Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto

SWISS CHARD PESTO. Thaaaaaaaaat’s it.

Remember when I showed you the leetle Instagram teaser shot this weekend and no one could guess what kind it was? Man, that was like a pesto joy ride for me. And my hair got all windblown.

You’re not convinced on this yet, are you? Neither was Aaron. When I was jumping up and down in the kitchen screaming in his face about how I was going to make a Mexican-style swiss chard pesto, his eyes narrowed and in his best Kristen Wiig voice, he came back with, “a whaaaat?” *

Well, well, well, bunny beans. Guess what dropkicked his MIND? Poor guy didn’t even have a chance.

This pesto is insane. Swiss chard, jalapenos, toasted pepitas, garlic, and green hot sauce. You should breathe and then push your eyes back into your head.

When you eat this, it tastes like you’re biting into a spicy, nutrient-y, deluxe garden. And then when you make it to the seasoned black beans and roasted sweet potatoes, your tongue is going to pass out. Once you resuscitate your tongue and realize you’ve also just eaten creamy avocado with fresh lime and crumbly queso fresco. . . um. . . just go ahead and have a support group and maybe a coroner nearby.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto:

* Name that SNL skit for extra swiss chard pesto points! I LOVE GUESSING GAMES.

What it took for 2:

for the pesto:

* 1 bunch swiss chard, cut into chunks
* 1 jalapeno, roughly chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
* 2 Tbs. green hot sauce
* 1/4 cup toasted pepitas
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

for the tacos:

* 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 sweet potato, cut into a medium dice
* 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 tsp cumin, divided
* 2 tsp chili powder, divided
* 1/2 tsp garlic salt
* 8 white corn tortillas
* 1/3rd cup queso fresco, crumbled
* 1 avocado, diced
* lime and cilantro for garnish
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 400.

On a rimmed baking sheet toss the diced sweet potato with the oil, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, a pinch of coarse salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, toss the swiss chard, jalapeno, garlic, hot sauce and pepitas into a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Start pulsing. With the motor running, pour the oil into the processor in a thin stream, until you have pesto. Taste. Yes. Yes.

Toss the beans into a small sauce pan and season with the remaining cumin, chili powder and garlic salt. Heat through, 5 minutes.

On a small grill or skillet, toast the tortillas until you get browning or charred marks.

Layer 2 tortillas, then spoon on some beans, followed by sweet potatoes. Dollop with a good 2 Tbs. of swiss chard pesto. Sprinkle on the diced avocado, queso fresco, a good spritz of lime and a few cilantro leaves.

Seriously, YES.

*You’re going to have a lot of pesto leftover. Freeze her up!


, , , , ,

69 Responses to Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto

  1. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray January 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm #
    These look AMAZING Bev!
  2. Julie @ Table for Two January 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm #
    wow, this looks serious. seriously GOOD. swiss chard..would've never guessed. artichoke was a good try, right? haha..yum!
  3. Melissa Cole January 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm #
    I love swiss chard. I really want to try these, amazing! I always have a fun laugh reading your posts. I can always imagine it really happening!
  4. brandi January 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm #
    alright. i think i need this for dinner tonight. i'll make margaritas if you come make the meal!
  5. Kathryn January 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm #
    Swiss chard is one of those mystical ingredients that I don't actually believe really exists. Except now you've made it into pesto. My mind is blown.
  6. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm #
    Just reading through the comments on that instagram post is hysterical. The marijuana and vodka guesses being my favorites. This is genius. I've made a ton of different pestos but never swiss chard!
    • Bev Weidner January 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm #
      The responses on FB and Twitter were even more hysterical!
  7. kelley January 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm #
    Yep, I'd happily eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, FYI, pot pesto might make you a millionaire.
  8. Maria January 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm #
  9. Lori @ RecipeGirl January 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm #
    Beautiful! Love everything about it :)
  10. DessertForTwo January 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm #
    Only the coolest wives dropkick their husbands minds ;) You're a pesto goddess!!!!!! Now make me this, pesto servant! Goddess title will be awarded at first taste!
  11. Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen January 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm #
    Stunning! Who would ever think to make a pesto from swiss chard??? Love it!!!
  12. Aggie January 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm #
    I am IN LOVE with swiss chard. I don't know if I could love another vegetable more. Not sure what it is...but the pretty color is definitely a big part of it. It's GORGEOUS!!! Love this whole dish. All of it Bev. Amazing.
  13. Julia January 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm #
    I'm in love with every single ingredient in this.
  14. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe January 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm #
    Can I come live with you? K, thanks. I'll be there for dinner. ;)
  15. Deanna B. January 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm #
    I've never done a Mexican flavored pesto with Swiss Chard (I never would have thought of it), but I do make one with cilantro which is one of my favorite herbs of all time. My mind is officially blown.
  16. Cassie January 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm #
    I. Want. Now. That is all.
  17. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. January 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm #
    oh wow I love this one! GOing on Pinterest
  18. Katie January 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm #
    You are a brilliant cook. I want to come take a vacation at your house. Please have a vat of that pesto for me to swim in.
  19. Jennifer | Mother Thyme January 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm #
    Another amazing Bev Cooks recipe that I must try soon! I love pesto, I eat it just with a spoon. I need your cookbook in my kitchen, pronto!
  20. Heather (Heather's Dish) January 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm #
    I still haven't found a chard recipe I love but turning it to pesto is pretty much genius!
  21. Jillian @ Newlybread January 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm #
    Oh my goodness, these look divine. I love pesto, I love tacos-definitely making asap!
  22. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm #
    This sounds absolutely lovely! Can't wait to try!
  23. Melissa // thefauxmartha January 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm #
    Finally, the answer revealed! This looks divine.
  24. Elizabeth January 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm #
    Gawd, you are rocking my world with that pesto! And it's VEGAN! Want.
  25. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum January 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm #
    You've outdone yourself. LOVE this one!
  26. Josie January 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm #
    I love everything about these tacos, but I am especially in love with that pesto - what a revelation!!
  27. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm #
    Just saw this on FG when I was checking a submission. Congrats! And of course, I want. Sweet taters and chard and no meat and beans and avo...OMG YES!
  28. Kiran January 11, 2012 at 1:26 am #
    NICE idea for pesto. yum.
  29. Lisa [With Style and Grace] January 11, 2012 at 1:42 am #
    Mmmm... love this!! I made black bean and sweet potato tacos a while back and they've since been one of my all time fave! Now I need to try it with this awesome, super power pesto.
  30. Miss Meshow January 11, 2012 at 2:23 am #
    Sneaky devil! I'm gonna do it with turnip greens. Hope it's not gross. Hope they don't catch on to how "nutrient-y" it is. LOL
  31. Michelle January 11, 2012 at 2:30 am #
    Can't wait to try this! What type of green hot sauce did you use? A tomatillo salsa?
    • Bev Weidner January 11, 2012 at 4:11 am #
      I just used a mild green taco sauce! The brand was La Victoria I think. I was going to use green Tobasco...try that!
  32. Katie @ Epicurean Mom January 11, 2012 at 2:38 am #
    I NEED THIS! No really, I need this now! Sounds spectacular!
  33. beti January 11, 2012 at 3:34 am #
    those are great tacos! what a lovely combination of flavors and textures, it's nice to see something different rather than meat tacos or fish tacos. I'm not vegetarian but I would love to eat these tacos
  34. Deborah January 11, 2012 at 6:14 am #
    You amaze me. Every single time - you amaze me.
  35. Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are} January 11, 2012 at 11:29 am #
    Oh my! These look incredible. Swiss Chard is yet another ingredient that totally intimidates me. I have never used it, and I'm afraid that once I buy it I will have this heap in the fridge that never gets eaten. That being said - the tacos look awesome! My husband and I would gobble these up. . . it's just the kiddos I'm not sure about. . . I sense a bribe coming up! ;)
  36. Cookin' Canuck January 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm #
    Oh my! That pesto looks and sounds absolutely wonderful. And to pair with sweet potatoes? Now that is a meal I'd happily eat any day of the week.
  37. Kristina January 12, 2012 at 7:05 am #
    Sweet potatoes have been a nemesis of mine ever since my mother made me eat boiled ones with dinner every night for a month. I have avoided them in my own cooking ever since, but I have never tried roasting them in the oven. We made your recipe for dinner tonight and oh was it amazing. It made me love sweet potatoes again. The chard pesto was amazing too, but that didn't surprise me at all.
  38. sarah January 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm #
    This looks so amazing. I re-pinned this on Pinterest and it got a bizillion repins. Well, maybe more like 45. But still. People want to eat this. It's on my dinner list.
  39. Cookie and Kate January 16, 2012 at 4:08 am #
    woah woah woah woahhhhh there. that's like heaven on a tortilla.
  40. Marly January 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm #
    Now this is my kinda recipe. I love the combination of sweet potatoes and black beans. Throwing in the swiss chard? That's over the top good!
  41. Dacia January 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm #
    Hi! I found this post because someone pinned it on pinterest! Those tacos look amazing! Do you use the pesto for other things too or just for tacos? I can't wait to try this recipe. Oh, and I love the Target lady reference from SNL.
  42. Anonymous January 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm #
    I just wanted to let you know that I tried the recipe last night for dinner with my roommates. And we absolutely loved it! Using swiss chard last night was definitely a first for me, but I enjoyed it!
  43. Olivia S. February 7, 2012 at 3:30 am #
    Just had this for dinner and it was delish! Thanks for posting.
  44. Ashley February 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm #
    This was delicious!!! My pesto is not nearly as smooth as yours, but still tasty. Next time I will add more jalapeno to get more heat. But I just loved it, thanks much
  45. Brie H. February 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm #
    I made these for dinner last night for my husband and we LOVED them!!! Thanks for the recipe. These will become a regular in our house!
  46. The Becks February 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm #
    OMG - Just had this dish for dinner tonight with a Brooklyn Local 1 beer. Eye-popping good. Hit every taste bud - sweet, bitter, tangy, salty and savory. Better than main dishes at four star restaurants in Boston and New York. Not kidding!
  47. Aliza April 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm #
    These are seriously amazing. I belong to a CSA and had some chard and kale left over from the week, so I used both in the pesto. Also, I didn't have pepitas, so I used toasted pine nut. Also, I left off the cheese, because I'm vegan. These are so so good. And I'm so glad I have some pesto left over. These are so quick to make, I can whip these up whenever I want to because I usually have black beans and sweet potatoes! Thanks for a great recipe!
  48. janet @ the taste space May 15, 2012 at 12:49 am #
    This looks great! Did you destem your chard or use it all in the pesto?
    • Bev Weidner May 15, 2012 at 11:50 am #
      I think I did actually! De-stem them that is. Yeah, do that!
      • janet @ the taste space May 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm #
        Awesome, thanks for letting me know. I figured as much but sometimes I use the stems for stirfries and the like. ;) Can't wait to try this!! :)
  49. sasha January 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm #
    Made this last night, no swiss chard about so I used wild rocket, also add roasted bell peppers and some mushroom, it was great-thanks heaps and you are funny as!
  50. Celeste August 2, 2013 at 2:11 am #
    Hi there. You're recipes are so inspirational. I'm not a cook at all and find these easy to make instructions and photos a great help. I don't eat anything hot or too spicy. Do you know what spices/herbs I could use instead of the jalapeño and green hot sauce to still make it flavoursome? Can't wait to try this! I'm buying a food processor especially for it!
    • Bev Weidner August 5, 2013 at 8:21 am #
      Hi, Celeste! I'd say to just lessen the spice amounts. If they bug you, just leave them out all together, but just a little bit really enhances the flavor! OR, just go with the green sauce instead of the mix of sauce and jalapeno pepper. Let me know how it works!


  1. mendingbodyandsoul - February 4, 2012 [...] Image: Black Beans and Sweet Potato Tacos from BevCooks. [...]
  2. Steak With Pesto Gnocchi | Bev Cooks - February 9, 2012 [...] I had some frozen from when I made these tacos a while back. And I seriously beg you to give this swiss chard version a go. You’ll [...]
  3. Pesto Chango! | Farm Flavor | Farm Flavor - February 29, 2012 [...] Swiss chard + pepitas from Bev Cooks  [...]
  4. Shrimp and Cabbage Tacos with a Cilantro Yogurt Sauce | Bev Cooks - March 7, 2012 [...] a Cilantro Yogurt SauceBy Bev Weidner on March 7, 2012 in Mexican, Shrimp, Tacos I don’t guess I need to remind you of my undying love for the [...]
  5. Wild thing – Dandelion pesto « nadel&gabel - May 6, 2012 [...] and pumpkin seed pesto from my darling lemon thyme garlic scape and sorrel pesto from local milk swiss chard pesto from bev cooks radish green pesto with hazelnuts from delicious days Share [...]
  6. CSA – Week 4 « This American's Life - June 27, 2012 [...] – Sweet potato & black bean tacos with Swiss chard pesto (this is a new one, but I’m excited to try it!) This will use the other bunch of chard and [...]
  7. Sweet Potato Bean Tacos | recetterie - January 31, 2013 [...] (Recipe adapted from Bev Cooks) [...]
  8. October 23rd & 24th-your bag of local goodness! | O`ahu Fresh - October 22, 2013 […] Swiss Chard Pesto (For Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos!)  I really want to try this! […]
  9. Recipe Ideas for Your Week 4 Produce | Good Food Collective - May 28, 2014 […] Beans: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos with Chard Pesto (gluten free)…or Quesadillas Rustic Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup (gluten free, […]
  10. The Daily Dirt - Johnson's Backyard Garden - September 11, 2014 […] with Cumin Lime Sauce from The Kitchn Caramelized Onions & Swiss Chard from Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto from Got a recipe you'd like to share?  Send it our way at! […]
  11. Healing with Swiss chard - PEACE, LOVE AND LIGHT! - February 18, 2015 […] Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos with Swiss chard […]
  12. ‘Eat your greens…’ | Dietetics Daisy - August 21, 2015 […] Swap your fajitas for these veggie tacos with swiss chard pesto […]
  13. 7 Ideas for Chard | Laughing Lemon PieLaughing Lemon Pie - November 16, 2015 […] Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto this makes an excellent and novel Mexican flavored pesto. The leftover ‘pesto’ is good as a dip. […]
  14. Swiss Chard Salsa - Closet Cooking - March 15, 2023 […] I enjoy but I feel that I do not use it nearly often enough so when I came across the idea of a swiss chard pesto on Bev Cooks , I was immediately intrigued and knew that I would have to try it. This pesto/salsa […]

Leave a Reply