Orange Quinoa with Sweet Potato

by Divina C in Rouxbe Recipes

Healthy and protein-rich quinoa is tossed with bright and vibrant oranges, sweet potatoes, arugula and crunchy walnuts.

  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr

  • Comments: 3
  • Views: 23049
  • Success 100%

Step 1: Steaming the Sweet Potatoes

Steaming the Sweet Potatoes

To start, wash and scrub the potatoes.

Set up a steamer. Fill with one inch of water and place over medium-high heat. Refer to the Rouxbe Cooking School lessons on Steaming for more information, if necessary.

Place the potatoes into the steamer insert and place over the simmering water. Cover and steam the potatoes for about 20 to 25 minutes or until tender but not mushy.

  • 2 yellow or orange sweet potatoes

Step 2: Cooking the Quinoa

Cooking the Quinoa

Rinse the quinoa if necessary (check the manufacturer's instructions on the package). To rinse the quinoa, place the grain in a bowl and twice the amount of water. Swirl thoroughly and scoop out small stones or debris. Pour through a fine strainer. If the water is dirty, repeat the procedure. Drain well.

To cook the quinoa, juice the oranges. Place the quinoa, orange juice and salt into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to break up any lumps of quinoa. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and let cook for 20-30 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the grains are translucent.

Once done, small steam holes should appear on the surface. Remove from the heat. Place a tea towel under the lid to absorb any steam and let rest for about 7-10 minutes.

Please see note.

  • 2 cups fresh squeeze orange juice
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Step 3: Peeling the Steamed Sweet Potatoes

Peeling the Steamed Sweet Potatoes

Once the steamed potatoes are cooked through and are cool enough to handle, peel them. Dice the sweet potatoes and add them to the pot with the quinoa. Cover.

Step 4: Preparing the Rest of the Ingredients

Preparing the Rest of the Ingredients

Wash, clean and spin dry the arugula and tear into bite-size pieces. Next, peel and segment the oranges and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Roughly chop the walnuts and gather the oil and sea salt.

  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 handfuls of arugula or mizuna
  • 2 oranges
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt (to taste)

Step 5: Finishing the Dish

Finishing the Dish

To finish the dish, gently fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Add the walnuts and arugula and gently toss to combine.

To finish, add the orange segments, orange juice, olive oil and sea salt. Toss again and season to taste with more salt or a squeeze of lemon juice, if necessary. Serve.

  • lemon juice (to taste)


Gluten Free; Vegan; Dairy-Free

Some brands of quinoa do not require rinsing and can be used directly. I used to cook quinoa for only 15-20 minutes but with a different brand and type of liquid, it required me to cook for about 30 minutes.

I used mizuna in this recipe but arugula gives it a better flavor impact. This dish is great served on its own or along with soup or sliced loin of lamb.

Jennifer A

Interesting and Tastey

I just made this for dinner tonight, with a couple of quick adjustments.

First, I live in Hawaii so we have Japanese sweet potatoes available which are a deep purple when cooked. They looked AWESOME!!!

I don't care for arugala, so I omitted that ingredient altogether, and I am alergic to walnuts, so instead I used water chestnuts (it's what I had on hand that was crunchy).

The result was quite tastey and I'll definitely do it again, though I think it'd be much better as a side dish than as a main dish.

Just my thoughts... happy cooking!!!

Rebecca B

great side dish

I will first say that, in general, I am not a fan of either quinoa or sweet potatoes. However, I liked the combination of flavors in this dish. I made this dish as a substitute for the recommended mashed sweet potatoes for the garlic chipotle fried chicken. I also made coconut milk black beans. In my opinion, this was a great combination and the colors of the salad really stood out on the plate.

Like Jennifer, I also used Japanese sweet potatoes. They seem a little less cloying to me. When everything was assembled, I still wanted a bit more orange flavor. I added about 1/3 cup of a store bought orange vinaigrette. In my opinion, the sweet/sour vinaigrette really helped to enhance the flavor profile of the dish.

I was impressed that the quinoa -- which I bought in bulk -- did not taste bitter after cooking. I did rinse the grains well before hand, but sometimes I find that I must soak the bulk quinoa for an hour or so to really get the bitterness out. I am wondering if cooking the quinoa in orange helps to cut the bitter component in this grain?

Nice recipe!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Bitter Quinoa

I think that the orange juice was there to add flavor and sweetness and not to cut any potential bitterness. You may also want to check out the lesson on "How to Cook Grains". Cheers!

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