Pasta & Sweet Potato Salad

July 2, 2023mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Recipe: Pasta & Sweet Potato Salad

Pasta & Sweet Potato Salad is a different, delicious and filling kind of salad. What I like about this salad is that it can be served warm or cold. Additionally, one can add any other ingredients to make it more appealing and filling. Add a dressing of your choice, a light one or a creamy one.


Memories – Drought, A National Disaster

2016 did not bring enough rains to many parts of Kenya. Fast forward to 2017 and out of 47 counties 23 which are arid or semi arid parts of Kenya are facing drought. Rivers have dried up, animals and humans are dying without food. A National and International appeal has been sent out to help these areas with food and water. NGOs, Charity Organisations, Private companies all have sent out foodstuff, but that is not enough. If the long rains do not arrive by April, then many more will die without food.

Nakumatt, our local supermarket has put a huge box near its exit if anyone would wish to buy some foodstuff to be donated. Every time I pass the box its empty! People cannot afford to buy foodstuff to give away as they themselves are barely making ends meet with the high cost of basic food stuff. The basic 2 kg maizemeal packet which is required to make the staple food ugalior sima is selling at more than Ksh 130/- (approx $1.26). A 2 kg packet is just about enough  to prepare two meals for an average family of 4. Vegetables like tomatoes, onion, are are about $1 per kg. 500ml milk packet is 48c. When income for a lot of people is about a dollar a day, its impossible to make ends meet.


Sharing This Recipe With Sunday Funday & FoodieMonday/Bloghop

When the FoodieMonday/Bloghop group decided on Pastamania as the 84th theme, I would have loved to make ravoili but so many ingredients are not available. At the moment I see crates full of potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Also it has been so hot here with temperatures of 34-35°C that its not possible to spend long hours in the kitchen. Father and Daughter were both insisting on a light lunch. Therefore, I planned to make a pasta salad.

This recipe was first published on 20/03/2017 for the above theme.

Some Salad Recipes That You May Like

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Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday is a group where members prepare a meal for Sunday. Can be anything from starter to dessert  for the chosen theme. This time, Wendy wants Salads Galore. It is Summertime and she requested we share a salad recipe that can be served as a main course or a side. My pasta & sweet potato salad makes a perfect main meal during the hot season. Warm it up and it is perfect for winter.

The first time I made the salad, I drizzled it with homemade passion fruit vinaigrette. At the time of redoing this recipe, I used homemade lemon vinaigrette. Sometimes I see passion fruit at the local supermarket but it is frightfully expensive. So I will be sharing both salad dressing recipes. The sourness from the passion fruit balances perfectly well with the sweetness from the sweet potatoes.

Check Out The Salads Prepared By Members Of Sunday Funday

Ingredients Required For Pasta & Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet Potato

The amount you require actually depends on you, whether you want more sweet potato or less in the salad. I usually take a large sweet potato when I make it for the two of us as a light meal. You can peel and cut the sweet potato into tiny cubes. Stir fry in a wide pan over low to medium heat or bake them in the oven at 180°C till done. Make sure you coat the chopped sweet potato with some oil before baking.


Use any shape or kind of pasta of your choice. Boil them as per the instructions on the packet. These days we get gluten free options like chickpea flour pasta, rice flour pasta, quinoa pasta, etc. So use those for a gluten free pasta salad.


Use any nuts of your choice, a mixture. I like to add either walnuts, pine nuts, almonds or boiled peanuts. Make sure you toast the nuts lightly in a wide pan over low heat or in the microwave oven for 1-2 minutes.

Olive Oil

Or avocado oil. Need it for the dressing and also to cook the sweet potato.


Fresh mint pairs well with sweet potato. Or try thyme, oregano, or dried mixed herbs.


Use baby spinach or any salad leaves of your choice. Add more or less according to your taste.


I use dried cranberries to give that little tart taste. Add dried fruit of your choice, blueberries, dates, goji berries.


For the sweet potato and also the vinaigrette.

Lemon Juice or Passion Juice

For the vinaigrette, preferably, fresh. If you want to make the passion fruit vinaigrette then remove the pulp from 6-7 passion fruits. Add about 1-2 tbsp water and give it short bursts in a food processor. You don’t want to crush the seeds, just want to remove the pulp from it. Strain it to get passion fruit juice.


for the vinaigrette. Can replace it with maple syrup for a vegan option.


I don’t add garlic to the passion fruit vinaigrette. Only add it if I make the lemon one.

Lemon Zest

If you are making the lemon vinaigrette.

Black Pepper

Coarsely ground for the vinaigrette. Add according to your taste.

Other Ingredients

Feel free to add tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, chickpeas, meat, etc.







Pasta & Sweet Potato Salad is a different, delicious and filling kind of salad. What I like about this salad is that it can be served warm or cold. Additionally, one can add any other ingredients to make it more appealing and filling. Add a dressing of your choice, a light one or a creamy one.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Light Meal, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine International
Servings 2



  • 1 large sweet potato about 500g
  • ¼ cup walnuts lightly roasted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12-14 mint leaves
  • 1 cup cooked pasta any shape
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries


  • 7 passion fruits
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey/maple syrup
  • ½ tsp coarse pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes


  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder



  • Peel the sweet potato and cut it into small cubes.
  • Heat olive oil a wide pan over medium heat.
  • Add the diced sweet potato. Lower the heat and cover the pan.
  • Allow the sweet potato to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in between gently so that it does not get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove the lid and allow the sweet potato to roast a bit in the pan.
  • Transfer the sweet potato into a big salad bowl.
  • Add the boiled pasta, walnuts and dried cranberries.
  • Add baby spinach and mint.
  • Mix the salad. Serve with your favourite salad dressing.


  • Remove the pulp from the passion fruit. Leave pulp from one on the side.
  • Put the pulp from 6 passion fruits into a blender along with a tbsp of water.
  • Blend it in short bursts. You don't want to grind the seeds.
  • Strain the mixture through a sieve to get the passion fruit juice.
  • Add salt, honey, pepper and chilli flakes to the juice and mix it well.
  • Add the pulp you kept on the side and mix well.
  • The dressing is ready.
  • Just before serving the salad add the dressing and mix or serve the dressing on the side.


  • Add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl or a jar.
  • Whisk the mixture or give the jar a good shake to mix.
  • Add the olive oil and whisk well. Or close the lid of the jar and give it a good shake.


  • Roast the walnuts in a pan over low heat or in the microwave oven for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add boiled peanuts instead of walnuts.
  • Add any tangy fruit of your choice to replace the cranberries.
  • You can peel and dice the sweet potato. Rub olive oil over it and roast it in the oven at 180°C till done.
  • Add cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, etc if you want to.
Keyword lemon vinaigrette, passion fruit vinaigretter, pasta salad, sweet potato and pasta salad, sweet potato salad

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A Little Request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  • tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962




  • alkajena

    March 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    I feel sad about the scene over there , apart from this truth of life, your cold pasta salad is the perfect to beat the heat.

  • Pushpita Aheibam

    March 20, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    This is really sad! Hope the Almighty does some miracle and bring an end to the acute drought soon. My prayers for the people of Kenya!
    The cold pasta salad looks refreshing for the extreme weather MayuriDi and not to forget the pics look very fresh.

  • Rupal Patel

    March 20, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    My prayers for people of Kenya!!
    Unique combination Pasta… looks delicious

  • Sujata Roy

    March 21, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Feeling very sad. My prayers for the people there. Pasta looks delicious and perfect for this season

  • Saswati Hota

    March 22, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Hope the rain gods feel some pity and the drought condition ends soon.T he cold pasta salad must be filling …I love the dressing..passion fruit, maple syrup and chilli flakes..sounds too yum.

  • Herbs Spices and Tradition

    March 24, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Sorry o know about the drought in Kenya. Kenya is such a beautiful county. In my memory it is so green and beautiful, Lets hope and pray it will rain soon.
    Salad is cool, I think it is a good idea to serve cold when the weather is hot.

  • Mayuri Patel

    March 24, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you Alka.

  • Mayuri Patel

    March 24, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you Pushpita,we too are praying for the rains.

  • Mayuri Patel

    March 24, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you Rupal. Adding pasta makes it filling.

  • Mayuri Patel

    March 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you Sujata.

  • Mayuri Patel

    March 24, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks Saswati. The dressing is very tasty, balances the sweetness of the sweet potato and refreshing to beat the heat.

  • Mayuri Patel

    March 24, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks Sadhna, the drought has affected the whole of northern part and along the east side. Hopefully the rains should be here in April.

  • Preethi Prasad

    March 27, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Perfect Cold Pasta salad for summer.Awesome Share.

  • Kriti Singhal

    March 27, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Kriti Singhal

    March 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    As usual your write ups are informative… while sitting in other parts of the world, we may not know but every pain is being reflected in your blog… Prayers for the beautiful souls!! Pasta looks amazing!

  • Mayuri Patel

    April 3, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you Kriti, we need all the prayers we can get.

  • Mayuri Patel

    April 3, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you Preethi.

  • Shobha

    April 4, 2017 at 11:26 am

    These natural disasters really make you sad.. May God keep everyone safe in kenya.
    Nice and simple salad. I have never tried sweet potato in salads.The passionfruit dressing must be so flavourful. I miss this fruit. We had plenty of them in Brazil. In India it is very rare.

  • priya satheesh

    April 4, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Really sad to hear this and can feel the pain of heat. Its always better to consume light meal with lots of fluid intake during summer. Your pasta looks absolutely healthy and interesting dressing !

  • Mayuri Patel

    April 4, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    Its true Priya, its best to eat light meals and drink a lot of water. I love the refreshing taste of the passion fruit dressing, unfortunately forgot to take the picture but will add it when I prepare it again.

  • Mayuri Patel

    April 4, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks Shobha, we need the prayers desperately. I love passion fruit and that's one thing I miss too when I'm in India.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    April 4, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Its so sad that people are struggling to feed them selves. We don't realise how luck we are in the western world. Your salad looks really refreshing and colourful.

  • Mayuri Patel

    April 10, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks Nayna. Its so true that most people don't even know the importance of wasting food, especially the youngsters. Recent guests from UK and US couldn't believe it when we told them that butter is not available in the supermarkets because of the drought.

  • Flavour Diary

    April 12, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    my heart cries whenever i hear scarcity of basic needs are fulfilled for the people… hope the rains arrive sooner by gods grace…..
    dee you have captured cold pasta salad in a cool way dee…. i loved the dressing too….a total yum

  • Mayuri Patel

    April 14, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks Nisa,no rains as yet in Mombasa but I hear its raining in other parts of Kenya. I totally forgot to photograph the dressing. I will add a photo when I make it again.

  • Wendy Klik

    July 2, 2023 at 6:36 am

    What a great flavor profile with either type of dressing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 3, 2023 at 2:40 am

      Thanks Wendy, love both of them

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    July 2, 2023 at 8:12 am

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  • Colleen – Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

    July 2, 2023 at 8:23 am

    I love the pairing of pasta and sweet potatoes…a great combo. And two delicious salad dressings to choose from…great idea!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 3, 2023 at 2:40 am

      Thank you so much Colleen.

  • Camilla M Mann

    July 2, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    This looks tasty. Thanks for sharing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 3, 2023 at 2:39 am

      Thank you Camilla and you’re welcome.

  • Karen’s Kitchen Stories

    July 2, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    I hope things get better soon! We had years of drought here in California and it finally changed this year thank goodness. Your salad looks amazing and so resourceful.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 3, 2023 at 2:39 am

      Thanks Karen.

  • Sneha Datar

    July 3, 2023 at 6:03 am

    Must try salad, love this one too!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 10, 2023 at 6:44 am

      Thanks Sneha, do give it a try.

  • Renu

    July 4, 2023 at 5:05 am

    5 stars
    I love pasta salad and especially when it is served cold and I liked the passion fruit dressing, something different I tried this time following your recipe and it came out so good.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 10, 2023 at 6:41 am

      Renu am so happy that you tried my recipe and enjoyed it.

  • Archana

    July 5, 2023 at 3:47 am

    5 stars
    It is so sad. I hope the drought situation has improved now! As for the pasta salad with sweet potatoes, it’s yummy. I made it immediately for my nieces and nephews. They liked the way you have cooked the sweet potato and said it was more flavourful this way. Thanks, Mayuri my collar is tight once again 😀

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 10, 2023 at 6:38 am

      Thanks Archana for trying out the salad. Am so happy that your nieces and nephews loved it.

  • Stacy

    July 5, 2023 at 7:15 am

    I love how versatile pasta salad can be and yours with either dressing looks wonderful, Mayuri. A quick search showed that Kenya is now in its sixth year of drought so things must be even more desperate. I’m so sorry.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 10, 2023 at 6:37 am

      Thanks Stacy. It usually is the north eastern part that goes through these drought spells. Hopefully this year will be different as Kenya has received quite a bit of rain.

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