This roasted sweet potato and feta salad is an easy, healthy jumble of roasted sweet potatoes and onions, tangy feta cheese, spinach, and a simple red wine and Dijon vinaigrette. So not one of those boring New Year’s resolutions you have to force yourself to eat.
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.–Renee Schettler
Roasted Sweet Potato and Feta Salad
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
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.)
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
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.
Originally published January 20, 2020
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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!