Oven baked crispy kale with roasted sweet potato mingled together with a creamy hummus dressing, this is a satisfying vegan and gluten-free side dish that hits all the comforting notes.
Why You’ll Love Crispy Kale Sweet Potato Salad
When I create salad recipes, I want them to be full of flavour and interesting textures. This roasted crispy kale salad recipe with sweet potatoes definitely falls into this category.
The contrasting textures with oven baked crispy kale, roasted sweet potatoes and a creamy hummus dressing deliver a multitude of flavours and mouthfeel. Plus, a scattering of chilli flakes and crushed cashew nuts as final touches really take it up a notch.
I created this crispy kale recipe as a side dish for roast chicken. Layering hummus dressing on the bottom of the plate creates a comforting dish as the creaminess wraps around the sweet potatoes and crunchy texture of crispy kale.
So when you are craving something hearty and comforting, try this crispy kale recipe. Warm with big hearty flavours that soothe the soul. A yummy vegan and gluten free salad recipe to suit all ages.
How To Prepare Kale For Salad
Kale can be tough and fibrous to eat raw. Therefore, there are a couple of steps required to prepare raw kale for salad.
The first is to remove the stalk. You generally can not eat the stalk that runs through the middle part of kale. You can use a sharp knife and slice either side or run your hands up the stalk to remove the leaves.
The other important step is to massage the kale before serving.
What do you mean massage the kale? Yes, we mean rubbing the kale leaves with a little oil as if you were giving it a massage! This helps to tenderise the leaves and makes it perfect for a salad.
You can try this technique with our Purple Kale salad recipe.
What Is Crispy Kale?
Also known as the Queen of Greens, kale is a superfood that can be incorporated into many different recipes. You might be surprised by what ingredients goes well with kale.
Crispy kale is a great vegan kale recipe to start, especially with young children. Also known as kale chips, it is oven-baked or air-fried, unlike deep fried potato chips but still has a crunchy texture.
Quick, easy and healthy, crispy kale works well as a tasty snack or for adding to salads for texture and flavour.
For our roasted kale salad, we have only seasoned it with sea salt, but you can add whatever flavouring you like to spice it up.
For some heat, try chilli flakes and paprika. Punch it up with garlic powder and sea salt. For a Japanese-inspired version, add a dash of tamari and sesame seeds. The choices for kale chips seasoning are endless and only limited by your imagination.
Flavour/Texture: Typically speaking, you don’t often see crispy kale in a salad. It is delicious on its own. However, when added to a salad, the oven roasted kale leaves add so much more texture, crunch and smoky flavours.
In this recipe, there is an explosion of texture as we combine crunchy kale chips with roasted sweet potatoes and layered over a creamy hummus dressing. No sad, limp leaves in sight.
Hummus dressing gives a delicious creamy base to offset the natural sweetness of the sweet potato and earthy texture of kale.
Ease: A few components to the roasted kale salad that needs attention but nothing too technical. I have plated it a little differently just to draw attention to all the wonderful components versus just throwing everything in a bowl.
Time: Most of the time spent is spent using the oven, so you prepare other ingredients while kale and sweet potato are roasting.
These are the ingredients you need for crispy kale salad with roasted sweet potatoes:
Kale: I used curly kale for the kale chips because they have broader leaves with a curly edge. Somehow look more like chips when baked.
Roasted cashew nuts: Cashew nuts add another layer of crunch but also complements the sweet potato and hummus flavours.
Chilli flakes: To help cut through the richness of hummus dressing and lift the sweetness of sweet potato, chilli flakes add extra oomph.
Hummus: Choose your favourite brand of hummus. We used SSS Foods hummus, which is perfect for vegans and is also gluten free.
Dijon mustard/lemon juice /maple syrup: All to help balance the richness of hummus in the creamy salad dressing.
Variations And Substitutions
Pre-cut kale leaves: I don’t mind preparing the kale for chips, but to save some time, you can purchase pre-cut kale leaves at the supermarket.
Kale chips in the air fryer: You can also make crispy kale in the air fryer. This way you can have both the kale and sweet potato going simultaneously to reduce cooking time.
Sweet potato variation: If you don’t have sweet potato on hand, roast pumpkin will also work well.
Nut free option: Omit cashew nuts from the recipe. You can replace with pepitas or sunflower seeds.
Step by step instructions for how to make crispy kale salad with roasted sweet potatoes:
How to Roast Sweet Potato
Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F.
Peel and chop sweet potato into 2cm cubes.
Toss in olive oil and season well with sea salt.
Place chopped sweet potato on a lined sheet tray. Spread them out in a single layer and do not overlap. This will allow the heat to distribute evenly.
Roast sweet potato in the oven for 30-35 min until golden brown with crispy bits on the side. You may want to turn them halfway through so both sides are caramelised properly.
Remove from the oven to cool down.
How To Make Crispy Kale
There are a few different methods you can make crispy kale. You can shallow fry in the pan, but I find this way very oily, so I prefer to oven bake my kale leaves. You can also use the air fryer.
We love crispy kale as a snack on its own, so maybe worth making a double batch for afternoon munchies later.
Turn the oven down to 150°C or 300°F after you have roasted the sweet potatoes.
Wash and dry the kale leaves thoroughly.
Using a sharp knife, remove the kale stems by making a V-shaped cut along the stems. Tear up the larger leaves into smaller bite-sized pieces.
Drizzle with olive oil and massage the kale leaves thoroughly. Then sprinkle with sea salt.
Place on a lined sheet tray and bake for 15-18 mins or until crisp. You still want the leaves to be mostly green. Remove from the oven and then leave to cool for a few mins.
If for some reason, kale leaves haven’t gotten crispy, you can return them to the oven at a lower temperature or even turn off the oven but still warm. This will help draw out the moisture but not burn the crispy kale.
How to Make Hummus Dressing
Rather than just using hummus by itself, which is possible, I want to create a smoother and luscious texture for the hummus dressing.
Start with natural hummus and add Dijon mustard, lemon juice and maple syrup.
Mix well until combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
On a serving platter, spread the hummus dressing across the plate in a circle.
Layer crispy roasted kale on one-third of the plate over hummus dressing and then roast sweet potato next to it.
You want to leave some of the hummus dressing exposed so your guests can see the delicious creamy concoction.
Crush roasted cashew nuts into smaller pieces and scatter on top of the salad.
Finish with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
How To Make This Salad Perfectly (Expert Tips)
Do not burn the kale chips: Roasting kale leaves in an oven can brown quickly if there is too high heat. Be careful to watch the timing. I don’t mind slightly charred kale chips, but burnt kale tastes bitter.
If you are making the kale chips in the air fryer, be careful the kale chips don’t get too close to the heating element as this will burn the kale chip and create unwanted smoking.
Balance the hummus dressing: Do taste the hummus dressing and balance it to how you like it. I prefer mine to have a little more zing in the dressing and not too gluggy.
Add extra lemon juice or maple syrup according to taste. Mix with a little olive oil if too thick.
Give it some care when plating: I like to show off the crispy kale chips in this recipe, so I have chosen to layer the salad with hummus dressing on the bottom and then kale and sweet potato on top.
Everyone can then scoop their own serving with what they choose and mix together. If you do serve everything together in a bowl, the flavours will definitely be the same but not as eye-catching.
Great Main Dishes For This Salad
Looking for some vegan mains to serve with this crispy kale and sweet potato salad? Try these delicious recipes:
Nothing scream meaty for our vegan friend that mushroom. Add some BBQ sauce and you have yourself a BBQ mushroom sandwich. Craving some Mexican? This carnitas recipe with jackfruit will get you going.
Frequently Asked Questions
Best to have crispy kale on the same day, but you can also store it in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Let the crispy kale chips cool down completely before storing.
You can prepare this salad in advance, but I prefer to serve it warm or at room temperature. Keep crispy kale in an airtight container and the other ingredients separately until ready to plate.
Although kale varieties all have hearty and earthy flavours, they do cook differently in certain recipes.
Curly kale is the most common variety, and as the name suggests, the leaves have curly green edges. You don’t eat the stalks as they are tough and fibrous. The leaves can be used as kale chips like in this recipe, massaged with oil and acid for salad, added to smoothies, or sautéed in a pan.
As for Tuscan kale, the leaves are narrower and longer. I love the deep colour of Tuscan kale. It is also more tender than curly kale, so it works well in salads and is great for sauteing. You can also add soups and pastas for added depth.
Hummus is a dip made from cooked mashed chickpeas with tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Although we are unsure exactly where hummus first started, we do know it originated from the Middle East and is now possibly one of the most popular dips around the globe.
A versatile ingredient, we love to add hummus to our salad creations. Any leftover hummus can be used in our Salad of Dutch Carrots or our Vegan Falafel recipe.
For this kale sweet potato salad recipe, I wanted to create a creamy dressing to offset the natural sweetness of sweet potato and the earthy texture of kale. Hummus gives a delicious base for this.
This Crispy Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes is so easy to prepare with minimal ingredients but packed with different textures and flavours. A great vegan side dish for all occasions and to suit all dietary needs.
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Crispy Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato
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- Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F.
- Peel and chop sweet potato into 2cm cubes. Toss in 1 tbsp olive oil and season well with sea salt.Place chopped sweet potato on a lined sheet tray. Spread them out in a single layer and do not overlap. Roast sweet potato in the oven for 30 min until golden brown with crispy bits on the side. You may want to turn them halfway through so both sides are caramelised properly. Remove from the oven to cool down.
- Turn the oven down to 150°C or 300°F after you have roasted the sweet potatoes.Wash and dry the kale leaves thoroughly. Using a sharp knife, remove the kale stems by making a V-shaped cut along the stems. Tear up the larger leaves into smaller bite sized pieces. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and massage the kale leaves thoroughly. Then sprinkle with sea salt. Place on a lined sheet tray and bake for 15-18 mins or until crisp. You still want the leaves to be mostly green. Remove from the oven and then leave to cool for a few mins.
- Add hummus, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and maple syrup together in a small bowl.
- Mix well until combined.
- On a serving platter, spread the hommus dressing across the plate in a circle.
- Layer crispy kale on one-third of the plate over hommus dressing and then roast sweet potato next to it.
- Crush roasted cashew nuts into smaller pieces and scatter on top of the salad.
- Finish with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Crispy kale is a delicious tasty snack so you can make a double batch for later. Best consumed with a few hours.
- You can use roasted pumpkin instead of sweet potato in this recipe.
- For a nut free version, sprinkle pepitas instead of cashew nuts.
- To save some time you can purchase pre-cut kale leaves at the supermarket.
- You can also make crispy kale in the air fryer. This way, you can have both the kale and sweet potato going simultaneously to reduce cooking time.
- For a lighter salad dressing, you can also try our Creamy mustard dressing or, for an Asian twist, try the miso mayo recipe instead of the hummus dressing.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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