Black Bean Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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Black Bean Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes | @naturallyella
This salad has been a staple in my kitchen for years. Back then, 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. As I will make anything that contains sweet potatoes, cilantro, and black beans, I was immediately won over. As a result, this black bean salad gets made quite a bit in our house. Often, I eat it as is, serve it over grains, throw it in an omelette, or stuff it in a taco. It's both versatile and full of flavor.

Step by Step

Black Bean Salad


While this salad is already a slight variation of the original recipe, I've found that the best variations are in how you can use this salad (besides just eating it). One note, if you're in a hurry, you could always steam the sweet potatoes. But roasting them is really key to bringing out the flavor!

Tacos: Heat up a few tortillas, fill with 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 recommend leaving out the pepitas for this variation).

Grain Bowl: Serve this salad atop grains. Then drizzle with an avocado cream sauce or a few dashes of hot sauce.

Black Bean Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pepitas | @naturallyella


Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

The perfect picnic salad, this black bean salad is vegan and gluten-free made with roasted sweet potatoes, fresh cilantro, and an easy spiced dressing.

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Salad


  • 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 cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup pepitas


  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Peel sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes and place on a sheet tray. Chop onion into 1/4 inch pieces 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Tips & Tricks: Double the recipe to use in meals throughout the week.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: Sweet Potatoes, Pepitas, Cilantro


  • Calories: 303
  • Sugar: 5.9
  • Sodium: 220
  • Fat: 14.5
  • Carbohydrates: 37.8
  • Fiber: 8.6
  • Protein: 8.5
  • Cholesterol: 0

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56 comments on “Black Bean Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes”

  1. This looks sooo amazing!! I am definitely going to be trying this one this week! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I feel exactly the same way - bbq's can so boring and fattening, for no good reason when there's so much beautiful produce to be had! I had a similar experience to you, showing up at a family gathering this weekend with two very healthy (one vegan) side dishes. My cousin, a trained chef, could not believe how good these healthy dishes were - I guess he only learned butter and cream in culinary school! This salad sounds right up my alley, I adore sweet potatoes and black beans. Happy summer!

  3. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. Your photos are just beautiful & the recipes looks so yummy and healthy. I can't wait to try this one and pinned it for later!

  4. Yum. Again I say yum. It looks amazing. I love sweet potatoes and I love black beans. And I like all the ideas that you gave to use it. Will be trying this over the weekend.

  5. I made this tonight and it was so good! My son asked what was wrong when I made a yummy noise after taking a bit. Yum, yum, yum. Hoping it tastes just as good with my eggs in the morning.

  6. Hi Erin, I just wanted to let you know I took this to the potluck today at Church and everyone that tried it loved it. It traveled easy, I served it at room temperature. It will definitely be something that I take again.

  7. This was de-LISH!!!!!!!! Think I'll toast my pepitos next time and will fine tune the cook time for the veggies so the sweet potato isn't overly squishy!....My bad! my son (22 yrs old) and i loved this and have already decided lunch tomorrow will be this as a quesadilla with the chicken this accompanied!

  8. This looks delicious! Seems like a very easy dish to making during the week. I'll post about it after I make it!

  9. I made this recipe last night, and just finished the leftovers for lunch. I have to say, it was really, really good. Followed the recipe exactly, and will definitely be making this again very soon with no changes 🙂 Thank you for your wonderful blog!!!

      1. It is good either, but I zapped it for a quick 30 secs to take the chill off and I think that is my favorite way.

  10. This is the fourth time I have made this wonder dish. Being born near the Mexican border I prefer
    more spice. I put 4 times more chili powder, some red pepper flakes and about 3 times more garlic.
    [ I have to keep the Vampires away ] Being a diabetic I use one medium sweet potato and then add lots of carrots to keep the starches down. I also slice my sweet potatoes in round slices just prefer to have it that way. I like it warm but I like it better cold because the spices have time to mingle better. I love roasted veggies they taste so good. It is in the oven as I am typing. Try it you will love it.

  11. This is an amazing recipe. The dressing really makes everything pop. So healthy, paelo if that is what you are going for. Beautiful to the eyes and taste buds. I will follow you with more delicious recipes. I used the whole zest of a small lime. FYI
    Thank you.

  12. Looks good, nice combo. FYI–You forgot to include how you cooked the red onion in your recipe. (I just did a quick sauté, but other readers maybe want direction)

  13. This looks delicious. I'm going to make it today. Do you use raw or toasted pumpkin seeds? Thank you!

  14. I don't like onions, but I will definitely be making this minus the onion. And pumkin seeds are my new favourite! 🙂 Thanks girl!

  15. Is this supposed to be a warm salad or is it still good cold? Could you make it ahead of time?

  16. This salad is packed with flavour. The sweet potato is in perfect pairing with the cilantro. The kick from the chilli powder is subtle but present, and I love the crunchiness of the sunflower seeds (replaced the pepitas). I'm definitely doing this again!

  17. Made this tonight, and its excellent. So many sharp acidic flavors balanced out by this mushy sweet potato.

    The first taste test, I almost teared up.

  18. I've made this several times and always double it. It's too good not to. The only change I make is to increase the amount of garlic, because I believe everything should have more garlic in it, and unless I'm serving it to vegan guests, I offer cheese (feta, parmesan, and cheddar are all good) to top it off. I love the texture, colours, flavour, how quick it is to put together - I love everything about it. Thanks for sharing it!

  19. I really enjoyed this! Question, though, I noticed that the serving yield is 2, but the nutrition information shows that it serves 4. Is 303 the calorie breakdown if the recipe is divided into two or four portions? Thanks!

  20. This is absolutely amazing, so easy to make and tastes delicious. thank you!

  21. Huge hit with my 2 1/2yr old and 9mo old!! We were supposed to do grocery shopping today and didn't-so I thought I was scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Before we started I actually prayed (begged? It's been a rough morning) that everyone would like it, haha! The result: silent, happy toddlers gorging themselves on this yummy dish; first peaceful moment all morning! Thank you!! Will definitely be making again. (Adjustment: I added a touch of salt to mine!)

  22. Just made this for a picnic tomorrow, delicious! Roasted a red pepper and golden beet that needed using, and added an ear of the first sweet corn. It’s the kind of recipe that adapts beautifully! So good!! It’s going to take all my might to leave it alone overnight. Thanks much 🙂

  23. Love it! Stuffed me for almost a whole day!!! And i added some sun-dried tomatoes and it was delicious!!! Thx for the meal prep recipe

  24. I've been dreaming of eating it again ever since I made it the first time last week!!!

  25. This is my all-time favorite recipe! Not being much of a cook myself, I really appreciate its simplicity. I couldn't believe I was capable of making something this delicious - but every one I make it for LOVES it! Thank you so much for posting it!!

  26. I've made this at least a dozen times since I found the recipe. Without a single exception, everyone who has tried it, loves it. I was asked to bring it to Thanksgiving dinner this year! Thanks so much for sharing a great recipe!

  27. This was so good! And so easy because I had a bag of pre-cut sweet potato cubes. Husband is the meat guy in the family and he inhaled it. I took it for lunch the next day and it was even better.

  28. I don't know if this is a stupid question or not, but can you freeze this?
    Looking for batch recipes for lunches but don't want to ruin it by havign it every day for a week.

    It looks great though 🙂

  29. Just made this tonight. It is delicious. I will be making this again and again. My new favorite Pinterest recipe.

  30. Absolutely delicious. Healthy, easy, and cheap as well. This will be my new potluck dish, thanks!

  31. Easy, clean, quick and DELICIOUS! Made it 3x now and my family enjoys it.

  32. This is one of my staple go-to recipes- I have made it so many times now! I usually eat it with rice, and have made it for many groups of people and everyone always seems to enjoy it!

  33. Made this salad for family and friends who were over for dinner and everyone loved it. Healthy too! Will definitely be making it again sometime soon.

  34. This turned out amazing!! I doubled most of the ingredients (for a potluck) but not the dressing and found that it was plenty dressed. I also added paprika and cayenne to the dressing for a little kick, plus frozen corn and jalapenos to the salad. Finally I made a lime crema and turned the salad into veggie tacos!!


Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

a few good grain recipes

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