Southwest sweet potato salad

This is a dish a make fairly often at home. Recently, I made it for a potluck at work. It was a hit, so figured I’d share it here. I love this recipe because it it’s endlessly adaptable (in fact, I originally stole the concept from Mark Bittman). Since it’s crowd-pleaser and good for parties and potlucks: if you or your guests have dietary restrictions, note that with a quick label check this is gluten free, and can easily be made vegetarian or vegan (see *).

If you do make this for a party or potluck, I recommend saving a couple of single-size portions for lunches. Add some sliced avocado for extra nums. 


  • ½ – 1 c quinoa
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, chopped into about a ½-inch dice
  • 1 lb chorizo*
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or rehydrated, boiled & seasoned equivalent)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • Feta and/or cojita cheese, crumbled*
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 limes
  • Olive oil
  • Cinnamon, cumin, ancho chili powder, salt & pepper


  1. Cook quinoa as directed (usually boil with 2x water and some salt, then simmer for about 15 minutes)
  2. Heat oven to 400*. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, cumin, ancho chili, salt, pepper and cinnamon to taste (just a little cinnamon / I like lots of cumin). Put them on a baking sheet (with foil for easier clean-up!) and roast until done – probably about 20 minutes, tossing once. Cool a bit.
  3. Cook chorizo in a pan until done. Adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Mix quinoa, sweet potatoes, chorizo, black beans, peppers, cheese, green onions and cilantro in a big bowl. Add some lime juice and olive oil, mix and taste. Adjust seasonings as you’d like.

*Chorizo and/or feta can easily be removed or replaced to make this a vegetarian or vegan dish. You may just want to amp up the spices, and add some chipotles in adobo (or just the sauce) to replicate the warm spice of the chorizo.

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