Mexican Sweet Potato Salad

A new twist on potato salad any time of year, this traditional dish explodes with Latino flavors of roasted sweet potato, red bell peppers, and spices. Like a warm Niçoise salad with authentic Mexican character, I made it for an office gathering, and it was a hit. Called Ensalada Calientita de Camote y Tocino, this Paleo version is perfect for picnics and potlucks because it is so unique. And because you can leave it out with no worries, since it contains no mayo. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bacon or chorizo are optional. Serves 6 as a main dish, or 12 as a side dish. 


Warm Mexican Sweet Potato Salad



  • 4 whole sweet potatoes or yams
  • 6 ounces non-gmo bacon or chorizo, cut in 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
  • 1 red onion in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded, in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, diced
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne or chipotle, depending on your taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoons sweetener, such as Just Like Sugar Brown natural chicory root sweetener, or 1/2 teaspoon PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 2 teaspoons raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, in coarse chunks with the peel
  • 1 lime, peeled and sliced


    Bake Sweet Potatoes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease the sweet potatoes with coconut oil. Place them in a baking pan and bake for 1 hour until a fork pierces them easily. Remove from oven to cool. Then remove skins with a small paring knife, and chop into bite-size chunks. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Make the Salad:
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, sauté the bacon over medium heat until barely crispy. Remove it to a plate, leaving the bacon fat in the pan. Add the red onion and peppers, and sauté until they barely start to soften. This is a salad, so you don’t want to over-cook them.
  4. Blend the Dressing:
  5. In any blender or food processor, add all dressing ingredients. Process well.
  6. Serve:
  7. In a large mixing bowl, add the sweet potatoes, cooked bacon, and sautéed veggies. Add the chopped cilantro. Pour the dressing on top and stir well to combine. Serve warm.

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