Kale Sweet Potato Salad with Crispy Chickpeas, Pickled Red Onion & Spicy Tahini Ranch

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 9 votes
Kale sweet potato salad is an ideal vegan dinner salad. Loaded with texture from soft roasted sweet potatoes, crispy chickpeas, crunchy pistachios, and sharp pickled red onions. Homemade spicy tahini dressing is creamy-dreamy and finishes it off!
An overhead shot shows a kale sweet potato salad with crispy chickpeas, a creamy and spicy dressing drizzled over top, slices of pickled red onion, and finely chopped pistachios. Wooden salad tons are sticking out of the wide serving bowl.

Ready within an hour, this sweet potato kale salad with crispy chickpeas and pickled red onion is the perfect, hearty dinner salad. It’s made with simple ingredients, like chopped kale, sweet potatoes, canned chickpeas, red onion, spices, lemon juice, chopped pistachios, and olive oil. This vegan salad main requires a bit of roasting time in the oven for the sweet potatoes and chickpeas! Filled with zesty flavours, satiating legumes, nourishing veggies, plus a kick from a homemade creamy and spicy tahini ranch dressing, this easy, chopped kale salad will satisfy all types of eaters.

An overhead shot shows a kale sweet potato salad with crispy chickpeas, a creamy and spicy dressing drizzled over top, slices of pickled red onion, and finely chopped pistachios. Wooden salad tons are sticking out of the wide serving bowl.
An overhead shot shows ingredients for a vegan kale sweet potato salad.
A head-on shot shows a jar of pickled red onions.
An overhead shot shows two baking sheets. One with chopped sweet potatoes and one with chickpeas. A small bowl of mixed spices with a spoon rests on the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes.

Here’s a recipe that I make for dinner all the time, so it’s definitely met my testing criteria! This kale and sweet potato salad recipe looks long and intimidating, but it all comes together with simple methods. I’ve included my method for making pickled red onions in this recipe as well. I make these every weekend without fail. They’re the perfect flavour punch to add to salads, sandwiches, veggie burgers, and bowls.

If you’ve followed my site for a while, you already know my opinion on salads like this. I’m enthusiastic to say the least! I truly think that raw kale is great in salads! One thing I encourage you to do (and I lay it out in the recipe) is to massage the chopped kale leaves with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and something acidic (lemon juice here). After massaging, the kale leaves will be tender and will have a milder, less bitter taste as well. 

My kale sweet potato dressing here is a spicy tahini ranch. After you’ve pickled the onions, massaged the kale, roasted the sweet potatoes and chickpeas until crisp, you simply whisk up the dressing to pour on top. After you’ve massaged the kale, you’re welcome to toss the leaves in some of this tahini dressing also. I personally just love it on top. 

I hope that you love this one! Juxtaposing textures of crunchy, creamy, and tender really do it for me in a dinner salad. I’d say these characteristics are essential actually! Fans of this one may also like my Kale Power Salad with Spicy Almond Dressing.

An overhead shot shows a hand using a whisk to bring a spicy tahini ranch salad dressing together.
An up close shot shows chopped kale that has been massaged with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
An overhead shot shows a kale sweet potato salad with crispy chickpeas, a creamy and spicy dressing drizzled over top, slices of pickled red onion, and finely chopped pistachios. Wooden salad tons are sticking out of the wide serving bowl.

Kale Sweet Potato Salad with Crispy Chickpeas, Pickled Red Onion & Spicy Tahini Ranch

Kale sweet potato salad is an ideal vegan dinner salad. Loaded with texture from soft roasted sweet potatoes, crispy chickpeas, crunchy pistachios, and sharp pickled red onions. Homemade spicy tahini dressing is creamy-dreamy and finishes it off!
5 from 9 votes
An overhead shot shows a kale sweet potato salad with crispy chickpeas, a creamy and spicy dressing drizzled over top, slices of pickled red onion, and finely chopped pistachios. Wooden salad tons are sticking out of the wide serving bowl.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients

Pickled Red Onions (makes extra)

  • 1 large red onion, cut into thin half moons
  • 1 cup water
  • cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Sweet Potatoes & Crispy Chickpeas

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 500 grams), peeled and diced into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Spicy Tahini Ranch

  • cup tahini
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Tamari
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ – ⅓ cup cold water

Salad Assembly

  • 6 cups chopped kale, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup shelled and salted pistachios, chopped

Notes

  • This recipe looks so long, I know! But all of the steps are super simple, promise.
  • Pickled red onions should, at minimum, be made the day before!
  • Cubes of butternut squash would work nicely in place of the sweet potato here.
  • Raw cashew butter substitutes well for tahini.
  • I personally prefer crispy chickpeas made in the air fryer, but realize that not everyone has this piece of equipment. If you do and want to try it out, set your air fryer to 390 and coat the chickpeas as stated below in oil and seasonings. Then air fry for 10-12 minutes, shaking the basket every 4-5 minutes.

Instructions

  • Make the pickled red onions (the day before!). Pack the red onion slices into a jar that’s big enough to hold them all plus all of the liquid. In a small saucepan, combine the water, white vinegar, cane sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat and pour over the onions in the jar. Let the onions and liquid cool to room temperature before putting a lid on top and placing in the refrigerator. They keep for about 2 weeks.
  • Make the salad. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set out 2 baking sheets.
  • Place the sweet potatoes on one baking sheet and the chickpeas on the other. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Sprinkle this spice mixture over both the sweet potatoes and chickpeas, dividing it in half. Drizzle both the sweet potatoes and chickpeas with 2 tablespoons of olive oil each. Season both with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  • Slide both baking sheets into the oven. Roast chickpeas until crispy and golden, about 30 minutes. Pop in to shake the baking sheet here and there. Roast the sweet potatoes until golden brown and soft, about 35-40 minutes.
  • While sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, make the spicy tahini ranch. In a medium bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, agave, hot sauce, Tamari, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, chives, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup water. Slowly whisk to combine. Speed up your whisking once everything is unified and creamy. If you need more water to loosen up the dressing, add it by the tablespoon and whisk it in. Set aside.
  • Assemble the salad. Toss the kale into a large bowl, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Massage the kale until slightly softened. Top the kale with the roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas, big drizzles of the tahini ranch, some pickled red onions, and the chopped pistachios. Enjoy!
A 3/4 angle shot shows a sweet potato kale salad topped with crispy chickpeas, pickled red onion slices, and finely chopped pistachios. Wooden serving tongs are sticking out of the wide serving bowl that has been placed in direct sunlight.
27/09/2023 (Last Updated 06/11/2023)
Posted in: autumn, bitter, creamy, gluten free, kale, main course, roasted, salad, salty, sauce, sour, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, sweet potatoes, tahini, vegan, winter

14 comments

Recipe Rating




  • jan

    Thank you – this is so good.
    While the load of ingredients is a bit intimidating first – after all its really easy. And quick. and very tasty …

    • Laura Wright

      Thank you so much jan! Really glad that you enjoyed the salad :)
      -L

  • Eileen

    5 stars
    I never comment on a recipe but this was so delicious!!! Thanks for this great and easy salad!

    • Laura Wright

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, Eileen! Thanks for your comment and review :)
      -L

  • Anna

    5 stars
    Loved this salad!! Tons of flavor and perfect for chilly weather with the spicy flavors and warm potatoes/chickpeas.

  • AMC

    This was great! The recipe made enough pickled onions and tahini ranch for two batches of the kale/sweet potato/chickpea mixture.

  • Nicole

    5 stars
    I cannot stress enough how DELICIOUS this was! I used sambal oelek as the hot sauce in the dressing and it was so good. Perfect for meal prep. Will definitely make again!

  • AMC

    Apologies if I missed it somewhere, but what’s a good temperature for the sweet potatoes + chickpeas?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi AMC,
      It’s 425 F and should be listed in step 2 of the recipe!
      -L

  • ruth

    2″ pieces of sweet potato???

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Ruth,
      Dicing the sweet potato into roughly 2-inch pieces is great. It does not have to be precise. Unless you needed clarification with something else?
      -L

  • Fran

    5 stars
    This looks wonderful! Do you have a preferred oven temp for the roasting?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Fran! It is at 425 Fahrenheit :)
      -L

  • Elizabeth

    Yummm! I’m not a salad person at all, but I’m a big fan of yours. Can’t wait to try this one!