December 10, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad with Warm Cranberry Chutney Dressing

After posting a couple of holiday recipes that have been on the sweet side, I thought it would be good to share a savory dish that could fit into your upcoming holiday meal plans too!

I love adding fresh cranberries to baked goods, like scones or my cranberry orange almond loaf, but I wanted to try out a dinner recipe highlighting cranberries in a different way.  I saw this recipe for a roasted sweet potato salad with cranberry-chipotle dressing from Cooking Light and thought it would be the perfect base for my own version of a holiday salad.

Along with the roasted sweet potatoes, which I spiced up a bit with chili powder, I added canned chickpeas to bulk up the dish a bit more.  The sweet potato and chickpeas are then tossed in a warm, chunky dressing of fresh cranberries simmered with a bit of orange juice, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and chili flakes for a touch of heat.

Finally, I added some dried cranberries to the mix for even more cranberry flavour, along with some pumpkin seeds and chopped fresh parsley.

I loved everything about this salad - the potatoes were nice and tender, and I especially loved the cranberry dressing with its mix of sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy notes.

I would definitely consider serving this as a Christmas side dish, since all of the flavours together really did remind me of the holidays. Plus the red cranberries paired with the green pepitas and parsley make for a very festive looking salad!

Of course, you don't have to wait until Christmas to make this - I enjoyed it for lunches and dinner last week when I was busy making treats for our annual school cookie swap, and I was glad to have a healthy yet still filling meal to look forward to once I got sick of eating cookies!

Roasted Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad with Warm Cranberry Chutney Dressing
Inspired by Cooking Light 

~1.5 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 a shallot, finely minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
Heaping 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1/8 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss diced sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp of olive oil, chili powder, and season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once, until tender.

To make the dressing, heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the shallot and ginger and sauté for about 1 minute.  Add the cranberries, orange juice, balsamic, maple syrup, and chili flakes. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have started to break down.  Remove from heat and mash the cranberries to make a chunky sauce. Keep sauce warm over low heat until the potatoes are ready.

When the potatoes are done, remove from oven and transfer to a bowl. Add the chickpeas, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and parsley, and toss to combine.  Add the sauce and toss until the potatoes and chickpeas are evenly coated.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Makes 3-4 large servings, or more as a side dish


  1. Mmmmmm! Love sweet potatoes, chickpeas and cranberries! This salad looks delicious. Perfect for the holiday season.

    1. Thanks Courtney! I agree, you can't really go wrong when you combine those three ingredients in a salad!

  2. This would be such a perfect lunch salad (you're not the only one sick of cookies!). Especially since you added chickpeas. More protein! :)

    1. True - I thought the sweet potatoes on their own wasn't quite enough, since I wanted this to serve as a meal. And I'm sure I'll re-gain my craving for cookies very soon, especially since I've already just received some homemade shortbread as an early Christmas gift!

  3. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this! Definitely very festive but the chili adds a good twist!

  4. Hi im vegetarian
    here is my best recipe (turkish )

    Kisir Ingredients
    1.5 cups fine bulgur
    1.5 cups boiling water
    5-6 medium size fresh (green ) onions finely chopped
    2 tbsp sweet tomato paste
    1 tbsp sweet pepper paste
    1 tbsp hot pepper paste
    2 medium size tomatoes chopped
    1 cucumber chopped
    5 tbsp parsley coarsely chopped
    5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    3 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or lemon juice if you want)
    half tea spoon black pepper spice ( you can add cummin, chili ,garlic too, try and decide)
    salt to taste

    Place the bulgur in a large bowl and add boiling mom cooking bulgur &tomato paste and pepper paste all together at low heat for 3-5 minutes for the bulgur to absorb all the water. I recommend it.
    please wait to cool down then you can add fresh vegetable and spices, salt -
    enjoy your meal
    we usually eat with bread and tea




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