Sweet Potato-Pecan Salad Recipe (2024)

By John Willoughby

Sweet Potato-Pecan Salad Recipe (1)

Total Time
25 minutes
Read community notes

Southern-style sweet potato salad with pecans makes an excellent companion for fried chicken.

Featured in: Fried Chicken’s Northern Exposure

Learn: How to Cook Potatoes

Learn: Basic Knife Skills

  • or to save this recipe.

  • Subscriber benefit: give recipes to anyone

    As a subscriber, you have

    10 gift recipes to give each month. Anyone can view them - even nonsubscribers.

    Learn more.


  • Print Options

    Include recipe photo



Yield:6 side-dish servings

  • 4medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into uniform 2-inch chunks
  • 2tablespoons salt
  • ½red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • ½green bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • ½large red onion, diced small
  • ¼cup finely chopped parsley
  • 3tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3tablespoons ketchup
  • 1teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¾cup olive oil
  • ¼cup cider vinegar
  • 1tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • cup pecan halves, lightly toasted

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

400 calories; 31 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 22 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 29 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 8 grams sugars; 3 grams protein; 571 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Powered by

Sweet Potato-Pecan Salad Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Fill sink or a large bowl with water and ice cubes. Put sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, add the salt and water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork but still offer some resistance and don’t break apart, 10 to 12 minutes.

  2. Step


    Drain potatoes and immediately put them into the ice-water bath. After 1 minute, remove potatoes, drain again, and put into a large bowl along with diced peppers, onion and parsley.

  3. Step


    Make the dressing: In a large bowl, combine mustard, ketchup and garlic. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Whisk in vinegar, Worcestershire and lime juice, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Step


    Pour dressing over sweet potatoes, add pecans and toss gently.



out of 5


user ratings

Your rating

or to rate this recipe.

Have you cooked this?

or to mark this recipe as cooked.

Private Notes

Leave a Private Note on this recipe and see it here.

Cooking Notes


I've made this dish on at least 5 occasions this summer. It's really delicious. I use less oil (1/3 C), about 1/4 C lemon juice, and cilantro (instead of parsley). Although the salad can be made a day ahead, add the toasted pecans just before serving.


I took the recommendation of someone below and replaced the 3/4 c oil with 1/3 c oil and 1/4 c lemon juice. It was still way more liquidy than I like my cold salads - I don't like to have the bottom third swimming. My fried who doesn't mind that said it looked fine to her. Definitely not 3/4 c oil though - that would have been way too oily.


And an apple, dont forget to add an apple.


Add 2 cups of torn greens of some kind and only 1 sweet potato for a very nice lunch salad.


Spicy pecans to use with this: pecans with butter and salt melted together. Toss with some Worcestershire, some cayenne, some cinnamon...then baked 30 min at 300.It works great with this salad if you don't eat the pecans first.

Judith S.

A big hit at work. I roasted the sweet potatoes which worked well (peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks; roasted at 400 for about 40 min checking periodically). I also used walnuts b/c I didn't have pecans and scallions b/c I didn't have red onion. Super easy and I would make again.


I note the direction to stop the potatoes from cooking; seeking advice from anyone who has made this, should they be lukewarm when dressed? Completely cold? Does it matter? Thank you.

Read the notes and hold back some dressing :)

I should have read all of the notes on this. I used 1/4 cup oil and glad I did. But I made the mistake of pouring all of the dressing onto the salad. As many posters have noted, it's way too much dressing for the two pounds of sweet potatoes. The salad is delicious, though, and I'll make this again! I like Paisley's idea of using some of the extra dressing on beets and AJ's idea of adding an apple.

Somewhere In 413

I really liked this salad, I tweaked it by using the lime zest and adding Trader Joe's Everyday seasoning. I like heavily dressed salads and used only half after making it with 7 potatoes, about 4 lbs. As many have said, way more dressing than needed.

Will roast the sweet potatoes next time

Unusual but tasty. I added a Granny Smith Apple and reduced the oil to 1/4cup as suggested. Dressing almost overpowers the veggies.


Followed suggestions for less oil and adding lemon juice. Also made and used 1/2 amount of dressing, which was plenty. Tasted great and received plenty of compliments.

Good but too much dressing

The dressing is essentially a BBQ vinaigrette and it makes about 1/3 cup more than you need. I would add it in little amounts to taste. I also added bacon because bacon makes everything better.


This is quite tasty! As others have said, it’s rather heavy on the dressing. I used about half of what I made. I must say, I thought the sweet potatoes got a little lost among the other ingredients. I guess I was expecting it to be more potato-forward. I might try an adjustment or two next time.


I've been trying to find this recipe again! I made it last year and it was delicious. The yield of the dressing was more than I needed for the sweet potatoes, I used the rest of the dressing for another salad a couple of days later using beets. My finicky uncle was visiting, and he loved it!


The outcome was initially exciting, but quickly overwhelming. This dish could stand on its own or compliment a very basic, no frills, chicken entree. I’m all about a straightforward recipe and this one requires too much tweaking.


Spicy pecans to use with this: pecans with butter and salt melted together. Toss with some Worcestershire, some cayenne, some cinnamon...then baked 30 min at 300.It works great with this salad if you don't eat the pecans first.


Loved the salad; served with grilled pork chops.For the dressing: Used 1/2 cup olive oil, and only poured half of the dressing on the sweet potato-pepper mixture; otherwise the salad would have been soupy.Added a few slices of jalapeno to the red & green peppers mix


I used only 1/4 cup of olive oil and added 1 tablespoon of sriracha. Delicious!


Delicious! I doubled the recipe and was delighted to find out 1/2 cup vinegar was not too much.


Add 2 cups of torn greens of some kind and only 1 sweet potato for a very nice lunch salad.

Private notes are only visible to you.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Salad Recipe (2024)


What tastes better boiled or baked sweet potatoes? ›

Why You Should Bake Sweet Potatoes Instead. While boiling makes sweet potatoes tender, it doesn't help much with their flavor. Most dishes that call for boiled sweet potatoes would be improved if you used roasted or baked sweet potatoes.

Why do you soak sweet potatoes before baking? ›

The cold water bath helps rinse the starch off the sweet potatoes so they're a bit more crispy. That said, if you do not have the time, you can still get crispy baked sweet potato fries by using high heat and a little drizzle of olive oil.

Should you peel sweet potatoes before boiling? ›

There is not much difference between boiling sweet potatoes with the skins on versus peeling them, but you will get a boost of fiber and potassium if you keep the skin on. The skin also adds a subtle texture to each bite. If you're looking for a smoother mash, peel the potatoes first before boiling.

What is the healthiest way to eat sweet potatoes? ›

Therefore, from a nutritional standpoint, boiling rather than baking should be recommended for cooking sweet potato. Boiling may theoretically be best, but sweet potatoes are so incredibly healthy that the actual best way to prepare them is whichever way will get you to eat the most of them!

Why is it called Chef's salad? ›

When the customers started requesting the off-menu salad made with cuts of meat, cheese and hard boiled eggs, the hotel decided to add it to the menu. Giving chef Seydoux the honor of naming the salad he is purported to have said "Well, it's really a chef's salad."

Why don't you peel potatoes for potato salad? ›

There's no reason at all, so my advice is to leave the skins on. The skin on a potato adds a nice texture and flavor to the potato salad and it's also the healthiest part.

Is it better to wrap sweet potatoes in foil when baking? ›

Wrapping the sweet potatoes in foil ensures that they don't dry out too quickly, and allows you to add aromatics if desired.

What's the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? ›

Yams and sweet potatoes differ in flavor and appearance, and they are not related. Sweet potatoes are in the morning glory family, while yams belong to the lily family. Yams aren't as sweet as sweet potatoes, and they are starchier and drier. Their texture and flavor are more similar to potatoes or yuca.

Should you rinse potatoes in cold water after boiling for potato salad? ›

Rinsing potatoes helps remove excess starch, so it is recommended to rinse the potatoes before cooking. To ensure even more starch is out of the way, it's recommended that they even be quickly rinsed after boiling. We recommend using hot water for rinsing after boiling and cold water prior to boiling.

What not to do when making potato salad? ›

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Potato Salad
  1. Using The Wrong Type of Potato.
  2. Not Starting The Potatoes in Cold Water.
  3. Cooking Potatoes in Unseasoned Water.
  4. Undercooking or Overcooking The Potatoes.
  5. Not Dressing The Potatoes at The Right Time.
  6. Our Favorite Potato Salad Recipes.

What are all the ingredients for potato salad? ›

Stir mayonnaise, pickles, hard-cooked eggs, red onion, celery, mustard, cider vinegar, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Fold in cooled potatoes until well combined. For best flavor, chill potato salad in the refrigerator until chilled or overnight before serving.

Is it better to bake or boil potatoes? ›

You'll want to boil potatoes any time you don't want them to dry out (as they can when baked in the oven). So it's a cooking method ideal for mashed potatoes or potato salad. Boiled potatoes on their own can also make a quick side dish.

Are sweet potatoes better steamed or baked? ›

Steaming sweet potatoes preserves more of their nutrients and is a faster alternative than baking.

Does boiling sweet potatoes make them sweeter? ›

When you heat a sweet potato, an enzyme starts breaking down it's starch into a sugar called maltose. Maltose is made up of two glucose molecules bound together, and tastes about a third as sweet as regular table sugar, also known as sucrose. Maltose contains no fructose.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jeremiah Abshire

Last Updated:

Views: 6609

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (74 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jeremiah Abshire

Birthday: 1993-09-14

Address: Apt. 425 92748 Jannie Centers, Port Nikitaville, VT 82110

Phone: +8096210939894

Job: Lead Healthcare Manager

Hobby: Watching movies, Watching movies, Knapping, LARPing, Coffee roasting, Lacemaking, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Jeremiah Abshire, I am a outstanding, kind, clever, hilarious, curious, hilarious, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.