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sweet potato quinoa salad with cherries, goat cheese, basil, and walnuts

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese + Candied Walnuts

A nutritious quinoa salad loaded with anti-inflammatory cherries and vitamin-A packed sweet potatoes. Garnished with creamy goat cheese crumbles and lightly candied walnuts. Incredible!
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Gluten Free, Lunch, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Keyword sweet potato quinoa salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 326 kcal
Author Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pitted and diced sweet dark red cherries
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves & pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (brown sugar also works)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. While oven is preheating you can start cooking the quinoa. Add 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup quinoa to a medium saucepan; place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water and quinoa are boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff quinoa with a fork. Pour into a large bowl.
  3. While quinoa is cooking you can roast the sweet potatoes: In a medium bowl, toss sweet potatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt together. Pour onto prepared foil-lined sheet and place in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are roasted and almost fork tender. You don't want them to get mushy, so I find that 15 minutes is perfect. Once done, you can allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to the bowl with the quinoa.
  4. While sweet potatoes and quinoa are cooking, you can start preparing the candied nuts: Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add walnuts, coconut sugar and coconut oil to a small saucepan; stir constantly until the sugar begins to melt, caramelize and turn golden. This should take 3-5 minutes. Transfer nuts to a piece of parchment paper and allow to cool completely.
  5. Prepare dressing by whisking olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, honey and basil together in a small bowl. Add dressing to the quinoa and sweet potato mixture; stir well to combine. Fold in cherries, goat cheese and walnuts. Garnish with extra goat cheese and basil, if desired. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Instead of walnuts, you can use pecans for the candied nuts.

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese + Candied Walnuts
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 326 Calories from Fat 113
% Daily Value*
Fat 12.5g19%
Carbohydrates 50.2g17%
Fiber 5.6g23%
Sugar 18.7g21%
Protein 7.5g15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.