Discover a new, flavorful salad with this Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad Recipe! It's ready in under 40 minutes, full of slow-digesting carbs, and perfect either as a healthy weeknight dinner or a barbecue side salad!
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You could call this Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad Recipe a celebratory salad.
A salad that, once the Warriors won game five of the finals and we found out that our dog Allie did not, indeed, have cancer I had to celebrate with.
What?? A quinoa salad isn't how you'd celebrate those things?! Not the first time I've heard something like that.
But, when the Warriors win only after Kevin Durant had just torn his Achilles, and you just escaped treating your dog for the third major medical condition in one year, there's something about a nourishing and energizing salad that just feels so right.
Something that says, let's do some self-care from the inside-out. Something that nourishes the soul with the complex and balanced flavors of salt, fat, acid, and heat, saying "it's going to be okay."
Because there's something about an injury that could keep a player out of his game for a year and there's something about avoiding a potentially terminal illness that you can't prevent that brings a new perspective. A perspective that reminds to enjoy life, be in the moment, and be grateful for the simple things, like a fresh healthy meal and a family to enjoy it with.
This is one addicting & easy quinoa salad recipe! It's....
- Filling, but not too heavy
- Vegetarian and easily made vegan
- Full of healthy slow-digesting carbs
- Naturally gluten-free
- A balanced workout recovery food, with carbs, protein, and fat
- Ready in under 40 minutes
- Perfect as either a side dish or main dish salad
And an all-around versatile and delicious dish.
How to make this quinoa salad:
What ingredients are in this quinoa salad recipe?
This salad is brimming with healthy and delicious pantry staples!
- Quinoa - any color of this protein-rich grain will do!
- Olive oil - heart-healthy and delicious!
- Cumin, Coriander, Red pepper - savory and a touch of spicy seasonings go so well with the tangy and slightly sweet dressing.
- White wine vinegar - adds brightness to the vinaigrette without being too strong or overwhelming.
- Honey - natural sweetness ties the whole salad together.
- Red Onion - adds a light punch to balance the salad without taking over the flavors of the salad.
- Golden Raisins - a bit brighter and tangier than their purple relative, golden raisins are the perfect
- Shaved hard cheese - I like a combination of asiago, parmesan, and Romano cheese.
- Baby Kale - this baby green is so tender while also boasting a lot of nutrients
Recipe substitutions or adaptations:
This salad is pretty flexible and allows for a lot of easy recipe substitutions, making it perfect for working with pantry and refrigerator staples!
Quinoa - many other healthy grains like brown rice, couscous, farro would also be delicious in this salad!
Golden raisins - standard red or purple raisins will do just fine in place of the golden variety.
Baby Kale - any other baby green like spinach, swiss chard, or even spring salad greens, will also be tasty in this quinoa salad. If you don't have any of those, you can also omit the greens entirely without negatively affecting the flavor of the salad.
White wine vinegar - distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will also work well in this recipe.
Honey - maple syrup or agave syrup are also perfect for this quinoa salad. They also (in addition to eliminating or substituting the cheese), make this salad vegan!
Hard cheese blend -- if you're going vegan (see above point), you can easily omit the cheese from the recipe or substitute in a vegan parmesan cheese.
If you're adding the dairy cheese,If you don't have a hard shaved cheese blend, just parmesan, asiago, or romano world well on the salad. Manchego or Iberico cheese would also be so tasty.
Red onion -- two tablespoons of white sweet onion can step in place of the red variety, but red really is delicious if you have it.
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How do you make a quinoa salad dressing?
Thankfully, it's pretty easy to make this quinoa salad dressing. Just whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, and honey and you're ready to go!
How do you cook quinoa?
Cooking quinoa is pretty simple. Just follow these simple steps!
- Bring a medium-size saucepan of salted water to boil over high heat.
- Rinse your quinoa with cold water in a fine mesh strainer. This will help to remove that "soapy" flavor.
- Add the quinoa to the boiling water. Reduce the temperature to medium-high. Stir the quinoa a couple times and let the quinoa cook for 14-15 minutes, adjusting the temperature if the water starts to boil over and continuing to stir every few minutes.
- Drain the quinoa through the mesh strainer, shaking the strainer a few times to get the excess water off. Use quinoa in your recipe! the recipe
Do you serve sweet potato quinoa salad warm or cold?
You can serve this recipe either way. If you want it warm, just stir in the quinoa after you drain it. If you want to serve it cold, let the quinoa cool at room temperature or the fridge for 30-45 minutes, or rinse with quinoa with cold water (and shake) before mixing into the salad.
How do you roast sweet potatoes for a quinoa salad?
To roast sweet potatoes for this salad, cut the potatoes into cubes, toss them with the oil and spices on a baking sheets, and then bake at 25 for 22-24 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through, tender, and starting to turn golden brown around the edges.
Why is quinoa good for you?
Quinoa is good for you for a variety of reasons. It's gluten-free, has all the complete amino acids, is high in many minerals, and is a fantastic source of plant-based protein. (source)
Is roasted sweet potato salad vegan & gluten-free?
This salad is naturally gluten-free and can easily be made vegan! To make it vegan, just omit the cheese (or use a vegan parmesan cheese) and use maple syrup or agave syrup in place of the honey.
What tools do you need to make this sweet potato salad?
- Large cookie sheet
- Wire cooling rack
- Mixing bowls
- Heat-safe spatula or turner
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Silicone spatula
How long does quinoa salad keep?
You can keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days -- if it lasts that long! Just make sure it's covered in an airtight container. Quinoa salad doesn't freeze well, either, so if you're concerned that you won't be able to eat the whole recipe, just cut it in half.
What do you serve with this roasted sweet potato salad?
This quinoa salad is hearty enough to enjoy on its own, but I'd also serve it with the following:
- Grilled chicken or broiled salmon - the extra protein will make the salad more filling.
- Irish Soda Bread -- my friend Norine's recipe complements this salad perfectly... and doesn't require any yeast!
- A glass of white wine -- Pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, or even Vinho Verde (maybe my all-time favorite wine!) would be perfect with this salad!
- Ribs -- the sweet and spicy flavors in this salad can stand up to the bold flavors of barbecue without clashing.
- Hamburgers -- is it just me, or are the sides served along with hamburgers just as good as the hamburgers themselves? This quinoa salad recipe would be fantastic with a nice juicy burger.
How do you make this gluten-free quinoa salad:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and oil a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Toss the cubed sweet potatoes and spices in the oil and then roast for 22-24 minutes, stirring about halfway through.
- While the sweet potatoes roast: cook the rinsed quinoa according to the package directions. Note: don't skip the rinsing step-- it removes any 'soapy' flavor from the quinoa!
- In a large bowl combine the dressing ingredients and whisk together until the honey or the other liquid sweetener (see the notes below) is dissolved. Then toss in the red onions, golden raisins, baby kale, and shaved cheese (if using) until all are evenly coated with the dressing.
- For a warm salad, toss in the quinoa and roasted sweet potato as soon as they're done cooking. For a cool salad, let them cool to room temperature before tossing in. Then serve!
Other delicious and healthy salad recipes you might like:
- Greek Quinoa Salad
- Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing
- 5 Bean Salad (Gluten-Free + Vegan!)
- Italian Farro Salad with Citrus
- Moroccan Chickpea Salad with Carrots
- Roasted Cauliflower and Cabbage Salad
- Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower and Potatoes
- Blueberry & Avocado Spinach Salad
- Mom's Tuna Macaroni Salad Recipe
... And some healthy other dinner recipes, if you're interested!
- Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Instant Pot Spiced Red Lentil Soup
- Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Easy Homemade Pesto
- Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Vegan Sweet Potato Hashbrown Burgers
- Moroccan Sweet Potato Soup
- Healthy Macaroni and Cheese (Baked or Stovetop!)
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Spicy, tangy, and naturally sweet, this gluten-free salad is perfect for a quick weeknight main dish salad or for weekend barbecues! Follow the notes below to make this salad vegan.
- 1.25 lbs (or about 1.5 larger sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey or other liquid sweetener (like maple syrup or agave syrup)
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup shaved hard cheese blend (I recommend asiago, parmesan, and romano)
- 3 cups baby kale or arugula
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and oil the baking sheet with the olive oil. Toss the sweet potatoes with the spices (cumin through red pepper) and 3/4 teaspoon salt on the baking sheet and roast for 22-24 minutes, or until potatoes are just starting to brown.
- While the potatoes roast: cook the quinoa according to package directions.
- While the quinoa cooks and sweet potatoes roast, whisk together the vinegar, oil, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and honey in a large bowl until the honey is dissolved.
- Toss in the red onion, raisins, kale, and cheese until they are thoroughly covered in the dressing.
- For a warm salad: toss the sweet potatoes & quinoa with the dressed veggies as soon as they are done cooking. For a cool salad, let both the quinoa and sweet potatoes cool at room temperature before tossing with the veggies. Enjoy!
- To make this recipe vegan, replace the honey with maple syrup or agave syrup and either omit the cheese or substitute it with vegan cheese.
- This salad last covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. It doesn't freeze well.
Amount Per Serving Calories 393Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 13mgSodium 660mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 4gSugar 15gProtein 10g