Spicy Sweet Potato and Quinoa Bowl

Sweet potato and quinoa salad - vegetarian and vegan dinner idea
Sweet potato and quinoa salad photo by Michael Berman / Getty Images
    30 mins
Ratings (10)

This sweet potato quinoa salad recipe is high in protein, low in fat, and high in spicy and sweet flavor! Whole grain quinoa cooks quicker than most grains and is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians with about 11 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa.

I love the way the quinoa sort of sticks to the sweet potatoes in this dish, creating a completely new texture. It makes me want to try this recipe with kaniwa (quinoa's baby cousin), or even teff, which I find to be extra "sticky", as far as whole grains go. 

This quinoa salad recipe makes for a great main dish or a salad (not sure why it can be either a main dish or a side dish? Here's one way to think about it.) Bring this vegetarian and vegan quinoa salad to a picnic, potluck or outdoor barbecue and impress your friends!

This recipe is vegetarian and vegan. If you need it to be gluten-free as well, be sure to use a gluten-free vegetable broth, or, just cook the quinoa in plain water. All of the other ingredients, including the quinoa, sweet potato,  bell pepper lemon juice and salt and pepper are gluten-free, and it never hurts to double-check the ingredients list on your spices, such as cayenne pepper, just to make sure there's no additives. 

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What You'll Need

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water (make sure your vegetable broth is gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 sweet potato, baked and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It

Simmer the quinoa in the vegetable broth or water (using vegetable broth will give this dish a bit extra depth of flavor) about 10 to 15 minutes, or until water is gone and quinoa is light and fluffy when stirred. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Toss together the quinoa, sweet potato and bell pepper in a large bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and cayenne pepper.

Gently toss this dressing with the quinoa.

Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper, to taste. Sea salt or kosher salt and fresh ground pepper will give the best flavor in simple dishes such as this. 

Enjoy!

Like cooking with quinoa? Here's more vegetarian and vegan quinoa recipes to try: