Smoky Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Kale Salad

overhead view of smoky grilled chicken and sweet potato kale salad drizzled with creamy dressing on a large plate with a black fork.

Flavorful grilled chicken thighs, smoky roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, and kale come together with creamy jalapeño lime dressing in this super nutritious, smoky kale salad that's hearty enough for dinner and great for meal prep. (gluten-free)



For the Sweet Potatoes:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (peeling optional)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

For the Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil

For the Salad:

  • 1 bunch kale, thinly chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pickled onions
  • 3 oz (1/2 cup) Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • Creamy Jalapeño dressing


For the sweet potatoes:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Dice sweet potatoes into even cubes (about 1/2 inch to 1 inch).
  3. In a large bowl, toss sweet potato cubes with oil and spices until coated evenly. Spread onto lined baking sheet, spaced evenly so that they are not touching.
  4. Roast potatoes for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until done.

For the Chicken:

  1. Pat chicken thighs dry. Sprinkle with paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil. Rub over chicken thighs to evenly coat.
  2. Heat grill to high heat, then lower to medium. Grill chicken thighs 4-6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  3. Remove from the grill and slice thinly. 

For the Salad:

  1. Thoroughly wash kale and thinly slice it. Place in a bowl and drizzle with oil. Gently massage with you hands until kale starts to soften.
  2. Top with beans, roasted sweet potatoes, sliced chicken, pickled onions, sliced avocado and cotija. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and serve.


  • Butternut squash may be used in place of sweet potatoes.
  • If you don't have a grill, you can use a grill pan on the stove. Cook chicken 4-6 minutes per side on medium-high heat in an oiled grill pan.
  • If you don't have time to make the pickled onions (or don't want to pickle them yourself), you can use thinly sliced red onions.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Keywords: chicken sweet potato and black bean kale salad, smoky chicken and sweet potato kale salad