This smoky sweet potato kale salad is drizzled with a warm ginger dressing and topped with roasted pepitas. It’s a lovely weekenight meal or perfect make ahead lunch – and so easy and flavorful!

Say hello to my current salad obsession!

smoky sweet potato kale salad with hot ginger dressing

At least until the next one comes along… 

Which may be next week. But still. Let’s live this one up for today! 

roasted sweet potatoes

This salad is so ridiculously simple but loaded with flavor. Of course, we have the roasted sweet potatoes. But we also have one of my favorite dressings in all the land! This hot ginger dressing is EVERYTHING. 

hot ginger dresssing

If you haven’t made my salmon salad with hot ginger dressing yet, you are missing out! Mostly because of this dressing. Sure, the salmon is good too, but it’s another simple salad that focuses mainly on the vinaigrette. 

It’s warm, made with fresh ginger and sesame and soy. And it is SO good.

Growing up, my mom and grandma loved hot bacon dressing. Obviously so did I. I wanted to make a non-bacon version of a warm vinaigrette and that is how the hot ginger vinaigrette was born!

roasted sweet potatoes

It’s delicious on the salmon salad, but it might be even better with these sweet potatoes. I love the sweet potato + ginger combo. It’s so warm and fall-like. The flavors really compliment each other and it brings out all the autumn feels.

So many of you love this dressing and have asked for other suggestions using it. While I think it’s good on *all the things*, I wanted to give you another specific recipe where you can enjoy it.

smoky sweet potato kale salad with hot ginger dressing

I use a bit of the dressing to massage the kale too. Usually I do this with only olive oil, but since the dressing it warm, it helps to wilt the kale nicely. And that extra flavor really removes the bitterness. Of course I drizzle more dressing on top too, but massaging the kale is what it’s all about.

smoky sweet potato kale salad with hot ginger dressing

Here’s how it comes together!

Smoky roasted sweet potatoes are our main ingredient. I chop ‘em up, then roast with garlic and smoked paprika and even a bit of chipotle chili powder. Super smoky and roasty. 

Curly green or tuscan kale. Either works! Whichever one you can find, whichever one you love. 

The hot ginger dressing, which will change your life. You will want it on EVERYTHING. It brings so much flavor to a salad or roasted vegetables. Or heck, even a slice of sourdough. It’s fantastic. It’s made with toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, fresh ginger, garlic and shallot along with apple cider vinegar. So many things I love! 

Roasted pepitas for extra crunch. You could really do any kind of nut here, but hey, ‘tis the season.

smoky sweet potato kale salad with hot ginger dressing

It’s crazy how simple the salad actually is. It isn’t loaded like my rotisserie chicken salad. But it’s an easy, throw together meal that works great on a busy weeknight. It can also be prepped ahead of time for lunch. Or even that dinner after a busy day.

We love kale salads because the kale actually holds up in the fridge. You can massage the kale the night before, roast the sweet potatoes ahead of time and throw this whole thing together for lunch by warming the dressing right before. It’s actually pretty good when it’s cold too!

So yes, there’s my new fave. So simple, so easy, so flavorful and lots of options for meals. The best kind! 

smoky sweet potato kale salad with hot ginger dressing

Smoky Sweet Potato Kale Salad

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

This smoky sweet potato kale salad is drizzled with a warm ginger dressing and topped with roasted pepitas. It's so easy and flavorful!
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  • 2 to 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (½ to 1 inch cubes)
  • olive oil spray, or olive oil for drizzling
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 to 2 bunches of curly green or tuscan kale, stems removed and torn into pieces (about 6 to 8 cups)
  • ¼ cup roasted pepitas
  • furikake seasoning, optional

hot ginger dressing

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small shallot, diced (or diced red onion)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ½ cup olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Place the sweet potatoes on a nonstick baking sheet and toss them with a drizzle of olive oil (or use olive oil spray). Stir together the smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and a big pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle it evenly over the sweet potatoes and toss well.
  • Roast the sweet potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes, until fork tender.
  • While the sweet potatoes roast, make the dressing. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the sesame oil. Stir in the shallot with a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Reduce the heat to low. Whisk in the vinegar, honey and soy sauce. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.
  • Place the kale in a bowl. Drizzle on 1 to 2 tablespoons of the dressing and using your (clean) hands, massage the kale for a few minutes until all the leaves are coated. Let this sit for 5 to 10 minutes. It helps to break down the toughness of the kale and makes it less bitter.
  • When the potatoes are done, add them on top of the kale. Drizzle with more of the dressing, then top with pepitas. Sprinkle on furikake seasoning if you'd like. Serve!

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smoky sweet potato kale salad with hot ginger dressing

Give me all the crunch.