This roasted sweet potato and arugula salad recipe features some of my favorite fall flavors and always tastes so delicious this time of year.
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
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.
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.
More Favorite Salad Recipes
Looking for more green salad recipes to enjoy this season? Here are a few of my faves:
This Favorite Fall Salad recipe is made with the most delicious collection of vibrant, seasonal, simple 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
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
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.
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.
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!