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Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad is a nutritious salad that’s full of pleasant flavors, textures and packed with proteins that keep you full for longer without doing a lot of work. Whether you pack it for lunch the next day or serve it as a side dish during a family gathering, this salad only gets better with time.

A bowl of quinoa salad with roasted sweet potatoes.
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Not only is Sweet Potato Quinoa salad a delight for the tastebuds, it is a true feast for the eyes. The deep orange of the sweet potatoes contrasts beautifully with the bright greens of the herbs and the jewel tones of dried cranberries. Quinoa and sweet potato salad is perfect for making extra servings to enjoy later, both with your eyes and your tastebuds! I love making this salad during holiday dinners.

Why l Love This Salad

  • It’s nutritious and balanced. This salad is a nutritional powerhouse. It combines sweet potatoes, quinoa, and various veggies, offering a well-rounded mix of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.
  • It’s easy to customize. You can tailor the ingredients to suit your preferences. Add nuts for crunch, feta cheese for creaminess, or swap out herbs and dressings to create different variations of the salad.
  • It’s make-ahead friendly. It’s perfect for meal prep or making ahead for gatherings. The flavors meld and improve over time, making it a great choice for leftovers or for preparing in advance.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Sweet potatoes: These provide a sweet and creamy texture to the salad. If you prefer a different type of potato or squash, Japanese sweet potatoes or butternut squash, can be used as a substitute.
  • Olive oil: Used for roasting the sweet potatoes. You can substitute with avocado oil, butter, or even melted coconut oil for a different flavor.
  • Paprika: Adds a smoky, slightly spicy flavor.
  • Ground cumin: Provides earthy, warm notes.
  • Salt and Ground pepper: Enhances the overall flavor. Adjust to taste, but don’t omit entirely.
  • Cooked quinoa: A protein-rich base for the salad. You can substitute with cooked rice, couscous, or even bulgur for a different grain option.
  • Canned black beans: These add protein and a creamy texture. Kidney beans or pinto beans can be used as substitutes.
  • Avocado: Adds creaminess and healthy fats. Make sure they are not over ripe so they don’t discolor faster.
  • Dried cranberries: Provide a sweet and tart contrast. You can use raisins, chopped dried apricots, or pomegranate arils for variety.
  • Slivered almonds: Adds crunch and nutty flavor. Substitute with chopped walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds if you have allergies or different preferences.
  • Fresh cilantro: Adds a bright, fresh flavor. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, try parsley or basil for a different herbaceous note.
  • Lime juice: Provides a tangy kick. Lemon juice is a suitable substitute.
  • Maple syrup: Adds sweetness and balances the acidity. Honey or agave nectar can be used instead.
  • Minced garlic: Gives the dressing a savory depth. Freshly minced or even garlic powder can be used, adjusting the quantity to your taste.
Ingredients needed for roasted sweet potato quinoa salad.

How To Make Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Step 1: Prepare the equipment. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside. Gather bowls.

Seasoned sweet potatoes in a bowl.

Step 2: Prepare the potatoes. Place the sweet potato cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil, then add paprika, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Toss everything together until well coated.

Roasted sweet potatoes on a baking tray.

Step 3: Spread the seasoned sweet potatoes over the parchment paper on the baking tray. Roast them for 18-20 minutes, or until they are nicely roasted. Once done, allow the roasted sweet potatoes to cool.

Salad dressing for sweet potato salad.

Step 4: Prepare the dressing. While the sweet potatoes are cooling, prepare the salad dressing. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Ingredients for quinoa salad piled in a bowl.

Step 5: Combine and serve. In a large bowl, add the roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, black beans, avocado, cranberries, almonds, and cilantro. Drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad and toss to combine everything. Serve the salad with extra dressing on the side.

Recipe Tips

  • Do not mix the dressing until you are ready to eat.
  • Prepare in advance: Prepare all your ingredients before starting. This includes chopping the sweet potatoes, cooking the quinoa, and having all the salad components ready. It makes the process smoother.
  • Don’t overcook quinoa: When cooking quinoa, be careful not to overcook it. It should be tender but still have a slight bite (al dente). Overcooking can make it mushy.
  • Customize dressing: Taste the dressing before adding it to the salad. Adjust the sweetness or acidity as needed by adding more maple syrup or lime juice.
  • Mix gently: When combining all the salad ingredients, mix gently. Overmixing can cause the avocado to become mushy, and you want to maintain the integrity of the ingredients.

Storage & Recipe Variations

  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The salad is great for meal prep or enjoying as leftovers the next day.
  • Add proteins: If you want to make this salad a complete meal, consider adding proteins like grilled chicken, tofu, shrimp or chickpeas to make it more substantial.
  • More Veggies: Add ingredients like diced red onion, or roasted red bell peppers for extra flavor and texture.
  • Cheese: You can add crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add nuts: Add some roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or pistachios if you don’t like almonds.

What to Serve with Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

This salad is a side dish. I recommend serving it with some grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or tofu to make it a heartier meal. The protein will complement the salad’s flavors and make it more filling. Here are some recommendations to serve with this salad.

Sweet potato salad with quinoa.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I substitute for quinoa if I don’t have any?

Quinoa can be replaced with other grains like couscous, bulgur, brown rice, or even farro. Just cook them according to their respective instructions before adding them to the salad.

Can I use a different type of potato?

Absolutely! While sweet potatoes add a unique sweetness and creaminess to the salad, you can substitute them with regular potatoes, butternut squash, or other root vegetables if you prefer.

Do I need to rinse the quinoa?

Rinsing helps remove the outside coating of the grain, which can cause a slightly bitter taste. 

A spoon lifts a bite of quinoa and sweet potato salad.

More Salad Recipes

If you love quinoa, try my Easy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad or Southwest Shrimp Quinoa Salad. You can also try some of my other favorite recipes below.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed warm or cold. It works well as a side dish, a light lunch, or even a main course. It’s adaptability makes it suitable for various occasions and meal preferences. Whether you enjoy it as a meal or a side dish, this salad is a filling and delicious option that’s pack with proteins and nutritious ingredients.

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4.30 from 41 votes

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad is a nutritious salad that's full of pleasant flavors, textures and packed with proteins that keep you full for longer without doing a lot of work. Serve it as a side dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

For Salad

  • 1 ½ lb sweet potatoes, skin peeled and cubed into ½ inch size
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium avocado, chopped
  • cup dried cranberries
  • cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

For Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Place the sweet potato cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil, then add paprika, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Toss everything together until well coated.
  • Spread the seasoned sweet potatoes over the parchment paper on the baking tray. Roast them for 18-20 minutes, or until they are nicely roasted. Once done, allow the roasted sweet potatoes to cool.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooling, prepare the salad dressing. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, black beans, avocado, cranberries, almonds, and cilantro. Drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad and toss to combine everything.
  • Serve the salad with extra dressing on the side.

Notes

  • Do not mix the dressing until you are ready to eat.
  • Prepare in advance: Prepare all your ingredients before starting. This includes chopping the sweet potatoes, cooking the quinoa, and having all the salad components ready. It makes the process smoother.
  • Don’t overcook quinoa: When cooking quinoa, be careful not to overcook it. It should be tender but still have a slight bite (al dente). Overcooking can make it mushy.
  • Customize dressing: Taste the dressing before adding it to the salad. Adjust the sweetness or acidity as needed by adding more maple syrup or lime juice.
  • Mix gently: When combining all the salad ingredients, mix gently. Overmixing can cause the avocado to become mushy, and you want to maintain the integrity of the ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 663kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 853mg | Potassium: 1229mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 24421IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 4mg
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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made exactly as instructed and it is soooo delicious! This will become a regular dish at my house! Question- Is the nutrition info per serving? Thank you!!

    1. Thanks for leaving a review. I am happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe. The recipe makes 4 side servings and each serving is that much.