September 19, 2019

Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Lemon Molasses Dressing

This Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Lemon Molasses Dressing is a colorful salad packed with nutrients. Easy to throw together for a satisfying meal!

Sweet Potato Kale Salad

Hello again! I've got a delicious salad for you today! Yes, I found another way to eat sweet potatoes. Yes, I'm a bit obsessed. But for good reason.

Sweet potatoes are amazing! They are incredibly sweet (and I have a huge sweet tooth). Plus they've got fiber, tons of vitamin A, and several other vitamins and minerals. And they're delicious, of course.

Looking for other sweet potato recipes? I've got you covered:

But sweet potatoes aren't the only awesome food in this salad. I love that Sweet Potato Kale Salad has so many different colors, flavors, and textures. Most importantly, colors.

Sweet Potato Kale Salad


It's so critical to eat a variety of foods for optimal nutrition. An easy way to do that is to eat the rainbow. We can make sure we get all types of phytonutrients by eating foods that are different colors. Basically, each color gives us unique nutrients. So, yes, focusing on green veggies is good, but if we only eat greens, we are missing out on the benefits from the other colors. Learn more about eating the rainbow here!

Besides the orange of the sweet potato we also have green kale and red radicchio.

We're also adding pecans to the salad. While not technically a part of the rainbow, the pecans add a fat source which will help us absorb the nutrients from the other foods in the salad.

Even the dressing for this salad has some unique flavors and nutrients! The base of the dressing is molasses. Thick, sweet, and sticky, molasses has some important vitamins and minerals. Notably, it has a large iron supply which is super important, especially for women. We're also adding tart cherry juice, which is filled with antioxidants and is great for exercise recovery. Lemon juice adds some more tartness (and helps us get our yellow). Apple cider vinegar creates the vinegary taste of a typical dressing. And, finally, garlic gives this Lemon Molasses Dressing a bit of a kick!

Sweet Potato Kale Salad

How to make Sweet Potato Kale Salad

Sweet Potato Kale Salad takes a bit longer to prepare than a typical salad, because you do have to cook the sweet potato. But you can always cook the sweet potato ahead of time. Either way, it will only take about half an hour!

Start by chopping the sweet potato into small chunks. Bake it for 25 minutes. Add the pecans to the oven for the last 5 minutes of the sweet potato's baking time to get them nice and toasty.

While the sweet potato is cooking you can prep the other ingredients. Chop the kale and give it a good massage. Kale can be pretty bitter and since we're not going to cook it for this recipe, it helps to take the edge off. Spend about a minute mushing the kale through your fingers. The kale will start to wilt slightly, but that's exactly what we want! It will still retain most of its texture and color, but the massage helps make the taste manageable.

After you've prepped the kale. You can also chop the radicchio. Simply slice it into thin strips.

Then, make the Lemon Molasses Dressing. Add molasses, tart cherry juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, and salt to a small bowl or a mason jar. Stir (or shake) until the ingredients are combined.

When the sweet potato is cooked and the pecans are toasted, assemble the salad. Start with kale. Then add the radicchio, sweet potato, and pecans. Top with a drizzle of the Lemon Molasses Dressing. Season with salt and pepper if you want. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Kale Salad

Recipe Prayer

God, thank you for the beautiful colors in this world. Let us enjoy and appreciate each one. Amen.

Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Lemon Molasses Dressing

This Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Lemon Molasses Dressing is a colorful salad packed with nutrients. Easy to throw together for a satisfying meal!















  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Pecans
  • 1 Head Kale
  • 1/2 Head Radicchio
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Lemon Molasses Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons Molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Tart Cherry Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 450.
  2. Chop the sweet potato into bite-sized chunks. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through to brown multiple sides of the sweet potato.
  3. During the last 5 minutes of baking, toast the pecans. Watch carefully so they don't burn.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the kale and radicchio. Tear the leaves of the kale off of the stems. You may want to further tear the kale into smaller pieces. Rinse the kale and then massage it for a minute or two. Slice the radicchio into thin strips.
  5. Make the Lemon Molasses Dressing. Mince the garlic, then add it and all the other dressing ingredients to a small bowl. Stir until combined.
  6. When the sweet potatoes are done, assemble the salad. Place the kale in a bowl, top with radicchio, pecans, and sweet potato chunks. Drizzle the Lemon Molasses Dressing on top. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This post was inspired by a recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook.

Thanks for contributing to our community! Your comment will appear shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
November 15, 2021
Elizabeth | The Plant-Based Catholic
Hi Becky - thanks for pointing this out. I have removed mention of vegetable broth from this post. You do not need any vegetable broth. The mushrooms will release natural liquid which will prevent any sticking.
November 15, 2021
You mention using vegetable broth in your introduction but it isn’t included in the recipe
September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography