With roasted sweet potato, baby spinach, wild rice, feta and almonds drizzled with a honey lemon lemon sauce, this Sweet Potato Salad certainly has oomph!! With a great variety of textures and flavours, you’ll happily scoff down a giant bowl for dinner, take leftovers to work the next day, you’ll feel full, you’ll feel good, and you won’t miss meat!
Sweet Potato Salad
If the kaleidoscope of colour doesn’t get you, then ONE BITE is all it will take to convince you that this is a sweet potato salad to die for!!
It’s got it all – freshness from baby spinach, sweet cubes of sweet potato with caramelised edges. The nutty chewiness of wild rice, creamy sweet pops of feta, the soft crunch of almonds and chewy sweetness from cranberries, all topped off with a tangy honey lemon dressing…
Well, if that description didn’t convince YOU, it certainly convinced ME that I need to make this again ASAP!!
Make this sweet potato salad as an impressive side, or serve it as a meal!
What goes in Sweet Potato Salad
Here’s what you need for my Sweet Potato Salad.
Plenty of sub options – even for the sweet potato itself – I’ve listed suggestions below!
- Sweet potato – sub with pumpkin or butternut squash (we call them butternut pumpkin in Australia);
- Wild rice – I LOVE wild rice, it’s got a nutty flavour that makes it so much more interesting than normal white rice. To reduce the carb quota, you could leave it out (which is what I usually do for midweek), or try other options like: brown rice, quinoa, farro, barley or other grains (psst While warm, we toss with some dressing so it sucks up flavour. So really, you can use anything here!);
- Cranberries – sub with any dried fruit! If it’s large like apricots or apple, give it a rough chop;
- Feta – or goats cheese;
- Baby Spinach – Rocket / arugula is also terrific!
- Flaked almonds – flaked almonds is a good way to make less nuts go further! Love the way it disperses all throughout this salad. However, feel free to use any nuts you prefer!
- Lemon – sub with apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar;
- Honey – sugar or maple syrup; and
- Mustard – I use this to thicken the dressing because I think this salad really benefits from everything being coated really nicely with dressing. If you’re a mustard hater, sub with mayo instead.
How to make Sweet Potato Salad
Nothing tricky here, it’s very straight forward! I like how this Sweet Potato Salad has a nice flow to it: get the Wild Rice simmering in water first, then get the potato in the oven while you prep the Dressing and other ingredients.
Then bring it all together and devour!
I chop the sweet potato into fairly small cubes to make it easier to eat (and also better dressing-to-potato ratio), so we can only roast them until the edges start caramelising – any longer, and they get overly soft and too delicate to handle.
A fabulous side dish – or a meal!
I say this is a fantastic side dish – and it is the sort of thing that I would take to gatherings as something a little different.
But truthfully, I make this more often as a meal than as a side. In fact, I can only ever recall serving it as a side dish once!
To me, this is the sort of salad that’s interesting and substantial enough to be served as a meal, even to self confessed Carnivores like myself! Plus, it would be a FABULOUS work lunch.
That’s Fabulous with a capital F!!! – Nagi x
More Fabulous, SUBSTANTIAL Meat Free Salads
- Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Rocket/Arugula – this one is made with larger pieces of sweet potato that are roasted until deep golden
- Giant Couscous Salad – you’ll love how the couscous is cooked in an aromatic broth so it soaks up all that incredible flavour!
- Wild Rice Salad – regular readers know I’m mad for this salad
- Sexy Lentil Salad – YES you read that right. I said SEXY!!
- Browse more Mighty Salads and more Side Salads
Watch how to make it
Sweet Potato Salad
Recipe video above. A mighty Sweet Potato Salad with a fabulous honey lemon dressing. Terrific combo of textures and flavours, serve this as a meal or an impressive side!
- 1kg / 2 lb sweet potato (, cut into 2cm / 4/5″ cubes (Note 1))
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 200g/ 7oz baby spinach ((or rocket/arugula))
- 1/2 red onion (, finely sliced)
- 3/4 cup sliced almond (, toasted)
- 90g/ 3oz feta (, crumbled)
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups cooked wild rice (, warm (Note 2))
Honey Lemon Mustard Dressing:
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 5 tbsp extra olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp mustard
- 1 garlic clove (, small, minced)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 200°C / 390°F.
- Shake Dressing ingredients in a jar.
- Toss sweet potato with olive oil, salt and pepper, spread onto tray.
- Roast for 20 minutes, flip, then roast for a further 5 minutes until golden on edges.
- Place baby spinach, onion and half almonds in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 tbsp Dressing, toss.
- Drizzle warm rice with 1 tbsp Dressing, toss.
- Spread spinach on serving platter. Top with rice, then sweet potato and cranberries.
- Drizzle with remaining Dressing, then top with feta and remaining almonds. Serve!
1. Sweet Potato alternatives – pumpkin or butternut squash would be amazing here!
2. Wild Rice – feel free to sub with any other rice or grains.
To cook wild rice – bring large saucepan with plenty of water to the boil. Add 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice, adjust heat so its simmering. Simmer for 35 minutes or until rice “bursts” (to reveal light brown insides) and are cooked through (wild rice is firmer than normal rice, uncooked wild rice is hard like normal rice. You will know when it’s cooked by tasting it.)
3. Making ahead – Make dressing in a jar. Dress the rice while warm so it soaks up the flavour – then it can be served at room temp. Dress everything else closer to serving time. Make sure potato is at room temp, not cold!
Leftovers: Baby spinach does hold up better once dressed compared to other leafy greens so leftovers will be ok the next day, eg taking it to work (especially because you’ve got so much other “stuff” in this salad”, it will distract from slightly wilted spinach).
4. Nutrition for 8 servings as a side dish (serves 4 as a main).
Life of Dozer