You’ll love this roasted sweet potato and black bean bowl! Served over top of a herbaceous cilantro lime rice and topped with a creamy and tangy avocado sauce for a tasty vegetarian dinner ready in under 45 minutes.
This is one of my favorite vegetarian recipes to make because it’s got everything you need; herbaceous rice with cilantro and lime, spicy roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and it all gets topped with a savory avocado crema.
Plus, there’s just something about eating food in bowl form that makes it more fun.
Why this recipe works
This recipe comes together in three different steps. First, the sweet potatoes are roasted in the oven. While they are roasting you’ll make the cilantro lime rice with black beans–it’s super easy and just requires on pot.
Then you’ll quickly whip up an avocado crema in your food processor. The combination of sweet, savory, sour and spicy makes this the perfect bite.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Sweet potatoes which you’ll peel and dice into bite-sized pieces. I always try to choose evenly shaped sweet potatoes to make peeling and chopping easier.
- Olive oil helps them brown in the oven while they are roasting.
- Spices! This recipe uses a variety to give this bowl a bit of a taco or burrito vibe. You’ll toss the cubed sweet potatoes with salt, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder and cayenne pepper. If you don’t like spice, you can absolutely leave the cayenne pepper out.
Ingredients you’ll need for the rice
- Olive oil for sauteing the aromatics and spices, this adds tons of flavor to the rice.
- Garlic and cumin are the key aromatic ingredients in the rice.
- White parboiled rice is the base of the bowl. You could use brown rice as well, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time based on the brown rice package instructions.
- I usually cook my rice in water but you can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth, if you do use broth, you’ll want to adjust the salt levels.
- Lime zest and cilantro are added after the rice is cooked to add herbaceous notes and to brighten up the rice.
- Canned black beans are mixed directly into the rice, this helps to cut down on dishes and makes sure everyone gets a both rice and black beans in their bowl.
Step by step instructions
- Heat oven to 425F. On a baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until fork tender and browned on one side.
- Meanwhile make the rice, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cumin and cook for 1 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat in oil and spices, about 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is fully cooked. Fluff with a fork and stir in black beans, cilantro and lime.
Ingredients for avocado crema
- Avocado helps make the sauce creamy and just pairs so well with the flavors.
- Sour cream is the creamy element in the sauce, you could use a vegan sour cream or Greek yogurt here as well.
- Water, not pictured above, but it helps to loosen the sauce. You’ll need about ¼ cup.
- Garlic adds some bite to the sauce.
- Cilantro adds fresh flavor and bright green color.
- You’ll use the lime juice from the lime you zested earlier to add some acid to the sauce and stop the avocado from browning.
- Pickled jalapenos are one of my go-to ingredients that add a tang and spice element to dishes. They are pretty subtle so you don’t need to worry about the sauce being too spicy, but if you are sensitive to spice you can reduce the amount used.
Step by step instructions for making the sauce
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients together. If you want a looser sauce, you can blend in water, one tablespoon at a time.
- As much as I love the avocado sauce if you don’t have enough time you could simply serve it with some source cream and diced avocado. Or, you could make the quick cumin lime sauce from my roasted cauliflower tacos.
- I also love to top the bowls with pickled red onions, which I pretty much always have on hand.