Sweet. Spicy. Crunchy. Creamy. No, that’s not the name of my new 80s cover band. It’s all about this Sweet Potato Salad with Apples, Cranberries & Pecans. It’s a phenomenal combo of some of my favorite flavors and I am 👏🏽 Here 👏🏽 for 👏🏽 all 👏🏽 of 👏🏽 it. I especially like it at this time of year (the season of all things sweet potato) when I can serve it up as a Thanksgiving starter.
Diced sweet potatoes are sautéed to a crisp then folded into a delightfully garlicky dressing. The only trick is to not overcook your potatoes. Sweet potatoes soften easily when cooked, so too long in the pan will leave you with more of a sweet potato mush rather than tasty, little cubes.
The goal? To saute the potatoes until they’re cooked through and slightly crisp. Cool them completely before tossing them in with the dressing or you will have a wet, soggy mess on your hands!
Sweet Potato Salad with Apples, Cranberries & Pecans
It’s no secret that I giant puffy heart apples and cranberries in salads (receipts here and here). Sweet potatoes, sautéed to crisp- (outside) tender (inside) perfection, tossed with a creamy, slightly spicy dressing served in a crisp lettuce cup is yet another variation on a delicious theme. This salad is busy. I mean there’s the sweet potatoes, made even sweeter by the contrasting heat from the crushed red pepper flakes. A little cranberry. A little garlic. A little green onion. Did I mention the toasted pecans and chopped apples? A LOT of yum.
I like to graze so turning this salad into a handheld appetizer was a no-brained for me. I prefer the super crisp leaves pulled from butter lettuce but iceberg or even romaine leaves will work, as well.
The crushed red pepper flakes add a hint of heat. Add more for a truly spicy salad.
Be sure to let the sweet potatoes cool completely before adding them to the mayo. If they’re hot, they’ll melt the mayo leaving you with a soupy salad!
I like to use crisp butter lettuce leaves to serve this salad in but it’s equally delicious served from a bowl.
Sweet potatoes, sautéed to crisp-tender perfection, tossed with a creamy, slightly spicy dressing served in a crisp lettuce cup is a delicious appetizer, perfect for Thanksgiving or any time!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups diced, peeled sweet potato (1/2-inch dice)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add sweet potatoes and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until sweet potatoes begin to soften, 3-5 minutes.
- Add apple, green onion, cover and continue cooking until sweet potatoes begin to brown and are fork tender, another 5-7minutes. Stir in pecans and cranberries until just heated through. Remove from pan and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Stir mayonnaise and garlic together in a medium bowl. Add cooled sweet potato mixture and toss until evenly coated. Arrange lettuce leaves on platter. Spoon sweet potato salad into lettuce cups, dividing evenly.