Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad

I am slowly coming to the realization that, despite my affinity for cute cafes and the well-placed statement necklace, I am simply not a lady who lunches. I speak far too loudly in public, never remember to silence my phone, and would choose a giant plate of homemade Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad over a refined soup or crustless sandwich every afternoon of the week.

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad. Healthy, filling, and DELICIOUS! Perfect make-ahead recipe for healthy lunches, or for a side dish at parties and potlucks. {vegan, gluten free, dairy free} @wellplated

I also really love brown bagging.

During my four years working at Target’s corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, I packed my lunch almost every single day, despite the fact that the office has a stellar cafeteria and was within walking distance of every fast food destination you can imagine.

The less-than-glamorous truth is, while I look forward to going out for date night dinners and happy hours, lunch is a meal that I’ve always preferred to prepare for myself, even when it meant carrying it in a lunch box. I save my extra pennies and splurges for dinners and drinks.

Nearly every weekend of my corporate career, I would lunch prep by making a big pot of grains like quinoa and a batch of roasted seasonal vegetables. Then, throughout the week, I mixed them with different nuts and proteins to make healthy salads that were tasty, easy to pack, and filling enough to power me through long afternoons of meetings.

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad. Healthy, easy, and DELICIOUS! Perfect make-ahead recipe for healthy lunches or to bring as a side dish at parties and potlucks. @wellplated

This healthy Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad is exactly the sort of meal that I can spend all morning looking forward to at my desk. It’s nutritious, offers a pleasing contrast of textures between the creamy sweet potatoes and crisp bell peppers, and has enough protein and fiber from the beans and quinoa to keep me full for hours. The zippy dressing—a tantalizing blend of honey and lime—never fails to perk me right up, even when the weekend still feels far away.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad with cilantro and lime dressing. Easy and DELICIOUS! Perfect make-ahead recipe for lunches during the week or as a crowd-pleasing side dish at any party or potluck. @wellplated

This black bean salad recipe is quick and easy to prepare and yields enough for several lunches. It’s also a perfect party side, because it can be made ahead and tastes great both cold and at room temperature.

 Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad. Easy and DELICIOUS! This simple, healthy recipe is a great make-ahead meal to pack for healthy lunches or bring to a party or potluck. {vegan, gluten free, dairy free} @wellplated

Now that I work from home, I don’t need to pack my lunch, but I still looked forward to this Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad every day that it was in the refrigerator. Try it mixed with greens with a handful of pepitas and avocado for lunch, warmed inside a tortilla with cheese for dinner, or simply as it is.

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad. Healthy, filling and DELICIOUS! Perfect make-ahead recipe for healthy lunches or serve as a crowd-pleasing side dish.

Yield: Serves 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed and peeled (about 3 small/medium), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (from 1/2 cup dry)
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes (3 tablespoons lime juice total)
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (or substitute honey or light agave nectar)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 3/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the cubed sweet potatoes and red onion on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then sprinkle with the chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Toss to coat and spread into a single layer. Bake until the potatoes are just tender, about 25 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. While the potatoes bake, cook the quinoa (if needed). In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, lime juice and zest, maple syrup, and garlic (or shake the ingredients together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, black beans, bell pepper, cilantro, and roasted sweet potatoes and onions. Pour the dressing over the top, then toss to combine. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days. If making for a party, you can make and assemble up to 1 day in advance—the recipe tastes its best either day or day after it is made.

All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (of 6)—about 1.5 cups

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 312
  • Total Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 308mg
  • Carbohydrates: 49g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 9g

If you like this Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad, you’ll love these other satisfying salad recipes:

Mediterranean Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta and Mint — Healthy and flavor PACKED! With crisp veggies, creamy feta, and fresh mint, this recipe is perfect for summertime. @wellplated

Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta and Mint

Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing. This is the BEST cold pasta salad recipe! Whole wheat pasta mixed with crunchy veggies in a sweet and spicy peanut sauce. Packed with flavor, healthy, and filling too! @wellplated

Asian Noodle Salad with Creamy Peanut Dressing

The BEST Sweet Potato Salad recipe — with bacon, crunchy veggies, and a zippy mustard dressing. Easy to make, perfect for picnics and barbecues, and I never have any leftovers! Gluten free and dairy free. @wellplated

Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon

Southwest Farro Salad with Corn and Tomatoes

Southwest Farro Salad with Corn and Tomatoes

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

13 comments

  1. You don’t like lunch..? Hmm. I have to say I prefer breakfast & dinner over lunch, too, but I also love a great sandwich. Or soup. Or whatever haha. But this looks like something I’d enjoy too. Sweet potatoes are so filling, and I think it goes great with quinoa!

    • Vivian, don’t get me wrong: I LOVE lunch and can spend the whole morning looking forward to it! I just prefer to pack my own versus go out most of the time. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

  2. I’ve been on SUCH a sweet potato binge recently, been grilling one almost every night then “buttering” it with some coconut oil + maple syrup, so this is taking it to the next level!! looks so good Erin – pinned! xo

  3. Sweet potatoes and black beans go so well together. Also I much prefer dinner to lunch, too! And brunch rules them all :)

  4. I’m the same way – I love going out for dinner, but lunch is easy enough to make without much planning that I prefer to eat in. After a year of being able to eat lunch at home, I’m gearing up to start packing my lunch again and this has my name ALL over it! It looks super flavorful and healthy, not to mention it fits my bag lunch criteria of “not too loud/crunchy” and “does not contain ingredients generally agreed to be offensively smelly.” Can’t wait to try it!

  5. If it has cilantro, I’m in. Throw in some sweet potatoes?? Now try and stop me!! Slight problem… The bf won’t eat beans. :/ and I can’t (thanks IBS…) any suggestions on vegetarian replacements?

  6. Perfect for my lunch. Wow, I have to try this recipe in future! I mostly use potato with chicken and now i copy your recipe and hang in kitchen.

  7. Delicious recipe. I made exactly as written except I was out of Cilantro but everything was still very tasty without it. I love the addition of zest for the dressing, it really took it up a notch. Will definitely add this to my meal rotation.

    Rating: 5
    • YAY Courtney! I’m glad it was a hit. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

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