Sweet potato feta salad makes a perfect fall lunch or side dish for your Thanksgiving meal. Spiced, roasted sweet potatoes are tossed with kale, crumbled feta, and pepitas in a simple honey mustard dressing.
Looking for a new fall salad recipe? You'll love this sweet potato feta salad because it's made with simple ingredients but packs tons of fresh fall flavor!
While I tend to gravitate towards a hearty fall pasta salad for fall gatherings, I'm really loving this sweet potato feta salad. I made a roasted potato arugula salad for summer and decided that I needed a fall version too!
Sweet potatoes are cubed, tossed in flavorful spices, and roasted to perfection in the oven. Then, they're tossed together with kale, feta cheese, red onion, and pepitas (for a little crunch). Last, this salad is topped with a tangy honey mustard dressing that's made from scratch.
Serve sweet potato salad as a hearty fall lunch or dinner. It also makes an impressive addition to your Thanksgiving dinner table!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Sweet potatoes - You'll need about two large, or 1.5 pounds, sweet potatoes for this recipe. Sweet potatoes could be substituted with russet, red, or yukon gold potatoes, like in my roasted potato salad.
- Olive oil - Used to coat the potatoes serves and as the base of the salad dressing.
- Spices - Salt, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper add savory flavor and mild spice to the potatoes.
- Kale - Can be substituted with any in-season leafy greens that you enjoy.
- Red onion - Adds flavor to the salad. I don't recommend omitting it.
- Feta cheese - Adds a creamy texture and salty flavor to the salad.
- Pepitas - Can be substituted with sunflower seeds or chopped pecans.
- Apple cider vinegar - Can be substituted with lemon juice for a citrusy flavor.
- Dijon mustard - If you don't have dijon mustard on hand, it can be substituted with yellow mustard.
- Honey - Can be substituted with maple syrup.
- Salt & pepper - Adds flavor to the dressing.
Tips and tricks
- Bite size pieces - Cube your potatoes into small, bite size pieces. Smaller pieces roast faster in the oven and are easier to eat on a salad.
- Use a whisk - When making your salad dressing, use a whisk to help the ingredients emulsify.
- Preparing kale - Remove the ribs from your kale - this part is thick, harder to chew, and not ideal for a raw salad. Use a chef's knife to separate the center ribs from the leaves and then discard.
- Massaging kale - Kale is a tough leafy green. After it's been chopped take a minute to scrunch, or massage, your kale with clean hands. It's kind of like kneading bread. Scrunch it up and toss it around in the bowl until it looks a little darker green and feels more tender. This should take less than a minute.
Frequently asked questions
The amount of dressing in this recipe is meant to lightly coat your salad. There shouldn't be any excess pooling at the bottom of the bowl. It may not look like enough dressing until it's all tossed together.
Yes, raw kale is perfectly edible. I recommend massaging your kale before adding the remaining ingredients to tenderize it slightly. See the section above on how to prepare kale (these directions are also included in the recipe card below).
Any salad, once dressed, is best served within about a day for best texture and flavor. However, the undressed salad base will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days as a leftover. If you plan to have leftovers, dress individual portions, then store leftover salad dressing separate from the other salad ingredients.
Sweet Potato Feta Salad
- 1.5 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces curly kale
- 1 small red onion, thin sliced
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup roasted pepitas, or pecans
Honey mustard dressing:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly grease, and set aside.
- Cube sweet potatoes into small, bite size pieces and place into a large bowl. Top with olive oil, salt, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Pour out onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until potatoes can easily be pierced through with a fork.
- Meanwhile, remove ribs from kale by slicing down each side of the rib with a knife. Then, chop kale leaves into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Massage kale leaves for one minute - lightly knead and scrunch leaves with clean hands until kale appears slightly darker and more tender. Add onion, feta, and pepitas.
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine dressing ingredients: oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper.
- When potatoes are ready, add to salad ingredients and top with dressing, tossing to evenly coat. Serve warm.
- Sweet potato salad can be served warm or chilled.
- Leftover potatoes will keep for 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Dressed salad will keep for about 1 day in the refrigerator, and is best served immediately once dressed.
- To make ahead, store dressing and roasted potatoes separately from your salad. Toss to combine just before serving.