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Favorite Fall Salad

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This roasted sweet potato and arugula salad recipe features some of my favorite fall flavors and always tastes so delicious this time of year.

Favorite Fall Salad

Things are finally (fi-na-lly!) cooling off here in Barcelona this week after the summer’s unrelenting heat wave, which of course instantly has me craving all of my nostalgic fall faves…including this yummy roasted sweet potato and arugula salad. ♡

It’s a simple one that you could easily make anytime of year. But the combination of roasted potatoes, tart dried cranberries and toasted pecans always feels so quintessentially “fall” to me. And when combined with fresh peppery arugula, creamy avocado, tangy goat cheese (or whatever cheese you love best), and a zippy lemon dressing, this salad hits the perfect balance between cozy and hearty yet still fresh and light, which feels just perfect for these sometimes-warm, sometimes-cool days we’re enjoying right now as we move into the new season ahead.

Here in our house, we most often serve this as an entrée salad, but it would also make a lovely side dish for a dinner or holiday meal if you’d like. And if you feel like adding in an extra protein, some grilled chicken or bacon would be delicious mixed in too.

Let’s make some salad together!

Favorite Fall Salad Ingredients

Favorite Fall Salad Ingredients

To make this delicious roasted sweet potato and arugula salad, you will need:

  • Sweet potatoes: You’re welcome to peel or leave these unpeeled. We’ll then dice them into 1/2-inch cubes, toss with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and roast until tender.
  • Greens: I’m partial to the peppery flavor of fresh arugula in this salad, but you could also use baby kale (or other varieties of kale), baby spinach, or any other salad greens that you prefer.
  • Avocado: Feel free to dice or thinly slice the avocado, which adds a lovely creaminess to the salad.
  • Crumbled cheese: I love the tart and tangy flavor of goat cheese in this salad, but feta, blue, cheddar, or Manchego cheese would be delicious alternatives too.
  • Nuts: Just about any of your favorite nuts or seeds will work well in this salad — pecans, walnuts, almonds, pepitas, you choose!
  • Dried berries: Dried cranberries always feel so quintessentially fall-ish to me, but dried cherries, raisins or even apricots would work well too.
  • Dressing: My everyday salad dressing goes beautifully with this salad, made with a quick blend of olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, salt and pepper.

Step by step instructions for how to make favorite fall salad

Recipe Variations

There are so many delicious ways that you can customize this fall salad recipe, so please feel free to make it your own! For example, you are welcome to…

  • Add a protein: Cooked chicken, bacon, steak, shrimp or tofu would be delicious mixed in here.
  • Add other mix-ins: Extra roasted veggies (such as beets, butternut squash, carrots, fennel, green beans or pumpkin), extra fresh veggies (bell pepper, radishes, red onion), rice or grains (quinoa, farro, wild rice), beans, olives, or sun-dried tomatoes would be other fun options for mix-ins.
  • Use a different dressing: I also love making this salad with my dreamy tahini dressing for a different spin on the recipe.
  • Make it vegan: Swap your favorite vegan cheese in place of goat cheese, or omit the cheese altogether and add in a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Favorite Fall Salad in Bowl with Lemon Vinaigrette

More Favorite Salad Recipes

Looking for more green salad recipes to enjoy this season? Here are a few of my faves:

Sweet Potato and Arugula Salad Closeup

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Feel-Good Fall Salad

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x

Description

This Favorite Fall Salad recipe is made with the most delicious collection of vibrant, seasonal, simple ingredients.


Ingredients

Scale

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 5 ounces arugula or baby kale
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (or feta or blue cheese)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. To Make The Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl (or shake together in a mason jar) until combined.  Use immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
  2. To Roast The Potatoes: Heat oven to 400°F.  Spread the diced sweet potatoes out on a medium baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil, and toss until the sweet potatoes are evenly coated.  Season the sweet potatoes generously with salt and pepper.  Then bake for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and lightly browned/caramelized around the edges..  Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. To Assemble The Salad: Once the sweet potatoes are ready to go, add them to a large serving bowl along with the arugula, avocado, goat cheese, nuts and cranberries.  Drizzle with the dressing, and toss until combined.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

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42 comments on “Favorite Fall Salad”

  1. which olive oil is should use extra virgin or pomace olive oil

  2. This looks fabulous! I will taste test with the resident “picky eater” who insists he is not picky and tell you how it goes. I know I will love it!

  3. This salad sounds great. I would definitely add protein to make it a whole meal. I am wondering if your 4-6 servings is 4 mains or 6 side salads? I would not want to toss the whole thing with dressing if it’s 4 mains, because I’m feeding only two people.

  4. This looked so good that I had to make it for supper tonight! It was delicious! I loved the creaminess of the avocado and goat cheese, together with the sweetness of the sweet potato. I served mine with kale instead of arugula. Gold!

  5. great salad, sweet potatoes, yes, my favorite, nice dressing too that hits a lot of flavor highpoints, thank you!

  6. Made this tonight for my husband and me and we both agreed it was delicious! Thanks!

  7. This is a delicious salad! The dressing provides just enough tartness. I used roasted beets instead of sweet potatoes because that is what I had. Everyone loved it!!

  8. When you say “serve immediately,” you mean it! The flavors in this salad are wonderful, but mine became gloppy in the few minutes it sat on the table while we ate our soup. Everyone loved it anyway but agreed that the arugula was a mess. When I make it again–and I will–I will either use a heartier green (like spinach) or mix the dressing with all of the ingredients except the arugula and serve the dressed salad on individual beds of greens. Delicious!

  9. LOVED this. Perfect combination of flavors.

  10. We like a complex in terms of texture salad for Thanksgiving. This one delivered. Not hard to make and easy to adjust to preferences (feta vs goat cheese). Very tasty as breakfast with a fried egg.

  11. I’m very curious about the taste of scrumptious appearance. thanks

  12. This has been a GimmeSomeOven week! This wonderful fall salad full of so much flavor made the menu in addition to my all time favorite zuppa toscana soup (which was a huge hit as always), your chocolate chip cookies and my sister-in-law even surprised us with your baked ziti! Everything was so wonderful! To top it off, my husband and I had an awesome time getting to know Barclay at the O’Hara’s annual Snow Globe Concert! It wasn’t until last year when I put two and two together that GimmeSomeOven and the Snow Globes went together! Nothing better than good food and music to get in the Christmas Spirit! ?

  13. Certainly deserves the name! This salad is delicious, and its fantastic mix of ingredients make it . I love that it it is so easy to make, and the ingredients are easy to gather and the nutritional content is quite enriching.

  14. I have made this several times now and it’s always a hit! Anything with sweet potatoes, avocado, and goat cheese has to be a winner!

  15. This recipe was delicious! I tweaked it a little – used a 50/50 mix of arugula and spinach, added red onion and sundried tomatoes, and I used pine nuts instead of pecans (I had them in the fridge). It was so flavorful, and very filling. Next time I’ll add shrimp or chicken for some more protein, but even on its own it was very good!

  16. Thanks so much for your help

  17. Absolutely delicious! Made it for dinner with your baked tofu and my husband and two kids loved it. The salad dressing was also a hit.

  18. Made it twice in one week and ate it all myself! Can’t wait until “fall is in the air” for it. One of my all time favs of yours.

  19. Excellent Recipe! I will post this recipe on my Facebook page with a link. (I hope That’s ok) I took a photo of my salad to post also. This was delicious, filling and healthy. Thank you!

  20. I made this salad for a fall bridal luncheon. Everyone loved it. The only change I made was to make a different dressing also from your website. The Maple Balsamic dressing is outstanding with it!!

  21. This salad has been getting rave reviews everywhere I go! Happy to have this combination in my salad repertoire.

  22. Very rich with avocados, goat cheese and sweet potatoes overwhelming the greens a bit. Need more crunch like croutons, or additional crunchy greens. Great flavors though.

  23. thanks for such a delicious recipe. When I meet with my daughters, I look forward to trying with them.

  24. I used tart dried cherries I had on hand and butternut squash ribbons pre-prepped from the store. Both substitutions worked great!

  25. this salad is fantastic!! the flavors are amazing and it truly feels like a fall salad! thank you for sharing it! :)

  26. This is absolutely delightful! I used both kale and arugula. Thank you for the recipe!

  27. Delicious salad. Made it with roasted butternut squash instead of sweet potato, also added sliced red bell pepper.

  28. This salad is soooo good! I love the combination of ingredients and the dressing is awesome! I love it!

  29. Great tasting recipe. Will definitely become a regular meal option. The salad dressing was super easy to make and delicious – No need for store bought. Also made blogger’s butternut squash soup. Equally delicious!

  30. This was so good, I followed the recipe exactly :-) I plan on making this for Thanksgiving!

  31. Made it again today! How many years has it been since you launched your blog and invited your co-workers to take a look? At any rate, that’s how long I have been obsessed with your salad recipes. This one is yet another winner!

  32. Absolutely delicious!! What a great combination of flavors. I also roasted some red onion with the sweet potato! Yum.

  33. I’ve never left a reply before on Pinterest or anything for that matter but felled compelled to write one tonight! I made this for my finicky family and they loved it! All 5 of us!
    I sautéed some shrimp in a cast iron skillet and served on the side since my 17 year old doesn’t like shrimp. The rest of us put it on our salads. Everyone went crazy for it. That never happens. The same 17 year old hates nuts in her food but said she didn’t mind. Probably because I chopped them up really small.
    This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  34. The combination of flavors in this salad is simply outstanding! I made it with feta and it was perfect. It is delicious year-round.

  35. Looks so good! I’m making this tonight for dinner?

  36. I’m thinking about making this advance by roasting the sweet potatoes and refrigerating them. Then taking all of the ingredients to assemble later for a dinner party I’m attending. Any downside to this idea? Thanks!

  37. This is a delicious fall salad. I used butternut squash and pomegranate tendrils but everything else was the same. Delicious!

  38. Looks so delicious! I can’t wait to make this salad!!

  39. Such a good salad!

  40. This is one of our all time favorites! Thank you for this recipe!

  41. So delicious and flavorful!
    Thanks for sharing!