Sweet Potato Quinoa & Cotija


Our dinner has looked like this nearly every night for a week. I don’t know what it is, but as soon as fall hits, big grain salads with roasted sweet potatoes seem to take over my life. They’re perfect for busy weeknights, next day lunches… and you can prep most of the ingredients ahead of time.

sweet potato quinoa & cotija

You can take this in so many different directions (this was last year’s obsession, and yes, it’s somewhat similar)… but I especially love this one with chile-lime dressing, mutli-colored quinoa and crunchy pepitas. It could even be a fun non-traditional thanksgiving side dish if your family is spicy like that.

sweet potato, quinoa & cotija

Serves: serves 2, with some leftovers
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
  • olive oil, for roasting the potato
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese (omit if vegan)
  • a few big handfuls of arugula or baby salad greens
  • a few big pinches of salt
  • a handful of chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup raw pepitas
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chile powder
  • a drizzle of honey or maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt & a few cracks of pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sweet potato cubes on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Place the poblano pepper (whole) on the same baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are golden brown, and the pepper's skin has started to blacken in spots.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Toast your pepitas in a little skillet with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  4. Remove the roasting sheet from the oven. When the poblano is cool to the touch, remove the ribbing and seeds and chop into ½ inch pieces. (or, optional: leave it in the oven until it's blistered so you can peel the skin before you chop it).
  5. Toss everything together with half the dressing. Taste and add more dressing and a few pinches of salt, if necessary.
  6. Garnish with toasted pepitas and cilantro.
store leftovers in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 2 days.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Rachel S

    SO delish! Made it and stuffed it into warmed tortillas, and oh me oh my, that was TASTY!

  2. Michelle

    I love this salad. It has been a staple for my family for years.

  3. This looks absolutely perfect in every way! we have been eating a lot of grain salads with roasted sweet potatoes/winter squash as well. I can’t get enough!

  4. This is just funny. I made something like this yesterday for lunch with a few additions/omissions. I think sweet potatoes, greens, & quinoa go beautifully together!

  5. Tieghan from halfbakedharvest.com

    I am in love with sweet potatoes right now and this sounds perfect!

  6. I’m with you! I’ve been on a sweet potato binge too, and I’m not stopping yet. THe chile lime sounds like a good alternative to my kosher salt. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Ashe from oraclemoon.co

    Oh, that looks like a bowl of absolute heaven. I’m going to have to cook this tonight. <3

  8. Beth Young from mozzarelladiaries.blogspot.it

    I’m always looking for new recipes with quinoa as my boyfriend is a coeliac so we use it a lot in our diet. This looks great, wonderful colours! Can’t wait to try it out!

  9. This looks so good! I love quinoa AND cojita cheese! I bet they pair wonderfully together! Definitely gonna pack this up for lunch!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.