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Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon, Walnuts, and Lime Vinaigrette

In the spirit of keeping with the BBQ theme I started last week, here is one of my favorite BBQ side dishes! This Whole30 and Paleo-approved recipe is sweet, yet savory. This was gone within minutes the last time I shared this at a cookout. It's dairy-free, easy to make, and is packed with nutrients! If you want to WOW your friends with a healthy side dish that packs lots of flavor, bring this along to your next gathering. Enjoy!


For the Lime Vinaigrette
  • 3 medjool dates pitted and soaked in hot water to soften

  • 2 tbsp water (use the water you soaked the dates in!)

  • 2.5 tbsp lime juice

  • 1 tsp finely grated lime zest

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 6 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil

  • pinch red pepper flakes, optional

For the Salad:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 2 tsp. reserved bacon fat or other cooking fat

  • generous pinch sea salt

  • generous pinch black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

  • 6 slices bacon, crumbled

  • 3/4 c. raw walnuts, roughly chopped

  • finely chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon. When crispy, remove from the pan and set on a paper towel to drain grease. Reserve bacon grease in pan for later use.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly grease with olive oil spray.

  3. In a large bowl, toss the cubed sweet potatoes with 1 teaspoon of bacon grease, salt, pepper, onion powder, and paprika. Then, spread the potatoes evenly on the baking sheet.

  4. Roast for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Gently toss the potatoes on the baking sheet to ensure they brown evenly on all sides.

  5. In a small bowl, toss the walnuts with 1 teaspoon of bacon grease. Then, add the walnuts on top of the potatoes and put the baking sheet back in the oven for 5-7 minutes until the walnuts roast slightly.

  6. While the potatoes and walnuts roast, make the dressing by adding all of the dressing ingredients (except the olive oil) to a food processor or blender. Blend well until the ingredients fully combine. Then, slowly add the olive oil and blend on a low speed.

  7. When the walnuts and potatoes finish their final roast, remove them from the oven and add them to a large bowl. Toss them with the desired amount of dressing. (You'll likely have way more dressing than you need! I suggest saving this for another use and storing in the fridge!)

  8. Garnish with parsley or cilantro if you choose.


*Will vary based on amount of dressing used. The numbers below are a rough estimate.
Per half cup: 134 calories; 7F/15C/4P
Original recipe and photos adapted from:

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