We’re combining two of my favorite things in this recipe: being shamelessly lazy and making vegetables taste AMAZING. If you’ve been making my healthy recipes for a while, you know that I’m not a salad person. I’d much rather get my greens blended in a Chocolate Chai Smoothie or wilted in a stir fry. I’m also pretty lazy and therefore obsessed with healthy meal prep ideas that have minimal prepping and cleaning. So, this sweet potato and kale sheet pan recipe definitely aces my Salads That Don’t Suck standards because A) the clementine rosemary dressing has me literally licking the bowl clean B) it takes zero effort and C) it makes the perfect plant based lunches for the week to kick-start a healthy new year.
This Sheet Pan Salad is inspired by my most recent gastronomic invention, the Sautéed Salad which makes cruciferous vegetables like kale easier to digest. It’s also more crave-able during cold months when all you really want to do is drink hot cocoa, bake cookies, and lay around wearing blankets and reading books. Now, I’m bringing coziness into your life in the form of a winter salad that tastes so good you’ll seriously forget that you’re eating a salad. It’s a little sweet, a little savory, super comforting, and nourishing in every bite. Plus, it’s made in TWO, simple steps in just ONE PAN.
Why this salad is SO healthy for you
Look, we’ve all been eating holiday cookies and celebrating (drinking) more than usual, which means now is a great time to treat our bodies to eating MORE naturally cleansing and energy-boosting ingredients. I’m a firm believer in adding nutrient-rich foods into our daily intakes instead of eating less for the sake of dieting. Check out my podcast episode with Dr. Megan Rossi, The Gut Health Doctor, where she explains the science behind supporting your microbiome AND this podcast episode with Dr. Rangan Chatterjee where he debunks the efficacy of calorie counting. That’s why this healthy meal prep idea for weight loss is all about eating MORE antioxidant-rich kale, apples which soak up toxins in the body, PH-balancing apple cider vinegar, liver-cleansing rosemary, and mandarin oranges that are loaded with Vitamin C. Here’s the health highlights from the ingredients in this dish:
- Anti-inflammatory and de-bloating: kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and research shows that it helps reduce inflammation in the body.
- Amps up weight loss: apple cider vinegar has been shown in studies to help reduce unwanted body fat and increase feelings of fullness, helping to curb indulgent cravings.
- Reduces risk of disease: beyond aiding in weight-loss by keeping you full with fiber, apples are rich in antioxidants which have shown in studies to protect against harmful diseases and diabetes.
- Boosts gut health: sweet potatoes are shown in research to help keep the intestinal track of the gut healthy and strong and apple cider vinegar has been linked to aiding the gut in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Make this easy meal prep in just one pan!
There’s something so satisfying about a warm bowl of deliciousness that comes together without any real effort. You’ll only need a prepped baking sheet, a small bowl for the dressing, and a whisk. Incredibly easy clean-up means more time snuggling in a blanket with a cat named Bella. Here’s how to do it:
- Roast your veggies. You’ll start by lining a large pan with parchment paper and placing the chopped sweet potatoes, apples, and red onion on it in a single layer. Toss them with olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt and roast until golden brown.
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, adding the olive oil last.
- Combine all the flavors. Take the roasted veggies out of the oven, add the kale to the pan, and toss it all with the dressing. Then, add the pecans on top, un-tossed, and return to the oven.
- Zest it up, serve or seal! Finally, add bite-sized pieces of fresh clementine on top and dish it into two large servings or four small servings in microwave-safe containers. Or, eat up!
How to store and reheat
This Sweet Potato and Kale Sheet Pan Salad will stay good for up to 4-5 days.
- To store: keep in an airtight, microwave-safe container in the fridge.
- To re-heat: place in the microwave and heat at 30-second intervals until warmed through.
Delicious ways to customize
Personally, I think the flavors of the sweet potatoes, apples, and kale go PERFECTLY with the freshness of the clementine rosemary dressing. But there are plenty of fun ways to customize it for your preferences.
- Experiment with butternut squash. It’s a less-carby and nuttier-tasting alternative to sweet potato that would hold up nicely in this sheet pan salad.
- Choose your dressing. If citrus isn’t the vibe you’re after, try the Cranberry Maple Vinaigrette from the Sautéed Salad that started it all.
- Play with protein. Adding roasted chickpeas, shredded chicken, or hemp hearts would also be delicious.
More Salads That Don’t Suck
Watch the Sheet Pan Salad Play-By-Play
Enjoy, and tag me if you make it on Instagram (@lizmoody)—I can’t wait to see!Print
For the salad:
- 3 cups cubed sweet potato
- 2 cups cubed red apple
- 1 small or 1/2 large red onion, sliced
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- A big pinch of fine grain sea salt
- A big pinch of smoked paprika
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 clementine, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
For the clementine rosemary vinaigrette:
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Zest and juice of 1 clementine
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Big pinch of fine grain sea salt
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the sweet potatoes, apples, and onion with olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt and spread into a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 30-45 minutes until mostly brown, flipping them at the 15 minute intervals.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, clementine zest and juice, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, and rosemary. Once mixed, add the olive oil and whisk until combined.
3. Remove the roasted vegetable sheet from the oven. Add the kale and dressing to the pan, tossing to combine with the roasted vegetables. Then, sprinkle the pecans on top and leave un-tossed so that they toast.
4. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 5-7 more minutes until the kale wilts and the nuts are dark brown.
5. Once roasted, place the salad into a bowl, add the fresh clementine, and serve!