Caramelized Sweet Potato and Kale Wild Rice

This rice dish combines the sweetness of maple and sweet potatoes with the savory flavors of wild rice and Dijon.  It’s packed with tastes of fall….it’s even topped with pepitas!  We had it as a main dish, but it would make a wonderful side dish on your holiday table.


Here’s the cast of characters: (except for a Tablespoon of butter….it forgot to show up for the picture…oops.)


Start by cooking the wild rice according to your package directions.  I bought mine in the Whole Foods bulk section.  Isn’t it pretty?!


Next up: the kale.  I used about a half a bunch of curly kale to get 4 cups of chopped kale.  Feel free to substitute spinach if you aren’t a kale lover.  However, the kale in this dish is very tender without a bitter taste.

Just remove the kale leaves from the stems and give the leaves a rough chop.

Fill your skillet with water and bring it to a boil.  Add a heavy pinch of salt and your kale and cook until tender; around 4-5 minutes.


Drain the kale.  I put mine on a stack of paper towels to press the water out of the kale.

Then peel and chop a medium sweet potato into 1/2″ cubes.

Heat 1 Tablespoon butter, the sweet potato cubes, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and a pinch of salt in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Cook until the sweet potato is tender; about 10-15 minutes.


While that’s cooking, mix up your Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until combined.


Add the cooked rice and kale to the caramelized sweet potatoes and drizzle with the vinaigrette.  Toss until sizzling.


Top with roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds).  I found them in the bulk section at Whole Foods, too!





3/4 cups wild rice blend + vegetable or chicken broth to cook it in
1 Tablespoon butter
1-1/2 cups 1/2″ cubed sweet potato (about 1 medium-sized sweet potato)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 cups packed chopped curly kale (about 1/2 bunch)
1/4 cup roasted and salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

For the Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, microplaned or finely minced
salt and pepper


1.  Prepare rice according to package instructions using chicken or vegetable broth in place of water. Set aside. (Can be made ahead of time.)

2.  Add ingredients for Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette in a small bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.

3.  Fill a wok or large skillet with water then bring to a boil. Add a heavy dash of salt and kale then boil until tender, 4-5 minutes. Drain, then when kale is cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water with hands, crumble, and then set aside.

4.  Turn heat down to medium-high then melt butter in skillet. Add brown sugar and sweet potatoes, season with salt, then saute until tender and caramelized, 10-15 minutes.

5.  Add kale, cooked rice and Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette to the skillet then toss to combine. Serve topped with pepitas.


Recipe adapted from: Iowa Girl Eats

13 thoughts on “Caramelized Sweet Potato and Kale Wild Rice

  1. Pingback: My Favorite Holiday Recipes! | Jen Chooses Joy

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