Hearty and nutritious Sweet Potato Bowls made on a single sheet pan in just 30 minutes! Made with tender roasted sweet potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, black beans, and corn all served over brown rice and topped with cilantro, avocado, and a delicious creamy sauce.
It’s no secret that rice bowls are one of our favorite meals and today we are sharing a new plant-based Sweet Potato Bowl made with roasted sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, zucchini, black beans, and corn.
Taking inspiration from burrito bowls, these sweet potato bowls swap in delicious roasted sweet potatoes for the meat. Then a combination of black beans, corn, brown rice, and avocado ensure the bowls are still packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fat to keep you full and satisfied.
Why You’ll Love These Sweet Potato Bowls
There are so many reasons to love these delicious grain bowls!
- Nutritious: Packed with whole grains, plant-based protein, and healthy fats - these bowls are healthy, filling, and satisfying.
- Great for meal prep: These sweet potato and black bean bowls keep well in the fridge and taste great warmed up, at room temperature, or cold making them perfect for lunches and quick dinners.
- Versatile: It’s so easy to customize these bowls! Use different grains, change out the spices, add extra protein or veggies, and try different salsas and sauces.
Ingredients and Easy Swaps
Here is everything you need to make these healthy bowls, including easy shortcuts and swaps.
- Sweet potato: It’s hard to beat the flavor of roasted sweet potatoes, but this recipe also works with white potatoes, butternut squash, or another winter squash.
- Peppers and onions: Bell peppers and onions add flavor and texture to these bowls. Any type of peppers and onions work but I like it with the sweetness of red bell peppers and red onion. Swap in poblano peppers for some spice.
- Zucchini: I always like to add some green veggies to my bowls. Use zucchini, green beans, asparagus, broccoli florets, cabbage, or any other veggies you like.
- Black beans and corn: Black beans are essential to add fiber and plant-based protein to this recipe. Use any type of beans you like or swap in tofu, tempeh, chicken, shrimp, or cooked ground turkey.
- Spices: Add some southwest flavor to these bowls with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and coriander. Consider adding cumin or using smoked paprika for a smokier flavor. Swap in taco seasoning, fajita seasoning, or curry powder if you prefer.
- Grains: Usually I make these bowls with white rice, brown rice, or quinoa, but any grains will work. You could also swap in cauliflower rice, greens, or cilantro lime rice.
- Toppings: Avocado adds healthy fats and creaminess to this dish. Cilantro adds freshness. You could also add shredded cheese, queso fresco, hummus, pico de gallo, lettuce, tomatoes, and any other toppings and dressing you like. (Read below for more ideas)
- Shortcuts: Save time using frozen sweet potato or butternut squash. Or par-cook the sweet potato in the microwave to cut down on cooking time. Use frozen or precooked rice or quinoa instead of making it from scratch. Use taco seasoning or another seasoning blend that’s ready to go. Add your favorite store-bought sauce, dressing, or salsa on top.
How to Make Sweet Potato Bowls
These sweet potato bowls are easy to make and come together in just a few steps.
1. Roast sweet potatoes, onions, and bell pepper
Wash the sweet potatoes and cut them into small bite-sized pieces so that they cook relatively quickly. Leave the skin on or peel the potatoes based on your preference.
Then toss the sweet potatoes, red onion, and bell pepper with olive oil and half of the spice mixture. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roast for 15 minutes until they are beginning to brown and soften. Larger pieces may take longer.
2. Add zucchini, beans, and corn
Push the sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and onions to one side of the baking sheet. Add the zucchini, black beans, and corn. Drizzle with olive oil and the remaining spices. Toss to coat.
Return the sheet pan to the oven and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
3. Prep grain and toppings
While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the rice or whatever grains you are using. Prep any sauces or additional toppings.
4. Assemble bowls
Layer the grains into a bowl. Add the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, onion, zucchini, black beans, and corn. Sprinkle with cilantro and add the avocado slices. Drizzle with your favorite sauce or dressing. Add any fresh veggies or additional toppings.
Variations: Build the Perfect Bowl
Customize this bowl based on your favorite flavors and dietary needs.
- Burrito bowls: Take inspiration from your favorite burrito bowls with shredded cheese, crunchy lettuce, salsa, guacamole, fajita veggies, and sour cream.
- Extra protein: Add rotisserie chicken, tofu, ground turkey, lentils, or Greek yogurt for extra protein. It’s also delicious with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or other nuts.
- Grain-free and Paleo: Use greens, veggie noodles, or cauliflower rice as the base of the bowl to make it grain-free.
- Vegan: This bowl is naturally vegan, just make sure to choose vegan toppings.
- Buffalo bowls: Add buffalo sauce and ranch dressing to make a buffalo sweet potato bowl.
- Sweet potato Buddha bowl: Take inspiration from buddha bowls and add kale or spinach, purple cabbage, chickpeas, fresh herbs, and a tahini-based dressing.
Best Sweet Potato Bowl Toppings
There are so many different ways to change up the flavors in this bowl with different toppings, herbs, veggies, sauces, and dressing. Here are some favorites:
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Queso fresco, feta cheese, or goat cheese
- Creamy chipotle sauce
- Cilantro lime sauce
- blackened ranch dressing or ranch dressing
- Avocado hummus or guacamole
- Creamy salsa verde
- Pico de gallo
- Romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, or shredded cabbage
- Diced tomatoes
- Pickled onions
- Lime juice or lemon juice
- Tahini dressing or almond butter dressing
Meal Prep and Storage
These bowls are great for meal prep since they keep well in the fridge. Enjoy these bowls cold, at room temperature, or heated up.
- Fridge: Let fully cool and store in the fridge for 4-5 days. Do not add the avocado until it is time to eat.
- Freezer: These bowls (minus the avocado) freeze really well. Let cool and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these sweet potato bowls.
Sweet potatoes tend to be sweeter when they are roasted since the edges caramelize, bringing out the natural sweetness in the potato. Some of that sweetness is lost when the potatoes are boiled in water. Additionally, some nutrients can be lost when the potatoes are boiled in water.
The term "Buddha bowl" is used to describe all different types of vegetable and grain bowls. Normally buddha bowls contain a base of rice or quinoa paired with roasted vegetables, chickpeas, raw vegetables, greens, and a healthy sauce made from nuts and/or seeds.
Sweet Potato Bowls
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- 2 cups sweet potato, diced (small pieces so they cook in 20-25 minutes)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 15 oz canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn (drained)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 avocado (small)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
For a quick creamy, spicy sauce for these bowls combine 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1/2-1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo (double for spicy), 1 garlic clove (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder), juice of 1/2 lime, salt, and pepper in a food processer or blender. Add a touch of honey if you like for some sweetness.
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