Sweet Potato Salad
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Make this easy sweet potato salad with a few simple ingredients in just 20 minutes. The well-balanced combination of flavors, from roasted sweet potatoes to peppery arugula, complement each other wonderfully!
Table of Contents
- Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Key Ingredient Notes:
- How to make this salad recipe:
- Meal prep
- Tips for Success:
- Sweet Potato Salad Variations:
- Make-Ahead Tips:
- Storing Tips:
- Sweet Potato Salad FAQs:
- More Amazing Salad Recipes:
- Sweet Potato Salad Recipe
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Why you’ll love this recipe:
Now that summer’s over, I like to swap out fresh garden salads for satisfying, hearty, salads that are filled with starchy vegetables and seasonal produce.
- Flavor – Perfectly caramelized roasted sweet potatoes pair beautifully with punchy arugula, red onions, and tangy honey mustard vinaigrette.
- Texture – Sweet potatoes become impossibly smooth and creamy when roasted. Ripe avocado provides a more creamy texture, and pepitas give every bite a satisfying crunch.
- Make-ahead – All the chopping and roasting can be completed in advance, making this salad seriously easy to throw together any day of the week.
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Sweet potatoes – These are the star ingredient! Roasting transforms the sweet potatoes into a rich, soft addition to the salad. Be sure to dice them into 1-inch cubes, so they cook quickly and efficiently.
- Olive oil – Use this to prevent the sweet potatoes from drying out while roasting. It’ll also help the outer edges turn golden brown and crisp.
- Kosher salt – Enhances the potatoes’ natural sweetness, making them even more tasty.
- Olive oil – This forms the base of the dressing, combining the rest of the ingredients. Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar – Use this to add a tangy element to the dressing and a very subtle apple taste. Balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar work well as substitutes.
- Honey – Sugary sweet honey balances out the tang in the dressing. Maple syrup can be used in place of honey if needed.
- Mustard – Use Dijon mustard for the best flavor. Dijon’s slightly tangy, spicy flavor pairs well with the sweetness in the vinaigrette!
- Kosher salt – As with the potatoes, this helps enhance the flavor of the ingredients and rounds out the dressing. Adjust the seasoning to taste!
- Arugula – This forms the base of the salad and brings a peppery bite!
- Red onion – Slightly sweet and milder than white or yellow onions, they add vibrant color to the salad and a little bit of crunch.
- Avocado – Chopped avocado enhances the creamy texture of the salad. Avoid overly ripe avocados that feel soft and mushy and unripe avocados that feel rock hard. A perfectly ripened avocado will have dark skin and give just slightly when squeezed.
- Pepitas – If you’re unfamiliar, these are a type of pumpkin seed that doesn’t have a shell. No shell makes them smaller, smoother, and less chewy than a typical roasted pumpkin seed. They’re great for adding healthy fats and a nice crunch!
How to make this salad recipe:
Before you get started, preheat your oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. Prepare the sweet potatoes
- Toss the chopped sweet potatoes with olive oil and kosher salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Transfer the sweet potatoes to your prepared baking sheet, and spread them out in an even layer.
- Bake the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes or until cooked through, flipping them over halfway through the baking time.
I like to double the amount of sweet potatoes used and save extras for easy side dish options or snacks throughout the week!
2. Mix the dressing
- Pour the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and kosher salt into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Shake the jar vigorously, until the dressing ingredients are fully combined.
3. Assemble the sweet potato salad
- Remove the roasted sweet potatoes from the oven, and allow them to cool.
- Place the arugula, sliced red onion, and roasted sweet potatoes in a serving bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine.
- Gently toss the chopped avocado and pepitas into the salad.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Tips for Success:
- Choose fresh, crisp, bright green arugula for the best flavor. Arugula is no longer fresh when it appears to be dry and yellow.
- Chop the sweet potatoes into uniform pieces to ensure they roast evenly. Roast the sweet potatoes until they caramelize on the edges and become tender on the inside.
- Add the dressing just before serving. Dressing the ingredients too early will result in a soggy salad, and we definitely don’t want that!
- Don’t chop your avocado in advance. Once a fresh avocado is peeled and exposed to the air, it quickly turns brown. Avocado is best when it’s chopped right before you eat it!
Sweet Potato Salad Variations:
Feel free to mix and match different ingredients to make this sweet potato salad recipe fit your flavor preferences and the ingredients you have on hand.
- Add intensely flavored, crumbly soft cheese, such as goat, feta, or gorgonzola.
- Use roasted sunflower seeds (without shells) or slivered almonds if you can’t find pepitas.
- Toss in dried cranberries, raisins, or apples for an even sweeter flavor!
- Replace the honey with maple syrup to make this recipe vegan-friendly.
- Transform your salad into a complete meal by adding protein such as leftover roasted chicken or turkey!
- If arugula is too bitter for you, try baby spinach or kale.
I get sweet potato salad started ahead of time nearly every time I make it! If I roast the sweet potatoes in advance, I can toss the salad together in minutes.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt, and roast until tender.
- Let the roasted potatoes cool to room temperature. Then, place them in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the dressing and red onions in advance as well if you’d like, and store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to serve your salad, complete step five as directed in the recipe card below.
This sweet potato salad doesn’t store well. It should be eaten the day it’s served if it’s tossed with dressing and fresh avocado.
- You can store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
- Leftovers won’t be as fresh the next day, though. The avocado will have turned brown, and the arugula greens will be soggy from the dressing.
Sweet Potato Salad FAQs:
You can consume cooked sweet potatoes warm or cold. I love them both ways. My toasted marshmallow twice baked sweet potatoes warm and fresh out of the oven are to die for! However, cold sweet potatoes tossed with arugula in sweet potato salad are just as irresistible!
Peel sweet potatoes if you’re preparing diced sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries. Leave the peel on for whole roasted sweet potatoes. Just give them a good scrub first! Sweet potato skins are totally edible, and they’re packed with fiber.
While they look similar and are often sold side-by-side in the grocery store, yams and sweet potatoes are different. Sweet potatoes are sweeter than yams, and become soft and creamy when cooked. Meanwhile, yams are starchier and more similar to white potatoes. As a result, I don’t recommend using them interchangeably in recipes!
More Amazing Salad Recipes:
Sweet Potato Salad
- 4 cups sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1- inch pieces (2 large sweet potatoes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 ounces arugula
- ½ small red onion thinly sliced
- 1 medium avocado cut into 1 inch pieces
- ¼ cup pepitas toasted
- Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place cut sweet potatoes into a bowl and toss with oil and salt. Add to the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through, flipping halfway.4 cups sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Make the dressing by combining the ingredients to a jar, close the lid and shake together.¼ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon mustard, ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
- Remove from the oven and allow the sweet potatoes to cool. (This step can be done ahead of time. Just keep the roasted potatoes in the fridge and complete step 2 the day you want to enjoy the salad.)
- Assemble the salad by adding the arugula, red onion, sweet potatoes to a serving bowl and toss to combine with the dressing. Then add in the avocado and pepitas, gently toss together and serve immediately.3 ounces arugula, ½ small red onion, 1 medium avocado, ¼ cup pepitas
Tips & Notes
– This sweet potato salad is best served right away!
– Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. They just won’t be as fresh or pretty, but they’re still safe to eat.