This Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad is an easy side dish recipe that is perfect for summer or fall! The southwestern flavors and addition of sweet potatoes changes up the classic potato salad recipe, turning it into a fun and festive summer side dish.
Homemade Sweet Potato Salad with southwestern flavors? Count me in. This Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad is such a fun twist on homemade potato salad!
I was a little late to the whole sweet potato party.
To me, sweet potatoes were just the things that came out at Thanksgiving and maybe Christmas (and the thing I avoided like the plague unless they were baked in a Sweet Potato Bundt Cake or mashed in these Sweet Potato Biscuits).
In fact, I was so late to the party, I didn’t even know that sweet potatoes were sold year around. (I know, I’m lame.)
Fast forward to college, and everyone and their mother (or so it seemed) had jumped aboard the sweet potato train, or at least the sweet potato fry train. People were raving about sweet potato fries and how they put regular french fries to shame (even though they cost at least $2 more).
At the time, I just wasn’t ready to hop on the bandwagon (umm, I really love potatoes. This Cheesy Asparagus and Potato Tart?? I’d eat it everyday).
You know what? I was missing out. Majorly.
The key thing for me was to recognize the sweet potato for what it is and enjoy it for what it is. It won’t ever replace the flavor of a regular potato for me, and that’s all right. In fact, I much prefer it that way. Sometimes I’m in the mood for sweet potatoes and sometimes I want all the starchy goodness of a white potato.
For instance, as much as I love a classic potato salad recipe, I was super interested in trying to create a version with sweet potatoes. I wanted to work with ingredients that complemented sweet potatoes, creating a unique summer side dish that focused on a different ingredient.
Cue all the dancing, because we hit the jackpot here with this southwestern sweet potato salad!
How to Roast Sweet Potatoes
First things first, let’s talk roasting sweet potatoes in the oven. I love the flavor and texture of roasted sweet potatoes, and while you could boil the sweet potatoes for this recipe, I’d highly suggest roasting them. They get a little caramelized with a crunchy exterior and a tender interior, and the roasted flavor truly enhances the overall flavor of the potato salad.
A few things you need to roast sweet potatoes in the oven: non-stick foil (this is a lifesaver and will make clean up a breeze), olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Lastly, you need the oven to be fully preheated to 425 before putting the potatoes in. The high heat in combination with the oil will help the outsides of the potatoes to crisp (otherwise, they might be a tad soggy in texture).
Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad Tips & Tricks:
- This salad can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold.
- I used a roasted red pepper dressing in this recipe, but you can customize the dressing however you want. A chipotle ranch, a southwestern dressing, or even a salsa ranch would all pair extremely well with this recipe.
- You can add onion, tomatoes, avocado, etc., to this recipe. Feel free to customize it or change it up based on what you have on hand. The flavors are simple and super versatile.
I think I’m in love.
- 3 cups diced sweet potatoes, about 3 med-large peeled sweet potatoes; or pre-cut sweet potatoes
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups sweet corn, I used frozen that I heated until warm
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained
- 1 1/2 cups diced bell peppers, I used green, yellow, red, and orange
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp seasoned salt, or to taste
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp roasted red pepper dressing, or, you can use chipotle ranch, southwestern flavored dressing, honey mustard, etc.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread sweet potatoes onto a non-stick foil lined large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, beginning with 2 Tbsp. If you think it needs more, add the extra Tbsp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir the sweet potatoes around until they are all evenly coated.
- Cook for 25 -30 minutes, until they are browned and fork tender (a little crisp on the outside and soft inside), stirring the sweet potatoes every so often.
- Mix roasted sweet potatoes, corn, black beans, bell peppers, cilantro, seasoned salt, lime juice and dressing together.
- Once combined, serve immediately, or serve chilled (this salad tastes great warm, at room temperature, and cold).
This was first posted on Julie’s Eats and Treats, where I am a contributor.