Sweet Potato Salad

published Apr 26, 2022
Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

The classic potato salad is a staple of summertime meals and picnics, so why not lighten things up a bit and try this version of sweet potato salad.

Serves6

Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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a sweet potato salad tossed with arugula, cranberries, pecans and crumbled white cheese
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

The classic potato salad is a staple of summertime meals and picnics. Why not shake things up a bit and try this version with sweet potato salad, instead? Swap traditional red, baby, or Russet potatoes for peeled and cubed sweet potatoes. They are roasted in the oven for a beautifully browned exterior that is a unique alternative to the creamy texture in a traditional potato salad. While the potatoes are roasting, there’s time to make a flavorful vinaigrette, which is lighter and brighter than the usual mayo-based potato salad dressing.

I like bulking up this salad with a few handfuls of baby arugula. Pecan halves add crunch, while dried cranberries add a hint of sweetness. Crumbled feta cheese provides the perfect tang to bring the whole salad together. The salad holds up well at room temperature, but also tastes great when the sweet potatoes are still slightly warm from the oven, or even with a slight chill straight from the refrigerator. It is a hearty and satisfying side dish to some of your favorite grilled fare, but can also serve as a meatless meal itself.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes for Sweet Potato Salad

I like to roast sweet potatoes for this salad. This allows the sweet potatoes to caramelize, resulting in a delicious flavor and beautiful presentation.

How to Cut Sweet Potatoes for Sweet Potato Salad

Cut the sweet potatoes into 3/4-inch cubes. They should be small enough for bite-sized portions but not so small that the cubes lose their shape in the oven while roasting.

Sweet Potato Salad Toppings

Feel free to experiment with toppings for this sweet potato salad. Instead of feta cheese, try goat cheese. Walnuts or pumpkin seeds can be used in place of the pecan halves. You can also try topping this salad with cooked lentils, black beans, corn kernels, or chopped green apple.

Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

The classic potato salad is a staple of summertime meals and picnics, so why not lighten things up a bit and try this version of sweet potato salad.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 3

    large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total)

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 packed cups

    arugula (about 2 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup

    pecan halves

  • 1/2 cup

    dried cranberries

  • 2 ounces

    feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoon

    apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon

    maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup

    olive oil

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Peel 3 large sweet potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and toss to combine. Spread out into a single layer.

  2. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir the sweet potatoes and continue to roast until tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the dressing.

  3. Place 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. While whisking constantly, gradually add 1/4 cup olive oil in a steady stream and whisk until the dressing is combined and emulsified.

  4. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Add 2 packed cups arugula, 1/2 cup pecan halves, and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Crumble 2 ounces feta cheese (about 1/2 cup) into the bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The sweet potatoes can be roasted and the dressing prepared up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in separate airtight containers. Assemble when ready to serve.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Note that if the salad has already been dressed, the longer it sits the more the vinaigrette will absorb into the sweet potatoes.