The Lentil Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Queso Fresco Recipe is the perfect dish for any occasion, whether it’s a backyard barbecue or a simple weeknight dinner. As a home chef who loves hosting parties, I can say without hesitation that this salad is both impressive and easy to make.
With hearty lentils, roasted sweet potatoes, and tangy queso fresco cheese, this salad is bursting with flavor and textures. And with just a little bit of lime juice, olive oil, and salt, it’s also incredibly simple to prepare.
Trust me when I say that this salad will quickly become a staple in your recipe index. Whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian or simply looking for healthy eating options, the Lentil Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Queso Fresco Recipe is sure to impress your guests (or family) every time. So let’s get cooking!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes and queso fresco recipe is a true winner, and I have every reason to believe that you’ll love it as much as I do. Not only is this recipe colorful and vibrant, but it’s also healthy and packed with nutrients. Lentils are an excellent source of protein and fiber, while sweet potatoes bring a boost of vitamins A and C to the table.
But that’s not all; the real star of this dish is queso fresco. If you haven’t tried this delicious Mexican cheese before, you’re in for a treat. Queso fresco is crumbly and fresh, with just the right amount of tanginess, making it the perfect counterpart to the sweetness of the roasted sweet potatoes.
And let’s not forget about the flavors in this recipe! Fresh lime juice provides a zesty kick, olive oil enhances the richness of the lentils and sweet potatoes, while Sazon Goya seasoning adds an extra layer of depth to each bite. This salad is bursting with flavor and textures that complement each other perfectly.
What I love most about this recipe is how versatile it can be. You can serve it as a hearty main dish for lunch or dinner or offer it as a colorful side dish alongside your favorite meat or fish entrées. This dish is also perfect for meal prep or potlucks.
So whether you’re a vegetarian looking for new protein-packed recipes, or someone who just loves bold flavors and textures, this lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes and queso fresco has everything you need to satisfy your taste buds and nourish your body.
Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make Lentil Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Queso Fresco:
– 1 cup green lentils
– 1 cup red lentils
– 4 cups water
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
Roasted Sweet Potatoes:
– 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
– Sazon Goya seasoning
– Juice of 1 lime
– 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– 1/2 red onion, diced
– 1 bell pepper, diced (optional)
– Salt and pepper
– Crumbled queso fresco or goat cheese for topping (optional)
Note: You can find Sazon Goya seasoning at most Hispanic grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, substitute with your favorite taco seasoning.
The Recipe How-To
Now, let’s get to the fun part – making the lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes and queso fresco! Below are the steps to create this exciting salad:
Before we begin, we’ll need to prepare all the required ingredients for this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Rinse one cup of lentils under running water in a fine-mesh strainer.
Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into small cubes (~1 cm) .
Finely chop ½ medium red onion.
In a medium saucepan, combine one cup of rinsed lentils and three cups of water or vegetable broth (for extra flavor!).
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot along with one teaspoon of salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 20-30 min or until lentils are tender but not mushy.
Drain any excess liquid from cooked lentils.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
In a large mixing bowl, toss chopped sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of Sazon Goya or your preferred seasoning blend until well coated.
On a large baking sheet, spread coated sweet potatoes evenly in a single layer.
Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until tender and golden brown on the edges.
Remove from the oven and allow sweet potatoes to cool slightly before building salad.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together “the juice of” ½ lime and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil along with desired amount of salt and pepper until well mixed.
Add cooked lentils, roasted sweet potatoes, chopped red onion and chopped bell peppers (or any other vegetables that you prefer).
Top with crumbled queso fresco.
Toss gently until everything is evenly distributed.
Serve cold on its own, or as a side dish with your preferred main course.
Go ahead and try out this easy Lentil Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Queso Fresco recipe! It’s perfect for meal-prepping, bringing to potlucks or just enjoying as a light lunch option!
Note: If you prefer meal prepping items separately, store queso fresco separately to avoid getting your salad soggy over time.[^1]
[^1]: Whole Smiths – Lentil Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Queso Fresco (2018). Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/BgdJ9XOFoBQ/
Substitutions and Variations
If you’re looking to switch things up a bit, there are endless options when it comes to making substitutions or variations in this lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes and queso fresco.
One tasty option is to substitute the red onion with sliced bell peppers for an added crunch and a pop of color. You could also try swapping out the sweet potatoes for butternut squash for a slightly different flavor profile.
If you prefer a creamier cheese, goat cheese or feta would be a delicious alternative to the crumbly queso fresco. And if you’re in the mood for something a bit heartier, try adding some black beans or even diced chicken to the mix.
For those who have dietary restrictions, this salad can easily be made vegan by omitting the queso fresco and substituting it with chopped avocado or a vegan cheese alternative.
There are also many ways to experiment with the dressing for this salad. Instead of lime juice and olive oil, try using Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar for a tangy twist. Or add sazon goya seasoning to the mix for an extra layer of flavor.
The versatility of this salad recipe makes it easy to customize based on your personal preferences or what’s in season at your local farmers market. With so many options, there’s no excuse not to try this delicious and healthy dish!
Serving and Pairing
When serving this lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes and queso fresco, presentation is everything! I like to heap a generous spoonful of the salad onto a plate or shallow bowl, then use a fork to lightly fluff up the lentils and sweet potatoes so everything is evenly distributed. The roasted sweet potatoes will be slightly caramelized and tender, while the queso fresco adds a creamy-salty bite that balances out the earthy lentils.
This salad is substantial enough to be served as a main course for lunch or dinner. But, if you want to round it out a bit more, you can add some sliced avocado or serve it alongside some whole grain bread.
The flavors in this lentil salad pair well with a variety of proteins such as grilled chicken, baked fish, or even crumbled sausage for a heartier meal. If you’re sticking with vegetarian options, you can also try serving it alongside other veggie-friendly dishes like roasted brussels sprouts, steamed green beans, or sautéed bell peppers.
In terms of wine pairing, I prefer serving this salad with a crisp and refreshing white wine that has citrus notes to complement the lime dressing. A Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would work really well. But, if you’re more into reds than whites, try a light-bodied Shiraz or Malbec.
Overall, this lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes and queso fresco is an exciting salad recipe that you’ll definitely want to make again and again. Its versatility means it can serve as the star of your meal or complement any spread of healthy eats.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
One of the best things about this lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes and queso fresco recipe is that it can be made ahead of time. In fact, you should make it ahead of time because the flavors are pulled together even more after it sits in the fridge for a few hours.
To make ahead, simply prepare the salad as directed in the recipe and store it in the refrigerator. You can dress it just before serving or keep the dressing separate if you prefer.
When storing, place your lentil salad in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to 4 days, so it’s a great meal prep option for busy weekdays or for keeping as leftovers.
When reheating, I recommend doing so gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little extra olive oil or squeeze of lime juice to refresh the flavors.
This lentil salad also travels well and makes a wonderful picnic or potluck dish. Just pack up your portions and go! With its bright colors and bold flavors, this salad is sure to impress and satisfy all those who try it.
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you know how to make this tasty lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes and queso fresco, let me share some tips to make sure it’s perfect every time.
Firstly, I recommend cooking the lentils until they are tender but still hold their shape. Be sure not to overcook them, as they will become mushy and will not hold up well in the salad.
Secondly, when roasting the sweet potatoes, ensure they are evenly cut and sized. This will ensure they roast evenly at the same time, and avoid some pieces becoming mushy while others are still uncooked.
When cooking the sweet potatoes, I like to toss them with a mixture of olive oil, salt, and sazón goya seasoning. This combination adds an extra layer of flavor to the dish and makes it savory.
Next, I suggest using freshly squeezed lime juice for the dressing rather than bottled lime juice or vinegar. Fresh lime juice gives a zesty taste to the dish that cannot be replicated by other sources.
In addition, be careful not to add too much dressing all at once as this salad can quickly become soggy. My trick is to dress the salad lightly and let guests add additional dressing if needed.
Lastly, remember that the key to a good lentil salad is combining flavors and textures. So do not hesitate to experiment with additional ingredients like bell peppers or black beans, or swap out queso fresco for goat cheese or feta.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a delicious lentil salad with roasted sweet potatoes and queso fresco that will impress your guests every time.
In conclusion, this Lentil Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Queso Fresco recipe is an absolute winner. The combination of sweet potatoes, lentils, and queso fresco make for a wholesome, nourishing, and delicious meal that everyone will enjoy. The sazon goya seasoning adds that extra hint of flavour that takes this salad to the next level.
What I love most about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can switch up the lentils with black beans, use butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes, or add some dijon mustard for a tangy twist. It’s a great base recipe that allows you to experiment with different ingredients to keep things interesting.
Not only is this lentil salad super tasty, but it’s also incredibly healthy. Packed with fiber, protein, and nutrients, it’s perfect for those who want to maintain a healthy diet without compromising on flavour.
So why not give this Lentil Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Queso Fresco recipe a try? You won’t regret it! Whether you’re hosting a party or just looking for an easy lentil salad for meal prep, this recipe is sure to impress. Don’t forget to tag @food_com when you post your exciting salad make on Instagram!
Lentil Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Queso Fresco Recipe
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Sazon Goya seasoning (or 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon paprika)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 lime, juice of
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup queso fresco
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss the cubed sweet potatoes and the chopped red onion with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the SazonGoya seasoning packet, and salt and pepper.
- Place vegetables in a roasting pan and roast, gently stirring every 10 minutes or so, until potatoes are starting to brown around the edges and appear slightly crispy. Let cool.
- While potoatoes are roasting, bring the lentils to a boil in the 2 cups of water with 1 teaspoon salt.
- Simmer lentils gently until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Drain lentils well, and let cool completely. Place lentils in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and the juice of one lime.
- Stir in the sweet potatoes and onions, chopped red pepper, and queso fresco, and gently toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!