Fall Salad with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
with apples / cheddar / walnuts
This salad is bursting with the best flavors and textures of fall. Roast the chicken and sweet potatoes together while you assemble the salad for a low-fuss meal that still feels elegant and satisfying.
Smarts: This is a great time to use very good cheese if you have it. Cheddar is recommended, but any well-aged cheese such as Gruyere, Blue, or Parmesan would work well.
- Thyme, dried - 1 tsp
- Paprika - 1/2 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Sweet potatoes - 1 lb , cut into 1/2" / 1.3 cm cubes
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb , halved
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Cinnamon (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Cheese, cheddar - 2 oz , cut into small cubes or shredded (sub any aged cheese)
- Walnuts, halves or pieces - 1/4 cup
- Apples - 1 , chopped
- Baby kale - 8 oz (sub any salad greens)
- Vinegar, apple cider - 2 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 Tbsp
- Maple syrup - 1 Tbsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
Make seasoning mix - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Combine thyme, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make vinaigrette - Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup. Slowly add olive oil while whisking. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Sweet potatoes / Cheese - Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Toast walnuts - Place walnuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toast, stirring occasionally, until walnuts are golden brown and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Chicken - Slice chicken in half to thin. Coat both sides with seasoning mix and tenderize with a fork.
Apples - Prep as directed.
Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Set out a sheet pan and brush with first portion of cooking oil.
Toss sweet potatoes with second portion of cooking oil, cinnamon (if using), and some salt and pepper. Spread sweet potatoes out on half of the sheet pan. Transfer sheet pan to oven and roast for 10 minutes.
Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and give them a stir. Place chicken breasts on second half of sheet pan and return to oven (use two sheet pans if necessary to prevent crowding). Bake until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes more.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest briefly, then slice.
In a serving or mixing bowl, toss baby kale with half of the dressing.
Assemble salads by forming a bed of greens on each serving plate. Top greens with apples, walnuts, roasted sweet potatoes, and cheese.
Serve salads with sliced chicken on top. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Enjoy!