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Saucy & Sticky Sweet Potato Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Avocado Sauce - The First Mess

Sticky Sweet Potato Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce

Sticky sweet potato tacos with creamy avocado cilantro sauce is a quick, hearty, flavourful and simple vegan dinner. Naturally gluten-free!
Cuisine Mexican
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword all seasons, avocado, avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, bbq sauce, cabbage, cilantro, garlic powder, jalapeno, lime, medjool dates, mustard, onion powder, quick, shallots, sweet potatoes, tahini, tomato paste, tortillas
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 3 -4



Date BBQ Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ cup pitted Medjool dates
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from roughly 1 lime)
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • water to thin

Creamy Avocado Cilantro Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from roughly 2 limes)
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste

For The Tacos

  • 1 teaspoon heat-tolerant oil, such as avocado
  • 1 shallot, fine dice
  • 1 medium (550-600 grams) sweet potato, peeled & grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • corn tortillas, warmed (or collard leaves, see notes)
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage


  • Make the date BBQ sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine the dates, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, tamari, tomato paste, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer until dates are soft, about 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to an upright blender and blend on high until smooth, adding water by the tablespoon if necessary. Scrape the date BBQ sauce into a small bowl and set aside. Rinse the blender pitcher.
  • Make the creamy avocado cilantro sauce. Peel and pit the avocado. Back in the upright blender, combine the avocado, cilantro, garlic, tahini, lime juice, jalapeno, water, salt, and pepper. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth, adding more water by the tablespoon if necessary. Scrape the avocado cilantro sauce into a separate container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Make the filling. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot to the skillet and saute until slightly softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the grated sweet potatoes and stir. Season the filling with salt and pepper. Keep stirring until sweet potato shreds start softening and collapsing into each other, about 4 minutes. Add a splash of water if you notice some sticking.
  • Once sweet potato shreds are soft, add the date BBQ sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. The filling should look quite saucy at this point. If it seems dry, add another splash of water. Keep stirring until the filling is saucy, sticking to the sweet potatoes, and piping hot, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Divide the sweet potato filling among the warm tortillas. Top each sticky sweet potato taco with shredded cabbage and plenty of the avocado cilantro sauce. Serve tacos with extra lime wedges if you like.


  • I like to get the sweet potato shreds as long as possible, so I grate it with the long side of the vegetable striking the large holes of the box grater.
  • You could use fresh or pickled jalapeno in the avocado cilantro sauce! I’ve tried the sauce with both.
  • You could use collard leaves instead of tortillas for a grain-free option. As a bonus, they tend to hold a lot more filling than a standard tortilla :)
  • If you want to save some time by using a jarred BBQ sauce, you’ll need a scant cup of it for this recipe. I like this one by Good Food For Good.