Make Ahead

Sweet Potato, Zucchini & Chickpea Salad

April 19, 2021
13 Ratings
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes lunch for a few days
Author Notes

After reading a great post by Heidi at 101cookbooks about a lemony chickpea-zucchini salad, early last year, I set to work to make something similar. Armed with yams, zucchini, chickpeas, and tahini, I cobbled together a salad that was so, so much more than the sum of it parts, it practically shocked me. No sooner had I made the salad and begun to post about it, something weird happened: I started seeing similar combinations popping up all over the place. This is a salad that needs to be known, needs to be made, needs to be eaten. - Rivka —Rivka

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a dish that could easily be weighed down with starch, but Rivka keeps it fleet of foot by dropping zucchini into the mix of yam and chickpeas and by dressing it all with a zippy lemon and tahini vinaigrette. You can eat it warm or cold, in your packed lunch or as a side dish for roasted chicken. We'd be happy with all of the above. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the salad
  • 2 yams or sweet potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 sprigs parsley, leaves finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on bias
  • olive oil
  • For the dressing
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or silicone.
  2. Spread diced sweet potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast 35-40 minutes, then add zucchini and roast an additional 10-15 minutes, until both vegetables are softened inside and caramelized in spots. If vegetables haven't caramelized at that point, pop them under the broiler for 3 minutes, and they'll brown plenty.
  3. In a small frying pan over medium heat, saute chickpeas and whole garlic cloves in 1 tablespoon of olive oil (just enough to moisten) for about 3 minutes, until the chickpeas dry out a bit and are warmed through. Remove garlic cloves, chop finely, and reserve for dressing.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix chickpeas with yams and zucchini. Add parsley and scallions, and toss to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and half of chopped garlic. Add water by the teaspoon until the dressing is smooth and runny. Taste, and add additional chopped garlic if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over vegetables, toss to coat, and serve warm or room temperature.
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I'm a healthcare consultant by day, food blogger by night, and I make a mean veggie chili. I'm eat a mostly-vegetarian diet, but have a soft spot for meat, especially braised short ribs. And this profile wouldn't be complete without an admission that I absolutely am addicted to cookies and chocolate. Finally, I love the idea of food52 and can't wait to share and read my and others' favorite recipes!

83 Reviews

Sasha January 16, 2023
Overall this recipe was delicious. Despite seemingly simple ingredients, the contrast of the lemon, garlic and tahini with the sweetness of the roasted veggies was excellent. I through in some quinoa and fresh greens. I would note that I found the ratio for the dressing way off - as directed, it basically just tasted like lemon juice - I had to triple the tahini to balance it and get a thicker dressing. I also thought the cook temp/time was way off. My sweet potatoes would have been charred - I reduced cook time at 400 to 30min for the sweet potatoes (which was still longer than necessary) and 10 mins for zucchini).
5bikes December 22, 2022
Excellent recipe. It almost matches my own recipe that I created a few years ago. Great minds think alike!!!
BarbaraTheCook November 20, 2022
Really liked the combination of flavors and textures. May even play with this one a little bit, but not a ton, in adding other ingredients. Was totally consumed at our pre-holiday party last night.
Brenda February 10, 2022
I meant to give this recipe 5 stars, but made a technology error. This was delicious and fresh and a nice change during the winter months. I will definitely make this again!
lagray86 June 27, 2021
Absolutely delicious! Even my carnivorous hubby liked the flavors. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
Jennifer S. April 25, 2021
Love this salad so much. It’s become a go-to in our house and the zingy lemon-tahini dressing really delivers. Perfect for work lunch or sides for dinner.
cmoussa January 26, 2021
loved this!!! all the flavors tasted so well together
Kou I. October 17, 2020
This has become a staple in our home. We don`t have yams here, so we subsituted Japanese sweet potatoes. It`s our cool weather comfort food.
rosecedar July 22, 2020
Can someone give me a rough idea how much sweet potato and zucchini to use in cups or weight? There is huge variation in the size of these items. "2 sweet potatoes" and "1 zucchini" can yield vastly different amounts depending on their size.
PeggA August 10, 2019
Got the zucchini from the garden and made this, it was just as good as advertised! Really enjoyed it.
Sara May 7, 2019
Such great flavor combinations. Substituted butternut squash for the yams. So good!
b P. June 6, 2017
Added a little bit of leftover grilled chicken for the meatatarians here. And added a squirt of Sriracha to mine, I will make this again and again and again!
kdanyko September 20, 2015
This is fantastic!
Peony May 24, 2015
Replaced the zucchini with an avocado and added some fresh dill, very good!
K N. September 10, 2014
What a tasty and filling lunch! I made this with a combination of zucchini and yellow squash I had on hand. I didn't realize I was out of parsley and it was good with just the green onion. The next day I realized I had fresh mint and it turned out to be a lovely addition. I think this is a keeper!
ChefJune May 11, 2014
made this again today. Now I have lunch for the week, and what fantastic lunches they will be. This is one of my favorite things ever to come off this site. A true gem. Many thanks, Rivka!
Rivka May 12, 2014
So glad you enjoyed, ChefJune! Serves as a good reminder that the zucs will be coming back into season here and I should get on making this again.
madleine January 3, 2014
I didn't have tahini but LOVED this anyway! Really great, thank you!!
EmFraiche September 24, 2013
We replaced the sweet potatoes with beets and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe.
Emilia R. July 29, 2013
This is a very simple dish, but the flavors just make it an amazing experience. I don’t have words enough to describe it—especially since English is not my mother tongue! The sweet potatoes melted in my mouth, the zucchini was crispy, sweet and I never knew a can of garbanzo could taste THAT good when everything was put together. Even my husband, who’s really a meat-and-potato guy (but who also LOVES Indian cuisine) was amazed. Thank you so much for making our tête-a-tête dinner last night absolutely perfect! (I might have cut the potatoes too small, so when it was time to add the zucchini, they were already done—which was not really a big deal.)
Loredona July 24, 2013
We ate this for dinner last evening after letting it sit overnight. The flavors are certainly there but again, the next time I prepare it I will certainly lessen the cooking time for the yams!