Spinach Salad with Jicama, Black Beans, and Lime Vinaigrette {Recipe}

July 14, 2016

Find out why jicama is so good for you and enjoy it in this quick, easy, and delicious spinach salad. 

Crisp spinach, crunchy jicama, juicy tomatoes and tender black beans are tossed with a smoky lime vinaigrette in this quick and easy side salad that's the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Mexican-inspired dinner. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Have you heard of jicama? Pronounced HIK-uh-muh, this Mexican yam or turnip is a root vegetable with a brown, papery exterior and a white crisp interior. It may not look so interesting or appealing from the outside, but trust me when I tell you it is quite delicious on the inside.

Jicama is a crunchy vegetable with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It’s sort of a cross between a potato and an apple or Asian pear, although not quite as sweet. In fact some people find jicama a little bland, but when paired with the right ingredients it’s most definitely not!

Jicama is most commonly eaten raw in salads, slaws, or added to a crudite platter. My friend Danielle from Food Confidence recently wrote about using jicama sticks or chips as a replacement for traditional chips to scoop up guacamole. And Kaleigh over at Lively Table has a few jicama salads on her blog including her Avocado, Jicama, and Cucumber Salad and Grilled Pineapple, Black Bean, and Jicama Salad. As you can see, jicama pairs very nicely with Mexican flavors, which is why the spinach salad with jicama below is my go-to side dish any night I make a Mexican-themed dinner like fish tacos or my Sweetpotato Black Bean Quesadillas.

Crisp spinach, crunchy jicama, juicy tomatoes and tender black beans are tossed with a smoky lime vinaigrette in this quick and easy side salad that's the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Mexican-inspired dinner. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.

You can also cook jicama, although I have yet to try that out. Stir fries are a great place to incorporate this root veggie since it stays crunchy and absorbs flavor. I bet it would also be good sautéed with peppers and onions for fajita night!

Nutritionally, jicama is low in calories and an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C – one cup has less than 50 calories, 25% of your daily fiber and 40% of your daily vitamin C needs! The soluble fiber inulin is what accounts for jicama’s stellar fiber status and its health benefits, which include (1) protecting against osteoporosis by helping the body absorb calcium and (2) acting as a prebiotic to promote “good” bacteria growth in your digestive tract. (You can learn more about prebiotics in this post from Kelli at Hungry Hobby.)

Crisp spinach, crunchy jicama, juicy tomatoes and tender black beans are tossed with a smoky lime vinaigrette in this quick and easy side salad that's the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Mexican-inspired dinner. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Now, back to using jicama in the kitchen. I used to peel the papery skin of jicama with a vegetable peeler, but I learned over the years that this was not the most efficient technique. Instead, the best way to peel jicama is with a chef’s knife. Uncut jicama will last in the fridge for about two weeks and cut jicama will last for a few days. And don’t worry about browning – this veggie will retain the same creamy white color even once it’s cut.

As I mentioned, this Spinach Salad with Jicama, Black Beans, and Lime Vinaigrette is my go-to Mexican night side dish. I first shared this recipe back in 2013, but it was high time for updated images (thanks Kaleigh!) and a few tweaks to the recipe. I hope you give it a try and enjoy jicama as much as I do!

Crisp spinach, crunchy jicama, juicy tomatoes and tender black beans are tossed with a smoky lime vinaigrette in this quick and easy side salad that's the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Mexican-inspired dinner. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Spinach Salad with Jicama, Black Beans, and Lime Vinaigrette

Crisp spinach, crunchy jicama, juicy tomatoes and tender black beans are tossed with a smoky lime vinaigrette in this quick and easy side salad that's the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Mexican-inspired dinner. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.
5 from 1 vote
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Spinach Salad with Jicama, Black Beans, and Lime Vinaigrette

Crisp spinach, crunchy jicama, juicy tomatoes and tender black beans are tossed with a smoky lime vinaigrette in this quick and easy side salad that's the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Mexican-inspired dinner. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jessica

Ingredients

  • 1 bag baby spinach 5 oz
  • 1 small jícama peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup no-salt added black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds optional

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 limes zested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, jícama, black beans, tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds (if using).
  2. In a measuring cup or small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and salt.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Jicama, Black Beans, & Lime Vinaigrette | Crisp spinach, crunchy jicama, juicy tomatoes and tender black beans are tossed with a smoky lime vinaigrette in this quick and easy side salad that's the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Mexican-inspired dinner. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Have you ever tried jícama?

How do you like it prepared?

Photo credit: Kaleigh McMordie

This post originally appeared on Nutritioulicious in January 2013. 

Crisp spinach, crunchy jicama, juicy tomatoes and tender black beans are tossed with a smoky lime vinaigrette in this quick and easy side salad that's the perfect accompaniment to your favorite Mexican-inspired dinner. Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Recipe @jlevinsonrd.
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  1. This sounds very lovely and super yummy! I’ve NEVER cooked with jicama but you all have me really craving it! Those photos are gorgeous too! I love Mexican food so I am thinking I am going to have to rotate this in- thanks!

    1. Thanks Liz! You must try it – I really think you’d enjoy it. Just my foodie RDN intuition 😉 And yes, Kaleigh’s pics are amazing!!

  2. Great recipe Jessica! I always forget about using Jicama, but I bet the “crunch” is fabulous is this salad. I got a chance to try Jicama Chips at Expo West this year, and thought they were pretty tasty. Can’t wait to try this!

    1. Thanks so much EA! I absolutely love the crunch without any fried or salty add-ins. Most of the crunchy salad toppings aren’t quite healthy as you know! I bet those Jicama chips were great!

    1. Aw thanks so much Alisa. I love a good salad chock full of delicious ingredients. And the dressing is definitely delish!

  3. I love jicama – so crunchy and refreshing! I recently heard Rebecca of Strength and Sunshine say she likes it roasted. I have never tried it cooked either, but sounds intriguing. Anyway, this salad looks delicious!

    1. My girls have been on a major smoothie kick lately, but I agree with you – they’re more spring and summer for me. LMK if you try the dressing!