Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls

SWEET POTATO BLACK BEAN BOWLS WITH KALE, SEEDS, AVOCADO, AND LEMON-TAHINI SAUCE. A LIGHT BUT FILLING SHEET PAN DINNER THAT ALSO HAPPENS TO BE VEGAN!

An overhead of two sweet potato black bean bowls on a grey table with a grey linen, a bowl of tahini sauce, pepitas, and a jar of pickled onions.

In case you’re getting to a point where you can’t stand to eat one more damn cookie from the batch that you thought would be a good idea to freeze in case you got snacky and sad, here’s some vegetables and super foods! When I said in my blog post last week that I meal prepped, I meant it! I threw together these sweet potato and black bean bowls early last week, and they lasted so long, that Marc and I definitely won’t be eating them again for at least two more months. But, it was fun while it lasted, and I learned how to switch up veggie bowls so that I don’t get entirely too sick of them!

On top of feeding us for lunch and dinner for a few days, these bowls also happened to make a great breakfast! Rice is unnecessary when you go the breakfast route, because you can just plop the veggie mixture on a plate, top with a runny egg, and voilà, it’s suddenly a hash.

Here’s what you’ll need for sweet potato black bean bowls

An overhead shot of a pot of rice placed on a linen, bowl of pepitas, bowl of tahini dressing, avocado, bowls, and half a lemon in a curved shape on a grey speckled counter.

The best part of these bowls is that they require mostly basic pantry staples + a few things from the produce aisle! While the lemon-tahini sauce is optional, I would highly recommend making it! It adds so much delicious, nutty flavor to the dish. However, if you can’t find tahini, no worries. We’ll talk about it later.

Also, I realize this looks like a ton of ingredients, but a lot of it is spices and other typical things you probably already have in your kitchen. You can mix up the ingredients if you want to customize your bowls, but here’s what I used:

  • Sweet Potatoes: I use jewel sweet potatoes, but any are ok!
  • Olive Oil: Or whatever oil you like to use for roasting.
  • Chili Powder: For spice.
  • Smoked Paprika: Or regular!
  • Cayenne: For more spice.
  • Salt and Pepper: Always.
  • Garlic: A necessary component of any savory dish.
  • Rosemary: Fresh or dried is fine!
  • Kale: I use curly, but get whatever you can find.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Or pepper of choice.
  • Black Beans: Just one can.
  • Tahini: See substitutions below!
  • Lemon: Goes perfectly with tahini.
  • Brown Rice: Or any grain you like.
  • Toppings: Avocado, seeds (I like pumpkin, chia, and flax), cheese, eggs, etc.

Time to make sweet potato black bean bowls!

Two bird's eye shots of a sheet pan placed on a grey table. On the first pan, there is roasted sweet potatoes. On the second pan, there is roasted sweet potatoes, peppers, and kale.

Before you begin, remember to start your rice! How many times have you forgotten to start the rice and then dinner is half an hour late? The woooorst.

Next, spread the sweet potatoes on a sheet pan, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with the chili powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper and bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up the pepper and tear the kale. Toss with more olive oil, salt, and pepper, and add to the sheet pan. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the veggies are tender and the kale is crispy. Sprinkle the black beans over the sheet pan, and bake for another 3-5 minutes, just until the beans are warmed.

While everything is baking, you’ll want to prepare your rice, any toppings, and the sauce! If you’re making the lemon-tahini sauce, just whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, some water, a clove of garlic, and a pinch of salt. It will seize and get clumpy, but just keep going! If it’s thick, continue adding water or lemon juice until it’s nice and saucy.

Serve the veggies over rice with sauce, seeds, avocado, and other toppings of choice!

A side photo of sweet potato black bean bowls, surrounded by another veggie bowl and ingredients on a speckled grey table.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowl Toppings

These bowls are customizable, which is the best part! You can use different veggies, different grains, whatever you like. As for toppings, I like to add avocado, a squeeze of lemon, and lots of seeds to my bowls! (Seeds are basically savory sprinkles, yeah?) However, if you’re feeling a little ambitious, there are lots of other fun things you can add to round out the meal:

  • Fried Eggs: Obviously not vegan, but so delicious!
  • Feta Cheese: Parmesan or queso fresco are great too if you can’t find feta.
  • Pickled Onions: Anything pickled, really.
  • Fresh Herbs: There’s never a bad time for fresh herbs. Try chives or cilantro!
  • Greek Yogurt: I’ll put plain Greek yogurt on anything.
  • Chicken: If you need some meat, grilled or sauteed chicken would be delicious.

What if I can’t find tahini?

I’m lucky that tahini just sits on the shelves in my grocery store. However, I know that’s not the case for everyone. If you can’t find tahini, but you still want to make a sauce, try plain Greek yogurt! As much as I love tahini, I will never say no to garlicky, lemony yogurt sauce. Or, you can always order tahini online!

Bonus: Sweet potato black bean bowls are vegan!

If vegan is your thing, then these bowls are for you! Obviously, if you add eggs and cheese and yogurt, that will not be the case. But, they will still be vegetarian! They also happen to be gluten free. So, you can pretty much make these bowls for anyone which is gr8.

How to meal prep sweet potato black bean bowls

These are my perfect meal prep situtation! Once you get all of the ingredients prepped, all you have to do is layer the bowls together into six airtight containers however you please. Top with a lid, and store them in the fridge for up to one week. I would recommend adding seeds right before you eat, or they may get soggy in the fridge. Also, maybe add avocado last-minute, or it’ll get brown and funky.

A few tips and tricks

  • Make sure not to crowd the veggies, or they will steam rather than bake. If necessary, use two sheet pans so that the veggies get nice and crisp.
  • Double the tahini dressing if you have no self control (hi, me).
  • The veggies may get a bit soggy in the fridge. To crisp them back up, reheat them at 350°F just until they are warm.
A closeup bird's eye shot of a veggie and grain bowl with avocado, lemon, and a fork sticking out of the side.

Other delicious veggie recipes!

Farro Salad with Acorn Squash, Kale, + Pomegranate
Spring Panzanella Salad
Kale Salad with Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing
Carrot Salad with Pistachios, Queso Fresco, + Shallot Dressing

Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls



xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: What Would I Do? by Strawberry Guy

Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls with Kale, Avocado, and Lemon-Tahini Dressing | Serendipity by Sara Lynn
Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls with Kale & Lemon-Tahini Dressing | Serendipity by Sara Lynn

Black Bean and Corn Guacamole

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“Hey, Sara.  Why are you taking pictures of that guacamole?”

“Errrrrrr, uhhhhhm, weeeeelllllllll…..”

I feel like that just summed up my life in two sentences.

That was a quote from one of my roommates.  Sometimes it takes a while to openly admit that you’re a food blogger.  Not that I’m ashamed.  Just that it’s not something that just comes up all the time.

Until your roommate walks in, practically smacking you in the head with the front door while you “rap squat” with a camera pointing directly at a bowl of guac.  Don’t know what the “rap squat” is? Check this out here.  That should sum it up for you/give you a good laugh.

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Anyways, yeah, guac.  I’m pretty sure that I’m allergic to avocados considering I never feel all that great after eating them, but I don’t care.  Because they’re worth it.  Why are they so good?!

This guac has corn and black beans in it, like that really great salsa, except that it’s in guacamole!  Yes, please and thank you.

But Sara, doesn’t regular guacamole have tomatoes and onions in it?

Uhm, don’t you have something better to do?  Shouldn’t you be watching Netflix or something?  I recommend It’s Always Sunny. (No, Netflix is not compensating me for that comment.  But I am interested Netflix.  Need a cute little redheaded spokesgirl?  Sorry, was that conceited?).

But for real, the answer is yes.  But I hate raw onions and I forgot tomatoes at the store.  You may add them if you want.  I just did not have the necessary ingredients with me.  Sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

1 avocado

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 lime, juiced

1/4 tsp. onion powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 drops Tobasco, or to taste

1/4 c. corn (fresh, frozen, canned, your choice)

1/4 c. black beans (I used canned.  Make sure to drain and rinse!)

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Cut your avocado in half, around the pit.  Jam your knife into the pit and yank it out.  Just twist a little, it’ll come out.  Don’t cut your hand!  You can do this guys.

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Put the avocado in a good mashing bowl with your garlic, lime juice, onion powder, salt and pepper, and Tobasco.

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Smash it with a fork!

Screw the fork, this is taking to long.  Use a potato masher.

Oh yeah, I don’t have a potato masher.

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The fork works.

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Stir in black beans and corn!

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Serve with these!  They’re way healthier than regular corn chips and they’re way more delicious!

Again, not being compensated.  Again, interested.

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This should serve 4 regular, healthy sized portions.  But we all know you’re going to eat half of it like me.  Don’t be like me, kids.  Do yourself a favor.  Learn portion control.

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You know what, avocados are really good for you, eat however much you want.

And let me know how that goes.

Tips:

1. To find a good avocado, take the little stem off.  If it’s green, it’s ripe!  If it’s creamy white/tan, it’s not ripe.  If it’s dark brown or black, it’s bad!

2.  To keep guacamole from going brown and goopy, cover it with water.  Then just dump it out and stir whenever you want to eat it.  Kind of sounds gross, but it’s not (it’s just water) and it’s better than brown clumpy guac.  The reason it works is because food can’t oxidize in water!  Yeah, science bitch!  (Breaking Bad, anyone?)

XO Sara

Song of the Day: Honestly?–American Football