or you just don't want to use red onions, go with yellow or white onions instead. The taste would hardly change.
- Fire Roasted Canned Tomato Puree - If you don't want to use fresh tomatoes and then again take the trouble of roasting it in fire and then chopping them up. You can just keep it simple and use fire-roasted canned tomato puree instead.
- Smoked Mozzarella Cheese or Gouda cheese: If you want a smoky taste in this casserole then I suggest you go with smoked mozzarella cheese or gouda cheese instead. In that case, you can skip cheddar cheese.
- Cayenne Pepper: If you prefer more heat then you can use Cayenne pepper instead of Paprika. Paprika is mildly hot but cayenne has more intense heat. I personally don't prefer too much heat because my children don't like it.
- Russet Potatoes - If you don't really like sweet potatoes then you can use russet potatoes instead. They are starchier and works really well in a casserole recipe.
If you are making this recipe, then please provide a rating to this recipe below. Also, if you can take a snap of your casserole and post it on Instagram with #recipemagik, it would be great.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Casserole
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Red Onion diced
- 4-5 Large Tomatoes (Fire roasted and then chopped) you can also use canned tomatoes
- 2 Pound Sweet Potato 907gm (washed, peeled and Chopped in 1/2 inch cubes)
- 15 Ounce Black Beans Drained and Rinsed
- 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
- ½ Cup Corn Fresh or Frozen
- 1 tablespoon Ground Cumin
- 3 Cloves Garlic grated
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt ADJUST AS PER TASTE
- 2 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro You can also use chopped parsley
- Fire Roast the Tomatoes until the skin gets blistered.Grease a 9x11 inch baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil. Preheat oven to 400F. Use a cooking tong to hold one small tomato and put the flame on low. Hold the tomato directly on the fire and in a few seconds, the tomato will change its color and will get lightly charred. Get it lightly charred on all sides and then cool them down to room temperature.Once they have cooled down you can roughly chop them up.
- Heat a Pan with some Olive Oil. As the Oil shimmers add Onion and grated garlic. Caramelize Onions on medium-low heat. This takes about 7-8 minutes.
- Add Sweet Potatoes and cook until just heated. About 5-minutes. Do not cook it completely.
- Add Smoked Paprika, ground cumin and stir well. Season with a pinch of salt.
- Now add drained and rinsed black beans, corn, and chopped fire-roasted tomatoes. You can also use canned tomatoes here. Stir well until the raw smell of tomatoes goes away and they are soft. If you are using frozen corn then soak it in water for about a while and then drain the water and rinse it completely before using it.
- Pour this into the prepared baking dish.
- Drizzle Lemon juice over the Bean Mix
- Sprinkle shredded Mozzarella Cheese and Cheddar Cheese on top. Bake this uncovered in the middle rack until the cheese on top gets browned and the sweet potatoes are soft and tender.
- Once the cheese gets bubbly and is golden on top, get it out of the oven, Sprinkle some chopped Cilantro or Parsley on top and cut into individual servings.
- Your cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the size of your baking dish.
- If you don't like heat you can skip paprika from the recipe.
- Don't miss lemon juice. It brightens up the flavors beautifully.