Black bean, sweet potato quinoa salad

A black bean, sweet potato quinoa salad with cilantro lime dressing, a great weekday dinner.

This is an easy comforting salad with just 4 ingredients: quinoa, sweet potato, pine nuts and the cilantro lime dressing as the fourth ingredient. You can use canned or home cooked black beans. I prefer home cooked but I know there is not always the time to prepare them, so canned are just as good (just try to get the low sodium ones). The sweet potatoes give a nice sweet touch to the salad and I like to add some toasted pine nuts to give an extra layer of flavor and texture.

view from above of a quinoa, sweet potato, black bean and pine nuts salad in a bowl with cilantro lime dressing in a small bowl

I did not know quinoa existed until I was in college. You could not find it in the supermarkets when I was growing up in Spain, maybe in some specialty stores, but I’m not even sure… The first time I saw it was when I was living with a roommate who used to prepare it for herself. I never got to try it back then (I was a bit skeptical about it-not sure exactly about what, though…) but I vividly remember the little white germs coming out of the seeds. It was beautiful. It wasn’t until many years later that I tried it and since then I’ve been using it regularly.

close up of view from above of a quinoa, sweet potato, black bean and pine nuts salad

The key to this black bean sweet potato quinoa salad, and pretty much to all the quinoa salads if you ask me, is the dressing. Here I used a fresh tangy cilantro lime dressing that combines beautifully. I had a bunch of cilantro in my garden that I needed to use, so it was perfect!

quinoa, sweet potato, black bean and pine nuts salad with cilantro lime dressing mixed in

You can have this salad cold or warm. I liked mine better a bit warm, but a couple of days ago I had some leftover straight from the fridge and it was delicious too!

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view from above of a quinoa, sweet potato, black bean and pine nuts salad in a bowl with cilantro lime dressing in a small bowl

Black bean, sweet potato quinoa salad

  • Author: Carla
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: salad
  • Cuisine: American


Delicious quinoa salad with just four ingredients (and the dressing, of course!) perfect for a weeknight dinner!


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 can (14 oz) black beans
  • 2 oz pine nuts

For the cilantro lime dressing:

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of ½ lime


  1. Roast the sweet potato: Pre-heat oven at 400°F. Peel and dice the sweet potato in bite-size cubes. Spread in a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the quinoa: rinse the quinoa to eliminate the saponins that give a bitter taste. Bring the vegetable stock or water to a boil and add the quinoa. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Once cooked, fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  3. Toast the pine nuts: put the pine nuts in a small pan and stir continuously until they are nicely golden. Do not take your eyes off the pan because they can easily burn!
  4. Rinse the black beans.
  5. Prepare the dressing: mix all the ingredients in a jar and mix well.
  6. Assemble the salad with all the ingredients and enjoy!

Keywords: quinoa salad, vegetarian, vegan, sweet potato, pine nuts, black beans, quinoa bowl

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