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Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Black Bean Salad with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, red bell pepper, and a delicious cilantro dressing makes a delicious meal, great weekly meal prep, or side dish.
Course Main Course, Salad, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 466kcal
Author Chelsea



  • 1 cup quinoa, measured when dry
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, ~4 cups
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: paprika, chili powder
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted corn, drained
  • Optional: 1 large avocado (diced), 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice


  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH: ground cumin, paprika
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Start by cooking the quinoa (See Note 1). Allow to cool before assembling the salad.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-sized chunks. Toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper (to taste; I add about 1/2 teaspoon each).
  • Roast the potatoes in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add in the chopped peppers and toss around with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Return to the oven and cook for another 10-20 minutes or until the peppers are crisp-tender and the potatoes are tender. (Big variance depending on the actual cut size of vegetables and differences in ovens.)
  • Remove from the oven and toss with drained and rinsed (but completely dried) black beans and corn. Set aside to allow to come to room temperature.
  • Assemble the salad: Add quinoa to a bowl with the sweet potato, pepper, black bean, and corn mixture. If enjoying immediately, add avocado, a squeeze or two of lime juice, and cilantro.
  • DRESSING: Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a powerful small blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pulse to blend until smooth. Add dressing to individual salad plates/bowls and enjoy! I do not recommend adding dressing to any salad you want to have leftover -- this salad doesn't sit well after being dressed. You may not use all the dressing depending on how much you like your salads dressed. Store leftover dressing for up to 5 days in your fridge. (To make this dressing vegan, see Note 2.)

Meal Prep/Make Ahead

  • Make ahead: This salad can be prepped several hours in advance. Store the dressing and avocado (if using) separately, and add just before enjoying.
    Meal prep: Prepare salad and divide equally into 4 meal prep containers. Separate dressing into individual containers. If using avocado, add daily, preferably right before eating. Add dressing right before enjoying.



Note 1: Guide on cooking quinoa here.
Note 2: For Vegan: Use dairy-free sour cream, and swap agave nectar for the honey.


Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 75mg | Potassium: 913mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 11962IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 4mg