Harissa-Spiced Sweet Potato Arugula Salad with Avocado (V)

This sweet potato arugula salad has it all: it’s easy to make, flavorful, and filling. The best part is that you can make the harissa-spiced sweet potatoes ahead of time, and then eat this delicious salad throughout the week.

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Overhead shot of sweet potato arugula salad in a bowl topped with fresh avocado and pepitas

What is Harissa and Where Can You Find it?

Harissa is a North African condiment made out of hot peppers, garlic, herbs, and spices. It is usually sold as a paste, and it adds spice and a hint of tang to anything you put it in.

Tunisia, where harissa originates, is the biggest producer of this spice in the world.

Overhead shot of sweet potato tossed with harissa and olive oil on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper

You can buy harissa paste at most grocery stores or order it through Amazon. You can also easily make your own harissa paste at home.

In addition to using it to flavor roasted vegetables like the sweet potato in this sweet potato arugula salad, I also like to use harissa to spice up eggs, marinate meat, or add a kick to homemade soup.

How to Make a Perfectly Balanced Salad

I’m the pickiest eater when it comes to salads, so I’ve given a lot of thought to what makes a good one. Here are some tips for making perfectly balanced salads at home:

  • Add some crunch: There is nothing more boring that a salad without contrasting textures. For this sweet potato arugula salad, I chose to use pepitas (a type of pumpkin seed) to add some crunch. You can also use nuts like walnuts or pecans or even chia seeds to add some texture to your salads.

Closeup of pepitas in a plastic container

  • Pick hearty ingredients that will fill you up: having a salad for lunch and being hungry 2 hours later kind of defeats the whole purpose of eating a salad. That’s why I like to add roasted vegetables and avocado to salads. They will keep you full until dinner without the need for meat (but that is also an option!)

Shot of sweet potato arugula salad in a bowl topped with fresh avocado and pepitas with another bowl of salad in the background

  • Add some spice: most people don’t think about making salads spicy, but it’s a great way to add some variety to your salads. You can add spices to walnuts before roasting them or make a pepper-based dressing like this serrano-cilantro sauce to add spice to your salads.
Overhead shot of two bowls of sweet potato arugula salad next to a halved avocado and a sweet potato
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Harissa-Spiced Sweet Potato Arugula Salad with Avocado

This healthy sweet potato arugula salad is the perfect make-ahead lunch or dinner. Just roast the sweet potato in advance and then enjoy this salad throughout the week. It's also vegan!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: avocado, harissa paste, spicy food, sweet potatoes, vegan salad
Servings: 4
Calories: 423kcal
Author: Daniela Miranda

Ingredients

For the roasted sweet potatoes

  • 3 cups Japanese (or regular) sweet potato cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1/4 cup roasted pepitas (recipe follows)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 avocados halved and sliced
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 oz baby arugula washed

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400℉.
  • Place the harissa paste, garlic powder, vegetable oil, and a large pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Add the sweet potato and toss to coat. 
  • Transfer the sweet potato to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the pieces of sweet potato into a single layer.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 min or until you can easily pierce the sweet potato with a fork. Toss the sweet potato at the 10 min mark to ensure that it browns evenly.
  • Put the pepitas on a baking sheet and slide into the oven alongside the sweet potato. Cook for 5 min or until they go from green to a greenish brown. Transfer the pepitas to a small bowl and let them cool.
  • Once the sweet potato is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 10 min.
  • Place the arugula in a large bowl and season it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well. Divide the arugula into 4 bowls or plates and top with harissa-spiced sweet potatoes, sliced avocado, and pepitas.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

  • You can make the roasted sweet potato in advance and then assemble the salad later on. If properly stored, the roasted sweet potato will keep in the fridge for 5 days.
  • If you don't care about the salad being vegan, you could also top it with some queso fresco, feta, or goat's cheese.
 
Please keep in mind that the nutritional values for this recipe are just an estimate.

Nutrition

Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 1026mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 303.3% | Vitamin C: 24% | Calcium: 10.3% | Iron: 12.6%

Here are other healthy salad recipes you might enjoy:

If you like this recipe, please make sure to pin it, share it on social media, or email it to your friends. Don’t be shy! People are always grateful for some cooking inspiration 🙂

Also, if you have any questions or just want to let me know that you liked the recipe, please leave a comment below. Hearing from other adventurous home cooks always makes my day!


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13 thoughts on “Harissa-Spiced Sweet Potato Arugula Salad with Avocado (V)”

  • You know, I was just looking at the sweet potatoes I had in the basement, and was wondering what to make with them. I think I found just the recipe. Looks like a great dinner salad to me. Perfect timing.

  • I love a great salad and this one would make a delicious lunch. I don’t think that I’ve tried a Japanese sweet potato but will be looking for them. I’m with you that salads shouldn’t be boring. I’d be craving this one and will be making a big one so I can have it more than once!

  • You’re right, most people (myself included) don’t think about spice in salad! But I’m all in favour of it. I really like sweet potatoes (and spicy stuff, for that matter), but I frequently can’t think about what new/interesting way I want to use them. A salad with a little bit of a kick to it is a perfect idea! Cheers.

  • This salad incorporates SO many of my favorite things. I bet the spiciness and sweetness of the potatoes adds so much flavor. Sweet potatoes make for a substantial meal-style salad, too. Who needs meat?

  • Oh man. We are OBSESSED with salads in our house and I’m always looking for great news way to eat greens and veggies together. Never have I ever had a salad with harissa spiced sweet potatoes though! Definitely bookmarking this for next fall when we start roasting sweet potatoes again. Yahoo!

  • What a gorgeous salad. Arugula is probably my most favorite green…I put it in everything I can! But, I don’t work with harissa nearly enough. It must be absolutely fantastic with sweet potatoes. I really love the balance of textures and flavors in this recipe. Such a great way to wake up everyone’s salad game!

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