As a Celiac girlie, one of my go-tos for a safe, easy meal when I’m out and about is Chipotle. I’ve been eating their burrito bowls since before going gluten free so it feels like a “normal” meal that I never had to give up. That actually means a lot!
While Chipotle’s burrito bowls have always been there for me, their price increases have done me dirty. What used to be an $8 meal now costs nearly $20. TWENTY DOLLARS. I mean of course I get a scoop of guacamole in my bowl, and of course I get a bag of chips with gluten free queso on the side, and of COURSE I round up for charity when checking out, but still — $20?!
There’s a better way, and it goes by the name of Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls with Chili-Lime Dressing. These fresh, healthy, filling bowls are made with humble, inexpensive ingredients, and pack a nutritious punch. They keep me full for hours and don’t cost an arm and a leg to assemble!
Healthy + Gluten Free + Vegan Lunch
These sweet potato black bean bowls are an excellent option for lunch because they’re filling yet light (aka you won’t need a nap after eating) and meatless. I try to eat meat free before dinnertime so this recipe fits the bill for me.
Additionally, while it’s full of fresh vegetables and healthy ingredients, this dish is NOT a cold salad. During the season that shall not be named, a chilled, lettuce-based salad is the the last thing I crave. The combination of warm rice and roasted sweet potatoes with fresh lettuce and toppings puts these bowls into the healthy yet cozy meal category.
Between the cilantro-lime rice, sweet potatoes, and chili-lime dressing, these bowls have a few hands-on components, but they come together quickly and several are make ahead too. Also several ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, chili powder, lime juice, and salt and pepper are used in several of the components. Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Sweet Potatoes:
- Sweet potatoes: you’ll need 2lbs which is ~4 small sweet potatoes. Peel then chop them into 1″ cubes.
- Seasonings: chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder lend a smoky + savory contrast to the sweet potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste as well.
- Extra virgin olive oil: for roasting.
For the Chili-Lime Dressing:
- Extra virgin olive oil: feel free to use vegetable oil if you prefer.
- Fresh lime juice: for the acid portion of the dressing.
- Mayonnaise: gives the dressing a bit of creaminess. Use vegan mayonnaise to keep the recipe vegan. You could also use plain Greek Yogurt.
- Honey: to balance out the tart lime juice.
- Chili powder: is delicious with the lime juice and honey!
- Salt and pepper: to taste.
For the Cilantro-Lime Rice:
- Long grain white rice: I am brand loyal to Lundberg Farms white jasmine rice which is a great, high-quality rice.
- Extra virgin olive oil and salt: to flavor the rice.
- Chopped cilantro: stirred in at the end for a pop of freshness.
- Fresh lime juice: pairs with the chopped cilantro to give you that classic, craveable Chipotle-rice flavor.
For the Toppings:
- Black beans: simply drain then rinse a can of black beans before scooping into each bowl. You could use pinto beans if you prefer!
- Red onion: thinly slice for a fresh and spicy bite. If you don’t love the flavor of raw onions, dice the red onion then roast it with the sweet potatoes for a more mild and sweet flavor.
- Jalapeno: thinly slice then scatter on top of the bowls. DYK: the larger the jalapeno the less spicy it is? Feel free to use pickled jalapenos instead of fresh if you prefer.
- Avocado: fresh avocado gives each bite a cool and creamy flavor and texture.
- Arugula: I love the flavor of spicy arugula, though baby spinach, mixed greens, or even shredded lettuce are all great options.
How to Make Ahead of Time
As I mentioned, several components of this recipe can be prepped or made ahead of time. Here are my recommendations:
- For the sweet potatoes: either store the peeled and chopped sweet potatoes in a bowl of water in the refrigerator for up to 4 days before patting dry and roasting, OR roast the sweet potatoes according to recipe directions then cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator. You can heat them up in the microwave before eating or add them to your bowl cold.
- For the Chili-Lime Dressing: make up to 5 days ahead of time and store in the fridge. It gets better as it sits!
- For the black beans: drain and rinse up to 5 days ahead of time then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- For the red onion and jalapeno: slice then store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days ahead of time.
Wait to dice the avocado and make the cilantro-lime rice before serving.
Great for Meal Prep
While I enjoy eating this bowl warm, it truly is just as delicious cold which makes it great for meal prep.
Layer the ingredients in large, wide-mouth mason jars with a tight fitting lid or pack in Pyrex containers. Voila — easy, healthy, make ahead lunches! Wait to add the dressing until it’s time to eat.
Pump Up the Protein
While the roasted sweet potato black bean bowls are meatless — and plenty filling on their own — if you want to add meat, it’d be totally delicious. Here are my recs:
- Chopped roasted chicken or chicken thighs
- Sliced grilled steak
- Sauteed or roasted shrimp
- Pulled pork
Alrighty, let’s eat!
Try This Fresh and Healthy Salad
How to Make Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls
Step 1: Roast the sweet potatoes.
Start by placing 2lbs of peeled and diced sweet potatoes onto a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper or nonstick-sprayed foil. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil then season with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
Toss with your fingertips to coat then spread the sweet potatoes into an even layer and roast at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until they’re tender and browned.
When I tell you 1/4 of these never make it from the sheet pan to the bowls, I am not exaggerating. SO delicious!
Step 2: Make the Cilantro-Lime Rice.
Meanwhile, to a small / medium-size saucepan add long grain white rice, water, salt, and extra virgin olive oil then bring to a simmer. Once simmering, place a lid on top, turn the heat down to low, then simmer until the rice is tender, 12-15 minutes.
Add chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice then stir to combine.
Step 3: Make the Chili-Lime Dressing.
As I mentioned, this zippy dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead of time! To a mason jar with a tight fitting lid, or a mixing bowl, add extra virgin olive oil, fresh lime juice, mayonnaise (or plain Greek Yogurt), honey, chili powder, salt, and pepper, then shake or whisk to combine.
Taste then add more fresh lime juice for tartness, honey for sweetness, and/or mayo for less tartness.
Step 4: Assemble.
Assembly time! This recipe makes enough for 5-6 bowls, so to each bowl add a scoop of warm Cilantro-Lime Rice and roasted sweet potatoes, plus drained then rinsed canned black beans, thinly sliced red onion, diced avocado, sliced jalapeno, and a handful of fresh greens.
Drizzle with the creamy Chili-Lime Dressing then devour! I hope you love these gorgeous, healthy, filling bowls as much as I do — enjoy!
More Healthy Bowl-Style Meals
- Spicy Tuna Roll Bowls
- Bean and Rice Bowls
- Greek Chicken Bowls
- Steak and Potato Bowls
- Vegetable Fajita Toastada Bowls
- Chicken Power Bowls
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Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls with Chili-Lime Dressing
Roasted Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls with Chili-Lime Dressing are healthy, plant-based bowls packed with flavor, texture, and staying power!
- 15oz can black beans, drained then rinsed
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
- 2 avocado, diced
- 4 cups arugula (or baby spinach, or mixed greens)
- For the sweet potatoes:
- 2lbs sweet potato (~4 small), peeled then sliced into 1" cubes
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- For the Chili-Lime Dressing:
- 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (~2 limes)
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise (or plain Greek Yogurt)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- For the Cilantro-Lime Rice:
- 1-3/4 cups water
- 1 cup long grain white rice, I like Lundberg Farms White Jasmine Rice
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- juice of 1/2 lime (may not need all)
- For the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees then line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or nonstick-sprayed foil. Add the sweet potato cubes into the center of the pan then drizzle on the extra virgin olive oil and seasonings. Toss with your fingers to coat then spread the sweet potatoes out into an even layer. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and browned, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly.
- For the Creamy Chili-Lime Dressing: add the ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid or bowl then shake or whisk to combine. Can be done up to 5 days ahead of time.
- For the Cilantro-Lime Rice: add the water, rice, oil, and salt to a small or medium-sized saucepan then turn the heat to high to bring the water to a gentle simmer. Place a lid on top then turn the heat down to low. Simmer until the rice is tender, 12-15 minutes, then add the chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice and stir to combine. Taste then add more lime juice and/or salt if needed. Set aside to cool slightly.
- To serve: Divide the Cilantro-Lime Rice, roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, sliced red onions, sliced jalapenos, diced avocado, and arugula between 5 or 6 plates or bowls. Drizzle with Chili-Lime Dressing then serve.
- You will need 3 limes total for this dish.
- The sweet potatoes can be roasted up to 3 days ahead of time then eaten chilled, or warmed in the microwave before adding to the bowls if you prefer.
- The Creamy Chili-Lime Dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and just gets better as it sits.
- This recipe is great for meal prep and can be eaten chilled. Portion everything into 5 - 6 storage containers with lids then refrigerate. Store dressing separately then add just before serving.
- Feel free to add roasted chicken, shrimp, steak, or pulled pork to this recipe if you would like to add meat!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Photos by Ashley McLaughLin