Sweet Potato Kale Salad
This roasted sweet potato kale salad with lentils and tamari tahini dressing is healthy, flavourful and hearty enough for a meal.
This kale and roasted vegetable salad features sweet potato, carrot, red onion, beet and crispy lentils. It’s super nourishing and hearty enough to enjoy as a meal but also great as a side dish.
Whether you enjoy it with warm roasted veggies straight from the oven or make it ahead and eat cold, you’ll love the addictive creamy tahini tamari sauce paired with kale and sweet potato.
- Vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.
- Serves 4 as a main dish or 6-8 as a side salad.
- Serve warm or cold.
- Delicious, creamy tamari tahini dressing you can use for other salads, roasted vegetables and bowls.
- High in protein and high-fiber.
- Stores well so you can make it in advance for meal prep.
- Customize with different vegetables, cranberries, pecans or serve or rice or quinoa.
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Lentils: Use green, black or French lentils.
- Pepitas: Aka raw pumpkin seeds. Swap these for sunflower seeds or omit if you prefer.
- Spices: You’ll need smoked paprika and garlic powder. If you don’t have smoked paprika, regular paprika is ok.
- Olive Oil: The recipe uses a small amount of oil for the lentils, dressing and roasted vegetables. You can use avocado oil or any other cooking oil.
- Tahini: Use a smooth, drippy tahini for best results.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This could be swapped for red or white wine vinegar.
- Nutritional Yeast: Easy to find in stores or online and adds a nutty, cheesy flavour to the dressing. Be sure to use nutritional yeast, not any other kind of yeast. You can read more about nutritional yeast here.
- Tamari: Low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos would also work.
- Maple Syrup: Agave would also work.
- Vegetables: You’ll need sweet potato, carrot, red onion and beet. If you’re missing beet or carrot, no big deal. Other veggies that work here are cauliflower, potato or squash.
- Herbs: Fresh parsley or cilantro adds a nice touch to the final dish but it is optional.
Before you Start: If you don’t have cooked lentils on hand. Make those now. You’ll need 15 minutes to cook them. For convenience, you could use drained and rinsed canned lentils.
When you’re ready to proceed, preheat the oven to 400 F.
Step 1: Add the lentils, oil, paprika, garlic powder, pepitas, salt and pepper to a baking tray. Mix well to coat the lentils and seeds.
Bake the lentils for 10 minutes, then shake the pan and bake another 10 minutes.
Step 2: While the lentils are roasting, start chopping up all the veggies to prepare for roasting. This includes the carrot, red onion, sweet potato and beet.
Add to 1 or 2 baking trays in an even layer, allowing some space between the veggies so they’re not overly crowded.
Add the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Once the lentils are done, increase the oven temperature to 425 F and roast the veggies for 30-40 minutes until tender and starting to brown.
Step 3: Add all of the tahini dressing ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Alternatively, you can mix together in a container until smooth but it’s best blended to fully incorporate the ingredients.
Quick Tip: If you’re not blending the dressing, be sure to use garlic powder instead of cloves for a smooth result.
Prepare the kale as well by removing the leaves from the tough stems and chopping them into bite-sized pieces. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the kale and massage with your hands for a few minutes to soften.
Step 4: Assemble the salads.
Start by adding a base of kale to 4 serving bowls or storage containers. Divide the lentils and roasted vegetables between each serving then finish with the tamari tahini sauce.
Quick Tip: If you’re making these in advance, store the dressing separately until serving for best results.
Notes & Tips
- This can also be made as hearty bowl by serving over rice or quinoa.
- For alternative dressings, try lemon tahini dressing, miso tahini dressing or balsamic dressing.
- The salad can be made ahead of time and stored for up to 4 days in the fridge.
- Store the dressing separately and add just before serving.
- The dressing may thicken in the fridge. Stir in a little water before use to adjust the consistency if needed.
- This recipe is not suitable for freezing.
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For the Crispy Lentils
- 2 cups cooked green or black lentils or 1–19 fl oz can (344 g)
- 1/3 cup pepitas (45 g)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper
For the Dressing
- 5 tbsp tahini (75 g)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (60 ml)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (30 ml)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (25 g)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 3 cloves garlic if blending)
- 3 tablespoons tamari (45 ml)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup (25 ml)
- 3–4 tbsp water, as needed to adjust consistency
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the Bowls
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch half-moons (220 g/about 1 ¾ cups)
- 1 red onion, peeled and chopped (170 g/1 ¾ cups)
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into ½-inch cubes (625 g/4 cups)
- 1 large or 2 small beets, peeled and diced (195 g, 1 1/2 cups)
- 8 cups packed kale, finely chopped (115 g)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup cilantro or parsley, chopped, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Prepare the Crispy Lentils: Drain lentils, then place on a clean kitchen towel to dry. Add the lentils, pepitas, paprika, garlic powder, and oil to a baking pan. Season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat.
- Roast Lentils: Spread lentils and pepitas out in an even layer. Roast for 10 mins, then give them a shake and a stir and roast for another 10-12 min, until crunchy and crispy.
- Prepare Vegetables: Prepare 1 large or 2 smaller baking trays. Add the carrot, sweet potato, red onion and beet to the pans in an even layer so they’re not overly crowed (use 2 pans if needed). Add the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat.
- Roast Vegetables: When the lentils are done, increase the oven temperature to 425 F and roast the vegetables for 30-40 minutes until tender.
- Make the Dressing: Add all of the dressing ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. If you don’t have a blender available, use 1/2 garlic powder instead of garlic cloves and whisk the dressing together in a bowl until smooth.
- Prepare Kale: Remove the kale leaves from the tough stems and chop into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle the kale with 1 tsp olive oil and massage with your hands for 30 seconds or so until softened and bright green.
- Assemble Salads: Divide the kale between 4 serving bowls or storage containers. When the vegetables are ready, divide the roasted vegetables and crispy lentils between each serving. If you’re adding fresh herbs, sprinkle those on top. If you’re serving right away, drizzle the dressing over each serving and enjoy. If you’re storing for later, store the dressing separately and add just before serving.
Optional: Add 2 tbsp dried cranberries to each salad. For a variation on the crispy lentils, try adding marinated chickpeas.
To make kale sweet potato bowls, serve the salads over your choice of rice or quinoa.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 602
- Fat: 27 g
- Carbohydrates: 73 g
- Fiber: 18 g
- Protein: 23 g
Keywords: kale sweet potato salad, roasted sweet potato salad