This VEGAN CHIPOTLE SWEET POTATO SALAD is dairy free, egg free and super creamy! If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to traditional potato salad for your next summer BBQ, this one is a real crowd pleaser!
The other day Tim and I were at a flea market with a lineup of food trucks and we had a sweet potato side salad that was really tasty. Then Tim turned to me and said “Can you make this at home?” Challenge accepted!
Staying true to my healthy swaps though I decided to make this a vegan sweet potato salad instead. I’m not vegan, but a couple nights a week I eat meatless meals just to keep everything in balance.
The reason this sweet potato salad ended up vegan though was because we always have cashews in the house but we never have mayo haha.
Traditional potato salad has never been my favorite. Hard boiled eggs and pickles always seemed to overwhelm my tastebuds. Also I find that sometimes potato salad just has too much mayo. Just me?
Spoiler Alert: I probably have a bias because I’ve never liked mayo based salads like tuna salad, chicken salad or potato salad.
My mom makes a really good potato salad that other people chow down, but I can only eat a couple spoonfuls. Hers is by far the best I’ve ever eaten, but traditional potato salad just isn’t for me. That doesn’t mean I’ll live a sad, potato salad free life though. If you’re like me (hopefully I’m not the only one) avoiding the potato salad at summer BBQ’s, this sweet potato salad tossed in vegan chipotle sauce is a great alternative.
So you’re probably wondering if there’s no mayo, or eggs or pickles does this taste like potato salad? Well it’s definitely not traditional but it’s still creamy and potato-y, but with a little spice! Plus the vegan chipotle sauce provides the creaminess that mayo serves in traditional potato salad.
Here are the healthy ingredient swaps for this sweet potato salad recipe:
- Potato → Sweet Potato
- Mayo → Cashew Sauce
- Pickles and Relish → Fresh red bell peppers and scallions
- White Sugar → Sweet Potato
How to make vegan mayo or aioli
If you’re not convinced about using cashew based vegan sauce instead of mayo, I promise even non-nut lovers will like it. As I mentioned in another post, Tim is not a fan of nuts. He said and I quote “if there are nuts in this meal, I don’t want to know about it”.
So when I slip nuts into meals, I make sure that the nuts are nice and hidden. The cashew sauce really and truly is a great mayo replacement.
To make the vegan mayo, you need to:
- Soak cashews for a couple hours or overnight
- Strain the cashews
- Add them to a blender with chipotle and other spices
Pro Tip: You can also add extra water to the cashew sauce and use it as a vegan, dairy free alfredo sauce for pasta!
5 Reasons to try this sweet potato salad (even if you’re not VEGAN):
- Cashew sauce is super rich and creamy
- Full of healthy fats from nuts and olive oil
- No overwhelming hard boiled egg or pickle flavor
- Lovely sweetness
- Subtle heat
P.S. If you’re looking for an entree to eat with this sweet potato salad, try this Cocoa Rubbed Steak with Chimichurri!
Vegan Chipotle Sweet Potato SaladRate this Recipe:
- 4 sweet potatoes, medium sized
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp chipotles in adobo, pureed Use less if you want it less spicy
- 1 tbs smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with water and let soak for 1 hour or overnight. Tip: Overnight is better if you have an older blender; soak in the refrigerator if you chose overnight.
- Strain the cashews and add them to a blender along with lemon juice, garlic, 1/3 cup water, salt and pepper to taste. Blend for 1-2 minutes until a thick sour cream like texture is formed. If it's too thick, loosen by adding water 1 tbs at a time. When you get a thickness that you like, add chipotles and smoked paprika to the blender and puree until incorporated.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes into cubes (make sure they're roughly the same size so they cook evenly). Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes until tender. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Add cooled sweet potatoes, chipotle cashew sauce, chopped red bell pepper and chopped scallion to a bowl. Toss everything together with a rubber spatula so that the potatoes are evenly coated. Enjoy!
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see how it turned out! Snap a picture and tag @brightrootskitchen or use #brightrootskitchen on Insta.