Sweet Potato Salad

When you're having a manic Monday ... or Tuesday ... or Wednesday (Um, how did all of our days get to be so manic?) it's easy to look up and realize, first, that it's already 2 p.m., and second, that you're ravenous. To keep from reaching for unhealthy choices like chips to tide you over, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Jaime Shelbert of Wholly Nourished has an easy tip: Prep some plant-based lunches in advance. That's exactly what she had in mind when she created this sweet potato and chickpea salad, tossed with a luscious tahini dressing.

"I wanted an easy, flavorful dish that I could prepare at the beginning of the week and eat for lunch the rest of the week," she explains. This salad is filling and delicious, but it's also healthy and nutritious. Sweet potatoes are chock-full of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A that's essential for eye health (via Healthline). Chickpeas, meanwhile, have a protein and fiber one-two punch, ensuring that you stay full until dinnertime.

Gather the ingredients for sweet potato salad

This salad relies on just a handful of ingredients to season up the stars of sweet potato and canned chickpeas: a few pantry staple spices — cumin, pepper, and garlic powder — as well as some diced red onion and parsley for color and crunch. You'll also need tahini, garlic, and lemon juice for the dressing. Shelbert prefers a runny tahini, which will drizzle easily over the salad once loosened with the bright lemon juice.

Chop and roast the sweet potatoes for the sweet potato salad

The first step is the longest. First, you'll need to peel and chop your sweet potatoes into a ½-inch dice. Then, you'll roast them. Luckily, you'll be cubing them fairly small, so they cook up relatively quickly in just 20 minutes. Toss them in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast in one even layer at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. They'll emerge tender on the inside and nicely golden brown and caramelized on the outside. Set them aside to cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.

Toast the chickpeas for the sweet potato salad

On their own, chickpeas are delightfully tender, but for this salad, they're going to take on a wonderful crunch. Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet and add the chickpeas, seasoning them with the garlic powder, cumin, and salt. Toast, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and crisp.

Consider making a double batch of these. Any extras make a wonderful crunchy snack in place of chips or peanuts!

Make the tahini dressing for the sweet potato salad

The dressing for this salad couldn't be easier: simply combine the rich tahini with lemon juice and a touch of warm water to thin it out to a drizzle-able consistency. Then, add the garlic, salt, and cracked black pepper, and stir until incorporated.

While Shelbert prefers runny tahini for this, if all you have at home is the thicker stuff, don't worry. You may just need a bit more water (and a bit more stirring) to achieve that smooth, creamy texture you need. And since tahini is so aromatic to begin with, any added water won't hurt or risk diminishing its flavor, according to Shelbert.

Assemble the sweet potato salad

That's it! It's time to assemble and eat. Combine the roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas, diced red onion, and tahini dressing in a large bowl, and toss until combined. Then, stir in the parsley, and serve on a bed of greens (Shelbert likes arugula or dark leafy greens). Top with some sunflower seeds if you'd like for added crunch.

This salad is great served warm, but Shelbert prefers it after the ingredients have slightly cooled. And while it makes an excellent lunch, it can be a great dinnertime treat as well, according to Shelbert. "Just add a side of quinoa or brown rice and a large salad, and you're all set with a balanced, plant-based meal!"

Sweet Potato Salad
4.9 from 30 ratings
This sweet potato and chickpea salad is tossed with a luscious tahini dressing, making it a truly delicious plant-based lunch.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
4
servings
sweet potato salad
Total time: 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into a ½-inch dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ red onion, diced (about ⅓ cup)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons runny tahini
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons warm water
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
Optional Ingredients
  • sunflower seeds, for topping
  • bed of greens, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel and chop sweet potato into a ½-inch dice. Toss the chopped sweet potato with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 20 minutes, until lightly browned and soft when pierced with a fork.
  3. Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add 1 can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained) and season with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of cumin, and a sprinkle of salt.
  5. Toast the chickpeas for four to five minutes, until golden brown. Remove from heat.
  6. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of runny tahini with 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and warm water (start with 2 tablespoons of water and increase until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency).
  7. Add the minced garlic, salt, and cracked black pepper to the tahini mixture. Stir until incorporated.
  8. In a large bowl, combine the roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas, diced red onion, and tahini dressing. Toss until combined.
  9. Stir in the parsley.
  10. Top with sunflower seeds and serve on a bed of greens.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 253
Total Fat 9.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 35.0 g
Dietary Fiber 9.0 g
Total Sugars 6.4 g
Sodium 433.3 mg
Protein 9.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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