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This Summer Sweet Potato Salad is a welcome addition to any barbecue or backyard party. Made with sautéed sweet potatoes, avocado, black beans, and a homemade spicy dressing, this loaded southwest salad is ready to eat in under 15 minutes!
There’s always room for a fresh summer salad on the picnic table, especially when it’s loaded with sweet potatoes, black beans, and cheese!
My tasty Summer Sweet Potato Salad is loaded with all the good stuff: sautéed sweet potatoes, avocado, juicy tomatoes, black beans, and a homemade spicy avocado dressing. It’s a vegetarian meal or side dish that’s easy to put together and ready in under 15 minutes.
Naturally gluten-free and easily made dairy-free, this salad is a perfect combination of spiciness, creaminess, acidity, and earthy sweetness. You can even play with the flavors! Mix in as many veggies or beans as you like, swap the dressing for a chipotle yogurt dressing, or serve it warm or cold.
- Naturally gluten-free and can easily be made dairy-free and vegan.
- Easy to make ahead of time.
- Packed with flavorful and nutritious summer veggies.
- Sweet potato - Sautéed sweet potato cubes give the salad an earthy sweetness that contrasts well with the other light and fresh flavors. The potatoes can easily be grilled, roasted, or air fried if you prefer.
- Grape tomatoes - For a pop of color, brightness, and acidity in this fun salad.
- Black beans - Keep them cold or warm up the beans in the microwave or on the stovetop before adding them to the salad.
- Feta cheese - A bit of crumbled cheese, whether it’s regular feta, a vegan substitute, goat cheese, or cotija cheese, add a nice saltiness and creaminess.
- Romaine lettuce - You can use any kind of lettuce in this salad. Iceberg, baby spinach, or butterhead lettuce would all work nicely.
- Avocado - Creamy sliced avocado helps to break up the crunchy texture of the lettuce and sunflower seeds.
- Avocado cashew dressing - This creamy avocado dressing is vegan friendly and has a hint of spice thanks to the fresh jalapeno. Lime juice and cilantro infuse tangy flavors and help to cool down the spicy flavors.
Step 1: Cook the sweet potatoes. Heat up a skillet with oil and add the sweet potato cubes. Cook until they’re golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside.
Step 2: Prepare the lettuce and mix-ins. Divide your chopped romaine lettuce between two bowls. Add a generous sprinkle of grape tomatoes, black beans, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds to each.
Step 3: Assemble the salad. Top the finished salads with the cooked sweet potatoes, avocado, and a drizzle of spicy avocado dressing.
Expert tips and tricks
- This salad is best served with creamy dressings, so feel free to mix it up by swapping the spicy avocado dressing for ranch, Caesar, or a not-so-spicy avocado cilantro dressing.
- Get creative with your salad add-ins. Grilled corn, red onion, sliced bell pepper, or diced cucumber will all freshen up this salad.
- Not a fan of sunflower seeds? You can easily use pepitas or pine nuts instead.
Should the sweet potatoes be peeled?
It’s up to you! Keep the peel on if you’d like to save time and get a bit of crunch from the crispy skin. Otherwise, peel away.
Can I roast the sweet potato in the oven?
To roast the potatoes, toss the cubes in olive oil and spread them on a baking sheet. Roast in a 425°F oven for 30 minutes, stirring half way through.
Can I grill the sweet potato?
Nothing says “summertime” quite like grilled veggies. You can grill the cubed sweet potatoes on a grill pan or cut them into discs to grill right on the grate. Drizzle with olive oil and grill them over medium heat for 10 minutes or until soft.
Can this be made in advance?
Yes! First, chop the tomatoes and lettuce beforehand and store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge. You can do the same with the black beans, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds. The potatoes can be cooked 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
Assemble all of the pieces of the salad with the avocado and dressing no more than 1 hour before serving. This helps the lettuce and veggies stay crisp and fresh.
What pairs well with sweet potato salad?
This versatile salad is a delicious part of any summer meal. Serve it next to your favorite grilled entrees, such as grilled chicken thighs or lamb burgers. Otherwise, skip the meat and make this salad a fresh start to the vegetarian meal before the cauliflower quinoa “meatballs” or vegan stuffed peppers come out.
More summer salads
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Summer Sweet Potato Salad
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups sweet potatoes peeled and diced
- 4 cups romaine lettuce or more
- 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced
- 1/2 cup black beans rinsed
- 2 tbsp feta cheese optional, regular or vegan
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 avocado
- spicy avocado dressing
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring often, until they're golden brown on the outside and can easily be pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, divide the lettuce amongst 2 bowls/plates, then top it with the tomatoes, beans, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, divide them amongst the bowls, then add the avocado and drizzle with my spicy avocado dressing (or dressing of your choice). Enjoy!