The concept for this recipe was inspired by two important things in my life: (1) a Chipotle burrito bowl, which I love; and (2) my tendency to stuff sweet potatoes with whatever ingredients I have on hand for a quick, fuss-free meal. But instead of just draining a can of black beans and a can of corn and topping it with avocado and store-bought salsa, I decided to give each of these main ingredients a flavor boost.
First, we have our Five-Minute Salsa. I recommend making this first (after you put the sweet potatoes in the oven to bake) so the salsa flavors have some time to marinate and deepen. And this salsa really couldn’t be easier! You can also customize it to your liking. If you’re looking for some heat, add in a diced jalapeño pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepper. If you want to add a crisp, refreshing bite, throw in some diced cucumber.
Next up we have the Creamy Black Beans, which features simple canned black beans getting a quick facelift. I heat them up in a tiny bit of olive oil to release their starches and mash most of the beans so it feels almost like refried beans, but healthier.
Similar to the canned-bean-facelift, the Chili Pan-Fried Corn takes a humble can of corn and turns into flavorful, browned sweet bites of goodness. If you’ve never tried pan-frying corn, you’re in for a real treat. To ensure that each kernel gets nicely browned, use a large frying pan (I used a 12-inch pan) to spread out the corn in a single layer and let the corn cook undisturbed for 7-8 minutes before tossing it.
Finally and most importantly, the Guacamole! This is the easiest guacamole recipe and a variation on one I’ve been making for years. I recommend making the guacamole last to ensure it stays extra fresh and doesn’t turn brown.
To prepare this meal as efficiently as possible, I recommend first popping the sweet potatoes in the oven, and while they’re baking, get started on the salsa, beans, corn, and guacamole. By the time you’re done preparing them, your sweet potatoes will be soft and tender and ready to serve!
I hope you enjoy this simple but flavorful recipe, and if you do, be sure to leave me a comment below!
- 4 large sweet potatoes preferably, even in size
- Guacamole recipe below
- Five-Minute Salsa (recipe below)
- Chili Pan-Fried Corn (recipe below)
- Creamy Black Beans (recipe below)
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (about 25-30 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved)
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion (about 75g)
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (about 90g)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro (about 10g), finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Creamy Black Beans
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 (15-ounce, or 425g) can of black beans*
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (~175 mL) water or vegetable broth
- *I use organic beans and don’t drain them because the starchy liquid helps them get creamy.
Chili Pan-Fried Corn
- 1 (15-ounce, or ~430g) can of corn, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili powder, more or less to taste
- Large pinch of kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 small lime
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds for mild heat)
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Large pinch of ground cumin
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (or 204°C). Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart.
- Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them in half and scoop out of some the sweet potato flesh so the sweet potatoes act as cavities for the toppings. Top each sweet potato boat with the Black Beans, Corn, Guacamole, and Salsa.
- Make the Salsa first (this allows the ingredients to marinate, making the salsa more flavorful): Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the salsa is too acidic, add a bit more olive oil.
- To make the Creamy Black Beans: Heat the oil in a frying pan or saucepan over medium heat until it is shimmering. Add 1/2 of the undrained beans and mash completely with the back of a spoon or a potato masher or immersion blender. Add the remaining beans and the salt, and mash a little bit, leaving about half of the beans intact.
- Continue cooking the beans, stirring constantly, until the bean starches begin to coat the bottom of the pan and turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the water or broth, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beans are thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- To make the Chili Pan-Fried Corn: Heat the oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn in a single layer, if possible. Cook the corn for 7-8 minutes undisturbed or until the corn starts to brown. Then stir the corn, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, salt, and pepper to combine.
- To make the Guacamole: Roughly mash the avocados using a fork. Then add in the remaining ingredients and continue mashing until you have a thick, chunky texture.