Cook: Sweet potato and lentil salad

Cook: Sweet potato and lentil salad

Last weekend, my housemate and I had a bit of a Christmas barbecue with a few friends, which was very exciting for both of us as we now have a balcony and R (my housemate) bought a barbecue so that we can eat nothing but sausage sizzles all summer long (hooray!). As it’s mandatory to have a potato salad at a proper Aussie barbie, I decided to pull out an old favourite of mine and a fun, lighter twist on the stodgey, starchy, mayo-drenched potato salad of our childhoods. This potato salad features sweet potato and has lots of yummy bits and pieces that soak up the lemon and paprika dressing. It’s colourful, the perfect crowd pleaser and an excellent vegetarian option to keep all your meat-free friends happy.

What I LOVE about this salad is that it keeps in the fridge for a week, no worries, and can be eaten cold or reheated slightly in the microwave if you’re looking for something warm to eat. This recipe makes two serving bowls worth of salad, which makes it perfect for parties but also as a great side to simple proteins, such as steak or grilled chicken. Honestly though, I’m happy with just a bowl of this and nothing else (ok, maybe a piece of toast… I love toast).


While most of the salad was eaten at our barbecue, there was just enough left over for me to take to work on Monday and that made me a happy lady – I reckon it tastes better a day old! It’s loosely based on a recipe from the now-defunct Masterchef magazine.

Sweet potato and lentil salad


  • 1 can brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 long, thinnish sweet potatos, sliced into half cm rounds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 slices of day old bread, torn
  • 150g feta, crumbled
  • 70g slivered almonds (optional, as they’re pricey, but I happened to have some lying around)
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 210 C. Toss the sweet potato in a bowl with 1 tbs of the oil, plus the paprika and cumin and toss. Season with salt and pepper and spread in a single layer across lined baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until tender
  2. On another lined baking sheet, spread out the bread, feta, almonds and cherry tomatoes, add a tsb of oil, toss and then bake on the bottom shelf of your oven for about 15 minutes until you have crisp croutons and the tomatoes have softened slightly
  3. In a bowl (your serving bowl, if you want to avoid excess dishes), add the lemon juice, parsley, crushed garlic and the rest of the oil and season lightly with salt and pepper – but don’t toss it yet!
  4. Add the drained lentil, sweet potato and tomato/feta/bread mix and toss to combine the flavour, carefully – as you don’t want to break down the sweet potato
  5. Serve warm or cold