Tips for preparing the best chicken salad from the fall crop
The good thing about leaf meals and this salad starts as a leaf meal, is that they are really flexible. In this particular recipe, I used sweet potatoes and red onions, but feel free to get creative with the vegetables you incorporate. Other vegetables that would be excellent include yellow squash, carrots, peppers, zucchini, and broccoli, and cauliflower, which always roast very well.
Keep sweet potatoes in pieces about 1 to 1.5 inches so they cook at the same time as the chicken, which only takes 15 to 20 minutes, as the pieces are the size of a bite and you are roasting in a fairly hot oven.
If you have a convection oven, use it. You don’t need to change or reduce the temperature. If you don’t have a convection oven, don’t sweat. Roast until everything is done to your liking and cooked through.
This recipe provides a large number of sweet potatoes, chicken, and roasted onions and is ideal for planned leftovers and meal preparation. I divide the mixture of sweet potatoes, chicken, and red onions into individual plastic containers with lids and put them in the refrigerator or freezer. When you’re ready to eat your salad, add the greens and garnish with the cranberries and nuts.
Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potato Harvest Salad
prep time 15 MINUTES cook time 35 MINUTES total time 50 MINUTES
Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potato Harvest Salad – Fall-inspired ingredients including tender sweet potatoes, juicy chicken, red onions, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds topped with a honey apple cider vinaigrette!! A HEARTY and COMFORTING salad that makes a big batch perfect for planned leftovers!
- 2.5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 to 1.5-inch chunks
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided; or as needed
- 1.50 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon cardamom, or to taste
- 12 ounces spring greens or your favorite lettuce mixture
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, or to taste
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachio or pumpkin seeds, or to taste
Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons mustard (I like either dijon or honey mustard)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- Salad – Preheat oven to 425F (use Convection if you have it, you don’t have to reduce the temp) and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleanup (recommended).
- Add the sweet potatoes, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, generously season with salt and pepper, and toss with your hands to coat evenly. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove sheet pan from the oven, flip and toss the sweet potatoes, and push them to one side of the sheet pan.
- To the other side of the sheet pan, add the chicken, red onion, evenly drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, generously season with salt and pepper, and toss with your hands to coat evenly.
- Evenly season everything on the sheet pan with the paprika, ginger, cardamom, and return the sheet pan to the oven and roast for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender. Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the chicken, if you used 2 full pounds, the size of your sweet potato chunks, and being that this is quite a hot oven, check to start at 15 minutes and check often so you don’t overcook the chicken which can dry out quickly. I recommend rotating your baking sheet midway through roasting to ensure even cooking, especially if you’re using a convection oven.
- Add the lettuce mixture to your bowl (either individual serving bowls or a very large family-style bowl, top with the roasted sweet potatoes, chicken, and red onions.
- Evenly sprinkle with the cranberries, nuts/seeds, and top with your favorite dressing or vinaigrette.
- Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette – In a small glass jar or container with a lid, add all ingredients, put the lid on, and shake vigorously until combined; taste vinaigrette and tweak as necessary to taste. Drizzle over the salad and serve.
If you’re making this with the intention of planned leftovers, I recommend storing the roasted sweet potato, chicken, and red onion mixture in individual airtight plastic containers and storing in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. When you’re ready to eat, add the salad greens, cranberries, nuts, or seeds, and top with the vinaigrette.
The vinaigrette will easily keep airtight for at least 10 days in the fridge. The chicken mixture will keep airtight for up to 5 days in the fridge or for up to 4 months in the freezer.
YIELD:6 SERVING SIZE: 1
Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 747 TOTAL FAT: 26g SATURATED FAT: 5g TRANS FAT: 0g UNSATURATED FAT: 20g CHOLESTEROL: 129mg SODIUM: 593mg CARBOHYDRATES: 74g FIBER: 11g SUGAR: 35g PROTEIN: 55g