Filled with an abundance of colorful ingredients and warm spices, my southwest sweet potato casserole is just the recipe to prepare when you crave a zesty and nourishing meal—it's loaded with tender roasted sweet potatoes, chorizo, black beans, fresh tomatoes, creamy jack cheese.
The Coziness of Southwest Sweet Potato Casserole
As evenings take on that lovely refreshing and welcome chill, the idea of preparing meals using simple ingredients with a bit of spice, a bit of heartiness, and a touch of extra warmth and TLC is incredibly appealing.
This southwest sweet potato casserole recipe is a meal that I've been making for many years now, and it's truly one of our favorites. And while it is a scrumptious and cozy recipe to prepare any time of year, I kind of see it as the quintessential autumn dish, because it's filled with those bright orange and earthy hues from the sweet potatoes, chorizo, black beans and cherry tomatoes.
It also generously warms the kitchen and infuses the entire house with the inviting aroma of something nourishing and cheesy bubbling away in the oven, something savory and inviting, and wonderfully enlivens those partaking of it with all of the fragrant spices.
And for me, that's what delicious, seasonal home cooking is all about!
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole with a Southwest Flair
Sweet potatoes are such a wonderful ingredient in that they mingle really well with all sorts of different ingredients, from sweet ones, to savory ones, to spicy ones.
They roast up quite quickly to tender and delicious perfection, and when they're combined with some warm spices and a few zesty ingredients, they make for a scrumptious and hearty complete meal with a southwest flair.
In the past, I've prepared my sweet potato casserole recipe using ground beef, or even crumbled, seasoned soy when I wanted to go the vegetarian route with it.
But I really enjoy the spicy flavor and bright color of chorizo sausage, and find it's smoky spiciness a terrific addition to this easy casserole.
To keep with that flavor theme, I sprinkle in some black beans along with some halved or quartered cherry tomatoes, some cumin, coriander and smoked paprika, plus a little topping of creamy jack cheese and fresh cilantro and/or green onion.
Those ingredients give this sweet potato recipe that slightly spicy and kicked up flavor, which makes it that much more inviting and delicious!
Here's a glance at my southwest sweet potato casserole recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To start, I roast off my sweet potatoes in my oven for about 25 minutes, until sweet and tender.
- While the sweet potatoes roast, I cook my chorizo sausage, drain it of excess fat, and set that aside.
- To assemble the casserole, I combine the warm roasted sweet potatoes with some spices, plus the remainder of my ingredients, then top with cheese and bake for about 20 minutes, just until the cheese is melted and the tomatoes have a chance to soften and become juicy.
- I top the casserole with cilantro and/or green onion, and serve while hot.
Southwest Sweet Potato Casserole with Chorizo
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 609 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
- 2 ½ pounds small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed, or sliced into ½” circles or semi-circles
- Avocado or olive oil
- Black pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 (9 ounce) package pork chorizo, plastic casing removed
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 (15 ounce) can organic, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained well of excess juice
- ¾ cup organic black beans, drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup small cherry (or grape) tomatoes, halved
- 1 ½ cups grated jack cheese
- 1 tablespoons sliced green onions, plus extra for garnish
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the cubed or sliced sweet potatoes with about 2 tablespoons of oil, plus a couple of pinches of salt and black pepper, and roast until tender with just a slight bite, about 25-28 minutes; remove from oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
- While the sweet potatoes roast, place a medium pan over medium-high heat, drizzle in a small amount of oil, then add the diced onion; saute the onion, with a tiny pinch of salt and black pepper, for about 2-3 minutes, just until softened.
- Add the chorizo to the onion, and cook together until the chorizo is cooked through, about 5-6 minutes; add in the garlic cloves, and cook for another minute or so, until the garlic becomes aromatic.
- Spoon the chorizo mixture out onto a paper towel-lined plate and allow it to drain of excess fat; then, spoon the chorizo into a small dish to hold.
- When the sweet potatoes are roasted, turn them out into a large bowl; sprinkle over the cumin, coriander, paprika and smoked paprika, and using a wooden spoon, gently toss the potatoes just a bit to coat in the spices.
- Add to the potatoes the drained, diced fire-roasted tomatoes, and toss gently to coat.
- Spoon the coated sweet potatoes into a medium-large casserole dish, then spoon over top the chorizo; next, sprinkle on the black beans, the halved cherry tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of the sliced green onion, then sprinkle over the jack cheese.
- Bake the sweet potato casserole for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and the casserole is nice and hot.
- Serve with extra green onions and cilantro on the side.
Tips & Tidbits for my Southwest Sweet Potato Casserole with Chorizo:
- Peel your sweet potatoes, or leave the skin on: When I prepare this recipe, I'll often just leave the skin on the sweet potatoes when I'm a little more pressed for time. I simply wash the potatoes, slice into cubes, then roast them. But if I have more time and I feel like it, I'll peel the potatoes to expose more of their bright color.
- Your choice of protein: Chorizo sausage has a nice, spicy kick in this casserole. However, if you prefer to tone down the spiciness, or simply prefer to use something different, then lean ground beef, turkey, or even chicken are all great options. You can even leave the meat out altogether, or even use a vegetarian option (e.g. soy chorizo) in place of the meat.
- Additional add-ins, or some alternatives: Corn kernels would be terrific in this recipe, as would be bell peppers. You can also substitute a different kind of bean such as kidney beans, white beans or even pinto beans for the black beans.
- Getting good and cheesy: The jack cheese in this casserole recipe has a mild flavor, and a great meltability. Pepper jack is another tasty option (a touch more spicy), or even sharp cheddar cheese, white or yellow.