This Roasted Sweet Potato Spinach Salad with Maple-Glazed Walnuts, Pomegranate and Bacon makes a wholesome lunch or a festive fall salad for a holiday dinner. Caramelized sweet potatoes, maple-glazed walnuts, pomegranate arils and crumbled bacon . . . who could resist this tasty fall salad?
This Roasted Sweet Potato Spinach Salad is an ideal salad to include in one of your holiday dinners. It has a beautiful balance of savoury and sweet. Caramelized sweet potatoes, maple-glazed walnuts, pomegranate arils and crumbled bacon . . . who could resist this tasty fall salad?
I'm making room amid all the cookies and tarts for some healthy greens this week with this Roasted Sweet Potato Spinach Salad!
The last few weeks before Christmas are my favourite days of the year. They're filled with checklists of all the things we like to do . . . and bake . . . and eat! Sweets and chocolate seem to creep into our diet.
While we love our traditional Christmas favourites (butter tarts, and gingerbread cookies, I'm looking at you) a nutritious bowl of greens is always a good idea. This autumn salad is topped with maple-glazed walnuts, pomegranate and a sprinkle of bacon bits. It makes a welcome lunch amid all the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Before we get to the full recipe for this healthy spinach salad with roasted sweet potatoes, here are a few notes about the ingredients.
- sweet potatoes: choose small tubular shaped potatoes that you can slice into small rounds
- spinach: baby spinach leaves are best for salad
- romaine: crisp crunchy leaves provide structure to the salad. You could substitute finely chopped and massaged kale, or even iceberg lettuce.
- walnuts: glazed with maple syrup (you can sub pecans if you'd prefer)
- pomegranate arils: for natural sweetness, colour, and a festive touch!
- bacon: hormone-free, nitrate-free, cooked until crisp. Leave the bacon out if you want to keep this recipe vegan.
Start by combining the Honey-Dijon Dressing ingredients. Shake in a small jar, then set aside to allow flavours to blend.
Next, caramelize the sweet potatoes in the oven. (see Tip below).
Cook two strips of bacon in a skillet, or bake them in the oven alongside the sweet potatoes. When almost crisp, remove from oven and drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, heat walnuts (or pecans if you prefer) in a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Toast for 4-5 minutes or just until they become fragrant, then toss with a little maple syrup. Spread them on a small piece of parchment paper to cool, then break apart.
Arrange this salad with roasted sweet potatoes in individual bowls or in a large serving bowl or platter.
Layer the greens, sweet potatoes, maple-glazed walnuts, pomegranate arils, and crumbled bacon bits, then drizzle and toss with this light, lemony Honey-Dijon dressing just before serving. (Omit the bacon to keep this salad vegan.)
👍🏼 Tip #1: How to make the best roasted sweet potatoes
- Caramelizing sweet potatoes by roasting them in the oven makes them incredibly flavourful. I've found the best way to get that crispy exterior is to roast them in a very hot oven.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F or 425°F. Heat an empty baking pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Toss the sweet potatoes in a little olive oil (not too much) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Arrange them on the hot pan in a single layer, spreading them out so they're not touching one another. Listen to them sizzle as they hit the hot pan (crispy edges coming right up!), then roast in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, turning once halfway through.
👍🏼Tip #2: How to choose the best sweet potatoes
Look for small sweet potatoes. They should feel firm and the skin should be smooth with no cracks. Sometimes you can find baby sweet potatoes, for example, in this recipe for Baby Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Herb Butter.
Enjoy this nourishing wholesome salad to keep you healthy at this busy time of year! Check 15 Best Winter Salad Recipes for more salad ideas!
❤️Love sweet potatoes? Try these recipes, too.
Chipotle Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup
Smoky Sweet Potato Wedges
Sweet Potato Frittata with Fresh Salsa
Hoisin Orange Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
Make-Ahead Duchess Sweet Potatoes
Baby Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Herb Butter
🗒 More salad recipes
Roasted Sweet Potato Spinach Salad with Maple Walnuts and Bacon
- 2 small sweet potatoes
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 2 cups chopped romaine, or finely chopped kale
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1.5 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- 2 slices bacon nitrate-free, cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients for Honey-Dijon Dressing in a small jar. Set aside to allow flavours to blend.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. When hot, place a baking tray in the oven to heat. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into rounds ½ inch thick. If potatoes are large, slice into half circles or even quarter circles. In a medium bowl, toss with 1 ½ teaspoons of olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Remove the hot tray from the oven using oven mitts and arrange the sweet potatoes so they don't touch each other. Return the baking sheet to the oven. Roast for 20 - 25 minutes or until tender, turning over half way through roasting time. For crispy edges, place under the broiler for 2 - 3 minutes, watching carefully.
- Cook two strips of bacon in a skillet, or bake them in the oven alongside the sweet potatoes. When almost crisp, remove from oven and drain on paper towels.
- Toast walnuts in a small skillet for 4 - 5 minutes, just until they become fragrant. Toss with 1 ½ teaspoons pure maple syrup. Let cool on a sheet of parchment paper and break apart when cool.
- Wash and dry spinach and chopped romaine. Arrange in bowls or on a serving platter, topping with maple-glazed walnuts, pomegranate arils, roasted sweet potatoes and crumbled bacon bits. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.