My job always keeps me quite busy during the month of October. My brain is fried by the time I get home, and the last thing I want to do is make a complicated meal. Paired with our unseasonably cold fall here in Chicago, I’ve been gravitating to comforting, warming meals that are simple to make. This sweet potato salad is the perfect remedy for a chilly weeknight. With cous cous, pumpkin seeds and the most wonderfully creamy and flavorful tahini dressing, it’s filling enough to be an entree salad.
Before this fall, I wasn’t very adventurous with my sweet potato preparation – I felt like it was hard to beat a baked sweet potato with some brown sugar and simply left it at that. While I’ll always love that, I decided this year to branch out a bit. When I discovered last month how good butternut squash could be in a salad, it got me thinking: why not add sweet potatoes to a salad? Not only are they naturally delicious, but their nutritional profile is also fantastic (they are a great source of calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C). They’re also a great way to make a salad heartier for the cooler months – because who wants to eat a cold salad when it’s cold out?
The sweet potatoes, when roasted with some cinnamon, paprika and salt, turn out to be the perfect combination of sweet and savory. And while I don’t normally like creamy dressings (so many are overly thick and clearly unhealthy), this dressing gets its creaminess from tahini, that wonderfully addicting sesame paste that I could eat with a spoon. Paired with the cous cous, the salad ends up having a bit of a Middle Eastern feel that I love. And while I really enjoy the salad with the pumpkin seeds, I think it would be wonderful with any nuts you have on hand – especially pine nuts, walnuts or almonds.
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of paprika
- Pinch of kosher salt
- ½ cup uncooked cous cous
- ⅛ cup pumpkin seeds
- About 4 cups of mixed greens or lettuce of choice (enough for 2 salads)
- For the dressing:
- 1 and ½ tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a baking dish, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and spices. You don't need much of the oil or spices - if you use too much oil, the potatoes won't be as crisp, and too much spice will give the potatoes a burnt taste.
- Cook potatoes for 25-30 minutes, until crisp on the outside and soft inside.
- In the meantime, prepare the cous cous according to the package instructions.
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Once the potatoes are done, let them cool about five minutes and then add to the greens, cous cous and pumpkin seeds. Toss in the dressing and serve immediately.
Note: I buy my tahini from Trader Joe’s. It already has some water and lemon in it, so it might be creamier than other tahini pastes. If yours has a thicker paste-like consistency, add a little water and more olive oil to your dressing.
Katie @ Whole Nourishment says
Beautiful one-bowl meal! I love that you roasted the sweet potato with cinnamon. I agree it’s such a hearty add-in to so many dishes – it’s certainly a staple in my house in the colder months.
Thanks, Katie! I loved the sweet potatoes with some cinnamon too – a pinch is all you need to get that great flavor!
WANT!!! Looks so delicious. I have to remember to eat before looking at your website because now I’m drooling onto my laptop.
Aww, thanks Laura! Does William like sweet potatoes? He seems to love his veggies, so maybe he’d like this!
With recipes like this, I could become a fan of even the coldest of fall days. Sweet potatoes are such a great invention. I really like the idea of adding them to an entree salad. The tahini, cous cous, and pumpkin seeds seem like perfect complements.
I heard that you had this for dinner tonight and enjoyed it! The tahini is really becoming a staple in my fridge, especially now that I know how great it is in dressings.
This is such a great combination of flavors. We used spinach as the salad greens and were very happy the way it mixed with the other ingredients. The sweet potato chunks were absolutely delicious, and when you add them along with the cous cous (and a dinner roll on the side) it turns out to be a filling meal. And the other nice thing is that we have plenty of tahini left over for similar pleasures.
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen says
I love that this salad is simple to make (not too many ingredients) but complex in taste. The tahini dressing sounds very appealing – I never added tahini to dressing but looking forward to trying. Thanks, Julia!
Thanks, Geraldine! I think you would love the tahini – it gives the dressing so much flavor and creaminess. I hope you enjoy the salad!
Another great salad that I can’t wait to try! Am making the fennel salad tonight, so this one is on the schedule for later this week. I especially am looking forward to the combination of tahini, pumpkin seeds, and sweet potato! Pumpkin seeds are one of those tasty little gems that are underappreciated, so kudos to you for including them in this recipe!
I’m so glad that you ended up enjoying the salad! Next time you’ll definitely have to try it with the pumpkin seeds – I get mine from Trader Joe’s.
Traci | Vanilla And Bean says
Hi Julia! Look at this hearty salad! Sweet potatoes are pure comfort food for me and paired with the cous cous and greens, I can see how this would come together with ease and be a perfect meal after a busy day! My mouth is watering over the spices included on the potatoes! Paprika and cinnamon, oh my! Thank you, Julia!!
Thanks, Traci! I love the spices in the potatoes, too. Not too spicy, not too sweet – but plenty of flavor! I hope you enjoy the salad 🙂
Jess @ whatjessicabakednext says
This sweet potato salad looks right up my street! Love the addition of spices, so good!
Thanks Jess! I hope you enjoy the dish.