My roasted Sweet Potato Lentil Salad has tender, flavoursome roasted sweet potatoes, tart radicchio, peppery arugula and roasted zucchini, creamy feta cheese and protein packed lentils in every mouthful, all dressed in my creamy pesto dressing.
With plant based protein from the lentils, this wholesome salad is perfect for meal prep for the perfect midday lunch or a healthy mid-week meal (or any night of the week really). Paired perfectly with my creamy pesto salad dressing.
What You'l Love About This Recipe
Where do I start? There's something about roasted vegetables in a salad that make it feel more like a meal. Here's what I love about this salad:
- this nutritious salad is full of complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein and healthy fats to keep you fuller for longer.
- lentils provide prebiotics, which help to promote the growth of good bacteria in our gut.
- my sweet potato salad is perfect for meal prep and tastes great the next day.
- sweet potato contains beta carotene, an antioxidant which promotes good immunity.
- this healthy recipe is made using easy to find, simple ingredients and is a great way to increase vegetable intake.
- This salad can be a great dinner recipe and is perfect as a side dish or main dish.
Ingredients Notes & Substitutions
To make this yummy salad recipe you will need the following ingredients (please not that the ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post).
- sweet potato cubes - I prefer to peel the sweet potato for this recipe but you can leave the skin on if you like.
- zucchini - a large zucchini cut into thin rounds works best in this recipe.
- onion powder & garlic powder - these ingredients are used to season the sweet potato with. If you don't have any or are on a low FODMAP diet, you can swap these for a low FODMAP seasoning.
- Sea salt flakes - in this recipe I've used sea salt flakes and not finely ground sea salt. If you have finely ground you will need to use less as it is more salty.
- Cracked black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil - extra virgin olive oil is my favourite oil to use in cooking because of its health benefits. You could also use avocado oil or macadamia oil for roasting the vegetables with and flaxseed oil or hemp seed oil to use in the salad dressing.
- Arugula - also known as rocket. Can be swapped for another leafy green like baby spinach.
- Greek feta - you can swap this for another hard, crumbly feta cheese. You can swap for goat cheese (chevré) if you like but it won't hold it's shape when tossed.
- Pine nuts - can be swapped for another toasted nut like slivered almonds or a seed like pumpkin seeds.
- Brown lentils - I use tinned brown lentils for this recipe. French lentils or black lentils would work well in this recipe as well. If you're using dry lentils, see this article for how to cook lentils. Just don't use red lentils as they're the wrong flavour for this recipe and will go mushy when cooked.
- Radicchio - if you can't find radicchio you could use another bitter leaf like Belgian Endive, Curly Endive or even thinly sliced radish.
Pesto Dressing Ingredients
- fresh basil
- pine nuts
- fresh garlic
- parmesan cheese
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt flakes
- white wine vinegar (you could also use apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar).
- lemon juice
How to Make Sweet Potato Lentil Salad
There are a few steps involved in making this delicious salad, but trust me, it's worth the small amount of effort.
Roast the Veggies
First line a roasting pan or large baking pan with parchment paper. Add the sweet potato chunks to the pan along with the garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and olive oil and toss to coat all of the sweet potato chunks in seasoning evenly. Pop the sweet potato into the oven to roast for 50 minutes.
Next, line a second baking sheet with baking paper. Add the zucchini rounds, salt, pepper and olive oil to a medium bowl and toss to coat all of the zucchini evenly. Spread the zucchini rounds out across the base of the tray into a single layer, so that they don't overlap.
You might need a second tray! Add the zucchini to the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
While the veggies roast, toast the pine nuts in the oven, but keep a close eye on them so that they don't burn! There is nothing worse then burning a whole batch of pine nuts. My top tip is to transfer the toasted pine nuts to a small bowl when you pull them out of the oven, otherwise they'll continue to cook in the pan and could burn.
Once the veggies are roasted set them aside to cool to room temperature.
Make the Pesto Dressing
Making the pesto salad dressing is as simple as adding all of the ingredients to the drum of a food processor and blending to reach your desired consistency.
Assemble the Lentil Salad
To assemble the salad, place lentils, arugula (rocket), finely sliced radicchio, toasted pine nuts, crumbled feta, roasted sweet potato and zucchini to a large bowl (I use a large mixing bowl). Top with the pesto dressing and toss to combine. Serve on a serving platter or in a salad bowl.
Store this salad in an airtight container or covered with cling film or a beeswax wrap in the fridge for up to four days. If meal prepping, store in individual serving size airtight containers.
- 3 Baking sheet
- 1 Baking pan
- Large salad bowl
- Food Processor
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Vegetable peeler
- Sharp knife
- Chopping Board
- 600 grams sweet potato peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large zucchini cut into thin rounds (330g)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- cracked black pepper to taste
Pesto Salad Dressing
- 1 cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Sea salt
- 150 grams arugula
- 1 cup radicchio finely sliced
- 400 grams brown lentils canned, strained
- 150 grams Greek feta
- ¼ cup pine nuts toasted
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- To make the 600 grams sweet potato, add the sweet potato cubes to a parchment paper lined baking tray. Sprinkle the 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over the top and toss to combine. Place into the oven to roast for 50 minutes or until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, for the 1 large zucchini, add the thinly sliced zucchini rounds to a second baking paper lined tray and season with the ½ teaspoon sea salt and cracked black pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and then toss to coat evenly before spreading them out across the base of the tray so that the zucchini rounds aren’t overlapping. Place into the oven and roast for 40 minutes. Once roasted, remove from the oven and set aside.
- To toast the pine nuts, add them to a small baking tray and place into the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the tray to toss the pine nuts and then place back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a small dish, to prevent them from burning in the pan.
- To make the pesto dressing add the 1 cup fresh basil, 1 clove garlic, ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup pine nuts, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, ¼ cup grated parmesan and Sea salt to a food processor and pulse to combine. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor and process on medium until you reach your desired consistency.
- To assemble the salad, add the roasted sweet potato and zucchini to a large bowl along with the 150 grams arugula, 400 grams brown lentils, 1 cup radicchio, and ¼ cup pine nuts. Top with crumbled 150 grams Greek feta and toss to combine. Serve drizzle in the pesto dressing.