Warm Sweet Potato Salad ♥

Cubes of sweet potato, flavored with a dressing of New Mexico chile and garlicI like this dressing! It's made from dried New Mexico chiles (or something called guajillo chiles which I've never seen before), which impart depth and smokiness, not heat. And by itself, it made up in just 10 minutes, a quick and easy job. It would be a great alternate dressing for last year's Warm Root Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette.

NEXT TIME Since the sweet potatoes take much longer to skillet sauté, I've re-arranged the recipe to shorten your time requirements. But another time, I'd be tempted then roast or steam the sweet potatoes, then toss lightly in some dressing -- or maybe grill slices of sweet potato brushed with the dressing. Did I mention I really like this dressing?!

NUTRITION Cooking the potatoes this way took a whole lot more oil than I'm comfortable with -- and the nutrition analysis (see below) definitely shows this. After cooking and then eating, my skin even felt oily. As much as I like the dressing, I'd like it more if less were used. Still, this was a very satisfying vegetarian main dish salad.

FROM THE ARCHIVES Sweet potatoes are quite a favorite so I'm surprised to find relatively few sweet potato recipes in the Recipe Box. Time to fix that!

TWO YEARS AGO Hurricane Rice ... in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the much-missed Paper Chef inspired many of us to cook with New Orleans-inspired ingredients


Hands-on time: 35 minutes (plus occasional attention for the duration)
Time to table: 50 minutes
Makes 8 side dishes, 4 main dish servings

SWEET POTATOES (if pan sautéing)
1 tablespoon oil (I used corn)
1 red onion, diced (I skipped this and used 1 dozen green onions, cut on the diagonal)
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
Watercress (I skipped this)
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet on MEDIUM. Add the onion and sweet potato as they're prepped, stirring to coat with oil. Let cook, stirring often, letting brown a bit. When dressing is ready, add a tablespoon at a time to speed cooking and flavor the sweet potatoes. I used about 1/3 of the dressing. Season to taste with salt.

3/4 cup oil (I used corn)
2 medium dried New Mexico chilies (or guiajillo chiles), stemmed and seeded
2 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup vinegar (I used balsamic which Rick Bayless says adds sweetness, he prefers sherry vinegar for richness, or champagne or white wine vinegar for lightness)
Salt to taste

In a large skillet, warm the oil on MEDIUM. Add the peppers and garlic and let warm for a minute or two. Transfer to a blender. Add remaining ingredients and whizz til smooth. [RICK BAYLESS' ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the peppers and garlic after letting warm together for a minute or two. Transfer to a blender and finish the dressing. The skillet will still have some oil in it, use this to start cooking the onion and potatoes.]

Salad Greens
Sweet Potato Salad

Dress greens with a tablespoon of dressing per serving. Top with sweet potatoes. Serve while still warm.

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Alanna Kellogg

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  1. Since my 17 year old just announced that she likes sweet potatoes, this is going to be our dinner tonight...I may use half balsamic vinegar and half lemon juice..thanks for the great sweet potato idea!

  2. That looks mouthwateringly good! Looks like I have a new dish to make for one on poker nights. I'll probably cut down on the oil a bit, though.

  3. I would definitely try this with roasted sweet potatoes -- it's one of my favorite ways to cook them, and I love tossing them into a salad. The colors of our salad are beautiful, and that dressing does sound awfully good.

  4. Saved to del.icio.us!

    I've always wanted that cookbook. It does sound just wonderful. Did you know that sweet potatoes are ok for South Beach even though they're relatively high in carbs. (Not for phase one though, which I'm doing now for a little tune-up.)

  5. Looks delicious and much healthier than the standard potato salad recipe, even though that's what I'll be having for lunch :)

  6. Hi Alanna!

    I spotted this recipe link on the BlogHer ads feed and *had* to click on it! I love sweet potato salad- and the chiles sound like a fantastic spike. I agree with you about the oil amount; I'd use less (and use a light fruity olive oil).

    Now I'm hungry. :)

  7. My sister Ruth and I made the sweet potato salad. We just kind of winged it...it came out awesome...reminded me of my mother-in-law's German potato salad (minus the bacon). We made the dressing but didn't use it...tasted good as is. I may post the photo only on my blog Saturday as we put it on a bed of fresh romaine lettuce and it looked pretty ...

  8. Meg ~ Let us know how it turns out!

    S'kat ~ Yes, a 'good for one' kind of dish when Dave's away.

    Lydia ~ Thanks!

    Kalyn ~ Yay! I love it when you find South-Beath appropriate recipes here!

    Kelly ~ Potato salad for lunch, a girl after my own heart ...

    Karina ~ Aii, I'm glad to catch your attention!

    Meg ~ Great news!

  9. Mmm, some black beans and corn would make a great addition to this salad to make it a full meal. Yum.

  10. Thank you a million times for the recipe AND for the instructions on how to print ONLY the selected text. For the longest times, I've used my mouse to select and copy the text I wanted to print, then took it to a new blank document and printed it. Now I can just print the recipe!!!! THANK YOU!!!

  11. I didn't have any trouble finding dried guajillo peppers at Whole Foods the last time I made this, but this time, I did, so I used ancho. It was still really tasty, but I liked the guajillo better. I added most of a can of black beans and the corn off two ears for the last 3-4 minutes of cooking with the sweet potatoes. Really tasty. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Now I just have to use up the rest of the dressing. . . .

  12. Ten years later, I'm making this again––this time with black beans and corn as a vegetarian protein dish at my Friendsgiving, all the way over in Copenhagen. Glad I could find it again, and I hope you're doing well!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna