Warm Spiced Sweet Potato Salad

Potato salad is a summertime classic, but with all that mayonnaise, it’s not exactly what the doctor ordered for overall health! 

Swap your mayonnaise-laden, white potato salad for this colorful and nutritious recipe, which features sweet potatoes, a lively citrus dressing, and vitamin-rich spinach. 

The sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene...they have more beta-carotene (a whopping 25,000 IU in one baked sweet potat with skin), vitamin C, folate, calcium and manganese than white spuds.  Another plus...even the seasonings in this recipe have nutritional benefits.

Ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties, while cinnamon helps control blood sugar. 

If you have leftovers, just heat in the microwave to warm the sweet potatoes and wilt the spinach for an appealing side dish.


1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

3 Tbsp sliced almonds

1 lb. sweet potatoes (1 large or 2 small), peeled and cut into ¾-inch chunks (2 ¾ cups)

¼ cup fresh orange juice

4 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp honey

½ tsp minced garlic (1 clove)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp salt, or to taste

1/8 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups baby spinach, washed and dried


1.  Place the peeled, sliced onion in a medium bowl and cover with ice water.  Let soak for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring them once or twice before draining and using them in your recipe.


Soaking red onion in ice water tames the bite and mellows out the flavor. The sulfur compounds responsible for that biting sensation leach into the water from the cut surfaces.

2.  Toast almonds:  spread almonds in a small baking pan; toast in 350-degree oven 10 to 15 minutes.  Let cool.

3.  Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan.  Cover with water and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes or just until tender but still firm.  Drain.

4.  While sweet potatoes are cooking, whisk orange juice, lemon juice, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper in large bowl.  Whisk in oil.  Reserve 3 tablespoons of this dressing for spinach.

5.  Add hot sweet potatoes to dressing in bowl.  Drain onions and add to sweet potatoes; toss gently with rubber spatula to mix.  Toss spinach with reserved 3 tablespoons dressing in a large bowl.  Mound spinach on 4 plates.  Top with sweet potato salad and sprinkle with toasted almonds.  Serve warm. 

Yield:  4 servings (3/4 cup sweet potato salad and 1 cup spinach salad).

Per Serving:  Calories: 210.  Total fat: 9 grams.  Saturated fat: 1 gram.  Cholesterol: 0 milligrams. Sodium: 220 milligrams. Carbohydrate: 33 grams.  Fiber: 5 grams.  Sugars: 8 grams.  Protein: 3 grams.  Vitamin A: 350% DV.  Vitamin C: 45% DV.


 Kelly Harrington, MS, RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods


Recipe courtesy of Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter.  June 2013.


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