a peek inside the fishbowl

05 Mar, 2012

Will they eat it: Chicken, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

Chicken, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

I am going to begin this post with some critical information I normally save until the end. I thought you needed to know that the kids did not eat this AND they made very long faces at me THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE DINNER. (I can deal with the fact that they didn’t eat it, but I certainly do not appreciate the long faces. Bah.)

Even the “you have to try it at least once” rule (along with a recent addendum, “… and make it a good one”) was a hard sell.

Mark liked it well enough (he finished Sarah’s helping) even though he picked out the sweet potatoes. Note to self: they need to be diced MUCH smaller next time. Just like the onions! Heh.

As for myself… I loved it. Sigh.

It’s a very easy dinner to pull together.

Chicken, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burrito Recipe (makes 8)

3 cups sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
½ onion, diced
2 cups canned black beans (rinsed)
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cinnamon (YES really)
2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed
8 flour or corn tortillas
1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
chopped fresh cilantro to taste (maybe 1/4 cup?) … optional, but I really recommend you add it.

Sauté the sweet potato and onion in a medium sized pot until tender, adding water as needed to prevent sticking. Add black beans, chicken and spices. Mix until it’s all heated through. Add the cilantro at the very end.

Divide cheese between tortillas and then the chicken and bean mix on top.  Roll up. Serve with a big salad and a tall glass of milk, because they might be the only things your kids eat for dinner.

I would be most interested to hear if you try this one out on your family. If you do, come back and file a report! (Did I mention I really liked this recipe? Sweet potatoes and all?)

20 Responses to "Will they eat it: Chicken, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos"

1 | Rosemary Nickerson

March 5th, 2012 at 8:35 am


Hubby WILL NOT eat this for sure, but it sure sounds good to me!

2 | Elizabeth

March 5th, 2012 at 8:48 am


We eat a very similar burrito at our house, either with or without chicken, and with some tomato included. My daughters, 8 and 5, happen to love them, as they are fairly mild. We do cube the sweet potato much smaller, though, and bake the burritos for several minutes before serving, which makes the cheese melt and the tortillas nicely crispy on the edges. Yum!

3 | Giulia

March 5th, 2012 at 9:07 am


My kids love burritos, but I mash the beans so they can’t see them and I add cheese on top and put them in the broiler briefly.
Are you keeping score as to how many meals were eaten? It seems that your hubby is a little picky as well, or am I mistaken?

4 | Javamom

March 5th, 2012 at 9:13 am


This looks delish to me. And I think I will take the advice and dice everything small like the beans, and mix it together. Mishmash….I may or may not add a sprinkle of cheese on top. But I will make this, and possibly at least one of the kids will eat it. (Hubby eats 99% of everything I make). This is a great post and a lovely picture!

5 | allison

March 5th, 2012 at 9:32 am


I don’t even have to try it to know the kids won’t eat it (well, they will if I leave out the beans and sweet potatoes), but screw ’em – sounds awesome.

6 | andrea

March 5th, 2012 at 9:49 am


Thanks all!
Good idea about popping it in the oven to get it all melty. Cover it with foil unless you want it crunchy.

Giulia – I’m not keeping score. That might depress me too much. :) The husband is a reformed picky eater. Still doesn’t eat onions, mushrooms or peppers, but he’s come a long way!

I forgot to mention my little sriracha overload pictured in the photo above. That’s a lot of hot sauce eh?

7 | karen

March 5th, 2012 at 9:57 am


I love to try it but I know for a fact that my kids will not eat it. My son wouldn’t even try something like that, nor would I ask him to. My daughter will eat black beans but does not like sweet potatoes.

8 | andrea

March 5th, 2012 at 10:06 am


I’m one of those parents who cooks things knowing that the kids might not eat it and makes them try a bite. :)

The photo above shows a particularly large bit of sweet potato, but as I mentioned, when I make this again I’ll make sure everything is diced much smaller.

For what it’s worth I made a salmon dish the other night and the eldest ate the whole thing. When we told her it was salmon she said: “I thought I didn’t like salmon!”


9 | Scatteredmom

March 5th, 2012 at 10:13 am


I love that you do this. While they didn’t like this dish, they may like other things (like the salmon!). My kid eats everything, but my husband doesn’t and I often make things that I know he won’t eat. If I do that, I offer some side dishes or things that I know he will.

By giving them the chance to be adventurous, you are opening their horizons a little-even if at times they make long faces.

For the record, I’d absolutely make this and my guys would likely eat it!

10 | Krista (@kristahouse)

March 5th, 2012 at 10:16 am


I make dishes that I know the kids will probably not like or eat. However, I make sure to add a side dish that goes well with the main they’ll eat.

11 | Carly

March 5th, 2012 at 10:17 am


It looks good, but I wouldn’t make it because I don’t like sweet potato or beans of any kind. I wish I did though, because they always look good and I know they’re healthy – I just can’t stomach the flavour or texture. :o(

My hubby and kid would totally eat it though – so I suppose I might make it after all, and throw do mine with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and the like.

12 | Vivian Cheng

March 5th, 2012 at 10:28 am


Thankfully my son is still young enough at age 5, that he doesn’t have very many pre-conceived notions about which foods are “yucky” to most people. (We’ve had meals of chicken liver and brussels sprouts that he’s eaten with great gusto).

I read this blog post recently: http://www.cheeseslave.com/how-to-get-your-kids-to-eat-anything/

and it actually made me think of your “Will they eat it?” posts :)

I do think a lot of getting our son to try new foods is in our ‘marketing’, i.e. our own enthusiasm. We also had great success last year when we had “Santa” tell him in one of those custom videos that he should be willing to try new foods. Definitely milked that for all that it was worth!

13 | Mary Lynn

March 5th, 2012 at 10:29 am


I LOVE sweet potatoes and so does DH, so I’d love to try this. My kids are not such fans of sweet potatoes, so I think I’d have trouble getting them to even take a bite.

That said, I could easily make some other tortilla and chicken wrap for them, so it’s still a decent meal for our family.

I do end up making meals for DH and I that the kids won’t eat (or that they’ll only eat part of). For instance, we love spicy foods and very flavourful foods that are just too intense for the kids to handle. I’m not willing to make bland meals for the next 5 – 10 years until the kids’ palates become more sophisticated. Sure, it’s a bit of extra work for me, but at least I get to eat a meal I enjoy.

14 | binki

March 5th, 2012 at 11:29 am


Looks good, although I think sweet potatoes are over-rated (I’ll take regular spuds over yams when it comes to fries). Both parents would eat your recipe – and really enjoy it. The kids probably would not go for it. One would try it but probably pass. Maybe not. She surprises us. The cumin/corriander is (surprisingly) challenging for some folks / kids. Our kids love beans (kidney, navy, black, chick). We’ve been serving them beans since the babyhood, and we often make quesadillas with cheese and beans, dipped in salsa. One of our favourite (and fast and fresh) dinners is grilled chicken strips on tortillas. Everyone adds what they like from pepper strips, cucumber wedges, onions, grated carrots, sour cream, salsa, crushed corn chips, and guacamole. Only the adults eat the onions. The chicken is most often cooked on bbq but sometimes under the broiler (like last night). Chicken strips are marinated for 1/2 hour in oil, hoisin, dijon, maple syurp and salt/pepper). Soooo yummy and healthy-ish. We do make “there’s no way they’ll eat this” meals, to expose the kids to other food and to occasionally snag a winner. You never know…they just might like it.

15 | karen

March 5th, 2012 at 11:38 am


I do make my daughter try a bite of whatever it is we are having.

My son is a whole other ball game. To say he is picky can’t even begin to describe him. I have to be very careful about what I insist he try because one bad experience and he won’t try anything new for months. There is just too much flavour going on in those burritos. He has a very strong gag reflex. His ped used to think he would outgrow this but we may be visiting Cheo one of these days to get some help with his food issues.

I’ll be happy when he can finally eat a plain old sandwhich-he has never had one.

16 | Mark

March 5th, 2012 at 2:44 pm


I have to jump in here since I’ve been called out as a “picky” eater. Here’s the thing, there are foods I don’t like. I’m not sure why that makes me a picky eater since I’ll eat 95% of what’s put in front of me. :)

Had I been making these burritos I would have made ones without the sweet potato (knowing that the kids really wouldn’t want it) and maybe cut back on the black bean a bit and increase the cheese for them. They would have been more likely to eat it. There are lots of nutritious foods our kids will eat. I’m not worried that they don’t like sweet potatoes.

17 | Judy

March 6th, 2012 at 11:47 am


We make a similar recipe all the time! Ours calls for no chicken. We chop the sweet potatos really small. REALLY small. I also use red beans as black beans never go over well.

I line the pan with salsa and add some to the burritos. Use way more cheese than what is called for and bake them. Not quite as healthy as your version but always a hit around here (I use the recipe from Simply in Season cookbook as my starting point).

18 | Lorrie Douthwright

March 6th, 2012 at 1:35 pm


It looks yummy to me! Although both my kids have decided they no longer like sweet potatoes. I remember when I didn’t too.

Our house rule is the same as yours Ms. Fish. One good try, every time. It is always put on the plate, get used to it.

It might be worth testing what your girls taste when they eat cilantro. Some people like it, and others perceive a soapy taste. Just don’t mention soap before they eat it!

20 | 21-day vegetarian challenge – it’s done! >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 1st, 2015 at 12:31 pm


[…] alfredo with kale and green onion – vegan black bean and sweet potato tacos (sort of based on this recipe), beer, tortilla chips and salsa* – snacks: DIY mango soft serve, coffee with milk, apple, rye […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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