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.

overhead photo - Blue bowl of Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad with a serving spoon in it

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.

Quinoa and sweet potatoes are a tasty combo in so many of my favorite recipes. My slow cooker turkey chili recipe has sweet potatoes and quinoa in it, and I’m loving the sound of this sweet potato quinoa skillet meal recipe of Lauren’s and this sweet potato apple quinoa salad recipe from Aubrey.

rimmed baking sheet of Roasted Sweet Potatoes

A Desk-Worthy Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

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.

Just like this Quinoa Chickpea Salad, this recipe is quick and easy to prepare and yields enough for several lunches. It’s also a perfect party side dish, because it can be made ahead and tastes great both cold and at room temperature.

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.

blue serving bowl filled with Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

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overhead image of a healthy salad with Sweet Potato Quinoa and black beans in a big blue serving bowl with a serving spoon in it

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Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad in a large blue serving bowl with a serving spoon in the dish.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad

4.97 from 28 votes
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.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 40 mins

Servings: 6 servings


  • 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 can reduced sodium black beans (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 1 large bell pepper cored and diced
  • 3/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro


  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.


Serving: 1(of 6)—about 1.5 cupsCalories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 49gFat: 11gSodium: 308mgFiber: 23g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. I have made this dish several times and it never fails to impress me! My favorite part is the homemade dressing. I like to add a little fresh avacado to it each time I get a serving. I plan bringing this to my next party and doubt there will be leftovers!5 stars

    1. Lesya, I’m happy to hear this recipe is a hit! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this awesome review.

  2. This recipe was AMAZING. Easy to make, travels well, and very healthy.  Your other salad recipes also look yummy! I’m not a big fan of cilantro so I substituted fresh parsley.  This will definitely become a go-to for lunches or a side dish.

  3. Made this yesterday and it was tasty and pretty filling. I used dried beans (I can’t stand how much sodium is in the canned ones, even low sodium versions), so it added some extra work (soaked for 1hr, boiled low for 1.5hrs). I also replaced the lime with lemon since I have a lemon tree, but would not recommend it. The flavor just isn’t the same. Also didn’t have chili powder, so lacked that extra kick. The recipe seems to be spot on, so I’d stick to the ingredients listed. I think I will use the dressing recipe as a standalone in the future with other salads, since it was probably my favorite part of the whole thing.5 stars

    1. Hi! I’m glad you were able to identify the swaps that didn’t quite turn out as well as you hoped, and I hope you enjoy the recipe if you do make it again with the lime and chili powder. Thanks for reporting back!

  4. beautiful salad color-awesome flavor! I think it would be yummy with the avocado too! I substituted honey for the maple syrup and it was great.5 stars

  5. I’m excited to try this, but I’m a cooking novice and can’t tell how much lime zest I should include along with the three tablespoons of juice.  Please give a suggestion or a range.

    1. Charolette, you want to lightly zest the whole outside of both limes (just the green parts. Don’t go all the way down to the white part underneath once you’ve removed the surface zest). If you aren’t sure how to do it, I’d look up a video on YouTube. You can find all kinds of helpful cooking tips there!

  6. Wow <3

    Meal prepped this for the week. I like it because it is healthy, flavorful, well balanced, has veggies, protein, and grains all in one, is a complete meal, and has simple ingredients and not too many. I like that is lasts up to 5 days as well. Thank you for such a good recipe!5 stars

  7. I’ve gotten so bored of quinoa salads with chickpeas so I was excited to make this and it was as great as I had hoped…somehow there is a slight BBQ taste in it…maybe the maple syrup and sweet potatoes together??? The one note I felt was jarring was the green bell so I think this time I’m going to use an orange bell and I’m going to throw some golden beets into the roasting process…
    Thank you so much for this recipe-it is a great base for a lot of different modifications and so easy to make!5 stars

  8. I’m so glad this recipe popped up when I Googled Quinoa Sweet Potato salad! After perusing a few of the other recipes I was sold on this one with all of the wonderful ingredients. I made the recipe as written except I left out the red pepper as I’m not a fan, but this salad is a flavor sensation! I have a gluten allergy so I love that it’s naturally gluten free, vegetarian, and really healthy. I ate this warm as a meal and was very full. I’m eager to try it cold too after the ingredients have some time to marry. Love it!5 stars

    1. Hi Dede! Are you able to have other oils? If so, I think using canola oil or avocado oil could work well. I hope this helps!

  9. Really good. I was pleasantly surprised. Was not sure of lime with sweet potatoes but all the seasoning was really good. I will be making this again5 stars

  10. Yum! This salad is so delicious! Made it two weeks in a row. I pretty much always have all of these ingredients in my house anyway, so its a snap to throw it together. I had some leftover canned corn the second time so I threw that in and it was a good addition. Definitely a keeper!5 stars

  11. I’ve made this salad multiple times and it always turns out well even if I mess it up somehow (I put the paprika and chili powder in the dressing rather than on the sweet potatoes and onion). Thanks for this recipe. I’ll be coming back to it for a long time and making small tweaks here and there (e.g., adding queso fresco).5 stars

  12. I love quinoa, so I am very happy to have found a new recipe that incorporates it. I was a little nervous because of the lime dressing, but it wasn’t sour at all! It was really subtle and complimented the dish so well. Plus it is vegetarian which is perfect for me. My partner said it reminded him of something Thai that he ate. I’ve never had Thai so I cannot say that I agree. Thank you @wellplated!5 stars

  13. This is an amazing salad and there never left overs. I haven’t made it for a while and even my carnivore partner has been asking for it.5 stars

  14. Hands down one of my favorite recipes EVER!! I usually add chicken or shrimp to make it an easy, healthy meal. Such a crowd pleaser at parties, too! Can easily be modified to your taste/what you have on hand by changing up the veggies.5 stars

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