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Sweet potato quinoa bowl with roasted veggies is a healthy, hearty, nutrient-dense, meat-free meal you can enjoy in under 45 minutes either warm or as a salad!

completed Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl in a bowl
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Healthy, Balanced Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl

Sometimes, the best meals come from throwing together veggies, carbs, and protein using whatever’s lying around your house – and that’s how this sweet potato quinoa bowl came about. The quick pickled onion addition came later down the line, but is HIGHLY recommended for a truly satisfying, healthy meal you’ll actually enjoy eating.

With its combination of fluffy quinoa, caramelized roasted sweet potato, and other roasted veggies and chickpeas, topped off with tangy pickled onion and creamy tahini dressing, this dish is truly fresh, vibrant, and loaded with texture and flavor.

Even better, it’s a low-budget, easily customizable bowl meal with a satisfying blend of carbs, plant-based protein, heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, and lots of vitamins and minerals. Plus, you can enjoy it over several days, warm or as a chilled sweet potato quinoa salad (we love a well-balanced vegan meal-prep meal!).

Looking for more hearty vegan quinoa recipes? Check out our healthy quinoa veggie bowl, Mediterranean quinoa (warm or cold), or black bean quinoa casserole.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl on a white surface

Quinoa Sweet Potato Bowl

  • Oil: Use a neutral cooking oil – like olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Quinoa: Any color – black quinoa, white quinoa, red quinoa, or tri-color quinoa.
  • Sweet potato: Or butternut squash/pumpkin.
  • Vegetables: Bulk up the roasted vegetable quinoa bowl with:
    • Bell pepper (red, orange, or green)
    • Chickpeas (regular/low-sodium. Or white beans, black beans, kidney beans)
  • Spinach/kale: Use regular or baby spinach OR any dark leafy kale like Tuscan, Dinosaur, Lacinato, or curly kale. Other greens – like lettuce – also work.

If using kale, massage it gently with olive oil to make the leaves more tender and easy to digest. Alternatively, sauté the greens.

  • Parsley: (optional) Or cilantro, adds freshness and delicious herbal flavor.
  • Avocado: (optional) Sliced/diced, for creaminess, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
  • Garlic powder: To season the sweet potato.
  • Sea salt & black pepper

Quick Pickled Onions and Tahini Dressing

The below ingredients double up to make quick pickled onions, while the leftover liquid is transformed into a tangy, creamy tahini dressing.

  • Vinegar: We used rice vinegar, but apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar would work, too (all of which err on the sweeter side).
  • Lemon: (or lime) For a brighter, citrusy flavor. Add zest for even more flavor.
  • Red onion: By using red onions, they become wonderfully pink when pickled.
  • Garlic: Keep things simple with garlic powder or use fresh garlic cloves.
  • Sea salt & black pepper: To season to taste.
  • Tahini: Use a high-quality tahini that isn’t overly bitter.
  • Sweetener: Optional, to balance the flavors. I.e., brown sugar, coconut sugar, agave, or maple syrup.
  • Water: To bring the dressing to the correct consistency.

Alternatively, experiment with pesto/basil ‘pesto’ dressing, Chipotle dressing, green goddess dressing, avocado crema, spicy peanut sauce, garlic sauce, etc.

What To Add to a Vegan Quinoa Bowl

  • Other vegetables: Swap out the veggies based on what’s in season and in your kitchen. I.e., broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, corn, Brussels sprouts, etc.
  • Spanish quinoa bowl: Season the vegetables with Spanish seasoning, stir fire-roasted tomatoes into the quinoa, and optionally garnish with jalapeno slices, lime wedges, and chipotle sauce/hot sauce.
  • Other seasonings: Easily adapt the flavor of sweet potato quinoa bowls by seasoning the veggies differently. I.e., Italian seasoning, Za’atar, etc., or individual spices like cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  • Protein: Although quinoa and chickpeas contribute protein, make heartier sweet potato quinoa bowls with tofu, tempeh, or mock meats (like vegan chicken).
  • Vegan cheese: Add vegan feta cheese for creaminess or nutritional yeast for subtle nutty, ‘cheesy’ flavor.
  • Nuts/seeds: To garnish for crunch, healthy fats, and protein. I.e., sunflower seeds, pepitas/ pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, etc.
  • Dried fruit: Like raisins or cranberries, for sweetness and chewy texture.

How to Make A Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl

  • First, use a mandoline or sharp knife to thinly slice the red onion (the thinner the better). Transfer it to a medium bowl with the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix well and set aside to ‘quick pickle’.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F/190C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Also, prepare the remaining vegetables by dicing the sweet potatoes into ½-inch pieces, slicing the bell pepper into wedge strips, and thinly slicing the carrots (about ¼-inch).
  • Transfer the sweet potato to one baking dish, and drizzle it with olive oil and add a sprinkle of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss well and spread in a single layer with some space in between.

Don’t overcrowd the tray, or the sweet potato won’t caramelize/roast properly.

  • Spread the chickpeas, bell pepper, and carrot slices (in separate sections) on the other tray. Drizzle with oil, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then roast the veggies for 15-20 minutes, or until tender and lightly caramelized.

Alternatively, leave the chickpeas, carrot, and bell pepper raw for a crisper texture with the quinoa with sweet potato.  

  • Meanwhile, rinse, then cook the quinoa according to its package instructions (or in an instant pot).

For more flavor, cook the quinoa in regular or low-sodium vegetable stock.

  • Next, transfer the pickled onions to a new, small bowl, squeezing out the excess liquid. Then, add the tahini, water, and (if using) sweetener to the liquid and mix until creamy.

Make it thinner with more water and adjust it to taste. I.e., more lemon, salt, etc.

  • To assemble sweet potato and quinoa bowls, place the greens on one side and the quinoa on the other. Top them with the roasted veggies and pickled onions. Finally, drizzle over the tahini sauce, optionally serving more on the side, sprinkle over the parsley, and enjoy it warm or at room temperature.

FAQs

Could I replace the quinoa?

Turn this into a regular sweet potato grain bowl with other grains (and non-grains) like wild rice, millet, couscous, barley, farro, or bulgur wheat.

Should I eat this hot or cold?

The truth is, you could do either. We love this as a warm bowl meal or room temperature/chilled kale quinoa sweet potato salad. It just depends on your mood (and the weather!).

Can I omit the pickled onions?

You can roast the onion (in chunkier slices) with the other veggies instead, or omit them entirely.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • If you’re using kale: Gently massage it with olive oil to transform the leaves from tough and fibrous to a more tender bite while removing bitterness.
  • Experiment with the flavors: One of the easiest ways to adapt the flavor with no extra effort is to experiment with seasonings. However, you can also play with the veggies used, try out different dressings, and even different grains.
  • Enjoy it warm or chilled: Change it up depending on your mood! You can even leave some veggies raw (like the carrot, bell pepper, and/or chickpeas) for more of a crunchy, refreshing sweet potato quinoa salad.           
completed Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl in a bowl

Storage Instructions

Once prepared, you can store any leftovers (separate from the dressing) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

While the entire salad isn’t freezable, you could also freeze any roasted vegetable and quinoa leftovers in freezer-safe container or Ziplock/Stasher bags for up to 3 months.

Enjoy the leftovers chilled, at room temperature, or warmed in a microwave.

completed Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl in a storage container

More Vegan Quinoa Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl

5 from 76 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Sweet potato quinoa bowl with roasted veggies is a healthy, hearty, nutrient-dense, meat-free meal you can enjoy in under 45 minutes either warm or as a salad!

Ingredients 

Sauce

  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • cup of tahini
  • cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar or agave (optional)

Sweet Potato Salad

  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 cups of sweet potato, diced
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 large bell pepper (any color), sliced into wedges
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups baby kale or baby spinach
  • Parsley, garnish (optional)
  • Avocado, sliced (optional)

    sliced (optional)

Instructions 

  • Using a mandolin or a knife, slice the onion very thin – the thinner the better. Place the onion in a medium bowl. Add the vinegar, lemon, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix well and set aside for the onions to pickle.
  • Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, preheat the oven top 375 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  • Place the sweet potato on one of the baking sheets. Drizzle oil and sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well, lay them evenly and separate them so they are not touching each other. The sweet potato will roast better this way.
  • On the other baking sheet, place the chickpeas on one side and the bell pepper on the other side. Drizzle oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Mix well and lay them evenly. Put both trays in the oven. Roast the sweet potato, chickpeas, bell pepper, and carrots for 15 to 20 minutes minutes. (you could aso leave the chickpeas and bell pepper raw and avoid that step).
  • When the quinoa and roasted veggies are ready, remove the onions from the bowl and squeeze as much of the liquid in the bowl as possible. Set the pickled onions aside in a small bowl.
  • Once you are left with the juices in which the onions were marinating in, add the tahini, water, and sweetener (if using). Mix well until a runny and creamy consistency is achieved. Add water if you prefer a lighter sauce. Add more salt or lemon juice if needed.
  • To assemble the bowl, place the greens on half of the plate and the quinoa on the other half. Top with the roasted sweet potato, chickpeas, bell pepper, carrots, and pickled onions. Drizzle some of the sauce and serve with more on the side. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.

Notes

  • If you’re using kale: Gently massage it with olive oil to transform the leaves from tough and fibrous to a more tender bite while removing bitterness.
  • Experiment with the flavors: One of the easiest ways to adapt the flavor with no extra effort is to experiment with seasonings. However, you can also play with the veggies used, try out different dressings, and even different grains.
  • Enjoy it warm or chilled: Change it up depending on your mood! You can even leave some veggies raw (like the carrot, bell pepper, and/or chickpeas) for more of a crunchy, refreshing sweet potato quinoa salad.     

Nutrition

Calories: 895kcalCarbohydrates: 124gProtein: 28gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gSodium: 607mgPotassium: 1785mgFiber: 24gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 23861IUVitamin C: 126mgCalcium: 312mgIron: 10mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto
5 from 76 votes (67 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Do you just add the raisins and sunflower seeds on at the end? I don’t see anywhere in the recipe for when you add those.

  2. 5 stars
    This is such an awesome recipe. Great for weeknight dinners because it goes together so quickly. I add a can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Another fan favorite that’s become part of my regular rotation.

  3. I made this mainly because I had all the ingredients on hand. I thought it might be too bland, so I had some sriracha to douse it with, just in case. Boy, was I wrong! I never even removed the cap from the sriracha bottle. This dish is very flavorful and delicious, as is. I will definitely be making it again and again!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for dinner tonight and it was so filling and delicious! I didn’t have sunflower seeds on hand so I used pepitas instead and loved the crunch. Will definitely be making this yummy dish often!