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

4.5 from 2 votes


  • 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.

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. Is it bad to admit that I am still on a Halloween sugar high? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    …I think this beautiful quinoa salad is exactly what I need to start the detox process!

  2. I love sweet and savory combinations! This is a great idea for a salad. Plus it’s healthy : D

  3. My Whole Food’s only carries Regular and Red Quinoa. I would love to find Black! This looks incredible, and the colors!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. What a nice healthy dish for Thanksgiving, love all the fall colors and a great way to enjoy your latest favorite pizza topping in a healthy salad.

  5. Srsly the more I see kale the more I want to cook with it. Got all th eingredients but the kale. Def. picking it up on my next farmers market venture. Looking good!

  6. I love roasted sweet potatoes and cranberries. Not a huge fan of quinoa though, so I may try this with barley. Thanks for posting, Maria!

  7. I can never have enough quinoa recipes in my repertoire and this is definitely one to add. Beautiful colors and lots of vitamins. Perfect!

  8. sweet potatoes and kale are two of my favorite foods–i’ve made a sweet potato kale pizza similar to yours before and now i can’t wait to try this asap!

  9. Today was the first time, I had quinoa. I made it in a simple salad with familiar flavours … to say the least it was a huge hit.
    I’ll certainly have to give this salad recipe a try … I can just tell, the mixture of textures will be just amazing.

  10. Agreeing with everyone else – the COLORS are gorgeous! I’m willing to bet it would make a quinoa/kale/green hater like my husband a believer. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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

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

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

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

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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.

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

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

  20. 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!

  21. 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. 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!!!

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

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

  26. 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.

  27. I just made a batch and can say that this is really, really, really good! Such a great combination of flavors. Thank you!

  28. Hi, this was yummy. I didn’t roast the kale as long as it said, my kale was done in half the time, but this might be because I chopped it up before roasting instead of after? I added chopped almonds and tossed the ingredients while hot with some spinach to wilt it.

  29. This is SO good! I made it for a dinner that fell through and now I have more than a single girl an eat left over. Is this freezeable?

  30. Hello. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I am loving it. As I am looking through, I came across this salad. it looked wonderful. Well today was the day that I finally got a chance to make it. LOVE IT! Even my husband, who is a meat and potatoes guy, loves it. He couldn’t stop eating it. The only thing is that, I found it a little dry, so I added more balsamic. Other than that, amazeballs. Thank you very much for sharing.

  31. This salad is scrumptious! We had it last weekend and the flavors together make the idea of being a vegetarian more appealing! If I could eat all deliciousness like this with such easy recipes, I might just become one. Great job guys! And thank you for your willingness to share this with me!

  32. Also forgot to mention, I had to cook a second batch of kale as the first blackened long before the 15 minutes was up. My kitchen and smoke alarms weren’t happy. So I will shorten my time to 5-10 minutes next time.

  33. The best Quinoa recipe I have ever tasted! It looked exactly like the picture and I bet it tasted exactly like yours. I skipped the cranberries because the sweet potatoes gave it enough sweetness. Thank you for sharing the recipe

    1. You can make it ahead, but I would try to make it the same day if possible. It is good the next day as leftovers, but if I was serving it I would make it the same day:)

  34. Hello
    Do you think I can add some roasted mushrooms with this recipe (on top of the sweet potato).. do you think it will work?

  35. 4 stars
    Love this salad… and so does everyone I make it for!! I use a use a mix of golden & black quinoa… so pretty.ย 

  36. 5 stars
    The first time I made this as written and it was really good! ย But I wanted to try it again and was out of quinoa, so I swapped in wild rice. DELICIOUS! ย Now the wild rice version has become a family thanksgiving tradition.ย