Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Maple-Orange Dressing

Roasted sweet potato salad with maple-orange dressing, walnuts, red onion, apple, dried cranberries, and goat cheese is an amazing healthy side dish to incorporate into any meal.

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette plus apples, walnuts, red onion, and goat cheese - a healthy side dish!

This blog may as well be called “The Roasted Sweet Potato (with the occasional beet),” because lately, sweet potatoes are really the only root taking the lime light here. Rutabagas? Turnips? Celery root? You can turn over every stone ever, those roots are nowhere to be found.

I’m going to speak for you and go ahead and say you don’t mind. You don’t mind, do you? Do you? Great! The second you send me an email looking for more rutabaga recipes, I’ll change the name of this blog, I’ll get right on the rutabaga.

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette plus apples, walnuts, red onion, and goat cheese - a healthy side dish!


You may look at this quinoa salad with its sweet components – sweet potatoes, apples, cranberries, and maple-orange dressing – and think to yourself, “so…is this salad obnoxiously sweet? Is this salad actually dessert? Julia? Is it?” Good question. The answer is, “no.”  There are definitely plenty of sweet elements to the salad, but it tastes nutty (on account of the walnuts and quinoa), tangy (on account of the goat cheese), zesty (on account of the dressing) with a little bite (on account of the red onion). It also has a nice, warm element to it because I snuck cinnamon right into the dressing.

The main bullet point is this salad is well-balanced from a flavor and texture standpoint. If “flavorally” were a word, I could have cut four words out of that sentence. ::crickets::  This salad will be well-balanced from a nutritional stand point too if you added kale and bacon chicken to it. Gaaah, that sounds delicious, why didn’t I think of that?

This quinoa salad got tupper-ed up and went all the way to the mountains, into the wilderness, where cabins are built, campfires tell the greatest truth about life, bears definitely poop, and trees totally make sound when they fall. My fellow mountaineers approved this salad with enthusiasm, but then again, they also approve of Nutter Butters, so you can take that statement with a grain of salt (or lots of grains, because salt makes everything better). No but really, this salad’s freaking amazing.


I’m going to sneak this in by being super discreet and not writing a big long run on sentence missing a bunch of comas immediately preceding the thing I want to sneak in so as to draw minimal attention to my sneakiness and I will neither bold nor italicize the sentence I’m trying to sneak past you, because that would be just plain obvious on my part. This is the best quinoa salad ever.

Wow, that worked.

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette plus apples, walnuts, red onion, and goat cheese - a healthy side dish!

Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Maple-Orange Dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Author: Julia


  • 2 cups quinoa uncooked
  • 1 large sweet potato chopped and roasted
  • ¼ cup red onion sliced (about 1 loosely packed )
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 honey crisp apple peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 ounces to 4 goat chevre to taste crumbled, cheese

For the maple-orange dressing


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Chop the sweet potato into ½” cubes (I leave the peel on).
  3. Spread the sweet potato chunks on a baking sheet and drizzle them with enough olive oil to coat them. Sprinkle salt and pepper over everything.
  4. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked through and slightly crispy on the outside.
  5. While the sweet potato is roasting, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the quinoa. Return to a full boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
  6. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the maple-orange dressing in a small bowl.
  7. In a large serving bowl, add the cooked quinoa and pour all of the maple-orange dressing over the quinoa. Toss together.
  8. Add the remaining salad ingredients and toss everything together.
  9. Consume the best quinoa salad ever.

More sweet potato ridiculousness:

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Muffins

Sweet Potato Scones with Zesty Orange Glaze

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Sweet Potato Ginger Cookies

Silky Sweet Potato Pie (Gluten-Free)

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  1. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    Sweet potato AND quinoa?? This is right up my alley! And I looove the fall inspired photos–so pretty!

    PS: I finally see why I couldn’t comment before–I couldn’t see the box for the math problem! HOORAY! 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      Haha! You’re definitely not the first person to have issues with my captcha…I hear it can give people quite the math problem. 87 * 789? What? I just want to leave a comment! Yeaaaah, I should put a disclaimer on this site that a calculator may be necessary in order to navigate through it 😉

  2. Abby

    what?! flavorally isn’t a word?! shoot. You are the queen of roasted roots 🙂 and I just happened to buy 2 rutabaga’s! Muahaha. This salad looks plain delicious, and hello that cinnamon! Amazing girl. I’m always so excited to see what you’ve cooked up next!

  3. Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens

    This sounds fabulous! I was so excited when I saw the recipe name, delirious as I scrolled through this pics, and then … I got to the recipe itself and saw the goat cheese … I think that’s when I actually drooled a little (em-bar-a-ssing!). Showstopper! Love, love!

  4. Leesa

    I’m going to make this tonght to test it out. I want to take it to a carry-in soon. Is it meant to be served warm or cold?? And can I make it ahead?? If so…any idea how long it will keep?? Can’t wait!!

  5. Jennifer

    Prepared and ate this New Year’s Day. Truly amazing – salad is bursting with tons of flavors and it’s so healthy. I added a little smoked turkey my husband cooked from the grill and it just added another little dimension of “holy cow”. I will definitely make this again. Thank you, Julia!

    1. Julia Post author

      YEAAAAH! I’m so glad you made it, Jennifer! I love that recipe…it’s one that never gets old for me! The addition of smoked turkey sounds fabulous, too! Happy New Year, and thanks again! 🙂

  6. Janelle

    I have had this recipe pinned to my Salad board for a while, and finally made it. I love it so much I’ve force fed it to several of my coworkers and they’ve in turn forced me to send them to this link.

    Thank you so much!

  7. Fiona

    This is the best salad I have ever tasted:D Thank you so much, I whipped it up for Christmas lunch last year (aussie here haha) and it was a massive hit. I’m pretty much addicted to it now and make it all the time. (Now I’m like the salad queen with this baby- every one I have made it for has begged for the recipe and I’ve sent them your way:D)

    You rock! Thank you for changing the way my tastebuds see life:D

    (Oh I do also sneak in a bit of sliced orange too- and I never have goats cheese, so I just use Danish fetta).


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