Meatless Monday Challenge

Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema

on January 23, 2023
last updated June 25, 2024
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This Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema hits the perfect balance of sweet and savory, with a subtle spicy kick.
Close crop of Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema

Looking for a hearty and healthful meal that’s packed with protein? This vibrant Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema is absolutely loaded with flavor between the natural sweetness from the sweet potato and corn, citrus from the avocado crema, and subtle spice from the taco seasoning on the roasted veggies.

Between all of the nutrient-dense and high protein ingredients, this naturally vegan quinoa bowl will keep you full and satisfied for hours. Plus, it comes together in just 40 minutes!

In this recipe you will learn how to make fluffy and flavorful quinoa (using the same technique I use in this Quinoa Breakfast Bowl). You’ll also learn how to perfectly roast sweet potatoes, red onions, and corn kernels and how to make Avocado Crema.

Overhead shot of Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema

As an environmental scientist, I’m always looking for tasty meatless meals to help me improve my ecological footprint, and this Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl is a great place to start!

Packed with protein from the quinoa and the black beans, and tons of fiber to keep you satisfied, this vegan meal is super hearty.

Green tip: Industrial meat production has a huge impact on the environment, especially because of the amount of land it takes to sustain and its high amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing your meat consumption is one great way to improve your ecological footprint.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema Ingredients

Here’s everything you need for the Sweet Potato Bowl:

  • Quinoa. You can use white, black, red, or tricolor quinoa.
  • Vegetable broth. Cooking the quinoa in broth infuses the base of your bowl with savory flavor.
  • Sweet potato. The star of this dish! It adds tons of naturally sweet and delicious flavor. You will cube it, coat it in olive oil, and roast it to get perfectly crispy sweet potato bites in just 20 minutes.
  • Red onion. To add color and umami flavor.
  • Corn. The subtle sweetness of the corn plays off the sweet potato so nicely.
  • Olive oil. To coat your sweet potato, corn, and red onion in before roasting to get the best texture.
  • Taco seasoning. You can buy some from the store or easily make your own taco seasoning to add complex flavor to your roasted veggies.
  • Black beans. To add extra protein and bulk to your hearty vegan quinoa bowl.
  • Leafy greens. Like arugula, spinach, or spring mix. These are optional but do add a lot of freshness to the dish.
ingredients for sweet potato quinoa bowl - leafy greens, sweet potato, quinoa, vegetable broth, black beans, olive oil, taco seasoning, corn kernels, red onion

Here’s everything your need for the Avocado Crema:

  • Avocado. To make an ultra-creamy crema.
  • Sour cream or Greek Yogurt. To add a little bit of tang. For a lighter but tangier crema, use Greek Yogurt. For a richer, more subtle tang in your crema, use sour cream.
  • Lime juice. For a citrusy finish.
  • Salt. To season and bring out the other flavors in your crema.
  • Cilantro. Fresh herbs are great in this crema, but are completely optional!
ingredients for avocado crema to put on sweet potato quinoa bowl - avocado, sour cream, cilantro, salt, lime juice

Quinoa Bowl with Sweet Potato Substitutions and Variations

If you don’t have some of the ingredients, or want to switch it up, here are some options for you that can be roasted with the sweet potato in place of the corn and/or red onion:

  • Chickpeas
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Shallots
  • Brussels sprouts

Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl Tips and Tricks

How to Cook Flavorful Quinoa

It’s always best to rinse your quinoa. This will not only clean it, but also rinse off a naturally occurring insect repelling chemical called saponin, which can give your quinoa a bitter taste. I like to use a sieve to run clean water over the quinoa.

Add your rinsed quinoa to a medium-sized pot with the vegetable broth. Otherwise, you can opt to cook it in water, but cooking your quinoa in vegetable broth will infuse tons of delicious flavor!

For the fluffiest quinoa, bring the quinoa and veggie broth to a boil. Then, turn the heat all the way down to low and cover it. Allow it to simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Next, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.

Finally, fluff it with a fork before serving it. To fluff, simply use your fork to gently lift from the bottom of the pot in an upward motion.

Adding rinsed quinoa to pot to cook in vegetable broth

The Best Way to Slice a Red Onion

Just one half of a red onion is plenty to make two generous-sized portioned bowls. Cut your onion in half first. Then, cut either end off.

This should make it easy to peel off the outer, papery layer of the onion.

From there, you can slice your onion into thin segments. Once you have your thin slices, you can use your hands to pull apart the layers of the onion.

If you find translucent, paper-thin pieces during this pull-apart process, just discard them. The ends and peels of the onion can easily be composted.

The Best Way to Cube a Sweet Potato

Start by peeling the skin off of your sweet potato with a vegetable peeler. You can compost the skins, save them to make vegetable broth, or even used to make these tasty Sweet Potato Skin Chips!

Once your sweet potato is peeled, slice it into thin strips, about 1-inch thick. From there, you can lay the strips flat and easily cut them into small, bite-sized cubes.

The cubes certainly do not have to be perfectly uniform, but it’s best to keep them roughly equal in size, so they roast at the same rate.

I absolutely love sweet potato season! Sweet potatoes add so much flavor to any dish, including this quinoa bowl, this Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce, and this Roasted Sweet Potato Soup.

Eating seasonally is one of the best (and most delicious) ways to support local and decrease your carbon footprint.

Green tip: Local foods have less associated transportation costs and fuel emissions. Check when sweet potatoes are in season in your area with this Seasonal Food Guide.

Coat Your Vegetables in Oil and Seasoning

Once you’ve cubes your sweet potato and sliced your red onion, add them to a large baking sheet with the corn. You can use frozen or fresh corn kernels, either work!

Add the olive oil and taco seasoning to the sweet potato, red onion, and corn and sprinkle the taco seasoning on top. I like to keep the vegetable separate for plating later, but you can also opt to mix them all together.

Just make sure they are all in a single layer, and not sitting on top of each other. Use your hands or kitchen tongs to toss the veggies in the oil and taco seasoning, to evenly coat them.

This will help them roast evenly and ensure that each and every bite is filled with flavor.

Adding taco seasoning to sweet potatoes, corn, and red onion to roast

Roasting Sweet Potato, Red Onion, and Corn Together

Once your oven is preheated to 425°F, add your baking sheet to the top rack.

Roast for 20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are crispy.

Green tip: Get to know your oven! Get an idea of how long it takes your oven to preheat. By not pre-heating the oven too early, you can save energy.

How to Warm Black Beans in the Oven

Drain and rinse your black beans. After 20 minutes, remove your sheet pan from the oven and add the black beans. Toss with kitchen tongs to get some of the seasoning on the black beans.

Then, stick the sweet potatoes, red onion, corn, and black beans back into the oven at 425°F for an additional 2 minutes, so the black beans get a chance to warm.

Adding black beans to baking sheet with roasted vegetables

Use Fresh Lime Juice in Your Avocado Crema

Meanwhile, get going on your avocado crema! You can make this easily in a food processor or high-powered blender.

I highly recommend using fresh lime juice in your avocado crema, to bring fresh citrus flavor to your sweet potato quinoa bowl.

I like to use a citrus squeezer to extract the lime juice from the lime. Typically, a large lime contains 2 tablespoons of lime juice, so just one lime should be perfect for this recipe.

If you are squeezing your lime by hand, I recommend squeezing it into a separate dish first to avoid adding any seeds to your food processor or blender.

Adding fresh lime juice to food processor to make avocado crema

How to Make Avocado Crema in a Food Processor

Making your avocado crema is as simple as adding the avocado, sour cream or Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt and cilantro (optional) to the food processor or blender and blending on high.

Continue to blend until it’s completely smooth. Don’t worry, you can’t over-blend it! Make sure the cilantro is completely broken down into small fragments if you’re adding cilantro to your crema.

I find the easiest way to remove the avocado flesh is by slicing the avocado in half, discarding the pit, and then using a spoon to scoop the avocado flesh out of the skin. Make sure not to add any brown bits of avocado to the crema if your avocado is overripe.

The best way to tell if your avocado is ripe is by squeezing it. If it yields to gentle pressure, it’s ready! If you squeeze it and its rock hard, it still needs time to ripen.

However, if you squeeze it and its super tender or has some spots that cave in more than other when you apply gentle pressure, odds are your avocado is overripe.

Assemble Your Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl

Once all of your elements are ready, it’s time to assemble it!

Start with your fluffy quinoa as the base, and layer on the roasted sweet potato, corn, red onion, and black beans. If you’re adding greens, you can either toss them with the quinoa in your base or add them on top.

Finish the bowl with the avocado crema for extra creaminess, moisture, and flavor,

Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with fresh greens and a dollop of avocado crema

How to Properly Store and Reheat this Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl

If you have leftovers of an assembled quinoa bowl that is already dressed in avocado crema, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s best to enjoy these leftovers cold, as the avocado crema should not be heated.

In an airtight container, the avocado crema alone will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator or can be frozen for up to a month.

Leftover roasted sweet potato, corn, red onion, and black beans are best reheated in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F and spread them out on a baking tray. No need to add any additional oil or seasoning.

Heat the leftover roasted vegetables in the oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

Leftover quinoa can be reheated in the microwave, covered, on high for about 3-4 minutes, until nice and hot. Quinoa itself stays fresh in the refrigerator for about 5 days and can be frozen for up to 6 months.

You can add 1-2 minutes of reheating time for the microwave if the quinoa is frozen, or you can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it.

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? Properly storing, reheating, and enjoying your leftovers is a great way to limit your contribution to food waste.

Sweet Potato Bowl Frequently Asked Questions

What pairs well with quinoa?

Quinoa is a super versatile grain with mild flavor, making it truly a great pairing with a variety of different foods. You’ll often find quinoa added to chili or working as the base to a bowl like this Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl.

Quinoa pairs well with roasted vegetables, all kinds of beans, and is also a great additive to any salad, like in this Quinoa Arugula Salad.

It can also be used to replace rice, in any way you might typically use it, for a higher-protein option.

Are quinoa bowls hot or cold?

Quinoa bowls can be served either hot or cold. I often opt to leave my leftover quinoa bowls cold and find them just as delicious as when they are served hot and fresh.

Cold quinoa bowls are generally crisper and fresher, while hot quinoa bowls will be more of a warming comfort meal.

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Why You Should Make this Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema

  • It’s filling. Filled with protein and fiber, this quinoa bowl is designed to keep you full for hours.
  • It’s vibrant. Filled with an array of different flavors and colors.
  • It’s nutritious. Each element brings a ton of nutrients to this dish.

If you’re loving this Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema and want more tasty bowls, check out this 30-Minute Spicy Salmon Bowl and this Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl.

Close crop of Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema

Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema

5 from 6 votes
Marley Goldin
This Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema hits the perfect balance of sweet and savory, with a subtle spicy kick to bring tons of flavor to this healthy meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 servings


Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 pound sweet potato (1 large sweet potato = approx. 1 pound)
  • ½ medium red onion (½ red onion = approx. 2 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 15 ounces black beans (1 can = 15 ounces beans)
  • ½ cup leafy greens like spinach, arugula or spring mix

Avocado Crema

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • ½ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (½ cup sour cream = approx. 5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime = approx. 2 tablespoons juice)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (optional, ¼ cup herbs = approx. 0.2 ounces)


Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Rinse quinoa with clean water in a sieve and add it to a medium pot with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.
    Fluffy quinoa cooked in vegetable broth
  • Prep your ingredients by peeling and cubing your sweet potato, slicing your red onion, and draining and rinsing your black beans. You can use fresh or frozen corn.
    frozen corn, black beans drained and rinsed from the can, cubed sweet potato, and sliced red onion
  • Add the sweet potato, corn, and red onions to a large baking sheet. Use clean hands or kitchen tongs to toss and evenly coat with the olive oil and taco seasoning. Then, spread the vegetables out in a single layer.
    cubed sweet potato, frozen corn, and sliced red onion on baking sheet with olive oil and taco seasoning
  • Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes. Then, add the black beans to the baking sheet and put it back in the oven for an additional two minutes to warm the beans.
    Adding black beans to roasted sweet potatoes, corn, and red onions to warm in the oven
  • Assemble your Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls by adding the cooked quinoa, leafy greens, roasted sweet potato, corn, and red onion, and the warmed black beans. Add a dollop of Avocado Crema on top and enjoy!
    Close crop of Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Crema

Avocado Crema

  • Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Add the avocado flesh, sour cream or greek yogurt, lime juice, salt, and cilantro (optional) to a food processor and blend until smooth.
    Fresh Avocado Crema in the food processor

Pro Tips

  • For a lower sodium option, or if you don’t have any vegetable broth on hand, you can opt to make your quinoa in water instead. 
  • This is a great recipe to use leftover quinoa for as well! Just reheat your leftover quinoa (detailed instructions for reheating quinoa in post) and skip step 2.
  • For more recipes like this, check out this list of Quinoa Bowl Recipes
  • For more recipes using delicious spuds, check out this list of Easy Sweet Potato Recipes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Healthy, Quinoa Bowl, Roasted Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato, Vegan Bowl
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