Mustardy Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad
July 28, 2015

Mustardy Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad | The Full Helping

There are recipes we try and love once or twice, and a few that make it into our longtime dinner rotation. And then there are recipes that we make, love, and immediately turn into staples. For me, this mustardy lentil and sweet potato salad/dip/spread is the latter. It’s so simple and easy to prepare, but it’s a combination of a ton of my favorite flavors and textures in one place. It’s filling, nutritious, and versatile, something that can be scooped onto a bowl or salad, spread on toast, served with crackers, etc.

Mustardy Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad | The Full Helping

The sauce on this salad is an enticing mixture of tahini, Dijon mustard, tamari, lime juice, and a touch of maple syrup. It’s good enough to make and serve in lots of different ways, from grain bowls to kale salads, but it’s particularly good here. Its slight sweetness picks up the the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, but the mustard and garlic give it all a little bite–as does the addition of fresh herbs to the salad itself.

Make a batch at the start of the week, and enjoy it for lunch or breakfast for the next few days. It would be great in wraps, stuffed into collard leaves, scooped onto salad or a bed of quinoa, or as a snack-time dipper for crackers. To save some time, you could bake or steam the sweet potatoes in advance. I baked them, so that they’d be a little creamy and tender for the salad; steaming them will allow them to hold their shape in the salad more. Here’s the recipe!

Mustardy Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad | The Full Helping

Mustardy Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad (gluten free)

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 6 servings


  • 1 cup dry brown lentils will make about 2 - 2 1/2 cups cooked; you can also use 2 cups canned lentils, drained and rinsed prior to using
  • 2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes 3-4 cups, cooked
  • 1 small clove garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped green onion tops, parsley, cilantro, or dill


  • To bake the sweet potatoes, preheat your oven to 400F and prick them a few times with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until they're tender all the way through. Remove them from heat and allow them to cool, so that you can handle them easily. Scoop the flesh out of the skins and chop it into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • To steam the sweet potatoes, peel and chop them into 1/2-inch cubes. Place a steamer attachment over a large pot of boiling water. Steam the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until they're very tender. Set them aside.
  • Rinse the lentils and place them in a small pot with enough water to cover them by a few inches. Bring them to a boil and reduce them to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until they're tender but firm when you taste them. Drain them.
  • Transfer the sweet potatoes and lentils to a large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk together the garlic, tahini, mustard, tamari, lime juice, maple syrup, and red pepper, along with 1 tablespoon water. Pour this mixture over the sweet potato and lentils. Add the green onion, parsley, or other fresh herbs. Fold everything together. Check for seasoning and add extra lime juice, mustard, or tamari to taste. Serve.


Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Mustardy Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad | The Full Helping

This recipe is packed with nutrition, including protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, tons of fiber, and a good deal of iron as well. More importantly, it’s flavorful and lovely without being too fussy. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Thanks for the many sweet words about the upcoming Food52 book. Can’t wait to share more. Have a great evening, and I’ll return with another legume recipe later this week!


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  1. This is a classic to me! I love this recipe and make it all the time since your mention this summer – sometimes with Justin’s maple almond butter or some cashew butter and a dash of sesame oil when I’m out of tahini, sometimes with Japanese sweet potato, and sometimes with pumpkin purée. Once I didn’t have enough dry brown lentils, so I threw in some red lentils. It’s great! I eat it on no-knead bread or romaine. Thanks, Gena.

  2. 5 stars
    Unbelievably delicious! Thank you for this recipe. i did not have tahini so subed ov+cumin. Will make again with tahini. Going for a second serving. Yum Yum.

  3. I’ve been enjoying this dish. I’ve had it over greens, with quinoa, and with rice…very versatile! Love that it’s oil-free!! Thanks so much.

  4. 5 stars
    Just started a BSN program and I love your recipes (esp. the quick nutrient dense ones 🙂 Put this on celery sticks with a couple raisins and brought them in my lunch today. So tasty!

  5. I just finished my first batch of this and now I want to make it again.

    I subbed black beans for the lentils, and chipotle for the mustard. Served with rice, kale + avocado. Could have this almost every day!

  6. I made this yesterday, and it is so completely gorgeous and delicious, that those 6 servings were consumed by just two (admittedly very hungry!) people! I think this is definitely going to become one of our meal-time staples too!

  7. I just made this for lunch and added dried cranberries and finely chopped kale it was heaven!

  8. I made this tonight for a picnic we are having tomorrow! I’m the only Plant-Based Vegan in the family but I’m sure everyone will eat it. It’s amazing and addicting I had to put it away until tomorrow lol Didn’t have Brown Lentils I used red and it still worked fine. Thanks for another great recipe. Arlene


  9. How is this raw when the potatoes and lentils are cooked? I’m just researching raw diets for the first time so confused.

    • No problem, Tina.

      I’m not a raw foodist, though I was heavily into raw foods when I started blogging six years ago. So, the sweet potatoes and lentils here are not raw — they’re cooked. There are some raw recipes in my archives for you to explore, though my current food philosophy is simply to celebrate plant-based diet overall–no emphasis on raw ingredients, per se. And I hope to soon change the language of my blog to reflect this better 🙂

      I hope this helps!

  10. I love the sound of this salad! +100 to making a huge batch and eating it all week long, especially while it’s super hot outside. I bet it would also be excellent in a lavash wrap with a bunch of fresh greens.

    • I am also very partial to potatoes, and sweet potatoes are my favorites (clearly, since I make recipes so often with them on the blog!). Hope you enjoy it when you try it, Jennifer!

  11. Hi Gena–I am SO making this!! It sounds delicious. I brought some lentlls from the Palouse over to Portland and this is the perfect treatment for them. 🙂 I love the idea of making a toast with it, too. When we were traveling back and forth (long trip) I got into the habit of making wierd healthy make shift spreads to put between bread or romaine–this is a fantastic fit for that. When I get some mustard in my new place, I’m going for this–thanks!! xo

    • Funny, Maria — when I moved back home last summer, I spent pretty much my whole first month back eating various forms of toast, because they were so easy and versatile and comforting. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  12. Totally loving this, Gena. Coincidentally, I just finished writing Thursday’s post where I shared a mustard-based potato salad and lament I have virtually zero mustard left. Have you ever made homemade mustard? That is next on my list to try. 😉

    • I haven’t tried, but it sounds like a fun project! Mustard makes any creamy salad better. Can’t wait to check out your post! 🙂