This recipe combines two of my favorite things, lentils and sweet potatoes! But actually this sweet potato lentil salad is so much more than that. Along with the sweet potatoes, are carrots, red onion and a pinch of dried chili flakes — all roasted together to bring out their sweet and caramelised flavor. The exact thing, that is such a tasty trio with my favorite lentils, plus fresh parsley and sprinkling of Greek feta cheese. Oh yeah, then there’s the dressing. A poppy-seed dressing. Not the creamy kind, but sort of like my go-to French dressing, with a little honey AND instead of red wine vinegar, this one is with apple cider vinegar. LOVE it!
I’ll also tell you that this dressing is terrific with a spinach salad. My favorite, a simple spinach salad with sweet red pepper, blanched green beans, tossed with THIS poppy-seed dressing and then topped with roasted cubed sweet potato, plus toasted almond slivers. So delicious. And something I should really put on the blog. Yeah, I am seriously addicted to salads.
So here’s to introducing a new go-to for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner. This sweet potato lentil salad can be eaten warm, room temperature or cold. Which is also why it makes great leftovers. Hearty green lentils with roasted sweet potatoes, carrots and red onion is the perfect combination of flavour and texture. A sprinkling of feta finishes off. And if you are looking for a little crunch feel free to top with toasted pumpkin seeds or almonds. The feta cheese is totally optional, but I love the flavor it adds. If you want to keep things dairy-free or vegan, you can leave it out. Enjoy!
Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil Salad
For the salad:
- 3/4 cup French green lentils (Lentils du Puy) (150 g)
- 2 large carrots, cut into cubes
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
- 2 small red onions, cut into wedges
- 1 1/2-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Generous pinch dried chilli flakes
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped (plus more to garnish)
- 75 g Greek feta or goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
For the dressing:
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Cook lentils according to package instructions for 20-25 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Transfer the carrots, sweet potato and red onion to the prepared baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 mins, tossing halfway through, or until tender and turning golden.
NOTE: careful not to crowd the carrots and sweet potatoes, otherwise they will steam instead of roast. If needed, roast on 2 baking sheets, changing positions halfway through roasting time.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Add all the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together until combined.
Transfer the lentils and parsley to large serving bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss well, then add the roasted vegetables and toss gently to combine.
Transfer to a serving platter or into bowls and top with crumbled feta (if using) and more parsley to garnish. Serve and enjoy!
- Look for feta made in Greece — it’s the only one that is REAL feta. My favroite is made 85% sheep’s milk and 15% goat’s milk and comes from the Greek island of Lesbos. This is the real stuff and it holds the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) to prove it. This means it is produced regionally, the traditional way, using free-grazing native sheep and goats. Otherwise, my other favorite choice for this salad is Chevre goat cheese.
- I use acacia honey, as it has a light and delicate taste which allows the flavors of other ingredients to shine through.
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