Quinoa Salad with Kale and Roasted Sweet Potatoes



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A delicious and healthy quinoa salad with kale, roasted sweet potatoes and caramelized red onions. It’s vegan, gluten-free and perfect for meal prep.

I’ve been adding quinoa to everything lately. It’s so quick and easy and works as a perfect addition to almost any salad. I make a big batch using 1-2 cups of dry quinoa, store it in the fridge and use it throughout the week. Just toss it with some fresh herbs, oil and vinegar to make a nice side dish for dinner, add it to different salads (like this Greek quinoa salad) or even use it as a filling for omelets.

Bowl with a kale, quinoa and roasted sweet potato salad.

The salad I’m sharing today is a bit different. Although it’s served chilled, everything included is cooked beforehand, which makes this salad perfect for the fall and winter months.

The onions are caramelized and the sweet potatoes are roasted, giving this salad loads of flavor. The roasted sweet potatoes are my favorite part — toasty on the outside while still creamy and sweet on the inside. Yes, please!

Side by side photos of sweet potato kale quinoa salad ingredients in a bowl before mixing, and one after.

The recipe is actually inspired by my cousin, Brooke. She had a big batch of this in her fridge one summer when I went to visit her. We munched on it for lunch and had it as a side with dinner. I couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. I mean, it was basically made for me because it has all my favorite foods. She gets me!

Okay, so let’s get to making this salad.

Here’s What You Need:

  • vegetables – sweet potatoes, red onion, garlic, curly kale, fresh thyme
  • quinoa
  • avocado or olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg

The sweet potatoes and onion bring a caramelized flavor to the dish while the vinegar and thyme “dressing” adds a little tang. It’s the perfect combination!

Salad bowl with kale, quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes topped wit fresh thyme.

Serving Suggestions

There are so many ways to serve this delicious salad. Serve warm after you’ve cooked all of the components or let everything marinate in the fridge and enjoy cold!

The salad is hearty enough to serve as a main for a light lunch or you could pair it with protein for something more substantial. If you’re like me, you can just snack on it straight from the fridge. 🙂

Bowl of tossed kale quinoa sweet potato salad with caramelized onions and fresh herbs.

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4.37 from 25 votes

Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Quinoa Salad

A delicious and healthy quinoa salad with kale, roasted sweet potatoes and caramelized red onions. It’s vegan, gluten-free and perfect for meal prep.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado or olive oil, divided
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated is best but ground will work too


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Toss sweet potatoes with 1 Tablespoon of oil in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and arrange evenly onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool on the counter for a bit then transfer to the refrigerator to cool more.
  • While the potatoes are roasting, bring quinoa and 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Once cooked, allow to cool, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool more.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until the onion has caramelized to a golden brown. This should take about 15 minutes. Stir in the kale, cooking until wilted, bright green and tender. Transfer the kale mixture to a bowl, and cool to room temperature in the refrigerator.
  • Once all the ingredients have cooled (at least 30-60 minutes), combine the sweet potatoes, kale and onion mixture, red wine vinegar, fresh thyme and nutmeg in a large bowl. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper. Gently stir to combine and serve.


  • All the ingredients need to be cooled to room temperature before mixing the salad together so give yourself plenty of time to allow for the cooling process. I included instructions for cooking the quinoa, but feel free to save time and cook it earlier in a big batch rather than cooking it while preparing the rest of the recipe.


Serving: 1/4 of recipe | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sweet potato quinoa salad
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. You DON’T have to turn on your oven on a hot day! Just roast the sweet potatoes in your SLOW COOKER! Will try this, and will certainly enjoy your salad!

    1. Good point Melissa. I’ve never tried roasting sweet potatoes in my slow cooker but I bet it works wonderfully. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 5 stars
    This is SO good! I just found you on Instagram since we are trying to eat more plant based and I pinned a ton of recipes. I can’t wait to try more!

    1. Excellent! I am so glad you are loving this salad, Andrea. Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!