Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon

I’m starting to hit that phase of summer where everything feels fleeting and urgent and I realize that I’m far behind my seasonal quota of patio sitting, potlucking, and eating side dishes for dinner. My pick: Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon. This colorful, zippy salad is the ideal addition to your summer spread. It stand outs from the crowd, and I’m betting you’ve never had a potato salad quite like it. Bucket list recipe, right here.

The BEST Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon! Easy, healthy recipe with no mayo. The zippy dressing makes this similar to German potato salad, but even better. Paleo and gluten free.

While plain-old potato salad often lets me down (what is with that goupy dressing?), sweet potato salad makes my taste buds sing.

For a roasted sweet potato salad, this Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Salad is my squeeze and a meal prep super star. When I’m looking to please a crowd, however, it’s this Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon all the way.

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In place of the aforementioned goopy dressing and bland, over-cooked white potatoes that plague many classic potato salad recipes, this vibrant and healthy sweet potato salad recipe has no mayo, replacing it with a lively jalapeno mustard dressing.

A shower of crispy bacon and crunchy celery combined with the golden, tender sweet potato chunks give this salad different textural dimensions. A light sprinkle of green onions adds a subtle but important bite that will leave you craving more.

Lovers of German potato salad with its grainy mustard dressing (as well as all lovers of bacon and all lovers of sweet potatoes) will be especially enamored with this simple but surprisingly flavorful sweet potato salad recipe.

The BEST Sweet Potato Salad recipe — with bacon, crunchy veggies, and a zippy mustard dressing. Easy to make, perfect for picnics and barbecues, and I never have any leftovers! Gluten free and dairy free.

Healthy Sweet Potato Salad – A Recipe Above the Rest

The best I can say of  old-fashioned potato salad is that it blends into the backdrop. Sweet potato salad stands out.

I first made this cold sweet potato salad a few years ago, and it’s become one of my favorite sides to bring to summer get togethers. It’s memorable, easy to make, and someone always asks me for the recipe.

I can’t, however, take credit for the recipe myself. I adapted it from my friend Heather‘s book Pure Delicious. Like me, Heather prefers her potato salad on the mustardy/vinegary side, no mayo please.

Also, in the process of reading Heather’s book, I developed a total girl crush on her. I’ve since had the pleasure to meet her in person, and I can say that crush is 100% validated.

Easy and healthy Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon. Serve hot or cold. Paleo, gluten free, and no mayo!

Like all of Heather’s recipes, this healthy sweet potato salad is free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and refined sugar. Heather and her family struggle with serious food allergies, so she’s learned to make recipes that are free of these things but don’t skimp on flavor. This sweet potato salad is a prime example.

Eating it, you’ll be entirely focused on what it does offer—a bounty of flavor—and not what it doesn’t.

I’m honored Heather let me share her sweet potato salad recipe with all of you! I’m updating it today with fresh photos and a video to give it the extra love it deserves. Try it before summer ends. I know it will be a staple on your picnic table too!

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Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon

An easy and healthy sweet potato salad recipe with bacon and zippy mustard dressing. Fantastic flavor! No mayo, Paleo friendly, and great for potlucks.

Yield: Serves 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

For the sweet potato salad:

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I do a rough 3/4 inch, but you can do any size you like)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery hearts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions

For the mustard dressing:

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced*
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a large bot of salted water to a boil, then add the sweet potatoes. Simmer just until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes depending upon the size of your potato chunks. Drain, gently and quickly rinse with cold water, then set aside.
  2. If necessary, cook the bacon according to these easy steps. Once cool, crumble it into a large bowl. Add the celery and green onions.
  3. Prepare the mustard dressing: In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the jalapeno (or fresno chile), mustard, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes to the bowl with the bacon, drizzle with the dressing, then toss gently to combine. Taste and season with additional salt/pepper as desired. Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature.
  • I’ve enjoyed this sweet potato salad cold, at room temperature, and even warmed up as a side at dinner. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • *The original recipe calls for a red Fresno chili. I was unable to find one, and swapped a seeded jalapeño. It was delicious!

Adapted from Pure Delicious by Heather Christo

// All images and text ©Erin Clarke/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 6)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 222 Calories
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 7mg
  • Sodium: 359mg
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Protein: 5g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

This recipe originally included a giveaway for Pure DeliciousThe giveaway has ended, but I still HIGHLY recommend this cookbook, especially for those with food allergies or sensitivities. 

The BEST Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon! Easy, healthy recipe with no mayo. The zippy dressing makes this similar to German potato salad, but even better. Paleo and gluten free.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

124 comments

  1. I like cubed potatoes done on the grill

  2. I like having warm soft dinner rolls

  3. Homemade coleslaw (to top the smoked pulled pork sammie)

  4. Mustardy/vinegary potato salad FO LIFE! I’d LOVE to get my hands on Heather’s cookbook ASAP (ay-yo for allergen-free recipes!). This memorial day, I am definitely most excited about whipping up a big batch of my tomatillo salsa verde for snacking. Been too long! 

  5. Grilled veggies :).

  6. I LOVE sweet potatoes and am so excited to make this salad!! Happy Memorial Day weekend!

  7. Erin- thank you SO much for this post! The potato salad looks gorgeous and I love that you get my style of food!! I feel the same way about yours! XOXOXO

  8. im craving potato salad now..and im not even a huge fan. is all your fault… 

    have a lovely long weekend :) 

  9. We haven’t decided what to make yet, but I think a fruit salad with lots of berries sounds good.

  10. Ummmm I wanna try that Pesto Potato salad right NOW! :) Anything with pesto in it makes me happy. :) Thank you for the giveaway Erin! 

  11. Is beer a side dish? HA! Being from the south absolutely love deviled eggs. Mayo kinda grosses me out, so I make my own mayo free ones. 

  12. I’ll be making a pasta salad this weekend, not sure which one yet! 

  13. Karen Alexander Reply

    this looks delish! …I have to admit my fav is deviled eggs 

  14. Well, I was planning to make your strawberry lemon cheesecake bars to take to a BBQ on Monday, but now I’m thinking I need to make this sweet potato salad  (or both!).

  15. Do hot dogs count? That’s all I want this weekend. 

  16. The side I’m most excited about eating this weekend is dessert! ;)

  17. Macaroni salad!

  18. Ellen M Murphy Reply

    Corn and black bean salad with a lime vinegrette dressing.

  19. I love a good old fashion Potato Salad the most, but I do love salads macaroni, bean, etc. Thanks Erin.

  20. A lettuce-wrapped veggie burger.  Then for dessert, I’m going to have a s’mores.  I haven’t had one in a long time.

  21. I will definitely be making this potato salad! I love potatoes and I love salad, so naturally i love potato salad 😉 My heart belongs to deviled eggs though!!

  22. Anything with avocados! Guacamole for sure….but also I love a roasted potato and asparagus salad with an avocado sauce! 

  23. I love this recipe Erin and will try it soon. Sweet potatoes are so good.

  24. I love having my home made classic potato salad, it’s always a big hit.

  25. Blueberry pie with gluten free crust, havent had this in a couple of years

  26. Coleslaw is the best side dish for Memorial Day Weekend! Thank you for providing wonderful recipes- I may also try the muffin tin tater tots featured above!

  27. I don’t know what the main meat is, but know I like to serve a corn/black bean salad.

  28. I am making potato salad for my husband tomorrow. We’ll eat that for a couple days with hamburgers and hot dogs, then I’m making shrimp on the grill…my first time doing so!

  29. Does Key Lime Pie count as a side??!! ;)    Very timely post, I randomly found Heather’s website and her family’s story a few weeks ago when I was searching for non-dairy info/recipes. Not a health issue at all for me, but was thinking of exploring that route to see if it might help certain things that are recurring that are annoyances, let’s say. Bookmarked her site and I think I put the new book in my Amazon wish list!  (After going through various FAILED liquid trials of non-dairy options, drinking was a bust. But oh how I latched onto cashew milk “ice cream!”  So there’s that small step!)

    Hoping you and Ben have a fun and restful long weekend!  Hugs from NC!

  30. Potato salad

  31. I would like this recipe because I love sweet potatoes.
    But I would also have to make my sour cream, mayo potato salad because I’m a mayo lover–I wish I wasn’t sometimes.

  32. Most excited to do grilled zucchini, summer squash, onions and mushrooms for the first time this season.

  33. Fresh fruit is the only side I need :)

  34. I love pasta salad!

  35. Baked beans!!

  36. Your apple slaw.. We loved it on pulled pork burgers!! ☺️

  37. I think this might be the dish I’m most looking forward to! This looks amazing!!

  38. I love grilled corn on the cob with herbed butter. YUM! 

  39. I’m looking forward to eating some spicy sweet potato fries!

  40. Fresh fruit salad is summer to me.

  41. Well now it’s this potato salad! I can’t wait to make it. ☺️

  42. Alexandra Robertson Reply

    I loveeee sweet potatoes so this is looking absolutely delicious. I am looking forward to having a watermelon and feta salad as a dish this Memorial Day Weekend :) So. hot. so I am loving watermelon. 

  43. Fruit salad and your whole wheat chocolate chip cookies!

  44. Sweet Potato Salad looks simple and delicious….I will try it this weekend….There just aren’t enough receipes using the sweet potato.  Thanks for the receipe

  45. steven johnson Reply

    Just said to my better half , I need a recipe for sweet potatoes for Sunday’s cookout.  This should pare well with the Italian beef i’m making. Thanks for the recipe

  46. I rarely eat more than a bite or 2 of the traditional potato salad, I’m totally making this sweet potato version!

  47. I’m a big fan of side dishes, but the one I’m looking forward to the most is deviled eggs!

  48. Homemade fruit salad, hands down. Thanks for the super LOVELY giveaway!
    xo

  49. I’m going to go whole hog on bacon and potatoes for this Memorial Day picnic! Your awesome Loaded Baked Potato Dip with the Salt & Pepper Kettle Chips for the appetizer and this innovative Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon as a side with grilled steak! Sounds a bit heavy? No problem, we’ll  be drinking your Blueberry Strawberry Mojitos! Thanks, Erin for all the great posts and have a great Memorial Day Week-end!

  50. shawnna griffin Reply

    hey girl this looks pretty good! I love cookbooks to!

  51. Deviled Eggs!!

  52. While not technically a side dish (although I have literally eaten this as my entire meal before it’s so good) I’m excited for my grandma’s 13 layer cake she refuses to give out the recipe for… even to her only granddaughter. 

  53. I am so excited to eat some corn on the cob with lots of butter!

  54. I always look forward to a good fruit salad – I lover summer!

  55. Wedge salad with homemade bleu cheese dressing and balsamic glaze!  

  56. Roasted cauliflower and potatoes 

  57. Salad on the grill…  thanks!!

  58. Patricia Henderson Walker Reply

    I am going to make your Red, White and Blue Quinoa Fruit Salad !!! Looks awesome !!! 

  59. I want to make muffin tom tater tots for the holiday 

  60. Michelle Gunnell Reply

    Homemade baked beans – yum!!

  61. I think I will be trying Heather’s Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad. I am amazed at how similar our allergies are. My allergist has had me on a 4 day rotating diet, where I do not eat any food item more than once in any 4 day period. It is almost impossible for even the person with the allergies to try to follow this type of diet. But no matter how much your family wants to be supportive and helpful, they can’t help but feel frustrated, deprived, and hungry for food that actually looks and tastes good! With Heather’s book, I might actually be able to create dishes and meals that we can all enjoy eating again!

  62. I can not wait for some pasta salad and baked beans

  63. Jennifer petrie Reply

    I am super excited to try making this sweet potato salad this weekend!  I love anything sweet potato and this will be a nice twist to serve instead of a traditional potato salad.

  64. Oh my gosh – it’s so hard to pick just one! I have a potluck tonight and am going to take the sweet potato salad, but can’t wait to try the pesto version. 

  65. My family specifically requested your homemade tater tots.  They loved them when I made them a few weeks ago!

  66. Any sort of potato salad. Sweet or not.

  67. Rhode Izaguirre Reply

    I am eager to try out this recipe for the sweet potato salad with bacon for Memorial Day.

  68. I’m looking forward to cheesy fried pickles!

  69. I’m more into side dishes than the main dishes at most gatherings. This year I’m looking forward to the loaded baked potato bar. I basically cook up the potatoes and set out a variety of toppings, everybody gets to make their own creations.

  70. grilled watermelon!

  71. Grilled sweet potato fries with garlic mayo dipping sauce.

  72. My favorite is baked beans!

  73. Bok Choy Asian salad is my favorite side with my BBQ.

  74. I love a refreshing sweet/savory watermelon, feta, mint salad. 

  75. I love sweet potatoes and am always looking for new and healthy ways to prepare them. This recipe looks fantastic and will be giving it a try.  I might even make this for tomorrow!  Usually my favorite side dish for the holiday is grilled corn on the cob.

  76. Homemade angel food cake with strawberries and fresh lemon whipped creme – family waits for it every year! Plus, it looks like this potato salad recipe has the power to unify our side dish dissension! Thanks Erin

  77. Made this with 3 LG  sweet potatoes, but I had a high ratio of celery and onion to the potatoes.  Add 2 leftover boiled white potatoes.  Had enough dressing, and of course I added more bacon!  Everyone loved it.

  78. I made potato salad! I love, Love, LOVE potato salad!

  79. i always look forward to homemade potato salad at any family gathering! This one sounds amazing, like one I should make just for me and hoard in the back of the fridge, not that I would EVER do that! The other thing I love is anything that even loosely resembles caprese!

  80. I  love a good cole slaw for a side dish.  It always seems so crisp and lite.

  81. has to be jacket potato love them and everything that you can put in the (mine end up as the main in the end dont know when to stop lol)

  82. I’m actually making the red cabbage/bacon/avocado salad from this cookbook. Just took it out of the library the other day and am very excited to try it. Happy Memorial Day, Erin! Love your recipes!

  83. I’m looking forward to my father-in-law’s homemade baked beans.

  84. Michelle Myers Reply

    I love grilled veggies & potato packs!

  85. Hi! I or rather we are enjoying some of your great recipes. We had the healthy blueberry muffins yesterday and I had one this morning. I will try to go and comment and what I did on the recipe. They are great. Everything I have tried, we have really liked. Would love your recipe book. Free fits my budget ;-)

  86. Lucky for me! I have all these ingredients in my pantry for this delicious sounding sweet potato salad. I can’t wait to make it for Memorial Day!

  87. Stephanie Nelson Reply

    The sweet potato salad with the bacon looks so good! I’m literally making my shopping list now to go get everything I need for it. As a side note I want this cookbook so bad. Hopefully I will win! 

  88. I am looking forward to fruit salad. 

  89. Patricia Scharhag Reply

    Am excited to try the sweet potato salad and would love to win your cookbook!!

  90. Homemade macaroni salad!

  91. Carrot/raisin salad.

  92. Deviled eggs

  93. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I made this today and it was a HUGE hit…HUGE! This has to be one of the best potato salads one had, no lie! I also made your Lemon layer cake with the Lemon Cream Cheese icing, so delicios! Thank you for the great recipes !

  94. Here’s the deal. I made this using butternut squash instead. It is orange, hard, and what I had on hand. Otherwise followed directions with less oil, more squash. I baked the squash chunks 15 mins. or so.My life is now forever changed for the better. Thank you Erin. I now must return to the bowl and ‘sample’ just to make sure.

    Jim Duffey

  95. I look forward to eating a classic American cheeseburger with olive oil, Italian vinaigrette  macaroni salad on the side. Yummy!

  96. I love slaw and sweet potato fries. After seeing this sweet potato salad though, it is on my have to try soon list. Thanks for the giveaway. 

  97. Grilled romaine lettuce!!

  98. I love a good pasta salad for MDW!

  99. Anne Hierholzer Reply

    My husband and I enjoyed whipping up some garlic-roasted potatoes as a side dish for our hamburgers! I would love to receive the cookbook- my husband has celiac disease, so we’re always on the hunt for great gluten-free recipes!

  100. potato salad with dill

  101. I can’t wait to try this sweet potato salad for 7/4 it’s so simply and I love sweet potatoes it was one main vegetable along with carrots and greens I grew up on . It will be my new potato salad from now on . Thanks 

  102. I’m going to try the sweet potato recipe this week minus the celery and add a few diced caramelized onions with the green onion. I’m not a celery fan. It’s probably meant to add a bit of crunch but it’s not my favorite flavor unless used in a stock or stew.

    • So I tried it this weekend as I mentioned. I put a little extra Jalapeno in and left out the celery. I served it warm and wasn’t that thrilled with it. It sat in the fridge overnight and the leftovers were much better cold. Overall, not as good as I expected, but not bad either.

  103. This will be my new go to picnic/get together side! I’ve made it twice this week, and I’m in love! Way better than any mayo based potato salad I’ve tried. Thanks!

  104. So I made this Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon this evening. It turned out beautiful and delicious! I decided to add some pomegranate arils for more color, health and yumminess. So glad I did. I wish I could include a photo to show you how lovely it is, but I’m posting it on twitter (@MaryShowalter). Thank you so much for the recipe!

  105. I made this today for memorial weekend. I left the bacon on the side as we have some vegan family members. Delicious!

    Rating: 5
  106. I’m sorry to hear that the salad wasn’t a hit. As you can see from the other comments, many readers have tried it and enjoyed it very much, but everyone has different tastes. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it, so I truly wish you would have loved this!

  107. Oh my gosh, lost my old sweet potato salad recipe (also with jalapeño) and stumbled across this one.  So glad I did because it beats the oldie hands down!  Thought I wouldn’t like the whole grain mustard, but it’s perfect.  What a great blend of flavors and healthy to boot : )

    Rating: 5
  108. OMG, this potato salad is epic!

  109. Nice Erin! Looks like one amazing salad. And well thought out too. I love that idea of adding the little salt bits of bacon to the sweet potatoes.

  110. The idea of sweet potato salad is genius! How have I never thought of this? I love the vinegary dressing (I’m not into mayo potato salad either) and of course the bacon. grain mustard is the best. I’ll bet it’s amazing with the sweet potatoes. Love, love love this!!

    Rating: 5
  111. Ridiculously delicious!

    Rating: 5
  112. I make a similar sweet potato salad. It is the first thing requested whenever we are invited to a cookout. To make it even better, instead of boiling the sweet potatoes, roast them in the bacon fat. I do add a bit of homemade mayo to the dressing (sometimes I make it with the leftover bacon fat).

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