Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad

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

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.

blue serving bowl filled with Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad 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.

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

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.

How to Make Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad:

Tools I used to make this recipe:

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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 ©Erin Clarke/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

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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 in a white serving bowl with a serving spoon

Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta and Mint

Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing on a white plate with a fork sitting on the edge of the plate

Asian Noodle Salad with Creamy Peanut Dressing

colorful Sweet Potato Salad in a white serving bowl with a serving spoon on the edge of the bowl

Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon

Southwest Farro Salad with Corn and Tomatoes on a white dinner plate, garnished with lime wedges

Southwest Farro Salad with Corn and Tomatoes

titled photo collage - sweet potato quinoa black bean salad

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About Erin Clarke

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

45 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!

  8. A little late to the party, but this recipe is incredible!!

    Rating: 5
    • You are definitely not late Erin! The sweet potato salad party goes on :) Thank you so much for trying this recipe and taking time to report back with this glowing review! It truly means a lot.

  9. Ridiculously good flavors packed into a healthy and absolutely not-boring salad. I had this for dinner and am planning on having it for lunch the rest of the week. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
    • Erin, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the salad! Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to report back!

  10. Do you eat this cold or heated-up?

    Rating: 4.5
  11. I just made this for lunch today, and it was delicious! I made it exactly as stated except I didn’t have smoked paprika, only regular paprika. The dressing was a bit too “limey” for me, but I think the two limes I had were really big. So I think it was more than the 3 tablespoons. Next time I will actually measure :-) Turned out great! This will be in our lunchtime rotation! When eating the next day, do you recommend microwaving to warm it up or just eat it cold? Thanks!

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Marie, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the salad! I actually like it both warmed back up and cold…try both and decide which is your favorite! :)

  12. I just ate all of this and realized I forgot the maple syrup! So it was really good without it too!

    Rating: 5
    • Haha, good to know Mindy! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to leave this review!

  13. OMG! This was soooo good!!! I didn’t have limes so I used a lemon I had on hand. It turned out pretty good too. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is going to become a staple in our home, as we are transitioning into a Vegan lifestyle. It is very filling and healthy! Yum yum yum!

    Rating: 5
    • Melodie, I’m so glad to hear this recipe was a winner for you! Thanks for sharing your experiment with the lemon too!

  14. Just made this for my weeks lunch. It is SO good! Cannot wait for lunch tomorrow to have a full portion! Will check out more of your recipes! 

    Rating: 5
    • Ayesha, thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and reporting back! I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying it!

  15. I’m wanting to make this as a side dish for a big community meal serving 150 people!
    This recipe is 6 meal size servings, would you say its 10 side servings? Thanks!

    • Hi Melissa! It’s more 6 servings as a side. I’d maybe go with 8 just to be safe (since I’m guessing there will be a lot of food at the community meal, I’d imagine people will take less). And WOW, 150 people! I’m honored to have my recipe included!!

  16. I just made this for the first time today… I love it! I’ve made many of your recipes & they are always top notch! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes & talent :)

    Rating: 5
  17. I can’t believe I didn’t comment when I made this before–it’s great!  The flavors are interesting, and so are the textures.  I love that it’s vegan. I am going to take this to a Halloween potluck, where the orange sweet potatoes and black beans will be perfect!

    Rating: 5
    • This recipe would be perfect for Halloween, Eileen! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe—thanks for sharing your feedback!

  18. Absolutely fantastic and my new “go to / favorite”! It will definitely be on my Thanksgiving table this year!  

    Rating: 5
    • YAY Barbara, I’m so glad this recipe was a winner for you! Thanks for taking the time to leave this awesome review.

  19. I really enjoyed this dish! It was easy, super tasty, healthy and filling! definitely going to make it again and again! Even my dad loved it, and he’s quite picky! :) thank you!

    Rating: 5
  20. Erin, just made this tonight and serving with broiled chicken thighs that have marinated in the same spices and dressing as the ones in the recipe! So so yummy! Thanks for sharing 👌🏼

    Rating: 5
  21. 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!

    Rating: 5
    • Lesya, I’m happy to hear this recipe is a hit! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this awesome review.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

    Rating: 5
    • 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!

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