Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Salad - A Legume a Day

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

I took a vote on social media and asked you about your favorite bean to pair with sweet potatoes. The winner was… *drumroll, even though the answer is given away in the recipe title*… black beans! I agree that sweet potatoes and black beans make for a delicious combination. Which is why I developed this recipe for Quinoa and Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad. And just look at this lovely rainbow of ingredients!

Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Salad Ingredients - A Legume a Day

This bean salad is packed with great nutrition and textures, is nice and colorful, and makes for delightful leftovers. That is, if you manage to make a big enough batch – we like it so much that we usually end up eating all of it in one sitting!

See below for the recipe and nutrition facts. Note that this recipe is very flexible – add or subtract ingredients and spices to match your personal preferences and what ingredients you have at home. I hope you enjoy!

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

Recipe by A Legume a DayDifficulty: Easy


Prep time





Votes are in, and the top answer of what bean to pair with sweet potatoes was black beans. This Quinoa and Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad celebrates that combo! Not to mention it is colorful, has a nice mixture of textures, and is packed with good nutrition. As a side salad, it will serve about 4 people. As a main dish, more like 2 or 3 people.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked black beans, or 1 15-oz. can of black beans

  • 1 medium sweet potato

  • 1/2 bell pepper, color of your choice

  • 2-3 green onions, to taste

  • Pickled jalapeños (we like tamed jalapeños), to taste (optional)

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, to taste (optional for cilantro haters)

  • 1/2 cup corn (canned corn works well – use fire-roasted canned or frozen corn for extra flavor)

  • 2 limes, or to taste

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)

  • Salt, to taste

  • Optional additions: hot sauce, cheese, avocado


  • If you don’t have cooked quinoa and black beans on hand, go ahead and cook them, or use canned black beans and pre-cooked quinoa. If using canned black beans, drain and rinse, if desired. (With canned beans, rinsing has been shown to help reduce the sodium level.) This salad is not really meant to be served hot (although you of course can try it that way if you would like!), so working with refrigerated or room temp quinoa and beans works well. Put the quinoa and black beans into a large bowl.
  • Now it’s decision making time. Roasted sweet potatoes are truly incredible, and you are more than welcome to cube and roast yours. It will make this salad even better. But I’ll be honest with you – I’m usually too lazy and/or hungry to wait that long. So, I often just rinse, cube, and microwave my sweet potato to cook it. If you want to try this approach, cube the sweet potato to your desired bite size for this salad and then place in a microwave-safe bowl with a little splash of water. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes at a time, stirring in between and checking for doneness until cooked through. After the sweet potato is cooked – via roasting, microwaving, or another method of your choice – add it to the bean + quinoa mixture.
  • Chop up the bell pepper, slice the green onions, dice the jalapeños, and roughly chop the cilantro. Make the ingredients the size that you prefer in a salad. Add to the bowl.
  • Drain corn, or defrost if using frozen. Fire-roasted corn is delightful in this, if it is easy for you to find. Add the corn to the bowl and stir to mix ingredients.
  • Squeeze the fresh lime over the salad, and add the spices: smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Stir to evenly coat.
  • Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed, adding any optional additions of your choice.

Recipe Video


  • You can also make this salad with other beans, or even a mix of beans! Another bean that works very well here is red kidney beans.
Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Salad - A Legume a Day

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad Nutrition Facts

I made these nutrition facts in Nutritionist Pro. Nutrition information can vary slightly with factors like the size of the sweet potato you use, but this should give you a good idea. Before moving on, can we please take a moment to appreciate how much dietary fiber and protein are in this salad?!

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad Nutrition Facts

More Bean Salads, Please?

Bean salads (or other pulse salads, like chickpea salads), are literally one of my favorite types of food in the world. There is something SO incredibly satisfying about how a dish that is so flavorful can also be so healthy. That’s why I have a category just for bean salads on my website. Here are a few favorites:

I would love to hear what you think in the comments, and any recommendations or requests you may have for other bean salads!

Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Salad - A Legume a Day

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