There’s ample to like about this roasted sweet potato and feta salad as it is. The caramelized sweetness of the spuds and red onions. The salty and tangy creaminess of feta. And the knowing that you’re doing something decent for yourself without it tasting like penance.

And if you’re the sort who just can’t resist tweaking a little something here or there, you’re going to like it even more, as it takes well to a little tinkering if, say, you want to slip in some peppery arugula in place of the spinach, increase the honey for a more sweetly tart vinaigrette, or maybe even go all crazy and toss a handful of walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or pistachios across the top for a little crunch. Knock yourself out.

A serving of roasted sweet potato and feta salad on a green plate with a fork resting on the plate.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Feta Salad

5 / 4 votes
This roasted sweet potato and feta salad is an easy way to get your veggies and enjoy them at the same time. Sweet potatoes and spinach mingle with feta cheese and a honey dressing to phenomenal effect.
David Leite
CourseSalad
CuisineAmerican
Servings8 servings
Calories524 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients 

For the roasted sweet potatoes

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
  • 2 red onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving

For the honey dressing

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

For the the roasted sweet potato and feta salad

  • 1 pound baby spinach, rinsed thoroughly and patted dry
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, diced or crumbled

Instructions 

Roast the sweet potatoes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  • Place the sweet potatoes and red onions on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and gently toss to coat everything well, being careful to keep the onion wedges intact. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the vegetables and continue to roast for 30 more minutes. The onions should be blissfully soft and caramelized and the sweet potatoes should be tender with tinges of brown at the edges.

Make the honey dressing

  • While the vegetables are roasting, combine the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor and process until combined.

Prepare the roasted sweet potato and feta salad

  • Arrange the spinach in a shallow bowl or on a platter and scatter the warm onions and sweet potatoes over it. (If the spinach wilts a bit, all the better!) Drizzle with the dressing. Scatter the feta over the top. Grind some pepper over the salad and serve immediately. (If you don't think you'll consume all of it at once, don't assemble all the parts and store them separately.)
Seasonal Recipes from the Garden

Adapted From

P. Allen Smith’s Seasonal Recipes from the Garden

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 portionCalories: 524 kcalCarbohydrates: 53 gProtein: 9 gFat: 32 gSaturated Fat: 7 gMonounsaturated Fat: 21 gCholesterol: 19 mgSodium: 1037 mgFiber: 9 gSugar: 12 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 P. Allen Smith. Photo © 2010 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I’ve made this recipe three times since first trying it. The combination is just perfect. I love the colors—the red onion, orange sweet potatoes, the dark green spinach, and white cheese. With all of those colors, it has to be good for you. I made the recipe exactly as written the first time, and in the last two times, I added more honey to make more of a sweet and sour dressing. Loved it!

The simple act of writing this evaluation is making me drool! In classical mythology, the word “ambrosia” is defined as food or drink for the gods. To me, this lovely combination of ingredients qualifies as ambrosia. The three parts of this recipe each have their own layering of flavors, while an addition of ground or cracked pepper in each stage of the recipe greatly enhances the flavor.

I served this recipe as a combination salad/side dish with roasted chicken thighs and French bread. Although best served right away, the small amount that was left over was wonderful the next day.

What a wonderful salad. An instant favorite in our house—even the kids loved it. We liked its colorful presentation and the salad’s flavors, which ranged from the sweet caramelized onions and sweet potatoes to the tart spinach and salty feta cheese. The dressing also works wonderfully.

I’ll be making the salad so very often from now on.

Yes! Finally, a new winter salad to add to my recipe files. This dish was easy to prepare and totally hit the spot. The roasted potatoes and onions add a sweet touch and just barely wilt the spinach. The dressing is simple and the Dijon adds the perfect amount of kick and contrast to the sweetness of the veggies.

Since I knew the whole recipe wouldn’t be eaten all at once (it does make a hefty amount), I kept the elements stored separately, assembling for each serving. I’m happily enjoying leftovers as I write this, and can report that it tastes just as good the second day—just a quick zap of the veggies in the microwave and you’re all set. I’ll absolutely make this again (and again).

I loved this simple salad.

I cubed the sweet potatoes into a 1/2-inch dice as directed in the recipe and cooked them for about 10 minutes less than called for. This resulted in potatoes that were browned and crisp on the outside, bordering on crunchy—kind of like a sweet potato fry. The onions were soft and very sweet—sweeter than the potatoes, even. The crispness of the sweet potatoes combined with the sweetness of the onion and tang of the feta was a great pleasure to eat. And the simple vinaigrette was the perfect accompaniment.

Though it takes an hour to roast the veggies, this salad is worth the wait. The dressing is delicious and would be just as delicious on other salads as well. We enjoyed the flavors of the roasted sweet potato and onion along with the spinach and feta cheese.

This makes a delicious vegetarian meal or a side to accompany other items and, if you want to scale it down, know that the recipe halves to serve 4 nicely.

This recipe illustrates the creativity and versatility that a good salad entails—providing abundant proof that in the right hands, salads can be satisfying enough to qualify as a meal. The roasted sweet potatoes and purple onions give the dish an earthy, mellow sweetness and provide a compelling contrast to the salty feta and rich, tangy dressing.

The recipe was extremely easy to follow, and the serving suggestion accurate. My only deviation was adding 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to the vegetables instead of the recommended 2 teaspoons as it seemed that, when combined with the salt in the dressing and the saltiness of the feta, it would be too much. Also, I didn’t use the full amount of dressing—a few spoonfuls go a long way. And lastly, I cut the potatoes into a 1-inch dice rather than the recommended 1/2-inch. This worked well with the cooking time.

What a great combination of flavors! This is a nice, hearty salad for winter, made with ingredients that are easily available this time of year. I loved the combination of salty feta with the sweet potatoes, onions, and the tangy vinaigrette.

I love all of these ingredients, and am happy to have them all in one dish—a terrific dish, I might add. I was a little nervous about the vinaigrette—the honey kind of stopped me short because I generally don’t like sweet salad dressings. With that in mind, I used a light hand when adding it, but I wound up really liking the vinaigrette and will likely make it again for other salads or veggies.

The spinach you use makes a big difference in the finished dish. Mine was a little tough and didn’t wilt nearly as much as I’d have liked. Next time, I’ll use more tender greens. Also, I feel the amount of olive oil called for in roasting the vegetables was a little too much, so I’ll reduce it next time. And I might throw in some homemade croutons or even toasted walnuts to bring in some crunch.

Overall, it was a great dinner (and awesome lunch the next day, even cold). I’ll definitely make this on a regular basis.

Divine. This recipe was so much more than the sum of its parts! The onions came out of the oven deliciously crispy and sweet. Together with the potatoes, they were a perfect foil for the salty feta (I used a creamy specimen from France). The vinaigrette added a necessary bite.

I had some beautiful baby arugula languishing in the fridge, so I used that instead of the spinach. It was a good substitute, as the bitterness played nicely against the sweet. This was substantial enough for a light meal, but I served it alongside slices of sirloin steak.

A wonderful and healthy dish that meets my criteria of a dish for company. Not only is it tasty, but the colors are beautiful, too. I served it at a dinner party and it really impressed my guests. I think the dish could be enhanced by the addition of something crunchy like roasted pistachios, which I tried when eating the leftovers. The salad tasted even better.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I loved this recipe, and would definitely make it again with a few minor changes. I used half the amount of oil that the recipe called for (1/8 cup), and felt that was more than sufficient to prevent the diced sweet potato from sticking to the pan. I left the root in the red onion and cut my wedges into the root, which kept them nicely intact. I also felt the oven temperature should have been higher—I cooked the 1-inch dices at 375 on convection for 45 minutes, and that resulted in a delicious crisp exterior and soft inside, along with a nice caramelization of the onions. The dressing seemed a touch too heavy on the Dijon for me, so next time, I’d cut the mustard down to 1 tablespoon and add some fresh citrus for a lighter, cleaner flavor. Overall, I loved the presentation—the orange of the sweet potato, the bright green of the spinach, and the deep red of the onion were gorgeous on a white platter. I served it as an entrée, and my family definitely felt satisfied, so this salad would make a good vegetarian main course.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is so short and simple that even the worst cook in the world could throw it together and impress the harshest of critics. The combination of sweet, warm potato with the feta was, as always with such a duo, absolutely delicious. The spinach provided a nice, green flavour to tone down the strong flavours of the potato and feta. As for the dressing, I found there to be a little too much honey for my taste, as the roasted potatoes provide more than enough sweetness for the dish. The next time I make it, I’ll use 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of honey, rather than 2 tablespoons. Also, a bit of crunch would have been welcome, so perhaps some toasted pumpkin seeds scattered over the top would be a nice addition. But overall, in what was a hectic week, I was glad for such a simple recipe—minimum effort with maximum taste!

    1. Laughs. Like the way you see the world, Megan! Love your tweaks as well. Always like to hear how folks adapt a recipe to make it their own…