Southern Salad With Sweet Potato And Blackened Shrimp

Southern Salad With Sweet Potato And Blackened Shrimp

The inspiration for this southern salad with sweet potato and blackened shrimp came from a local restaurant, called SoLou. I heard a lot of good things about the food in that place. So, one night my friends and I went to see if the rumors were true. I ordered a large salad with arugula, alligator meat and roasted sweet potatoes. It was so good that I decided to recreate it at home.

In the original salad the alligator meat was breaded. Since alligator is hard to find, in my recipe I replaced it with blackened shrimp. I also added some smoked paprika before I roasted the sweet potato for an extra smoky flavor.

Adding walnuts to the salad

Why should you make this salad?

Most people don’t like salads because they are not so exciting and may taste bland. Well, this salad has so much flavor that it will definitely excite your taste buds. In every bite there is salty, smoky, sweet, spicy, bitter and sour. It sounds like a lot but actually the flavors work so well together.

In this Southern salad there are also different textures. You get crispy arugula leaves, crunchy nuts, creamy sweet potatoes and feta. It is honestly one of my favorite salads ever.

This salad is also very nutritious and naturally gluten free. I think that this salad can replace a complete meal because it contains protein, carbohydrate, dairy and a serving of healthy fats. You consume so many valuable nutrients with this salad. It is high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants and some minerals.

Drizzle the salad with dressing

Helpful tips

If you never cooked shrimp before it might be a bit challenging to clean it. Don’t worry, you can always ask the fish munger to do it for you or buy shrimp that is already cleaned.

Most shrimp cooks in seconds. I usually cook it for about 30 seconds per side (depending on the size). The easiest way to know if your shrimp is cooked is to watch its color and texture. The color turns from gray to pink. Also, the texture changes from translucent to solid.

I use my own blackening seasoning for this recipe. I make it in advance and store it in my spice drawer. It goes so well with any meat or fish.

Here is a detailed recipe on how to prepare the blackened shrimp.

You can prepare the sweet potato, the shrimp and the dressing in advance. That way you can build and serve your salad in 5 minutes.

I don’t recommend storing leftovers. Once you season the salad it will wilt fast.

Southern Salad With Sweet Potato And Blackened Shrimp

Southern Salad With Sweet Potato And Blackened Shrimp

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Salad
Keyword: Arugula, bacon, blackening sessoning, feta, honey, Mustard, olive oil, pecan, shrimp, sweet potato, walnuts


  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bacon strip
  • 1 Tbsp Blackening seasoning use the recipe published on the blog
  • ½ lb large shrimp size 16/20
  • 4 oz arugula
  • a handful of roasted walnuts or pecans
  • 3 oz feta
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


To roast the sweet potato

  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Wash, peel and cube the sweet potato. Season it with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and smoked paprika. Roast for 20-25 min or until the potato cubes are fork tender.
    Cubed sweet potatoes before roasting

To cook the shrimp and bacon

  • While the sweet potatoes are roasting cook the shrimp. Peel and devein the shrimp and add it to a bowl. Add the blackening seasoning and salt to taste.
    Raw shrimp with blackened seasoning
  • Preheat a cast iron (or other) pan to medium and cook the bacon in it for about 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel to absorb the extra fat.
  • Cook the blackened shrimp in the same pan in the bacon fat for about 2 minutes per side or until it is fully cooked.

To make the dressing

  • Combine all the ingredients for the dressing (olive oil, honey, mustard, vinegar, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste) in a small jar. Close the lid and shake until you have a creamy dressing without any lumps.

To assemble the salad

  • Add the arugula in a bowl. Top with the roasted sweet potatoes, blackened shrimp, roasted walnuts, crumbled bacon and feta.
    Adding sweet potatoes to the salad
  • Drizzle the salad with the dressing, stir, taste for seasoning. Enjoy right away.
    Drizzle the salad with dressing
Southern Salad With Sweet Potato And Blackened Shrimp

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