Looking for a delicious and healthy salad to add to your Thanksgiving menu? This roasted sweet potato and rice salad is a great option! It’s also a great recipe to make ahead of time and enjoy as a light lunch the next day. Topped with roasted sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pecans, this salad is sure to be a hit!
This Roasted Sweet Potato and Rice Salad is perfect for a quick and easy side dish that is full of flavor! The sweet potatoes are roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper until they are nice and crispy.
Then the rice is cooked in chicken broth until tender. Finally, the salad is finished off with dried cranberries, pecans, and fresh thyme. Yum!
- Olive oil – extra virgin works best. You can also use avocado oil if you prefer.
- Sweet potatoes – cubed.
- Onion – finely chopped.
- Chicken broth – may substitute with vegetable broth.
- Rice blend.
- Garlic powder.
- Ground thyme.
- Dried parsley.
- Dried cranberries.
- Pecans – chopped.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Optional garnish – fresh thyme
How to make roasted sweet potato salad
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cubed sweet potatoes on a large rimmed sheet pan in a single layer. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil, toss and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Place cubed sweet potato pieces in preheated oven to roast for 25 minutes, tossing the potatoes halfway through the cooking process.
3. While the potatoes are baking, cook rice. Start by adding one tablespoon of oil to a large skillet on medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
4. Pour 2.5 cups of chicken broth into the skillet and bring to a boil.
5. Stir in rice, garlic powder, ground thyme, dried parsley, and salt and pepper.
6. Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is fully cooked and liquid is absorbed. Add a ½ cup additional broth if rice begins to dry out before fully cooking.
7. Taste and add additional salt if needed.
8. Add dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and roasted sweet potatoes to the rice. Stir to combine.
9. Garnish with fresh thyme, or some sliced green onion and serve warm in a large serving bowl.
This Roasted Sweet Potato and Rice Salad can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving if desired.
Tips & Tricks
- If you are short on time, feel free to use pre-cooked rice for this recipe.
- For a vegan version, omit the chicken broth and substitute it with vegetable broth or water.
- If you don’t have fresh thyme, dried works just as well or you can use chives or green onions
- This salad is great served warm or cold and can be made ahead of time for easy meal prep!
- Feel free to add any other favorite fall ingredients, such as crisp apples, squash, nuts, or seeds.
- Toasted pecans also taste great in this potato and rice salad.
- Top with some goat cheese for extra protein and flavor.
- Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the rice mixture for a bit of spice.
- Try adding in some sweet red onion for a bit of extra crunch.
- Drizzle some honey and dijon mustard dressing or even a sweet balsamic vinegar glaze over the top for serving.
- Top your salad with some fresh arugula or baby spinach for color, presentation, and crunch.
- You can meal prep this salad ahead of time by placing it in mason jars and storing it in the fridge for quick lunches.
Substitutions and variations
- You can use any type of rice in this recipe – white, brown, or a wild rice blend. You could even try black rice.
- For added flavor, add some herbs like fresh parsley.
- Walnuts or slivered almonds work well in place of pecans if desired.
- Use any citrus juice and zest to top off the salad – orange or lemon juice is especially tasty. Lime juice works as well.
- Use any type of dried fruit, like raisins or apricots, instead of cranberries.
- Drizzle some pure maple syrup on top for extra sweetness.
- Sprinkle on some orange zest for extra flavor and color.
Can you eat brown rice and sweet potatoes together?
Yes! brown rice has a nutty flavor, and the roasted sweet potato is creamy and delicious. They work together to create a delicious and nutritious dish.
Should you boil sweet potatoes before roasting?
No, boiling sweet potatoes before roasting is not necessary. Roasting the sweet potatoes on their own will give them a nice crisp texture and bring out their natural sweetness.
What flavors work well with sweet potato?
Sweet potatoes pair well with herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, and parsley. Spices like chili powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin also work great with sweet potatoes.
Other complementary flavors include garlic, citrus juices (like lemon or lime), ginger, maple syrup, apples, and other fruits. As for vegetables – onions, bell peppers, and kale are all excellent choices!
Try this yummy sweet potato and rice salad tonight!
This sweet potato and rice salad is the perfect easy weeknight side dish. It can be made in advance, stored in the fridge, and reheated quickly when needed. The recipe is versatile and can easily be tailored to your taste preferences. We hope you enjoy it!