This harvest salad is loaded with goodies like sweet potatoes, goat cheese, apple, bacon, and pecans. It's the perfect combination of sweet, salt, and tangy flavors. Toss it all in balsamic vinaigrette and you have an impressive salad for everyday meals or holiday gatherings.
I first discovered this sweet potato salad at a Friendsgiving. I was initially struck by the striking colors of the salad and after taking a bite, I was hooked!
This salad is full of textures- crunchy from the pecans, creamy from the goat cheese, and crisp from the apples and bacon. Even though it has a lot of toppings, it doesn't feel like a heavy salad.
Now let's talk about the FLAVORS!
The saltiness of the bacon pairs beautifully with the sweetness from the sweet potatoes and apples.
You also get some tanginess from the apples and goat cheese, while the nutty flavor of the pecans round out the salad.
Drizzle everything in tangy, sweet, and zesty balsamic vinaigrette to bring everything together and highlight the natural flavors of the salad.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- It's full of flavors and textures!
- It can be made ahead of time!
- It's loaded with healthy vegetables and fruit!
Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients
- Honey- you can also use maple syrup or brown sugar.
- Dijon mustard- or yellow mustard.
- Salt and pepper- a classic.
- Garlic- fresh is best.
- Balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Salad Ingredients
- Sweet potatoes- you can use butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, or carrots instead. Cooking times will vary.
- Seasonings- garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and olive oil. We're keeping it simple here but you can also add some paprika, cayenne, or dried herbs.
- Spring mix- baby spinach, green leaf lettuce, romaine, or kale will also work.
- Fuji apple- pear or pink lady, honeycrisp, golden delicious, granny smith, or braeburn apples can be substituted.
- Pecans- walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, or sliced almonds.
- Goat cheese- feta cheese or grated parmesan will work.
- Bacon- turkey bacon or crispy prosciutto would be delicious.
How to Make Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Salad
- Season the sweet potatoes.
- Bake the sweet potatoes.
- Prepare the balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
- Assemble the salad.
- Serve the dressing on the side. This will allow everyone to add as much or as little dressing as they'd like and prevent the salad from wilting too early.
- Try adding other toppings like chicken, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, avocado, wild rice, quinoa, or croissant croutons.
Definitely! You can roast the sweet potatoes and assemble the salad a day ahead of time. Make the dressing and store in the refrigerator. If the olive oil solidifies, leave the balsamic vinaigrette on the counter for at least 30 minutes to let it get to room temperature. Dress the salad right before serving.
This is a great salad to meal prep for quick lunches or for your holiday spread.
More Salad Recipes You'll Love
Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Salad with Apple, Bacon and Pecans
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 3 cups sweet potatoes peeled and diced
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Salad
- 10 ounces spring mix or baby spinach
- 1 fuji apple thinly sliced
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ cup goat cheese crumbled
- 6 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- Roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place all the ingredients for the roasted sweet potatoes on top. Toss to coat evenly and spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender, flipping halfway through.
- Prepare the dressing: In a mixing bowl or mason jar, whisk or shake all the ingredients together for the balsamic vinaigrette.
- Assemble the salad: Place the spring mix in a large bowl then top with apple, pecans, goat cheese, and bacon. Add the sweet potatoes once they are cool. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette.