Two Peas and Their Pod

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Dried Cranberries, & Red Onion

Last week we were on a sugar high from all of the Halloween candy recipes I posted.  We are all sugared out. Don’t worry, it won’t last long, but today we are sharing a healthy recipe. I blame Josh for my latest obsession-sweet potatoes and kale. Ever since he created that Sweet Potato Kale Pizza, I have been craving them like mad. I could easily eat that pizza every night, but to mix things up I created a Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Dried Cranberries, & Red Onion.

I used black quinoa for this salad because I love the color, especially against the orange sweet potatoes and green kale. It really makes the sweet potatoes and kale pop. If you can’t find black quinoa, you can use regular quinoa or even red quinoa. I roasted the sweet potatoes, red onion, and kale to bring out their flavors. I tossed the vegetables and quinoa together and drizzled the salad with balsamic vinegar. I also added dried cranberries for a little hint of sweetness.

This salad is simple to make and can be served as a main dish or side dish. We enjoyed it for dinner and ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. It is good warm and straight from the fridge-I was too lazy to heat it up the second day:) The fall flavors are divine. I am going to make this salad for Thanksgiving. It is pretty to serve, easy to make, and delicious to eat. Plus, it is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. If you are hosting Thanksgiving and might have guests with special dietary needs, make this salad. Everyone can enjoy this one!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Dried Cranberries, & Red Onion

Yield: Serves 6

Cook Time: About 30 minutes


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups kale
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
1 cup uncooked black quinoa
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes and red onion slices in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss together and then put them on a large baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir a few times while baking.

2. Drizzle kale with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet. When the sweet potatoes and onions have been in the oven for 15 minutes, put the kale in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until kale is wilted and starting to get a little crispy.

3. While the vegetables are roasting, make the quinoa. Using a strainer, rinse the black quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool quinoa cool to room temperature.

4. When the vegetables are done roasting, let them cool to room temperature. Chop up the red onion slices and kale. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, sweet potatoes, red onion, and kale. Drizzle the salad with remaining three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and add in the dried cranberries. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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118 Responses to “Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Dried Cranberries, & Red Onion”

  1. Wow! This looks so delicious!! I was debating what to make for dinner and now I found this! Thanks!!

  2. What a gorgeous salad! Sounds like amazing flavors, and perfect side for Thanksgiving!

  3. Tracey — November 7, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

    Such pretty colors Maria! I love the combination of flavors in your salad.

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  5. Laura @ GotChocolate — November 7, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

    Gorgeous! I’ve never eaten kale though. Love all the other ingredients too!

  6. Joanne — November 7, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

    Now I’m really not sure what to try first…the salad or the pizza!

  7. Sandy @ RE — November 7, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

    Oh, can you believe I only ate 2 pieces of candy? LOL really!

    This looks fantastic. Loving the update pix of little Pea!

  8. Roxana GreenGirl — November 8, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    The will never be too many quinoa recipes! This salad sounds great. Love roasted sweet potato and cranberries

  9. Shaina — November 8, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    Love sweet potatoes, love kale, love quinoa. I definitely need to try this.

  10. Love this for a Thanksgiving salad, it’s got such beautiful colors.

  11. Brooke — November 8, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    It’s rare that I actually have all of the ingredients on hand to try a recipe on post day…hooray for today! This is what we are having tonight! It’s almost ready and looks delicious!

  12. Lynn — November 8, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    We have really been enjoying quinoa, the last few months and this looks really good. I love the combination of flavors you put together.

  13. Georgia Pellegrini — November 9, 2011 @ 12:10 am

    What a wonderfully colorful dish!

  14. Annalise — November 9, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    I made this last night, with the addition of zucchini and mushrooms and leaving out the cranberries. I also used regular quinoa. Loved it! It was a perfect side dish.

  15. definitely making this soon!!

  16. Jen — November 9, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    This looks delish! I love roasted squash in salads. More filling. I think I’ll try it with butternut squash though.

  17. Niki — November 9, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

    Some of my favorites all thrown together in a salad, looks perfect to me.

  18. Wow, love the colors! This is a great way to eat more of my favorite: sweet potatoes!

  19. Nancy@acommunaltable — November 10, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

    All of my favorite ingredients in one bowl?? Sign me up!!!

  20. Tessa — November 11, 2011 @ 12:24 am

    This looks so good and colorful! Love the addition of balsamic vinegar.

  21. Angie — November 13, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    Just made this today! It was my first time not only roasting sweet potatoes (I know….what have I been doing my whole life?), but using kale. My kale got a bit too crispy but the whole dish is delicious! I couldn’t find black quinoa but red was delicious. I love it at room temperature; perfect for work lunches this week!

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  23. Kristen | Pixelated Crumb — November 15, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

    Yumm!! I’ve been completely obsessed with kale and sweet potatoes too! I’ve made a bacon, sweet potato, and kale pasta twice and the sweet potato kale pizza from your blog three times in the last month and a half. So, yes, I need to diversify my recipes. But in my defense, I modify them each time I make them! :)

    • Two Peas replied: — November 15th, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

      Yay! Glad I am not the only one:)

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  26. Genevieve — November 20, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

    Just made this, and it was awesome!!!! I betcha it will be even better at lunch tomorrow! Thank you!

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  30. Lisa-Gourmified — November 23, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    M-I totally made this Sunday and have been enjoying it ever since! I used my plain white organic quinoa from Costco and it looked just as beautiful. Ever since I was prego w/ baby #3, I’ve been obsessed with sweet potatoes and it’s just continued post delivery. Crazy how that is! I have to say it tastes incredible warm or cold. Brilliant!!!

  31. Sara — November 23, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

    Made this last night, loved the colors and for the most part, the flavors. Wasn’t too crazy about the crispy kale – I will just wilt it next time and I think I will kick up the dressing with some other ingredients too – maybe a little honey, cayenne, etc.

  32. EmmaLee — November 24, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

    OMG, I made this for turkey day, and it is DELICIOUS! Had to use the red quinoa, couldn’t find black, but oh well, still amazing! Also, I added chopped walnuts to mine, let chill over night, and then tossed in a little more vinegar. YUM YUM! Thanks for the recipe!

  33. Cate — November 30, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

    I made this for dinner last night (with regular quinoa instead of black) and it was a huge hit. Thanks for another great recipe!

    • Two Peas replied: — November 30th, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

      Hi Cate-glad you liked the salad!

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  36. Maggie — January 5, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

    Just made this and it is DELICIOUS and so pretty! Thanks for sharing such a stellar recipe! YUM.

    • Two Peas replied: — January 6th, 2012 @ 10:17 am

      You are welcome!

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  39. Beth — January 23, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

    Can’t wait to try this beautiful-looking salad! I’ve been craving sweet potatoes and kale, and love quinoa. Be careful though, as balsamic vinegar is NOT gluten-free. Only apple cider and red wine vinegars are.

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