Sweet Potato and Black Bean “Chicken” Salad

Sweet Potato and Black Bean "Chicken" Salad | cookiemonstercooking.com

And the mexican food continues?  I actually didn’t realize this fact until I sat down to write this post.  In my mind, the Cinco de Mayo food ended last week, but then it dawned on me that today we’re talking mexican too.  What can I say – apparently we all know what my favorite type of food is?

And this meal right here is one that you can feel good about eating … no guilt!  I’m calling this a “chicken” salad because that’s what it reminds me of … but there’s no chicken.  Only veggies.  But I wanted you to get that it’s like a veggie version of chicken salad!  If that makes sense…

Sweet Potato and Black Bean "Chicken" Salad | cookiemonstercooking.com

While it’s probably not necessarily clear from the recipes I always post, we actually only eat meat at our house once or twice a week.  I get sick of leftovers and salads for lunch, so I figured it was about time to get a little creative.

And you know what I always think about around lunch time?  This smoky, delicious sweet potato and black bean pizza.  It’s still one of my favorite meals on the planet.  And no I’m not exaggerating.  But since homemade pizza at lunch during the week isn’t really a feasible option, I morphed it into a “chicken” (I mean veggie) salad.

Best decision.  I get my mexican pizza like meal at lunch, you can make it in advance, it’s healthy and of course tasty too.  I like it best with some blue corn tortilla chips on the side, but serve it however you like!  Rolled up in a tortilla?  Yes.  With some crackers and grapes?  Yes.  Straight out of the bowl with a spoon.  Go for it … I know I have.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean "Chicken" Salad | cookiemonstercooking.com

Plus, if you overdid it on the mexican food and margaritas this weekend you can now go ahead and detox with some more mexican food.  Healthy style.

Yield: about 4 to 6 servings

Sweet Potato and Black Bean “Chicken” Salad

Recipe for sweet potato and black bean “chicken” salad. A vegetarian version of chicken salad, mexican style. With black beans, sweet potatoes and avocado.

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  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup freshly grated manchego cheese
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the sweet potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet and then drizzle with the olive oil and honey. Toss to coat and then spread in an even layer. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, add the sweet potatoes to a large bowl.
  2. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Dice half of the avocado and add to the large bowl with the sweet potatoes. Add the other half of the avocado to a small bowl and mash well with a fork or potato masher.
  3. Add the black beans, cilantro, green onions and manchego to the bowl with the sweet potatoes and set aside. To the bowl with the mashed avocado, add the greek yogurt, lime juice, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix until well combined. Add to the bowl with the sweet potatoes and mix gently until combined and the sauce sort of binds it all together. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed to your taste (I usually add a little more salt and smoked paprika).
  4. Serve with crackers and fruit, pita chips, tortilla chips, rolled up in a tortilla… whatever you like!

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