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Packed with autumnal ingredients like sweet potato, apple, cranberry, and pecans, this harvest salad recipe is perfect for fall! It’s a wonderful stand-alone lunch, main course if you add protein, or festive side dish for special meals like Thanksgiving.

hands holding arranged fall salad on large platter

Fall brings cooler temperatures with crisp mornings and chilly evenings (that are perfect for steaming hot mugs of coffee and cozy blankets), stunning foliage, and an amazing variety of fresh seasonal produce.

I love this time of year!

Any type of fruit or vegetable that’s in season now is perfect for an autumn harvest salad. Think along the lines of apple, pear, sweet potato, winter squash, and leafy greens, such as kale, arugula, and spinach.

front view of fall harvest sweet potato salad with tahini dressing and apples in background

In this pretty salad, sweet potato is the star of the show. We roast it with a little cinnamon and a touch of cayenne for the perfect sweet and spicy flavor profile.

But the sweet potato is not to be outdone by crunchy apples, nutty pecans, tangy goat cheese, and of course our maple ginger tahini dressing!

This salad is really easy to make and the magic happens when everything comes together. I like to arrange everything and serve it on a large platter because it makes a stunning presentation.

close up top view of fall harvest salad with apple and sweet potato

The Best Fall Harvest Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

In these sections I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas. For the full recipe (including ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

Fall Harvest Sweet Potato Salad Ingredients

fall harvest sweet potato salad recipe ingredients
  • Sweet potato – or you can use yam or butternut squash
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – or avocado oil or coconut oil
  • Salt and black pepper – to season our roasted sweet potato
  • Cinnamon – this warm spice enhances the natural sweetness in sweet potato without adding sugar
  • Cayenne pepper – this adds a touch of spicy heat for balance; however, you can omit it if you prefer
  • Arugula – I like the peppery bite of arugula to balance the sweet components in this salad; however, you can use other leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, or whatever you like
  • Apple – use a crisp apple with a sweet/tart flavor that you’d enjoy eating out-of-hand; a few of my favorites are Honeycrisp, Braeburn, and Jonagold
  • Red onion – this adds more crunch and great savory onion flavor; if you prefer an even milder onion flavor, you can soak the sliced red onion in cold water for 10 minutes, drain it, and pat it dry before using
  • Pecans – pecans add nutty crunch to this fall harvest salad; you can also use walnuts or almonds, or skip the nuts if they’re not your thing
  • Goat cheese – this adds creamy texture and tangy flavor; if you aren’t a fan of goat cheese, you can substitute with crumbled feta, crumbed blue cheese, or even shredded white cheddar
  • Dried cranberries – keeping up with the autumnal theme of this salad, dried cranberries add chewy texture and bursts of sweet/tart flavor

Maple Ginger Tahini Dressing Ingredients

maple ginger tahini dressing ingredients
  • Tahini – sesame seed paste
  • Apple cider vinegar – for tart flavor
  • Pure maple syrup – I like the smoky sweetness that maple adds; you can also use honey
  • Freshly-grated ginger – this makes the dressing pop
  • Dijon mustard – for savory depth of flavor
  • Salt – to pull out the flavor of everything else
  • White pepper – I like the gingery bite that white pepper adds, but you can also use regular black pepper
  • Water – to thin out the dressing to a pour-able consistency

Instructions

How to Roast Sweet Potatoes

how to roast sweet potato cubes
  1. Peel and chop the sweet potato.
  2. Put the sweet potato cubes on a baking tray. Add the oil, salt, cinnamon, black pepper,  and cayenne pepper, toss to coat, and spread out the sweet potato evenly.
  3. Roast until the sweet potato is tender and starting to brown, about 20 minutes at 420F, flipping the cubes once halfway through.

Pro Tip: Cool the sweet potato slightly before you assemble the salad, otherwise the hot potato will wilt the arugula.

How to Make Tahini Salad Dressing

how to make maple tahini salad dressing

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. You can add additional water 1 teaspoon at a time if needed to thin out the dressing so it’s easy to pour.

Assemble the Arranged Salad

how to arrange a sweet potato salad

Spread the arugula in the bottom of a serving platter.

Arrange the roasted sweet potato cubes, sliced apple, sliced onion, pecans, goat cheese, and cranberries on top. 

Serve the salad along with the dressing to drizzle on top.

serving sweet potato salad with salad spoons

Special Diet Friendly

As written, this salad is gluten free.

To make it paleo and vegan, you can omit the goat cheese.

harvest salad in bowl on wooden table

Sweet Potato Salad Recipe FAQs

What Can You Serve with Harvest Sweet Potato Salad to Make it a Meal?

This salad is full of nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich ingredients. On its own, it’s definitely filling enough for lunch!

If you want to serve this salad as dinner, you can add any of the following to bump up the protein:

  • Chicken – grilled or roasted (or rotisserie chicken)
  • Turkey sausage – you can use bulk sausage or sausage links and brown it up
  • Canned chickpeas – rinsed and drained (or any kind of beans you like; black beans or cannellini beans would also be great); beans are a delicious economical protein option, and they’re great if you want to keep this salad vegetarian

If you want accompaniments to go along with this harvest salad recipe, here are a few things that pair well:

sweet potato apple salad with cranberries and arugula

Can Sweet Potatoes be Eaten Cold in Salad?

Yes! Roasted sweet potato is delicious warm, cold, or at room temperature in this salad recipe.

That means that you can roast the sweet potato ahead of time, so all you have to do is minimal chopping and then assemble the salad when you want to serve it. You can store roasted sweet potato covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

What Other Types of Dressing are Good with a Harvest Salad?

You aren’t limited to just this salad dressing! Here are a few other salad dressing ideas for harvest sweet potato salad:

top view of sweet potato salad with salad spoons in metal bowl

What Other Seasonal Fall Produce Can I Add to This Autumn Salad?

  • Pomegranate arils
  • Fresh figs
  • Cubed roasted butternut squash (or any type of winter squash you like)

More Seasonal Fall Salads to Try

roasted sweet potato salad recipe with apples and pecans

Let’s Connect

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Harvest Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Packed with autumnal ingredients like sweet potato, apple, cranberry, and pecans, this harvest salad recipe is perfect for fall! It’s a wonderful stand-alone lunch, main course if you add protein, or festive side dish for special meals like Thanksgiving.

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Ingredients
 

Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes:

Maple Ginger Tahini Dressing:

Harvest Salad:

  • 6 cups arugula or other leafy greens
  • 2 apples thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup pecans coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions
 

For the Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes:

  • Preheat the oven to 420F.
  • Put the sweet potato cubes on a baking tray. Add the oil, salt, cinnamon, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, toss to coat, and spread out the sweet potato evenly.
  • Roast until the sweet potato is tender and starting to brown, about 20 minutes, flipping the cubes once halfway through.
  • Cool slightly before you assemble the salad, otherwise the hot potato will wilt the arugula.

For the Maple Ginger Tahini Dressing:

  • Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. You can add additional water 1 teaspoon at a time if needed to thin out the dressing so it’s easy to pour.

To Assemble the Salad:

  • Spread the arugula in the bottom of a serving platter. Arrange the roasted sweet potato cubes, sliced apple, sliced onion, pecans, goat cheese, and cranberries on top.
  • Serve the salad along with the dressing to drizzle on top.

Video

Notes

  • Make Ahead: Roasted sweet potato is delicious warm, cold, or at room temperature in this salad recipe. You can roast the sweet potato ahead of time, so all you have to do is minimal chopping and then assemble the salad when you want to serve it. You can store roasted sweet potato covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Recipe Yield: This serves 6 as a side dish or 4 as a main course with protein added (such as a can of beans or grilled chicken).
  • Vegan and Paleo Version: Omit the goat cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 422mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 11458IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fall Harvest Salad, Fall Harvest Salad Recipe, Harvest Salad, Harvest Salad Recipe, Sweet Potato Salad, Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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One Comment

  1. Stephanie says:

    Just judging by the photo of this salad and my love for apples and sweet potatoes, I am going to love this salad. What a beautiful Autumn salad!

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