Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a tiny seed that’s made the big time, and for good reason. It’s gluten-free, loaded with nutrients, and is considered a complete protein. It also makes a great picnic or party salad, like this one with roasted sweet potatoes! (Recipe adapted from Earthly Choice Quinoa.) Quinoa itself is pretty bland, so it really benefits from a seasoned vinaigrette and other flavor-helpers. Double the recipe for a crowd, or for lunches and leftovers.

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4-6


  • 1 cup white or tri-color quinoa, rinsed in a sieve 
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½” cubes
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds or pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries 
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the quinoa and 2 cups water into a small saucepan; bring to boil, then simmer covered for 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Turn off heat and let the quinoa sit covered in the pan.

Place sweet potato cubes onto a baking sheet; drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Bake for about 25 minutes. (You should be able to pierce the cubes easily with a fork.)

Place the slivered almonds or pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat and stir/toss until lightly toasted. Set aside.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, remaining salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon. 

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and fluff with a whisk. (Can be the same whisk that you used for the dressing.) Add half of the dressing to the quinoa and mix with the whisk; add more to taste. Add the sweet potatoes, almonds or pine nuts, cranberries and scallions and mix gently with a spoon or spatula. Serve at room temperature. (But also good cold.)

Recipe can be doubled. Covered and refrigerated, will keep for several days.

Most ingredients are pantry staples
Cooked tri-colored quinoa
Sweet potatoes ready for roasting
Bon appétit!

6 thoughts on “Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  1. This looks gorgeous and is so nutritious and delicious. When chopping sweet potatoes is out of reach for me, do you think celery can substitute? Better yet, how do you get your sweet potatoes so perfectly cubed? I’d really like to try this! 🙂

    • Hi Lisa – I’m confident you could handle chopping sweet potatoes! Peel, then cut the long way into 1/2-inch “planks”; then it’s easy to cut the planks into 1/2-inch strips, then cubes. I’ve never tried celery in this recipe, but if you do I wouldn’t use more than 1 cup chopped celery since it can be overpowering. Let me know how it goes!

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