This Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad is made with roasted sweet potatoes, mandarin oranges and avocado on a bed of healthy greens. It's tossed with a to-die-for orange-ginger dressing. It's SO fresh and delicious!
Introducing Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad, my newest quinoa salad!
I have other quinoa salads that I make in the summer or fall, like this Garden Fresh Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and Nourishing Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Pears. This new recipe, however, is a quinoa salad for the winter months. It takes advantage of the abundance of specialty oranges available at this time of year.
Loaded with lots of sweet orange segments, roasted sweet potatoes and avocado slices, this salad is made with a base of healthy greens. It's garnished with pomegranate seeds and red onion and it's all tied together with an amazing orange-ginger dressing.
You're going to love this one!
Let's get started. Check your pantry and fridge: here's what you'll need.
Check to see if you have everything you need to make this Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad.
This recipe (as written in the recipe card below) makes enough for a dinner salad for two or a side salad for four people. If you want to double the recipe, click on the number beside the servings and use the little slider to calculate your new ingredient amounts.
fresh greens: any combination of salad greens, although I wouldn't choose arugula for this salad. It's peppery flavour is too strong with this salad's ginger dressing.
quinoa: be sure to rinse it before cooking. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which can taste bitter or soapy. While most quinoa sold now comes pre-rinsed, I always give it an extra rinse to be sure.
oranges: Sweet mandarins or satsuma oranges are delicious in this quinoa salad.
sweet potatoes: peel, cube and roast in the oven first to bring out their natural sweetness. Roasting gives them slightly crispy edges!
pomegranate seeds: for little bursts of flavour and colour. No pomegranates? You can substitute dried cranberries.
red onion slices: Their tangy flavour gives a nice bite and a great contrast to the sweet oranges.
avocado: because a quinoa salad with avocado is simply delicious!
Two steps before assembling this salad
- You'll start by cooking the quinoa. The general proportion of quinoa to water is 1: 2. (one part quinoa to two parts water). Rinse it, add to a small saucepan with water and bring it a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed. Time will depend on how much you are cooking. Then, to cool it quickly so you can add it to a salad, spread it out on a baking sheet.
- While the quinoa is cooling, you can roast the sweet potatoes. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Peel and cut the sweet potato into small bite-sized cubes. Toss with a little olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet that you have heated in the oven for 5 minutes. Then roast the sweet potato cubes for 15 - 20 minutes, turning once partway through, until they are fork-tender and beginning to be crispy on the edges. Remove from oven and let cool.
How to Assemble
- Arrange washed and dried greens in a shallow salad bowl or platter.
- Top with cooled quinoa, sweet potato cubes and peeled orange segments.
- Garnish with pomegranate arils and thinly sliced red onion.
- Add avocado slices just before serving to prevent browning.
- Serve with Orange-Ginger Dressing and expect rave reviews!
Use any combination of salad greens as a base. I used baby spinach and butter lettuce.
Any colour quinoa (white, red or black) will be good in this recipe. For information on the differences between the different quinoa colours, see this article, What's the Difference Between Red and White Quinoa?
This salad is naturally gluten-free. It's also paleo-approved.
If you substitute maple syrup for the honey in the dressing, this salad can be vegan, too!
This quinoa salad with mandarins is fresh, filling and totally satisfying! If you don't plan to eat it all at once, only add dressing to the portion you plan to eat. Cut avocados turn brown when exposed to the air, so only slice as much as you think you'll need. The rest of this salad will keep well if kept covered in the refrigerator.
If you DO have leftover salad, it makes a healthy lunch!
Sweet Potato Mandarin Quinoa Salad with Orange Ginger Dressing
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 cups mixed greens, or spinach
- 2 medium mandarin oranges, peeled, sectioned, pith removed
- 2 tbsp red onion thinly sliced
- ½ large avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
Orange Ginger Dressing
- ⅓ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Rinse quinoa in a sieve and transfer to a small saucepan. Add 1 cup water and ¼ tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Spread on a baking sheet or large platter and cool completely.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F.
- Heat a sheet pan in the oven for 5 minutes, then spread sweet potato cubes on pan and roast for 15 - 20 minutes, turning once half way through. Remove from oven when they're beginning to brown and become crispy on the edges.
- Wash and dry fresh greens and arrange in a shallow bowl.
- Top with cooled sweet potatoes, mandarin orange segments, pomegranate arils, red onion and sliced avocado.
- Toss with dressing just before serving.
More Healthy Winter Salad Recipes
- Roasted Sweet Potato Spinach Salad with Maple Walnuts and Bacon
- Pomegranate Mandarin Salad with Avocado and Feta
- Red Quinoa Tabouli with Pomegranate
- Nourishing Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Pears
- Grapefruit, Orange and Avocado Salad
- Orange Date and Pomegranate Spinach Salad
- Butternut Squash Salad with Cranberries and Feta
- Honey-Dijon Broccoli Salad with Cranberries