Sweet Potato Salad on a platter
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5 from 2 votes

Sweet Potato Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

A festive salad made with spinach, roasted sweet potato, cranberries, candied pecans, and white beans. Topped with a simple lemon vinaigrette, this salad is a full meal or a great side dish for the holiday season.
Yield: serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Roasted sweet potato salad, Spinach salad
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 650kcal
Author: Lori Rasmussen


Roasted sweet potatoes:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 5/8 inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp high heat oil such as walnut or grapeseed Omit for oil-free
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, optional
  • sea salt

For the salad:

  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced Tip: if your onion smells strong, soak the slices in water while preparing the rest of the dish. Drain before using.
  • 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained Or sub 2 cups of your favorite cooked bean
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries See notes re: sugar and oil in dried cranberries.

Lemon vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 small lemons)
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil For oil-free, try my Lemon-Chia Dressing or sub tahini or cashew butter for the olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • black pepper

Candied pecans:

  • 1 1/3 cups raw pecan halves
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp tamari Can sub soy sauce or shoyu if not GF
  • black pepper


Roast the sweet potatoes:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss sweet potato with the oil, smoked paprika, and salt, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping at the halfway point. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Make the dressing and marinate the beans:

  • Combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small jar, and shake vigorously. *If subbing cashew butter or tahini for the oil, you'll need to whisk the ingredients to combine. Add a splash of water for consistency if needed.
    Place the beans in a small bowl. Pour about 1/4 of the dressing over the beans. Stir to coat; set aside.

Quick-candied pecans:

  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Toast the pecans for 1 to 2 minutes, frequently stirring or shaking the pan. Drizzle with the maple syrup and soy sauce, and stir to coat. Sprinkle with black pepper. Stir frequently, and cook for another minute or until the soy sauce and maple seem mostly evaporated.
  • The pecans will be sticky. Transfer to a plate, and spread them out to cool.

Assemble the salad:

  • In a large serving bowl toss the spinach, onion, and cranberries with a small amount of dressing. Add the sweet potato, beans, and cooled pecans (use your hands to break them apart and crumble onto the salad). Drizzle with more vinaigrette, or serve the dressing on the side.


You may not need all of the pecans for the salad (save leftovers for a snack).
Once dressed with vinaigrette, the salad is best served immediately.  
For meal prep, store salad components and vinaigrette separately. Store salad in the refrigerator for up to 4 days; lemon dressing will keep up to a week.
Dried cranberries usually contain oil and sugar. If you strictly avoid these I recommend substituting dried cherries, apricots or raisins. 
Nutrition facts represent include the use of oil for roasting the sweet potato and in the vinaigrette. 
Nutrition Facts
Sweet Potato Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Amount Per Serving
Calories 650 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Carbohydrates 77g26%
Fiber 14g56%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 546IU11%
Vitamin C 76mg92%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 28mg156%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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