This vegan and gluten-free roasted chickpea kale salad with roasted sweet potato is easy to make in under 40 minutes and full of flavor, texture and nutrition.

A kale, roasted chickpea, sweet potato and avocado salad in a bowl.

Why Make this Salad

  • prep in advance – make the sweet potato and chickpeas in advance for quick weeknight meals
  • vegan and gluten-free – this recipe is great for those with dietary restrictions
  • rich in protein and fiber – thanks to chickpeas, sweet potato, kale and tahini, this salad is packed with nutrients make it a healthy and filling plant-based meal

What You’ll Need

Labelled ingredients for a roasted sweet potato and chickpea kale salad.
  • sweet potato: a medium to large sweet potato works, you want about 1 cup of chunks per salad
  • raw sunflower seeds: look for plain, raw sunflower seeds with nothing added to them, however, if you want some extra flavor, feel free to use roasted sunflower seeds
  • avocado: you’ll need 1 ripe avocado to make 4 salads, adjust as needed
  • kale: you’ll need 1 large bunch of kale or enough for 1 big handful per salad
  • lemon tahini sauce: the dressing is a simple mixture of tahini and lemon juice

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Make the Roasted Chickpeas

Place dry, cooked chickpeas on a baking tray and add 1/2 tsp olive oil per 2 cups of chickpeas. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop them in the oven.

Quick Tip: After you drain and rinse the chickpeas, use a dishcloth or paper towel to dry them as best as you can. Dry chickpeas work best for a crunchy result.

Cooked chickpeas sitting on paper towel.
Roasted chickpeas on a baking tray.

Step 2. Make the Roasted Sweet Potato

Cut the sweet potato into chunks, cubes or rounds, toss with a little oil then bake until browned and tender.

Roasted sweet potatoes on a baking tray.

Step 3. Prepare the Dressing

The dressing is easy to make in any bowl or container, just mix up the tahini, lemon and sea salt then slowly add water until you have a thick and creamy but pourable dressing.

Tahini dressing in a small bowl with a spoon.

Step 4. Prepare the Kale

To prepare the kale for the salads, tear the leaves away from the thick stems and finely chop them. You can discard the stems. Add 1/4 tsp olive or avocado oil and a bit of lemon juice and use your hands to massage and squeeze until softened. A couple of minutes should do the trick.


Once the kale is ready, top with avocado, sunflower seeds, roasted chickpeas, roasted sweet potato, and lemon tahini sauce.

Sprinkling sunflower seeds on a kale salad.

Expert Tips and FAQs

  • swap the greens – try spinach or mixed salad greens instead of kale
  • swap the sweet potato – try roasted squash instead of sweet potato
  • alternative dressingbalsamic vinaigrette makes a nice alternative to tahini sauce

Can I make this for meal prep?

Yes. If you’d like to make this recipe in advance, make the chickpeas, sweet potato, and tahini dressing and store until ready to assemble the salads. You can also wash and chop the kale ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Stored separately, everything will keep for up to 5 days.

If storing an assembled salad, it will keep 1-2 days in the fridge, or 2-3 days if you store the dressing separately.

Quick Tip: If storing roasted chickpeas for later, let them cool completely on the pan before storing in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Can I make this recipe oil-free?

Yes. To make this recipe oil-free, omit the oil from the chickpeas and sweet potato. The chickpeas won’t crisp up quite as well but they’ll roast just fine. Instead of massaging the kale with oil, either use a bit of lemon juice or lightly steam the kale for 1-2 minutes stovetop to soften.

Drizzling tahini sauce over a kale salad.

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A kale, roasted chickpea, sweet potato and avocado salad in a bowl.

Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

This roasted chickpea salad features sweet potato, avocado, sunflower seeds, and lemon tahini sauce. It’s creamy, flavourful and packed with flavor and nutrition. Enjoy for a healthy, filling, plant-based meal.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Roasted Chickpeas

  • 1 19 oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
  • 1/2 tsp olive or avocado oil
  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper

For the Roasted Sweet Potato

  • 1 medium to large sweet potato
  • 1 tsp olive or avocado oil

For the Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 48 tbsp water to reach desired consistency
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

For the Kale Salad

  • 4 large handfuls of de-stemmed and finely chopped kale
  • 8 tbsp sunflower seeds (2 tbsp per salad)
  • 1 ripe avocado (1/4 per salad, use more if desired)
  • hot sauce, lemon, sea salt and pepper for topping, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Drain and rinse canned chickpeas then use a dishcloth or paper towel to dry them as best as you can. Some of the skins will come off, that’s fine, there is no need to pick them out but you can if you prefer.
  3. Place the dried chickpeas on a baking tray and add the oil, salt and pepper. Roll them around to coat. 
  4. Roast for 30-40 minutes, shaking the pan after 20 minutes, until crisped and lightly browned.
  5. Cut the sweet potato into small cubes, rounds or chunks. Toss with the oil then place on a baking tray and roast in the oven (they can go in at the same time as the chickpeas) for 25-35 minutes until tender and browned.
  6. Prepare the lemon tahini sauce by whisking the lemon, tahini and 3 tbsp of water together until smooth. Slowly start adding more water until you reach a thick and creamy but pourable consistency. Season with salt, to taste.
  7. After washing the kale, tear the leaves away from the thick stems. Finely chop the leaves then drizzle with 1/4 tsp olive or avocado oil. Use your hands to massage and squeeze the kale until it starts to soften. This should take 1-2 minutes.
  8. Divide the kale between 4 bowls or containers and top each with equal amounts of the roasted chickpeas, roasted sweet potato, sunflower seeds, and avocado. Drizzle with tahini sauce and enjoy right away, topped with hot sauce, lemon and more salt and pepper, if desired. If storing, keep the sauce separate until ready to eat.
  9. Assembled salads can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days if the avocado and dressing are left off until serving.

Notes

For lightly sweetened maple tahini dressing, add 1-2 tbsp maple syrup.

If you’d like to make this recipe in advance, make the chickpeas, sweet potato, and tahini dressing and store until ready to assemble the salads. You can also wash and chop the kale ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Stored separately, everything will keep for up to 5 days.

If storing an assembled salad, it will keep 1-2 days in the fridge, or 2-3 days if you store the dressing separately.

To make this recipe oil-free, omit the oil from the chickpeas and sweet potato. The chickpeas won’t crisp up quite as well but they’ll roast just fine. Instead of massaging the kale with oil, either use a bit of lemon juice or lightly steam the kale for 1-2 minutes stovetop to soften.

Keywords: roasted chickpea salad, roasted chickpea kale salad

UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on August 13, 2017. It was updated with new photos and text on April 27, 2020.