Kumara Salad with Orange Tahini Dressing

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Kumara Salad is a Kiwi favourite! Kumara are New Zealand Sweet Potatoes – and they’re delicious roasted and tossed with caramelised onions and a zingy dressing.

Kumara Salad in a ceramic serving bowl by the window

Are you ready for a Kiwi classic? On the menu today – Kumara Salad with a zingy Orange and Tahini Dressing.

For my non-Kiwi readers – kumara are New Zealand sweet potatoes, and they come in a variety of colours, a spectrum that ranges from red to purple, and gold to orange.

Available all year round, they are incredibly energy dense so are great to serve as a side dish to make your main feel more substantial.

Roasted Kumara Salad is great paired with a serve of quality protein and fresh greens. We enjoyed it with red lentils – cooked in stock then drained and mashed with a little olive oil, seasoned with a little parsley, and a crunchy green bean and cucumber salad.

Kumara Salad with a zingy Orange Tahini Dressing - Kiwi classic! Find the recipe here. Click To Tweet

Kumara Salad Nutrition

Red Kumara have a red skin with creamy white flesh. The pigments in the red and purple varieites contain anthocyanins – a type of flavonoid with potent antioxidant effects. They’re a good source of vitamins C and B3, and contain some B1, B6, and manganese.

Orange Kumara (sweet potato) are rich in beta-carotene, the dietary precursor to vitamin A. A source of B1, B2, B3, B6, vitamin C and manganese.

Gold Kumara are a good source of vitamin B2, B6 and folate, and contain some B1, B3, copper, and magnesium.


All varieties are a source of dietary fibre, and contain a significant amount of potassium, a key mineral involved in regulating fluid and pH balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals. Diets high in potassium are associated with lower blood pressure, so may reduce risk of hypertension and stroke.

Close of kumara salad in a ceramic bowl

Kumara Salad Step by Step

Choose a variety of kumara – I went with red, orange and gold. Cut them into medium sized chunks and arrange evenly on a baking dish.

Avoid crowding the pan or they will steam rather than roast.

To coat them evenly with olive oil, I pour the oil into the palm of my hand, rub my hands together then massage over the kumara.

Fresh thyme and whole garlic cloves are optional – but add to the flavour. Scatter them over the kumara then you’re ready to get them in the oven for about 35 minutes.

Image showing the first step in making kumara salad - chopping and roasting the kumara

While the kumara are roasting, we can caramelise the onions. Red onions are always a winner in salads, so get one finely sliced and into the pan to cook until soft and golden. Add some yellow mustard seeds, which will pop as they cook – delicious!

The second step in making kumara salad - caramelising the onions

Now you want to add equal parts pure maple syrup (regular maple syrup has added sugar), and balsamic vinegar. Turn down the heat and cook for a good 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the onions are browned.

Fully caramelised onions in a pan

To make the kumara salad dressing – whisk all ingredients in a small dish. We’re using zesty orange juice, creamy tahini, sharp mustard, sweet maple, quality olive oil and sea salt. You may not need the entire amount of dressing – leftovers for tomorrow!

Orange and Tahini dressing in a small dish, for the Kumara Salad

Finally we combine all ingredients in a salad bowl and finish with a little finely chopped spring onion.

Beautiful coloured kumara salad ready to enjoy

More Healthy Salad Ideas

Enjoy friends! Till next time,

Lauren. x

Bright and colourful Kumara Salad with a zingy Orange Tahini Dressing, in a ceramic dish

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Kumara Salad with an Orange Tahini Dressing - kumara are New Zealand sweet potatoes and they're just delicious. Great healthy salad idea. #Kumara #sweetpotato #healthysalad #healthysaladideas #healthymains #vegansalad #AscensionKitchen
5 from 2 votes

Kumara Salad with Orange Tahini Dressing

A Kiwi classic! Roasted kumara tossed with caramelised onions, rocket and a zingy dressing. Serves 6 as a side.

Course Salad
Cuisine Gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Kumara Salad
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 159 kcal


  • 3 kumara red, orange, gold varieties
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 garlic cloves whole
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaped cup fresh rocket/arugula


  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 scant tablespoon tahini hulled
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt



  1. Pre-heat oven at 170˚C (338˚F).
  2. Wash, pat dry, and cut kumara into chunks, place in a baking dish with garlic cloves.

  3. Drizzle over ½ tablespoon olive oil, toss to coat, then add fresh thyme.

  4. Bake for about 35 minutes or until soft and golden, set aside. Once cooled enough to handle, peel the skins off the garlic cloves.
  5. To prepare the caramelised onion, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan, then add finely sliced red onion, add mustard seeds, cook over medium heat until soft and golden.

  6. Add 2 teaspoons each pure maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, turn the heat down slightly and let cook for a further 10-15 minutes until caramelised.

  7. Combine roasted kumara, caramelized onion and 1 heaped cup fresh rocket in a large serving bowl.


  1. Whisk all ingredients together then pour liberally over the kumara salad.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Lauren's Notes

  • You can substitute the kumara for regular sweet potato
  • Avoid crowding the kumara in the baking tray or it will steam rather than roast
  • Hulled tahini is my preference for the dressing as unhulled tahini can be bitter
  • You probably won't need all the dressing for this salad
  • Nutrition panel is an estimate only
Nutrition Facts
Kumara Salad with Orange Tahini Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159 Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7.8g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2.7g 11%
Sugars 7.7g
Protein 2.8g 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Kumara Salad with an Orange Tahini Dressing - kumara are New Zealand sweet potatoes and they're just delicious. Great healthy salad idea. #Kumara #sweetpotato #healthysalad #healthysaladideas #healthymains #vegansalad #AscensionKitchen


Hi I’m Lauren, practising Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, and essential oils educator in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m incredibly passionate about food as medicine, and helping people connect with the healing power of Nature. I’ve been sharing my recipes and health articles here since 2012.

BNatMed, AdDip NutMed, BCS, Certified FitGenes Practitioner.