Lentil sweet potato salad is one of our favorite salads ever! It’s nutritious, tasty, and aromatic, thanks to a simple cumin and paprika dressing inspired by Moroccan cuisine.
This salad is the perfect make-ahead meal, and you can enjoy it as a quick and fulfilling lunch or wholesome dinner, bring it to potlucks or serve it for brunch.
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Lentils and sweet potatoes, married by a Mediterranean-tasting cumin and paprika dressing, are a match made in heaven!
Inspired by our Moroccan carrot salad, this recipe has claimed one of the highest spots on our top 10 favorite salads list.
We now have it on rotation with our green bean salad, avocado salad, sweet potato salad, and chickpea salad.
We make this recipe with tender caramelized roasted sweet potatoes, meaty green or brown lentils, and plenty of fresh parsley.
And what makes the recipe come together is an incredible, tangy, and aromatic cumin dressing. You can make it 1 minute with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, and paprika.
Finally, to make this dish even tastier, crumble some feta cheese on top. Its creamy texture and savory taste meld perfectly with both lentils and sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes come in white, purple, and orange. We recommend the classic orange sweet potatoes you can find in most supermarkets.
We chop peeled sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in an air fryer or the oven for about 20 minutes.
Cooked this way, they get caramelized and slightly smokey, and their tender texture will soak in the flavor and aroma of the cumin dressing.
We generally go for canned lentils, but dry lentils that you cook yourself at home are even better if you have the time.
Brown or green lentils are best for this recipe because they have more bite than, for example, red lentils and keep their shape when we toss them in the salad.
Try to find fresh flat-leaf parsley to give this salad that fresh Mediterranean taste.
Feta is optional, and the salad tastes delicious without it. You can keep the feta out and add some nuts if you are vegan.
Pistachio nuts are optional. We add them for three reasons: 1) we love their taste with the cumin and sweet potatoes; 2) they add some crunch to the salad; 3) their light pistachio green looks beautiful with the bright orange roasted potatoes.
You can replace pistachios with shaved or slivered almonds, toasted pine nuts, or crushed walnuts.
Cumin Paprika Dressing
If you can, use extra virgin olive oil for a richer and more aromatic taste. Also, extra virgin olive oil contains more antioxidants than most other oils, which is excellent for your health.
Alternatively, you can substitute regular olive oil for the extra virgin one.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds freshness and acidity to the salad, which helps boost the flavor of the other ingredients.
You can substitute apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar for the lemon juice.
You can use finely minced garlic or garlic powder.
I cannot describe how well does ground cumin fit with the roasted sweet potatoes and the lentils.
You can find ground cumin in most supermarkets, or you can get cumin seeds and ground them yourself with a mortar and pestle.
Sweet paprika is best for the dressing.
Salt and Pepper
Use sea salt or kosher salt to add taste and freshly ground black pepper for a spicy aroma.
Roast the sweet potatoes
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 1-Inch cubes, transfer them onto the baking tray, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until tender and browned.
To cook them in the air fryer, add the sweet potato cubes to a bowl, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then transfer to the air fryer basket. The cubes CAN overlap.
Air fry at 400°F or 200°C for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.
To ensure even cooking, shake the air fryer basket every 4 minutes.
To a large mixing bowl, add the roasted sweet potatoes – ideally still warm, so they soak up the dressing – rinsed and drained canned lentils, chopped parsley, and the cumin dressing.
To make the dressing add all ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper, ground cumin, and paprika) to a small jar and shake well, or add them to a bowl and whisk well.
Toss well, then transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with toasted pistachios and fresh parsley.
Optionally, add crumbled Greek feta cheese on top.
Lentil and sweet potato salad is wholesome, tasty, and most importantly, very fulfilling, so we recommend it as a nutritious lunch or healthy dinner.
We love serving this salad for brunch or lunch on a big plate combined with one, two, and often three of our other tasty salads. Try it with our:
Or take your pick from this list of 29 easy and plant-based dinners.
Sweet potato salad
If you are into sweet potatoes, you will love this arugula, avocado, and sweet potato salad.
We make this with a creamy mustard dressing that adds a tangy and slightly sweet taste that pops in your mouth.
Check out our sweet potato salad recipe.
Moroccan carrot salad
Love the cumin dressing? Then you’ve got to try our Moroccan carrot salad. It’s such a simple yet tasty recipe.
You can make this recipe ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days before serving it.
It’s perfect for meal prep, and we often make a double batch to have it for the next couple of meals.
The flavors have time to meld and grow together into a harmonious dish.
However, we recommend taking the salad out of the fridge about 15 minutes before eating it to allow the ingredients to reach room temperature and be more flavorful.
Store leftover lentils and sweet potato salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can serve the salad slightly cold or at room temperature. We do not recommend freezing this recipe.
More salad recipes
If you’re a fan of wholesome salads for lunch and dinner, check out these vibrant and healthy salad recipes:
Or get more inspiration from our archive of healthy salads recipes –>
More recipes with root vegetables
Get more inspiration for cooking with root vegetables from our list of earthy and healthy dishes:
For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.
Lentil Sweet Potato Salad
FOR ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
- 1½ pound sweet potatoes (about 3 large) peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 twists black pepper
OTHER SALAD INGREDIENTS
- 1 can (15 oz) lentils
- 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts toasted (optional)
- 2 – 3 ounces feta cheese crumbled (optional)
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
FOR THE DRESSING
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic minced, or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
ROAST THE SWEET POTATOES
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 1-Inch cubes, transfer them onto the baking tray, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until tender and browned.
- To cook them in the air fryer, add the sweet potato cubes to a bowl, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then transfer to the air fryer basket. The cubes CAN overlap.
- Air fry at 400°F or 200°C for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.To ensure even cooking, shake the air fryer basket every 4 minutes.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the roasted sweet potatoes, rinsed and drained canned lentils, chopped parsley, and the cumin dressing.To make the dressing add all ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper, ground cumin, and paprika) to a small jar and shake well, or add them to a bowl and whisk well.
- Toss well, then transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with toasted pistachios and fresh parsley.
- Optionally, add crumbled Greek feta cheese on top.
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