Oven-roasted or air-fried sweet potato salad with ripe avocado, arugula, creamy mustard dressing, and a tiny bit of feta cheese is a delicious, colorful, and nutritious meal.
Have it for lunch, a quick and healthy make-ahead dinner, or bring it to potlucks and picnics. This is one of our favorite ways of eating sweet potatoes; we are sure you'll love it too!
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Sweet potato salad is awesome because you get a healthy, tasty, and super fulfilling meal all in one package.
Plus, sweet potato is the perfect salad ingredient for any season, and you can change the other components based on seasonality.
For example, in summer, you can use arugula; in fall, pomegranate seeds. In winter, you can add shaved brussels sprouts or make a wholesome kale sweet potato salad.
We encourage you to take this recipe as a guideline and use what you have available to recreate something similar.
The best way to cook sweet potatoes for salad is by cutting them into cubes, then roasting them, either in the oven or in the air-fryer. Roasted sweet potatoes are so tasty, with a hint of smokiness and sweetness.
As for the other ingredients, roasted sweet potato pairs well with most leafy greens, creamy avocado, tangy red onion, crunchy pumpkin seeds, crushed walnuts, crumbled feta cheese, and last but not least, dried cranberries.
Regarding the dressing, we decided on a simple maple syrup mustard vinaigrette because it boosts the taste of the other ingredients without being overpowering.
The combination of flavors (sweet, sour, fatty, salty, nutty, and tangy) and textures (soft, creamy, crunchy, crispy) is out of this world.
For vegans, this roasted sweet potato salad recipe is easy to veganize. You have to substitute sliced black olives for the feta cheese or leave the cheese out altogether.
PS. Want more sweet potato salad ideas? Check out our "Variations" chapter below 😉
By sweet potato, we mean the most common variety across the US and the world, which is the one with a brownish-reddish peel and a deep orange flesh.
We peel the sweet potatoes, cut them into 1-inch cubes, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake them in the oven or the air-frier.
We use arugula in this sweet potato salad; however, depending on the season, you can substitute spinach, kale, and mustard greens for the arugula.
With its slightly bitter and spicy taste, arugula fits perfectly with slightly caramelized roasted sweet potato.
Avocado adds creaminess and healthy fats to this salad, making it a more nutritious and complete meal.
Red onion is to add sharp, tangy notes to the salad. For a milder taste, substitute shallots or spring onions for the red onion.
Walnuts are our favorite nut and an incredible flavor-match with roasted sweet potatoes. Pecans also work well in this salad.
While it might seem unnecessary to add seeds, we believe they do make a big difference in the final taste and texture of the salad. Pepitas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower, or mixed seeds work great in this sweet potato salad.
Chewy, tangy, sour, and little sweet, dried cranberries are the cherry on top of this salad. You can replace them with pomegranate seeds when in season.
Feta cheese is optional, and the salad tastes wonderfully without it. However, adding a little feta crumbled on top won't hurt, and its strong savory taste and creamy texture will make this sweet potato salad even yummier.
If you are serving this to a mixed audience with vegans among them, our recommendation is to crumble the feta and add it to a separate bowl to let people decide if they want to add it to their portion.
If you make this for a potluck, don't add the feta. Instead, leave it in a separate container on the side so that people can choose to add it or not.
We find a simple mustard dressing to be the most effective in bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients without changing their taste. We make it with:
You can use either Dijon mustard or standard American yellow mustard.
We prefer 100% pure maple syrup or agave syrup to honey because it's naturally vegan, and anyone can eat it.
You can either use extra virgin olive oil or regular olive oil.
Use freshly squeezed lemon juice, or replace it with apple cider vinegar.
Salt and black pepper
Sea salt or kosher salt freshly ground black pepper.
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 the sweet potato cubes onto the baking sheet, season with olive oil, salt, and black pepper, tossing with your hands.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until tender and browned.
While the sweet potato bakes, prep the other ingredients and the dressing.
Let roasted sweet potatoes cool down for 10 minutes, then add them to a large bowl.
Add chopped arugula, diced avocado, finely chopped red onion, crushed walnuts, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds.
Pour the mustard dressing, toss, and serve.
Optionally, crumble Greek feta on top of the roasted sweet potato salad.
Tip: don't add too much feta; we figured that less is more in this case, as feta has a strong savory flavor.
For the Mustard dressing
Add all ingredients to a small jar, close, and shake well. If you don't have a jar add the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk till combined.
Air fry instead of oven roasted
If you have an air fryer, it's a no-brainer; use it to roast the sweet potatoes instead of the oven. It's faster, and in less than 20 minutes, you have perfectly tender and caramelized sweet potato cubes.
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F or 200°C for 3 minutes. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes, add them to a bowl, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Transfer sweet potato cubes into the air fryer basket. The cubes CAN overlap as long as you shake the basket while they cook.
Air fry at 400°F or 200°C for 15 to 18 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned. Shake the basket every 4 minutes to allow for even roasting.
Let cool down for 10 minutes, and use in your salad.
We eat arugula sweet potato salad for lunch most of the time. It's so fulfilling, tasty, and nutritious that it keeps us full through dinner.
You can also serve smaller portions as a side dish to many of our delicious vegetarian and vegan mains.
For example, try it with:
- Pasta aglio e olio (garlic and oil pasta)
- Rigatoni arrabbiata or penne arrabbiata
- Pan-fried tofu with mushrooms
- Vegan frittata with seasonal veggies
- Marinated tofu or fried tofu for a chewy serving of protein
- Chickpea hummus for a velvety and creamy topping
Or take your pick from pasta, tofu, and protein-packed meals from our easy dinners list.
Black bean sweet potato salad
Southern style with bold Mexican-inspired flavors, this sweet potato salad with black beans, corn, green or red bell pepper, creamy avocado, jalapeños, and a cilantro lime dressing with fresh cilantro and lime juice is a winner.
Perfect for nutritious make-ahead meals and food prep. You are going to love it!
Quinoa sweet potato salad
It's just like our black bean sweet potato salad, but even more nutritious and packed with wholesome plant-based protein.
We add cooked quinoa to make it a crazy good and healthy meal. Perfect to make ahead, and eat for lunch, dinner, and, why not, breakfast!
You can even put it in a wrap, burrito style, with some of our chipotle sauce on top. Ps. the next day, this one is even tastier!
Lentil, cumin, and sweet potato salad
Ready to be transported to the Mediterranean? This lentil, roasted sweet potato, and cumin salad will do just that.
We make it with canned lentils, roasted sweet potatoes, plenty of fresh parsley, crunchy pistachio nuts, and our ground cumin dressing, which has become our obsession because it's so good!
This recipe was inspired by our Moroccan carrot salad, which is equally delicious and an excellent alternative to this one.
You can substitute canned chickpea for the lentils.
Use other leafy greens
Feel free to substitute kale, spinach, and other leafy greens for the arugula.
For example, in autumn, we make a spinach sweet potato salad with pomegranate seeds, and in the middle of winter, we love making a kale sweet potato salad with chopped green apple.
Roasted sweet potato salad is a great recipe to make ahead. The flavors meld in the fridge overnight, making the salad even more delicious.
You can make it up to 4 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. The arugula will lose its good looks, but it will still be delicious.
If you like, keep the arugula in a separate container and add it before serving the salad.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Eat cold or at room temperature.
We do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Despite the "sweet" in its name, sweet potato is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods ever!
The centenarian people of Okinawa, an island at the southern end of Japan, eat a high-carb plant-based diet of mostly sweet potatoes, rice, vegetables, and legumes.
In fact, about 67% of their calories come from sweet potatoes alone, and they are one of the longest-living people on earth.
A colorful starchy root vegetable, sweet potato is rich in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals and has many health benefits.
They are very nutritious; the orange and purple ones are packed with antioxidants (colors in fruit and veggies = antioxidants) which protect you from DNA damage that can cause heart disease, cancer, early aging, and other chronic illnesses.
Since they are rich in beta-carotene, converted by our body into vitamin a, they protect your eyes and support the immune system.
Also, thanks to their high fiber content, they promote gut health by encouraging bowel movement and reducing the risk of colon cancer.
More Salad Recipes
Sweet Potato Salad
ROASTING THE SWEET POTATOES
- 1½ pounds 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
FOR THE SALAD
- ½ avocado
- ½ red onion
- 3 handfuls arugula
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 2 ounces feta or dairy-free feta
FOR THE DRESSING
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 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 onto baking sheet, season with olive oil, salt, and black pepper, tossing with your hands.
- Roast for 25 minutes, or until tender and browned.
- Let cool down for 10 minutes, then add to a large bowl.Add chopped arugula, diced avocado, finely chopped red onion, crushed walnuts, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds.
- Pour the mustard dressing, toss, and serve.
- Optionally, crumble Greek feta on top of the roasted sweet potato salad.
FOR THE MUSTARD DRESSING
- Add all ingredients to a small jar, close, and shake well.If you don't have a jar add the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk till combined.