This salad has been a staple in my kitchen for years. I was looking for an alternative to potato salad for a picnic when I stumbled upon this sweet potato salad from the New York Times. I of course will make anything that contains sweet potatoes, cilantro, and black beans and thus, this black bean salad gets made quite a bit in our house. I eat it as is, serve it over grains, throw it in an omelette, or stuff it in a taco. It’s versatile and full of flavor.
- 1 lb sweet potatoes
- 1 small red onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Juice and zest from 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Peel sweet potato, cut into 1/4" cubes and place on a sheet tray. Chop onion into similar sized pieces to the sweet potato and add to the tray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on top and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Toss until sweet potatoes are well coated. Spread into a single layer and roast until sweet potatoes are tender and starting to brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
- While the sweet potatoes are roasting, combine remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a jar with the lime juice, 1 teaspoon lime zest, minced garlic, and chili powder. Shake well.
- Once sweet potatoes are done, transfer to a bowl. Add in the black beans, pepitas, and cilantro. Drizzle with the dressing and toss until salad is combined. This is best done with the sweet potatoes are still warm.
Step by Step
Variations for the black bean salad
This salad is already a slight variation on the original recipe but I’ve found that the fun variations are in how you can use this salad (besides just eating it). If you’re in a hurry, you could always steam the sweet potatoes (but the roasting is really key to the flavor!)
Tacos: Heat up a few tortillas, toss in this salad and top with avocado, cheese, and hot sauce. Instant dinner!
Eggs: Make scrambled eggs or an omelette and use this salad as filling (I’d most likely leave out the pepitas).
Grain Bowl: Top grains with this salad and then drizzle with an avocado cream sauce or a few dashes of hot sauce.
Featured Ingredient: black beans
Black Beans go hand in hand with sweet potatoes. It’s one of my favorite combinations for vegetarian Mexican food. The combination works perfectly in tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and enchiladas. A few examples:
First published on June 6th, 2011. Last updated on January 14th, 2015.