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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, like Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon and my Slow Cooker Turkey Chili recipe.

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 (which also star in this vegetarian Mexican Salad) 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

More Satisfying Salad Recipes

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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Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad

4.87 from 58 votes
Roasted sweet potato quinoa salad with zesty lime dressing and black beans is healthy and filling! Perfect make-ahead salad recipe for lunch.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

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: 11gFiber: 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 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. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. This salad is SO delicious! I made it the other day and we actually had it for dinner with a fried egg on top. I love the subtle spiciness of the chili powder combined with the sweet potatoes!

        1. YAY!!! I am so so glad you liked it. And I had leftovers with an egg on top too :) Thanks for taking time to leave this kind review!

  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?

    1. I love both too Jordan! I think you could swap crispy tofu for the beans:  If you try the recipe this year, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  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.5 stars

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

    1. 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.

  8. 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!5 stars

    1. 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!

  9. 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!5 stars

    1. 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! :)

  10. I just ate all of this and realized I forgot the maple syrup! So it was really good without it too!5 stars

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

  11. 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!5 stars

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

  12. 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! 5 stars

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

  13. 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!

    1. 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!!

  14. 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 :)5 stars

  15. 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!5 stars

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

  16. Absolutely fantastic and my new “go to / favorite”! It will definitely be on my Thanksgiving table this year!  5 stars

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

  17. 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!5 stars

  18. 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 ??5 stars

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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

  23. 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!

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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!

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. I don’t often leave reviews but this recipe is AMAZING. It is so simple (my kind of cooking) and flavorful. I look forward to eating this a few days in a row and it is perfect for lunch. Just delish!! Thank you!5 stars

  34. Delicious salad! I used frozen diced sweet potatoes and the instant pot to make the quinoa which made this recipe quick and easy! I can’t wait to have leftovers today for lunch.4 stars

  35. Delicious, nutritious, and fun flavors with the lime dressing. This recipe will be enjoyed often. Thanks!5 stars

  36. Served this salad this past weekend and it was a hit. I prepared recipe the night before and prepared dressing but reserved it until I served the salad. It saved time the day of party and salad was fresh. I am leary of dressings being “too much”, but it was perfect. Both vegetarians and meat eaters loved it!5 stars

  37. Recipe is a good base. Where you take it is up to you, but it does need a little something. We added Tajin and were in love. If you have some in the pantry give it a try.4 stars

  38. Excellent salad. I added fresh (chopped and massaged) lacinato kale to make this a main course. I also did not roast the red onions, I kept them raw. It was enough for 2 very large adult dinner portions. This is getting added to my “Keepers” binder.5 stars

  39. Great recipe! Used roasted red peppers instead of fresh. Ate it for lunch the next day topped with a chicken breast and some sriracha mayo.5 stars

  40. Delicious!! I added more fresh garlic and more quinoa. Doubled everything for Sunday meal prep… It made a lot! Going to add cooked chicken thighs for protein :) the lime dressing is delicious.5 stars

  41. I don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a recipe before but I’m swooning over this one. Keeps well, easy to make, and really delicious!5 stars

  42. This was super delicious!! Yummy. I used lemon juice instead of lime since that is all I had on hand. Something so delicious about maple syrup and lemon juice!5 stars