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 salads for the week.
Right, so you totally have to make this 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! 😍
So it certainly feels like we’re heading into autumn here in the UK; in fact I think we kinda skipped summer this year. 🍂🍂🍂 But never mind, because what better way to celebrate this abundant season than to whip up a warming sweet potato kale salad? This heartwarming fall 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 just take this sweet potato kale salad to the next level. I mean, what is a salad without those extra mix-ins? There is no place for boring salads here. We’ll provide you with everything you need to make an awesome salad! ❤️
I love a texture-filled salad and the contrast of warm veggies and a cool tangy dressing. 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.
I 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! I love hearing from you all 😘
What ingredients do I need?
You really don’t need many ingredients for this recipe. It’s simple, healthy and totally approachable. We love that and we know you do too. Here’s what you need:
Roasted veggies - you’ll need sweet potato and chickpeas to make this a substantial salad. 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.
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 - I love adding lots of extra mix-ins to my 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!
Want to customise it?
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 if you fancy, such as cannellini or butter beans.
Looking for more protein - I love a protein filled salad and as written there is plenty of protein in this recipe. However, you can serve this easily with grilled salmon or chicken, or why not add some crispy tofu (you can follow this crispy tofu with black rice recipe to create some tasty crispy tofu). We’ve even had this salad with quinoa stirred through it, which has been great!
How do I make the best fall kale salad?
This sweet potato kale salad can be whipped together in the time it takes to roast the veggies. Follow our easy step by step guide to make it:
- First get your 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 180C/350F, flipping halfway, until golden and tender. The chickpeas will be chewy and slightly crispy.
Tip #1 - 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.
- 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.
Tip #2 - Massaging the kale helps break down the leaves which makes them more digestible and more tender to eat.
- Place all your salad ingredients in a large bowl and pour over the dressing.
- Toss the salad together until completely dressed and serve immediately.
I mean just look at that bowl of warming sweet potato kale salad 😍
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. I 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. I highly recommend massaging the kale for 2-3 minutes until the leaves start to wilt.
Absolutely, I'd recommend just letting 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. I would also recommend adding the crunchy nuts just before eating if you can.
More autumn meals for you…
- Chicken Kale Citrus Salad with Blood Orange Dressing
- Wholesome Fall Grain Salad with Harissa Dressing
- Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder
- Creamy Chicken Sausage Skillet with Asparagus and Peas
- Indian-Spiced Parsnip & Lentil Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Pesto and Peas
- Beetroot and Blood Orange Salad with Labneh
- Beetroot Falafel Buddha Bowls
- Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup
I hope you love this sweet potato kale salad as much as we do. If you make it, be sure to leave a comment, rate the recipe and tag me on Instagram! I love to see your creations!
Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing
For the roasted veggies
For the salad
- 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 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 fine sea 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.