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This is one of my favorite quinoa dishes, hands down.  Quinoa sweet potato salad with walnut and dried cranberries mixed in?  Count me in.  It’s basically fall on a plate.  Plus, it’s an easy weeknight dinner that makes for killer lunch leftovers.

Quinoa sweet potato salad with walnuts and dried cranberries.

I first made this dish several years ago, inspired by a recipe I saw on The Daily Meal.  A vegetarian at the time, I was already smitten with the nutty, protein-y goodness that was quinoa.

This was also right around the time when I started falling truly, madly, deeply in love with sweet potatoes.

Seriously.  My roommates wanted to stage an intervention.  I wanted to put those delicious, orange spud nuggets in everything.

Needless to say, the stars aligned in this recipe and I ended up making it that fall more times than I care to admit.  It was easy to throw together, a breeze to bring to work for lunch, and hit the spot when I was in the mood for a warm, somewhat sweet dinner.  It’s also an elimination diet-friendly recipe.  Here’s how to make it!

First, take out all of your ingredients.

Ingredients for a delicious sweet potato quinoa salad.

Then, preheat your oven to 425°F.  While it’s heating up, peel and chop your sweet potatoes into half inch cubes.

Peeling sweet potatoes for a sweet potato quinoa salad.

Chopping sweet potatoes for a sweet potato quinoa salad.

Then, toss your ‘taters with olive oil and your spices and pop ’em in the oven.

Sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, and salt.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooking, it’s time to get the quinoa going.  Don’t forget to rinse it thoroughly before cooking!

Quinoa for the quinoa sweet potato salad.

Bring your chicken or vegetable broth to a boil over high heat.  Add the quinoa, and once everything is boiling again, reduce to a simmer and let cook until all the liquid is absorbed.  (Nearly there in the below photo, but not quite!)  It should take about 15-20 minutes.

After it’s done, remove the quinoa from the heat, let it sit for a few minutes, and fluff with a fork.

Quinoa for the sweet potato quinoa salad. Nearly cooked!

You’ve already got your sweet potatoes and quinoa cooking.  Now it’s time to take care of the walnuts and dried cranberries.

Spread out the walnuts in a bit of foil and place them in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown.

Walnuts, ready for toasting.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, and add the dried cranberries.  Let them soak in the boiling water until soft, about 10 minutes.

Dried cranberries for the sweet potato quinoa salad.

By this point, everything should be just about done.   Toss the sweet potatoes, walnuts, and dried cranberries in with the quinoa, add salt and pepper to taste, and voilà!  Fall.  On.  A plate.  Enjoy!

Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad with Walnuts & Dried Cranberries

Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad with Walnuts & Dried Cranberries

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

  •  2 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional, if not on elimination diet)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked and thoroughly rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth, if vegetarian or vegan)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place the sweet potato on a parchment- or foil-lined baking tray and toss with olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne (if using), and a pinch of salt. Roast the sweet potatoes until softened, about 30 minutes, flipping the pieces once about halfway through.
  2. Place the broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once it’s boiling, add the rinsed quinoa.  When it starts boiling again, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool for a few minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, place the walnuts in a smaller baking tray and put in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. ALSO meanwhile, bring a bit of water to a boil and let the dried cranberries soak in the boiling water for about 10 minutes or until softened.
  5. In a bowl, toss the quinoa, sweet potatoes, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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