Roasted vegetables, healthy plant protein, lots of texture, bursts of fresh flavor, and a creamy Cashew Curry Sauce to bring it all together. These Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls, made in under an hour, are a delicious meal suitable for any night of the week.
These Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls have sweet, heat, spice, texture, flavor, and nutrients galore!
The cashew curry sauce is mild enough that even my kids like it.
The whole bowl comes together in less than 45 minutes, making it perfect for any night of the week.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
This bowl is loaded with healthy foods!
Quinoa ~ Quinoa is a high protein, gluten free seed that is used as a grain. It’s what makes these quinoa bowls, quinoa bowls! However, rice, couscous, or any other grain would work in its place.
Sweet Potatoes and Apples ~ I love sweet potatoes and apples together, like in these delicious Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. The combo is sweet with a little hint of tart and reminds me all things fall. I added some chili powder, smoked paprika, and cinnamon to spice up the natural flavors of the fruit and veggies.
Butternut squash would work in place of the sweet potatoes if you prefer.
Tomatoes ~ Grape tomatoes bring a juicy burst of freshness.
Chickpeas ~ Roasted chickpeas bring a nice crunch to the dish as well as an added protein boost.
Greens ~ I love adding greens to my bowl meals. Even just a small handful brings big nutrient gains. I used baby kale here, but any leafy greens would work, like spinach, arugula, or Swiss chard.
Pumpkin Seeds ~ Optional for more texture. Slice almonds would be a great choice, too.
Cashew Curry Sauce ~ This sauce comes together easily in a blender, but feel free to use your favorite store-bought sauce if you prefer. If you’re not into curry flavors, a tahini sauce would be delightful on this bowl, instead.
Feel free to make these quinoa bowls your own with your favorite mix of legumes and vegetables. But don’t forget the dreamy Curry Sauce!
How to make the recipe
For the sweet potatoes and apples
Chop the sweet potatoes and apples into even bite size pieces and place them in a large bowl (1). Add a bit of oil and the spices (2) and mix well to evenly distribute (3). Spread them out onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (4). Set aside.
Using the same bowl, place the rinsed and drained chickpeas with oil and spices (5). Spread them out evenly on another parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (6).
Place both baking sheets in a preheated oven (7) and bake for 15 minutes. Stir the ingredients on both pans, turn the pans around and switch their position in the oven to ensure even baking throughout. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes until tender and starting to caramelize on the edges (8 and 9).
For the quinoa
While the sweet potatoes and apples are cooking, make the quinoa.
Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under cold water (1) to get rid of any dust and debris. Drain well.
Place the rinsed quinoa and broth in a pot (2) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until tender and the water is absorbed (3). Fluff with a fork.
For the cashew curry sauce
This Cashew Curry Sauce is my new best friend.
In addition to drizzling it over these delicious quinoa bowls, I’ve been using it on everything! From dunking roasted potatoes in it to drizzling it on simple green salads to slathering it on sandwich bread to, of course, dolloping it on all sorts of veggie and grain combos, buddha bowl style!
It’s super easy to make. Place the cashews in a high speed blender (1), add the spices (2), add the maple syrup, lime juice and water (3) and blend until smooth and creamy (4).
Pro tips and tricks
~ If you do not have a high speed blender, like a Vitamix or Blendtec, make sure to soak the cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours!
~ Chop the sweet potatoes and apples into similar size pieces so they cook evenly.
~ Use a rimmed baking sheet for roasting so the chickpeas don’t roll off.
~ Line the baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
~ Rinse the quinoa well under cold water before cooking.
~ Start the quinoa while the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are in the oven. Once the quinoa is started, blend up the sauce. This will ensure all components of the quinoa bowls will be ready at the same time.
~ Adding the warm sweet potatoes, quinoa, and chickpeas right over the greens starts to wilt them down just ever so slightly making them easier to eat without being at all mushy or slimy.
~ Make it your own! Feel free to mix it up by using different grains, veggies, toppings, and sauce.
Quinoa bowls are a type of Buddha Bowl, also referred to as glow bowls, protein bowls, power bowls, hippie bowls, or macro bowls. They are one dish meals, most often vegetarian or vegan, consisting of grains, vegetables, protein, and a sauce. In quinoa bowls, the “grain” is the quinoa.
Typically, yes, quinoa bowls are very healthy! With a variety of vegetables, plant based protein, herbs and spices, and of course, the quinoa, these dinner bowls are loaded with nutrients. A homemade sauce will be your best bet for a healthy topping, but there are certainly some store-bought options that could work as well.
I generally serve these quinoa bowls hot for dinner, but I often eat leftovers cold or room temperature for lunch the next day. It really is your preference.
Bowl meals are a great way for each family member to customize their dish. They pack a lot of flavor with all of the different components. Not only are they convenient, flavorful, and flexible, they’re beautiful, too!
More vegan dinner bowl recipes
- Hawaiian Tofu Bowl
- Roasted Veggie Rice Bowls
- Pesto Quinoa Bowl
- Easy Burrito Bowls
- BBQ Lentil Power Bowls
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls w/ Cashew Curry Sauce
For the Sweet Potatoes:
- 2 sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into bite size pieces – about ½ inch)
- 2 tart apples (peeled, cored, and chopped the same size as the sweet potato) (I used a Granny Smith)
- 1 tsp oil
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
For the Chickpeas:
- 15 oz canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 1 tsp oil
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp cumin
For the Quinoa:
- 1 cup tri-color quinoa (rinsed well) (any color quinoa will work, but I prefer tri-color. White quinoa tends to get mushier and doesn’t hold it’s shape as well. Red quinoa would work well.)
- 1 ½ cups water or vegetable broth
- baby greens (like kale, chard, spinach, etc.) (optional, but highly recommended – eat your greens!)
- chopped fresh cilantro
- grape tomatoes (halved)
- squeeze of lime juice
- raw shelled pumpkin seeds
For the Cashew Curry Sauce (Makes about 2 cups):
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews (*NOTE: if you do NOT have a high speed blender, you will need to soak your cashews in hot water for AT LEAST 30 minutes, up to 2 hours)
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ tbsp curry powder
- 1-2 tsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
- juice of ½ lime
- dash of sriracha (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, toss together the chopped sweet potatoes, apples, 1 tsp oil, smoked paprika, chili powder, and ground cinnamon. Make sure the seasonings are evenly distributed over the potatoes and apples. Pour onto one of the baking sheets and spread out into one even layer.
- In the same mixing bowl, toss the drained chickpeas with 1 tsp oil, garlic powder, and cumin. Spread out onto the other baking sheet in one even layer.
- Place both baking sheets into the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Toss, turn the pans around and switch their position in the oven to ensure even baking throughout. Bake another 10-15 minutes until tender and starting to caramelize on the edges.
- While the potatoes, apples, and chickpeas are baking, start the quinoa. Combine the quinoa and water or broth in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 12-15 minutes until tender and the water is absorbed.
- Once the quinoa is cooking, start the sauce. Place all ingredients for the sauce into a high speed blender and purée until smooth. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin out, if needed, to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding a little more heat with a dash or two of sriracha, if desired.
- To assemble the bowls – place a big handful of baby greens in the bottom of each bowl and top with quinoa, sweet potatoes and apples, roasted chickpeas, and any garnishes you’re using, like halved grape tomatoes, shelled pumpkin seeds, fresh chopped cilantro. Drizzle everything with the Cashew Curry Sauce…as much or as little as you like. I use about ¼ cup per bowl – you’ll have some leftover sauce.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.
Stephanie Y Davidson says
So GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The blend of sweet spicy and savory is AMAZING!
Jenn Sebestyen says
Thank you, Stephanie! So happy to hear you love it!
This was such a hit with my family. We’re new to vegan cooking so I loved that it was full of familiar flavours. I agree that it’s not really a quick meal but it’s certainly worth the effort. I’ll definitely be making this again sometime soon 🙂
Jenn Sebestyen says
I’m so happy you all enjoyed it. Thank you, Miriam!
Judy Stone says
OMG this Swt Potato Quinoa Bowl is phenomenal!!!! Not for a quick meal but well worth it. It was a total flavor riot and the curry sauce could be used on so many things.DOn’t skip the greens! You’ve done it again Jenn!
Jenn Sebestyen says
Awww, thank you so much, Judy! I use the Curry Sauce on lots of things, too. I’m so happy you love it!