Sweet Potato Kale Salad With Tahini Lemon Dressing

I’d like to introduce you to my new favourite kale salad. It’s a sweet potato kale salad topped with toasted almonds, pickled onions and a fabulous tahini lemon honey dressing. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, Paleo and vegan-friendly (swap out the honey).

Kale salad with sweet potatoes, pickled onions, almonds and tahini dressing

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As far as kale salads go, this might be my favourite one so far. Here is what I love about it:

  • All the textures: the kale is massaged and softened so it’s not like chewing on raw grass, it’s more spinach-like; then you’ve got roasted sweet potatoes that melt in your mouth and are juxtaposed with toasted almonds and pickled red onions that provide crunch.
  • So much flavour: savoury, sweet, tangy, lemony, garlicky, nutty, and earthy.
  • And the dressing, of course: while the key salad ingredients are pretty flavoursome, the tahini dressing is the real show-stopper. Nutty, creamy tahini is mixed with tangy lemon, sweet honey (or maple syrup), garlic, and mustard for a delicious combo.
  • Nutrition: Leafy greens, especially kale, and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, while almonds and tahini provide healthy fats and protein. Overall, this is a very nutrient-dense, fibre-rich salad. It suits most diets, and because it’s so flavoursome, even people who normally shy away from kale would enjoy a scoop or two on their plate.
  • It’s simple with only a handful of key ingredients. You can do most of the prep ahead of time like roasting the sweet potatoes, pickling the onions and toasting the almonds.
  • Perfect any time of the year: bring it to a BBQ to enjoy with grilled protein, serve it as a side dish for dinner or enjoy it as a hearty salad for lunch, and it’s always a hit on a festive table for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. If you’re looking for new kale salad ideas, give this one a go!

👩‍🍳 If you love all things with kale, try my turkey meatball and kale soup, Paleo chicken & kale tortilla soup, kale apple salad with chicken, or the homemade beef burger patties with garlic kale and sweet potatoes.

tahini lemon honey dressing for kale salad

What You’ll Need

Here is what you’ll need for sweet potato kale salad. Find the full measurements in the recipe card below.

  • Kale – raw curly kale and a little salt for massaging it; you can swap out kale with baby spinach, arugula (rocket), or any other leafy greens; you can also use a mix of greens.
  • Sweet potato – one medium sweet potato should be sufficient.
  • Almonds – I used raw almonds which I roasted in the oven until they were browned and toasted. You can also toasted almonds in a frying pan. I love the enhanced, almost smoky, flavour of toasted almonds and they are even more crunchy that way. You can use raw almonds or buy pre-roasted/toasted almonds to skip that step.
  • Red onion – I love using pickled red onions here rather than raw onions; they are tangy and sweet and turn lovely pink colour; I use a quick method, using salt, sugar and white wine vinegar, and you only need to pickled them 15 minutes in advance. PS. I make a larger batch in this recipe than you need in the salad as it’s handy to have extra pickled onions in the fridge for other uses.
Kale salad ingredients: curly kale, sweet potato, almonds, red onion, white wine vinegar, sugar and salt (for pickling onions)
  • For the dressing: hulled tahini (the light type), lemon, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and water.
Kale salad dressing ingredients: tahini, lemon, honey, salt, pepper, garlic, mustard and olive oil

How To Make Sweet Potato Kale Salad

Find the full recipe and nutritional information below. Here are some handy step-by-step photos.

Pickle the Onions: Peel and thinly slice half of a large red onion. Combine with a teaspoon each of sugar and salt, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, and 1/4 cup water in a jar. Shake well and let sit for 15-30 minutes.

how to make pickled onions
  • Air Fry or Roast Potatoes: Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Toss with olive oil and either air fry at 200 C (400 F) for 15 minutes, flipping halfway, or roast in an oven at the same temperature for 25 minutes.
air fried potatoes, can also be roasted
  • Toast the Almonds: Roast raw almonds at 180 C (356 F) for 5-7 minutes until slightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and chop coarsely.
  • Make Tahini Dressing: Combine tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add water as needed and whisk until smooth.
toasted almonds and tahini dressing in the making
  • Prepare Kale: Remove kale leaves from stems, wash, and dry. Roughly chop and sprinkle with salt. Massage the leaves for 15-20 seconds to soften.
how to prepare kale for salad
  • Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, combine massaged kale, most of the sweet potatoes, almonds, and pickled onions. Add two-thirds of the dressing, mix, and adjust with more dressing if needed.
Assembling kale salad with sweet potatoes, almon and tahini honey lemon dressing

Watch The Video

Recipe Tips

  • Sweet potatoes can be air fried, roasted or pan-fried. This can be done ahead of time as they can be used warm or cold. If serving it in the winter, it’s nice with warm sweet potatoes. In the summer, cold ones might work better.
  • As well as or instead of sweet potatoes, you can add roasted carrots, butternut squash or kabocha squash. Even white potatoes will work well.
  • When adding the dressing, go with 2/3 of it first, mix through and then taste before adding the rest. I used all of it as I like my salads well-dressed but I know some people might prefer it a little less saucy.
  • You can add extra protein to this salad with: cooked chicken, sliced steak, chickpeas, grilled pr pan-fried tempeh, lentils, boiled eggs.
sweet potato kale salad with tahini dressing

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Sweet potato kale salad with tahini dressing

Sweet Potato Kale Salad With Lemon Tahini Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 4 4-8 depending on how it’s served
Course: Lunch, Salad, Side
Cuisine: Healthy
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Calories: 391kcal
Learn how to make my new favourite kale salad with sweet potatoes, toasted almonds, pickled onions and a fabulous tahini lemon honey dressing. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, Paleo and vegan-friendly (swap out the honey). If you’re looking for new kale salad ideas, give this one a go. The salad can serve between 4 and 8 people, depending on what else it is served with.


For pickled onions

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water

For roasted sweet potatoes

  • 500 g sweet potato 1 lb, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Other salad bits

  • 200 g curly kale leaves about 7 oz, weight with stems
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds you can use toasted and skip the toasting step

Tahini lemon dressing

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1.5 tbsp honey or maple syrup for a vegan version
  • 1 garlic clove minced or grated finely
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp hot water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 14 tsp pepper


  • Pickle the onions. Peel half of a medium-large red onion, cut into halves and slice thinly (quarter slices). Add to a bowl along with sugar, salt, white wine vinegar and water. Toss through, transfer to a jar with all the liquid, close the lid, and shake the jar. Set aside for 15-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • Roast or air fry the potatoes: Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into cubes. Toss in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil. Transfer to an air fryer preheated to 200 C / 400 F and cook for 15 minutes, flipping halfway. If using the oven, roast in a 200 C/400F oven for 25 minutes.
  • Toast the almonds: If using raw almonds, I recommend toasting them for extra flavour. You can toast the almonds by roasting them in the oven (180 C / 356 F) for about 5-7 minutes or until have browned slightly; they should start to smell like they are toasted, if you know what I mean. Remove from the oven, cool down and chop into small pieces, roughly.
  • Make tahini dressing: Add all ingredients to a jug or a bowl following by a few tablespoons of water. Whisk with a fork until well combined. Set aside.
  • Prepare kale for a salad: While we’re using raw kale, it does require a little prep work to make it more palatable. Cut the leaves away from the stems. Wash the leaves and dry in them in a salad spinner or in between two kitchen towels. Chop the kale leaves roughly and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Using your hands, massage the kale by squeezing it from different angles. This helps to break down the fibres in the leaves, making them softer and moist. You only have to do this for 15-20 seconds.
  • Assemble the salad: Transfer the massaged kale to a large salad bowl. Add most of the cooked sweet potatoes, most of the almonds and a generous handful of pickled onions. Pour in 2/3 of the dressing and mix through. Taste and add extra dressing if you like. I like to add in two stages as it’s easy to overdress a salad, yet you can always add more if needed.



Storage tips: It’s best to store this kale salad without dressing, which will stay fresh for up to 2 days. If it’s already dressed, it will keep okay for the next 24 hours, although the kale leaves will be a little soggy (it still tasted good, though).
Ingredient tips: See What You’ll Need section above.
Nutrition: The macros are based on 4 servings; if serving as a side to more people, those will be lower. The same if you want to have a large portion to yourself, take those into account.


Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 551mg | Potassium: 894mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 22774IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords: Kale, Kale Recipes, Kale Salad, Kale Salad Ideas, Kale Sweet Potato Salad, Lemon Tahini Dressing, Tahini Dressing
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Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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