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Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet potato salad is both impressive and crave-worthy! It’s a bowl full of incredible flavors and textures made with kale, roasted sweet potatoes, avocados, pecans, feta, and cranberries, tossed in a homemade balsamic glaze. It all comes together so beautifully!

sweet potato salad in white bowl
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A Satisfying Sweet Potato Salad

Salad has never really been thought of as comfort food before, but maybe it’s high time we start! A beautiful salad like this is one I keep coming back to, especially when I’m looking for a quick, fresh, and healthy dinner idea that just happens to taste incredible!

Sweet potato salad is gluten-free, nutrient-dense, and loaded with good fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s a nice light addition to any potluck or BBQ menu. I mean, we don’t always have to bring dessert, right?

This is a meal on its own and has so many earthy flavors but my favorite part about the entire dish has got to be the warmth of the sweet potatoes balanced by the cold salad. It’s just the perfect combination!

close up of roasted sweet potatoes on baking sheet

Tips for Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

  • Massage the kale. Kale on its own is quite tough and bitter, so knowing how to massage kale helps to break down the fibers and tenderize the leaves making it easier to chew. Some people say that if you chop up your kale small enough there’s no need to massage it. I’m not one of those people. I like to massage it no matter what!
  • Toasting the pecans brings out a nuttier, crispier texture which is nice but completely optional.
  • Roast the sweet potatoes until they are nice and tender on the inside and have those caramelized slightly charred edges for flavor. It adds another element of flavor. Instead of the oven, you can make air fryer sweet potato cubes just as easily!
  • Easily double or triple this recipe for a large crowd. Present it in a large bowl and then share. It’s too pretty not to show it off first!
  • Enjoy as a side dish or a main dish, it works for both.
sweet potato salad in bowl on counter

Variations

  • Sweet potatoes. Roasted butternut squash or pumpkin can be used in place of sweet potatoes. This is especially true in the winter months!
  • Nuts. Substitute pecans for walnuts, slivered almonds, or roasted pumpkin seeds. For a sweet twist try homemade candied pecans.
  • Fruit. Add fresh fruit like diced apples or pears. Or swap the dried cranberries for raisins or pomegranate seeds (aka arils).
  • Greens. Instead of kale, you can use baby spinach, arugula, or a spring mix.
  • Dressing. There is so much going on in this salad that all it needs is a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic or apple cider vinegar. However, if you want to make a balsamic dressing or balsamic glaze, you should! A lemon tahini dressing would also taste fabulous.
  • A sweet dressing. As delicious as this is with the tang of a vinegar-based dressing, the nuts, cranberries, and sweet potato would all pair nicely with a sweet dressing made from either maple syrup or honey with perhaps a little fresh lime juice.

Make Ahead

This salad is best eaten right away once it has been assembled but there are ways to prepare parts of it ahead of time. Cut the avocado, toast the pecans, and even chop the apple if you drizzle it with lemon juice to keep it from turning brown. Chop, wash, and dry your kale too! Keep everything stored separately covered in the fridge, and assemble when ready.

sweet potato salad in bowl

More Healthy Salad Recipes:

sweet potato salad in bowl

Sweet Potato Salad

5 from 2 votes
Sweet potato salad is both impressive and crave-worthy! It's a bowl full of incredible flavors and textures made with kale, roasted sweet potatoes, avocados, pecans, feta, and cranberries, tossed in a homemade balsamic glaze. It all comes together so beautifully!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1/4-1/2 cup pecans , more as desired

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes , peeled and cubed
  • 1 -2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Salad

  • 8 cups kale , washed and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 avocado , diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1-2 ounces feta cheese , or goat cheese
  • Balsamic glaze or vinegar , for serving
  • Flake sea salt , for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Add the pecans to a baking sheet and bake for a few minutes, tossing every minute. Bake until toasted and fragrant.
    pecans on baking sheet
  • Remove pecans from the pan. Then add the sweet potatoes to the pan. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until combined. Then bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are crispy, tossing half way through.
    close up of roasted sweet potatoes on baking sheet
  • While the potatoes are cooking, add the kale to a bowl. Then add 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice. Massage the kale with your hands for a minute or two or until it turns a deep green color. Let rest for 15 minutes.
    kale and oil in bowl
  • Remove sweet potatoes from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then add on top of the kale. Then add the cranberries and avocado. Sprinkle the pecans and cheese on top.
    sweet potato salad in white bowl
  • Drizzle with a little more olive oil and balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze. You could also use a vinaigrette dressing if desired. Sprinkle flake sea salt on top of desired. Toss and serve.
    sweet potato salad in white bowl

Notes

Nuts: You can substitute the pecans for almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds. For a delicious addition, try using these candied pecans
Fruit: You can substitute the apple for pear or dried cranberries for pomegranate seeds.
Greens: You could also substitute the kale for spinach or a spring mix. 
Dressing: I usually just add a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. However you can use whichever dressing you prefer. This balsamic dressing or vinaigrette would be a great addition. 

Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 431mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 8583IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Jamielyn Nye

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