This sweet potato salad is perfect for fall. It's made with roasted sweet potatoes, arugula or spinach, toasted pecans, cranberries, and a delicious brown butter vinaigrette. It's irresistible!

A big, white bowl filled with arugula and sweet potato salad on a blue table.

Let's celebrate all things autumn with a roasted sweet potato salad. 

5 reasons you'll fall in love with this sweet potato salad

  1. Lightly spiced roasted sweet potatoes that taste like autumn candy
  2. Toasted pecans. ← put your hand up if you agree that they're the best nuts ever.
  3. Light and peppery arugula. 
  4. Sweet cranberries and spicy red onion.
  5. BROWN BUTTER salad dressing. Yes, it's totally worth yelling about. 

Spiced roasted sweet potatoes on a baking sheet.

How to make this sweet potato salad recipe

While making this sweet potato salad is relatively easy, it does involve a few steps. Luckily, most of the prep work can be done while the sweet potatoes are roasting so the salad comes together pretty quickly.

  1. Chop, season, and roast the sweet potatoes and pecans.
  2. Make the vinaigrette. So good that it even has a recipe post of its own.
  3. Toss everything together in a big bowl.

Make the brown butter dressing

The only part of making this recipe that might feel a bit tricky is making the brown butter. Don't worry though, it's very easy. The only thing you need to make sure you do is to keep a close eye on it. Don't walk away from the stove. Don't check your text messages. Watch the butter.

First, the butter will melt.

Second, the butter will foam like crazy.

Third, the butter will brown.

When it's in the foaming stage, start stirring it slowly, This is partly to mix it around so it browns evenly but also to move the foam aside so you can see it browning. Once there are lots of golden brown bits it the butter, remove the pan from the heat. Note: some people strain the brown bits from the butter but I find this picky and totally unnecessary. Save yourself the work and keep them in the butter. 

A close up of a fork in this sweet potato salad recipe.

What to serve with roasted sweet potato salad

This is a filling salad recipe that can easily be eaten on its own as a lunch or light dinner. As part of a full meal, all it needs is a simple protein and your dinner is done.

I like to serve it with either my Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts or my Juicy Baked Pork Chops. Both can be cooked in the oven along with the sweet potatoes so dinner can be ready quickly.

For an easy meal, but one pretty enough to serve to company, try this Roasted Parmesan Crusted Chicken or this Lemon Herb Butter Roast Chicken.

Maple brown butter vinaigrette being poured over sweet potato salad.

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Favorite Fall Salad Recipes

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A big, white bowl filled with arugula and sweet potato salad on a blue table.

Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Brown Butter Vinaigrette

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This sweet potato salad is perfect for fall. It's made with roasted sweet potatoes, arugula or spinach, toasted pecans, cranberries, and a delicious brown butter vinaigrette. It's irresistible!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: garlic powder and salt
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 5 ounces baby arugula (can sub baby spinach)
  • 1/3 cup juice-sweetened cranberries
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions

Brown Butter Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard

Instructions

Sweet Potato Salad

  1. Preheat your oven to 420 degrees.
  2. Place the sweet potato cubes on a large baking tray and toss with the olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Place the pecans on a seperate baking tray and toast them in the oven (at the same time as the sweet potatoes) for 5 minutes. Let them cool slightly then coarsely chop them.
  4. Make the brown butter dressing (recipe below) while the sweet potatoes are roasting.
  5. Place the arugula, cranberries, red onions, chopped pecans, and roasted sweet potatoes in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Brown Butter Vinaigrette

  1. Melt the butter in a small frying pan over high heat. Once it begins to foam, stir it and watch it carefully, it will brown in 1-2 minutes. Stir the butter a few times to ensure it browns evenly. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the avocado oil to the pan then and set it aside for the butter to cool slightly.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard. Slowly drizzle in the brown butter and oil, whisking the entire time. Once all the oil and butter have been added, whisk the dressing quickly for several seconds so it becomes creamy.
  3. Store the dressing at room temperature until you are ready to use it.

Notes

Make sure to choose an oil for the vinaigrette that does not harden in the cold – grapeseed, canola, and sunflower oil are a few to choose from.

Delicious additions:

  • Goat cheese or feta cheese
  • Crispy bacon
  • Salty pumpkin seeds
  • Baby kale or spinach instead of arugula

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A plate filled with arugula and sweet potato salad with the recipe title on top of the picture.