Serve up this is crowd-pleasing Big Cuban Salad with Spicy Maple-Lemon Cashew Sauce at home or at your next potluck! 
5 from 5 votes

Potluck-Worthy Big Cuban Salad

Loaded with roasted veggies, healthy grains, savory beans, and two delicious dressings, this Big Cuban Salad will be a crowd-pleasing favorite at home or at your next potluck! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Dairy-free, Gluten-free
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Renée ♥ The Good Hearted Woman




  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 green onions minced

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 large sweet potato 10-12 ounces, peeled and cut 1/2 cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Black Beans

  • 1 cup cooked black beans 1 can, rinsed & drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion chopped fine
  • 1/2 large red sweet pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Cilantro-Avocado Dressing

  • 1 large avocado
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegan sour cream or regular if you don't care about it being vegan or dairy-free.
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • Juice of one lime

Spicy Maple-Lemon Cashew Sauce

  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1 cup very hot water
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Pinch kosher salt

Additional Ingredients

  • 5-6 cups salad greens
  • 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes halved


  • Place 1/3 cup raw cashews in a small bowl and cover with very hot water. Set aside to soak while you make the sweet potatoes, quinoa, and black beans.

Seasoned Quinoa

  • Combine vegetable broth, cumin, minced garlic, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in quinoa and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. (Keep lid on.) Allow quinoa to sit for 15-20 minutes. Fluff with fork and stir in chopped green onions.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a gallon-sized Ziploc bag (or large bowl) toss the cubed sweet potatoes with the cinnamon, ginger, and olive oil until evenly covered.
  • Pour sweet potatoes onto an unlined heavy metal sheet pan. Lightly sprinkle evenly with kosher salt.
  • Put in oven and roast sweet potatoes for about 10 minutes, then toss gently and return to oven for another 8-10 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Black Beans:

  • While Sweet potatoes are roasting and the quinoa is finishing up, sauté finely chopped 1/2 onion in olive oil until translucent. Add minced garlic clove and chopped red pepper and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until onion begins to turn brown.
  • Add black beans, cumin and salt and cook for 5 more minutes, until beans are tender.
    Serve up this is crowd-pleasing Big Cuban Salad with Spicy Maple-Lemon Cashew Sauce at home or at your next potluck! 
  • Set aside and allow to cook completely.

Cilantro-Avocado Dressing

  • Combine all ingredients and blend with a small beverage or immersion blender until smooth. It should be about the same thickness and consistency as a good milkshake.
    Serve up this is crowd-pleasing Big Cuban Salad with Spicy Maple-Lemon Cashew Sauce at home or at your next potluck! 
  • If mixture is too thick, add a little extra water.

Spicy Maple-Lemon Cashew Sauce

  • Remember those cashews you started soaking at the beginning of all this?!? Drain them, and throw them into a blender with the remaining Cashew Sauce ingredients. (i.e., garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, lemon juice and maple syrup.) Puree on high until smooth. Season to taste.


  • Evenly distribute greens in the bottom of very large, flat-bottom bowl.
  • Mound Quinoa in the middle.
  • Arrange the following in concentric circles radiating from the middle; ½ black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, ½ black beans, tomato halves.
  • Drizzle liberally with Cilantro-Avocado Dressing, Spicy Maple-Lemon Cashew Sauce.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve remaining Spicy Maple-Lemon Cashew Sauce on the side.


Note: I like to make all the ingredients the day before and chill them, then assemble everything the day I plan to serve it, but that's just me.  This salad is great whether you assemble it with warm ingredients or cold - it's just a matter of personal preference. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheGoodHeartedWoman or tag #thegoodheartedwoman!