This sweet potato kale salad is the perfect warming salad for fall. It’s easy to make and is packed full of tasty spiced roasted sweet potatoes, kale, chickpeas and apples. A great option for make ahead cosy lunches for the week, or even a great side salad for Thanksgiving.
Right, so you totally have to make this sweet potato kale salad! It’s so moreish and hits all the spots that a fall salad demands! If you are looking for a balanced, quick and easy recipe for this autumn, look no further! 😍
This heartwarming salad is packed full of tasty seasonal veggies like sweet potatoes, kale, apples and red onion. All these are dressed with a beautifully zingy maple mustard dressing. And don’t forget the mix-ins which take this sweet potato kale salad to the next level. We love vibrant and tasty salads, we've got no time for boring salads here!
We provide you with everything you need to make an awesome salad, whether that's for lunches in the week or a side for Thanksgiving! ❤️ If you love this sweet potato kale salad you'll definitely love our Beetroot Feta Walnut Salad, or White Bean Salad with Salsa Verde Dressing.
We know you’ll love this sweet potato kale salad with maple mustard dressing, so when you’ve made it, don’t forget to leave a comment and a rating below on the recipe! We love hearing from you all 😘
⭐ Why you'll love this recipe
These are some of the reasons you'll fall in love with this salad:
Healthy - this salad is full of nutritious ingredients packed with protein, fibre and vitamins which make it wholesome and good for you.
Make ahead - unlike many salads, this kale salad is easy to make ahead to save on time, especially if serving as a side for Thanksgiving.
Easy - the most complicated part of the salad is roasting the veggies and that's it, the rest is simply massage and chop. Super simple.
Seasonal - Packed full of seasonal ingredients like sweet potato and kale, this salad is perfect for the fall season.
You really don’t need many ingredients for this sweet potato kale salad recipe. It’s simple, healthy and totally approachable. We love that and we know you do too. Here’s what you need:
Roasted veggies - The bulk of the salad is sweet potato, roasted with cosy autumnal spices until tender and sweet. You'll also roast the chickpeas until they become chewy and slightly crispy. You could substitute for butternut squash or pumpkin if you prefer.
Store cupboard - You’ll need some standard store cupboard staples: olive oil, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt and black pepper for some fall sensations.
Salad base - The base of the salad is fresh raw curly kale which is massaged to start breaking it down, making it more pleasant to eat. You can use Tuscan kale (cavolo nero) too, whatever you can get your hands on. You’ll need red onion and a nice crisp apple; something like a pink lady or honeycrisp is perfect.
Mix-ins - We love adding lots of extra mix-ins to our salads for an extra pop of flavour and texture. Here we use dried sour cherries for some tart sweetness, shredded cheddar cheese for the creamy saltiness and roasted pecans for a warm nutty crunch.
Maple mustard dressing - The dressing is made up of wholegrain mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, elevating the salad to another level. This ties all of the flavours in the salad together!
Check out some of these options for how to customize this salad to your preferences:
Change up the mix-ins - try using dried blueberries, dried cranberries or chopped medjool dates instead of the sour cherries or try changing up the type of cheese; make it spicy with a Mexican cheddar or use a crumbly cheese like feta. You can also use a different roasted nut; try using hazelnuts or walnuts to mix it up a bit.
Make it vegan - this salad is very easy to make vegan, either omit the cheese or use your favourite vegan alternative.
Change the veggies - You can switch out the sweet potato for butternut squash and even try a different pulse. Instead of the chickpeas use cannellini or butter beans.
Looking for more protein - We love a protein filled salad and as written there is plenty of protein in this recipe. However, you can easily serve this with grilled salmon or chicken. Why not add some crispy tofu (you can follow this crispy tofu recipe to create some tasty crispy tofu). We’ve even had this salad with quinoa stirred through it, which has been great!
🔪 Step by step instructions
This kale salad is easily whipped together in the time it takes to roast the veggies. Follow our easy step by step guide to make it:
- Place the prepared sweet potato and chickpeas on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle over the spices. Toss together gently until everything is well coated in the oil and spices, then spread out into an even layer.
- Bake the veggies for 30 minutes at 180oC/350oF, flipping halfway, until golden and tender. The chickpeas will be chewy and slightly crispy.
- Put all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
- Sprinkle the kale with some salt and massage for a couple minutes to start to break down the kale.
- Place all your salad ingredients in a large bowl and pour over the dressing.
- Toss the salad together until completely dressed and serve immediately.
👩🍳 Expert tips
Follow these simple tips to ensure success with this sweet potato salad:
Dry - Make sure that you pat dry the chickpeas with a paper towel to remove any extra moisture as if you leave too much on, they won't crisp up.
Massage - Massaging the kale helps break down the leaves which makes them more digestible and more tender to eat.
Make ahead - This salad is easy to make ahead, just let the roasted veg cool and then dress just before serving.
Temperature - You can definitely eat this salad cold. But if you want it extra cosy, then eat it as soon as you finish roasting the veggies for a nice warm salad. This is absolutely the kind of salad which leaves you feeling full and satisfied - perfect for these cooler days.
💭 Recipe FAQs
This salad keeps well for up to 4 days stored in the fridge in an airtight container, perfect for packed lunches or meal prep. This salad really holds up well in the fridge and keeps its flavour. We would recommend taking it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes before eating so it isn’t fridge cold and the flavours will be better.
Kale can be quite fibrous and tough; the process of massaging starts the process of breaking it down. Breaking it down is important to make it tender and easier to chew and also makes it more digestible. We highly recommend massaging the kale for 2-3 minutes until the leaves start to wilt.
Absolutely, we'd recommend you let the roasted veggies cool, then toss the salad together and box it up. When you are ready to eat it, bring it to room temperature and dress the salad just before eating. We would also recommend adding the crunchy nuts just before eating if you can.
🥗 Related recipes
Love this sweet potato kale salad recipe? Then you definitely want to check out more of our salad recipes. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
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Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing
For the roasted veggies
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into ½” chunks
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 400 g (15oz)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- ¼ cup pecans
- 6-7 cups curly kale, shredded, 200g
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 apple, chopped or sliced
- ¼ cup dried sour cherries
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
For the dressing
- 4 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the sweet potatoes and chickpeas to the prepared baking sheet with the olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.1 large sweet potato, 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Toss to coat and spread out evenly on the pan.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until tender, tossing halfway through the cooking time. Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes whilst the sweet potatoes are cooking. Set aside.¼ cup pecans
- Massage the kale with a pinch of salt.6-7 cups curly kale, shredded
- Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until combined.4 teaspoons wholegrain mustard, 4 teaspoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Add all the salad ingredients into a large mixing bowl and pour over the dressing. Add the roasted sweet potato and chickpeas.¼ cup pecans, 6-7 cups curly kale, shredded, ½ red onion, 1 apple, ¼ cup dried sour cherries, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Toss together until all the salad is fully dressed and serve immediately.
- Be sure to dry the chickpeas after rinsing with kitchen paper, otherwise they won't crisp up.
- Make ahead of time by letting the veggies cool and tossing together. Dress just before serving.
- Eat warm or cold, whichever takes your fancy.
Patricia T Osterhaus says
I make this over and over again!
Love the flavour combination. Plus the pecans add such a nice texture and toasty flavour.
Love the flavors in this! So tasty!
This kale salad was so warming and full of flavour! Getting me really in the mood for fall!