Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas


March 14, 2011 by Dana

Last weekend, when I was in Boston competing in the New England Country Soup Challenge (pictures and more to come on that soon!), I was bitten by a bug.    I was having so much fun cooking in the professional kitchen, creating my Chicken and Veggie Corn Chowder, minding my own business, when I felt it.

Immediately I could feel the effects.  My mind started racing.  I couldn’t sit still.  I was infected.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a bedbug (despite my deepest fears), a tick, or even a mosquito.  No, it was something else entirely.  It was the OBSESSION bug!

You see, the Soup Challenge is only one of many food related contests and competitions that occurs each year.  Of course, I always knew that they were out there, but actually participating in one is a whole different story.  While I was competing, all I could think about was what other fun contests I was missing out on!

I learned from some of the other contestants that there are websites dedicated solely to compiling food and cooking related contests for people who become obsessed with want to find them. Most notably there is Contest Cook (free) and Cooking Contest Central (membership based).

On the ride home from Boston, I was already searching the sites to see what other contest I could enter!

One of the first ones I found was the North Carolina Sweet Potatoes Blogger Recipe Contest.  I knew I had to enter.  While it may not always seem like it based on some of the decadent desserts and party foods I feature here on Food for Thought, I love to cook foods that are good for you and taste great.

Creating a recipe featuring a sweet and creamy, nutritionally dense sweet potato fits in perfectly with my food philosophy: real food should taste good and do your body good.

As soon as I got home, I got to work and came up with this delicious recipe for Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas to enter into the Vegetarian category:


2 sweet potatoes, sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
½  teaspoon salt
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced into ½ inch thick strips
4 rosemary flavored tortillas*
6 oz soft light garlic and herb cheese*
Cooking spray

*For these tasty quesadillas, I used EVOO Rosemary SoftWraps from La Tortilla Factory and Boursin Light Garlic and Herbs cheese.


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato rounds, salt and ½ tablespoon of the olive oil until potatoes are well coated.  Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake the potato rounds in the oven for 25 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.

3. In the meantime, heat the remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil in a skillet.  Sautee the sliced onion and pepper strips for 5 minutes on medium high heat, stirring often.  Cover the pan and lower the heat to medium, stirring every 2 minutes until onions are golden (about 6-8 minutes).

4.  Coat a large baking pan with cooking spray.  Arrange the tortillas on the baking pan and evenly divide the cheese among the four tortillas.  Spread the cheese to ½ inch from the edge of each tortilla.  Layer the sweet potatoes on one half of each tortilla.  Divide the onion and pepper mixture and layer on top of the  sweet potato layer.

5.  Fold the tortillas in half to cover the potatoes, onions and peppers.  Lightly spray the outside of the tortillas with cooking spray.  Bake the quesadillas for 3 ½ minutes.  Flip and bake for 3 ½ more minutes.  Remove the quesadillas from the oven and let cool at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.  Serve with your choice of garnish.

These Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas are the perfect meatless meal!  They have so much flavor, but still feature the sweet potato perfectly.  Paired with a simple side salad, this is a great vegetarian offering!

30 thoughts on “Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

  1. I love any kind of quesadillas! These look good! Let us know about the contest! :-)

  2. I love sweet potatoes, and this sounds really good! I’ll definitely be giving them a try!

  3. I never think much of doing quesedillas yet I love them. Love the sweet potato idea indeed. Mixing it up is so fun!

  4. Yum! This does look like a delicious use of sweet potatoes.

  5. Joanne says:

    I LOVE the sound of these quesadillas! I’m always looking for new and exciting things to do with sweet potatoes. Good luck with the contest! Sounds like a great bug to catch :P

  6. RavieNomNoms says:

    OH MY Dana! This looks so amazing! My mouth is watering right now and how creative this is…you are a genius my dear! Seriously looks fantastic! Also, so glad to hear you had fun at your challenge in Boston :-)

  7. This is simply delicious. Love the caramelized onions and sweet potatoes together, two different kinds of sweetness with a touch of earthiness from the pan! Very nice!

  8. Victoria says:

    Yay! I’m so glad you had fun at the soup challenge! I can definitely see how the whole experience can become so addicting. These quesadillas look like winners to me! LOVE sweet potatoes! Good luck :)

  9. Wow! Are you sure we are not related? You should enter this in this web site. in 2009 I won first prize sides for my Critter Fritter recipe. It got me $500 dollars. http://www.louisianacookin.com/node/add/sweet-entry-2011 also dont forget the mother of all cooking contests The pilsbury bake off. Oh and Build a Better Burger starts next month. (Sutter Home) Keep me posted!

  10. I could easily become obsessed with contests. Love these quesadillas!

  11. the_rob_bot says:

    These look delicious and easy. Great for my lazy vegetarian needs.

  12. Greenderella says:

    I love Quesadillas and I love sweet potatoes but I never thought of combining the two. What a great idea! Love it!

  13. Anonymous says:

    These look great but be careful and read all the directions. The Pillsbury Bake-Off is not for paid bloggers; you will be disqualified if you enter.

  14. yum!! I will so be making these. I would never have thought of adding sweet potatoes to a quesadilla!

  15. […] Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas – from Dana at Food for Thought – adding sweet potato to a quesadilla is one of the best […]

  16. Mary says:

    Contesting is a bit like eating peanuts in that you can rarely eat just one. Your quesidillas look just wonderful. You have to be careful and not post the recipes you want to enter in contests. Most consider a posted recipe as published. You’ll have a wonderful time and meet some fantastic people. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  17. sara says:

    Ooooh, yum! I’m totally in love with quesadillas that combine unusual flavors (I think my favorite one had mustard greens, potatoes, and goat cheese!). Love this particular combo here – sounds like some great flavors!

  18. Danelle says:

    Yum! Carmelized onions are one of my favorites things in the world!

  19. This looks like such a fantastic weeknight dinner! Healthay nd hearty and delish!

  20. Jaime says:

    I’m so intrigued by this! I LOVE yams and would love to find new ways to enjoy them! I’d love for you to link up to Wow Me Wednesday!


  21. Kim Cooper says:

    I really hope you win this contest! These look to die for! And perfect for a Friday meal during Lent! :)

  22. yum….everything i love in this quesadilla! I like to enter contests…but am way to shy to actually go and show up and cook at one. I haven’t entered any in a long time…

  23. Jaime says:

    Thanks for linking up!! Please grab a button!

  24. Reeni says:

    Your quesadillas are such a delicious mingling of flavors – I love it! Good luck – it sounds like a winner to me!

  25. Oh my goodness! These quesadillas sound divine! I love the flavor combo here, sounds so mouthwatering:)

  26. Oh my goodness these look awesome!! I would have never thought to put these flavors together.

  27. mub says:

    I made these for dinner last night and they were so tasty! I didn’t have rosemary wraps so I just used whole wheat ones and that was fine. I wouldn’t have EVER thought to put that combination of flavors together and it really worked well!

    Thank you =)

  28. […] at the few I had written down and decided on one of the recipes.  A delightful looking dish, sweet potato and caramelized onion quesadilla’s.  I got all my stuff together and when I got home I didn’t have some stuff on making it […]

  29. […] 4. Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas (from Food for Thought) […]

  30. What a fantastic idea to put sweet potatoes in a quesadilla! Thanks so much for sharing these in our Get Grillin’ event.

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