This sweet potato kale salad with spiced walnuts and a tangy walnut dressing totally fits the “hearty salad” bill. Hearty salads are a must for anyone who lives a healthy lifestyle, or at least attempts to pretends to follow a healthy lifestyle (no judgment here!).
I love how easy this kale salad recipe is to make. It is hands down the most versatile fall recipe in my little arsenal of cooking goodness. You can serve it warm or cold. It is great as a dinner side dish or as a vegan lunch.
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I have even added bacon and a runny egg- holy perfect weekend breakfast! I am huge fan of weekend breakfast salads. Is that weird? No… its good!
But the base recipe is simple ingredients and full of flavor.
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes- sweet potato, your oil of choice (we like coconut oil) paprika, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Not a sweet potato fan? Try substituting carrots.
- Spiced Walnuts- Walnuts, a bit more oil, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper gives the salad a complex smokey flavor. Try it with pecans or almonds for a twist.
- Walnut Vinaigrette- Walnut oil is the base for this dressing, it is available in most grocery stores. If you can’t find it substitute 1 tablespoon of VERY finely chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Champagne vinegar, honey (or maple syrup for vegan), dijon, fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
Looking at the recipe you might freak out thinking there are too many steps or ingredients. I promise it is way easier than it looks. The entire recipe can be made while the sweet potatoes are roasting.
First thing… you need to get the sweet potatoes roasting. Half inch cubes- no more or they take forever to roast. This is a very simple roast, a little fat, and a sprinkle of seasoning. Toss halfway through to ensure the sweet potatoes brown evenly.
Repeat with the walnuts. They only take 6 to 8 minutes to roast, keep a close eye on them. You might notice that I use smoked paprika for one and regular paprika for the other. That is mainly to keep the smoke from becoming overwhelming. You can use smoked paprika for both or for neither, your kitchen your call!
For the walnut vinaigrette - I just throw everything into a mason jar and get my shake shake booty on. Or you can be all classy and do it in a blender while you drizzle in your walnut oil.
If you want to dress up the walnut dressing you can use Fermented Garlic Honey in place of regular raw honey.
As soon as the dressing is done I get it on the kale. The vinegar will break down the leaves. The kale becomes less bitter, softens slightly but still has that crunch.
To serve topped with the cooled (just slightly) sweet potatoes and walnuts. Enjoy!
Let us know in the comments… is this hearty Sweet Potato and Kale Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette a side dish or a main course?
We hoped you loved this sweet potato salad. Here are a few more of our favorite recipes featuring sweet potatoes.
Sweet Potato and Kale Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
- 6 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup walnuts, halves
- 2 tsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1 tsp raw honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss cubed sweet potatoes with melted coconut oil and spices. Spread out sweet potatoes on a sheet pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until fork tender (but not mushy) tossing halfway through. Cool to room temperature.
- Toss walnuts with melted coconut oil and spices. Spread out a small sheet pan. Add to the oven with the sweet potatoes. Bake 8 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Place all ingredients in a covered mason job and shake until combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large bowl, toss kale with dressing. Allow the kale to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to soften. To serve, top with cooled sweet potatoes and spiced walnuts.