Take part in World Vegan Day (1 November) with this delicious Sweet Potato Quesadillas recipe from chef, writer and author, Anna Jones, who is lending her support to this year’s Shine for Shelterbox fundraising campaign.

Quesadillas are an anytime meal. They take just 5 minutes to make, and everyone adores them. You can snack on them at a party, they make a late-home-from-work dinner, and they even work at breakfast.

Most places have started to stock chipotle paste these days, which has made its sweet smokiness more easy to come by. If you can’t get your hands on chipotle, ½ a teaspoon of hot smoked paprika will do.

Serves 2 as a dinner, 4 as a snack


  • olive oilSweet Potato Quesadillas 1
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 400g tin of white beans, drained (I use haricots)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1⁄2 a lime
  • a few sprigs of fresh mint or coriander, leaves picked and chopped
  • 4 corn tortillas


  1. Heat a touch of olive oil in a pan, add the sweet potato and the maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Add the chipotle paste and the chopped chilli and cook for a few minutes, until the potato has softened and lost its rawness.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and add the beans, then use a potato masher to mash the whole lot up a little – you will still have some flecks of unmashed sweet potato. Season if needed.
  3. Mash the avocado with a little lime juice and stir in the herbs. I use the potato masher again here.
  4. Now heat a frying pan big enough for your tortillas. Lay a tortilla fat in the pan, spoon a quarter of the mixture on to one half of it, then fold over the other half. Dry fry on one side until it’s blistered and golden brown, then flip over and do the same on the other side. Keep the quesadilla warm while you do this with the rest of the tortillas.
  5. Serve straight from the pan with the mashed avocado.

As part of a bigger meal:

  • serve with a couple of handfuls of lemon-dressed salad leaves.
  • serve with a crunchy salad of radishes, leaves, shaved fennel and coriander, and a quick tomato salsa.

 Anna Jones is a chef, writer and author of A Modern Way to Eat and A Modern Way to Cook (Fourth Estate); annajones.co.uk@we_are_food. To take part in Shine for ShelterBox and host your own candlelit dinner party please visit www.shelterbox.org/shine



Anna Jones is a cook, writer and stylist, the voice of modern vegetarian cooking and the author of the bestselling A Modern Way to Eat, A Modern Way to Cook and The Modern Cook’s Year.  Her books are sold in seven countries and have been translated into four languages. They have been nominated for the James Beard, Fortnum & Mason, Guild of Food Writers and Andre Simon awards.

Anna writes a weekly, well-loved column for the Guardian. She believes in putting vegetables at the centre of the table and the unbridled joy of cooking and eating.

She lives in Hackney, east London with her husband and young son.

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