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South Of The Border Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

Looking to try something new instead of the same boring side dishes? This grilled sweet potato salad recipe is just the thing to get you out of your rut.

Two Elements of the South of the Border Salad

There are actually two distinct parts to this grilled sweet potato salad BBQ recipe. The first part is the cilantro-lime crema and the second part is, of course, the veggies that make up the rest of the salad. The crema is best made a day or so before and even up to a week before you need it. This is a great salad dressing as well as a great topping for all foods that are more Mexican in origin. One of my favorite uses is on nachos and as a dipping sauce for wings in place of ranch.

Cilantro Lime Crema

  • ½ cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves – you can use less if you don’t like cilantro
  • 1 ½ cup Dukes Mayo – Any high quality real mayonnaise will work
  • 1 whole Avocado
  • 2 Limes Juiced and Zested – You may only want to zest 1 lime if you want a more mellow crema
  • ½ tsp Chipotle Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp salt – you can adjust depending on your taste buds

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

  • 1 Garlic Clove Minced
  • 1 Red Onion Diced
  • 3 Celery Ribs – Chopped
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 or 2 Jalapenos
  • 3lbs of Sweet Potatoes
  • 6 Green Onions
  • 3 sprigs of Cilantro


The night before you can dice/chop all the following ingredients and set aside in a sealed container in the refrigerator: Garlic, red onion celery and bell peppers. On the bell peppers you want them more in chunks than a dice. They need to be fork sized and not too small as they are adding some great texture to the salad.

You can also grill the jalapenos the day before. Set your Grilla, Silverbac or Kong to 350 and let the jalapenos sit over the hottest part of the grill just until they start to blister. You can then remove the seeds and then dice and set aside in a container or bag separate from your other chopped veg.

Next set your grill to 350-400 degrees and peel your sweet potatoes and slice them. You’ll want to make sure you don’t go bigger than 1/4in thick slices. You will also want to use bias cuts to make as much surface area as possible if you have smaller sweet potatoes. The idea is to make them as long and easy to manipulate with tongs as possible. Once you have them sliced place them in a large bowl and toss with olive oil.

Now place your sweet potatoes on the grill and cook until fork tender. Grilling the potatoes may take 30 to 40min depending on size of slices and density of the sweet potatoes.

While your potatoes are on the grill chop the green onions and the cilantro. On the cilantro, you will want to only use the leaves and not the stems. Use a fairly fine chop on both.

Once your sweet potatoes are done cut them down into fork sized pieces and then toss with the veggies and dressing (you will probably only use about ¾ cup of the dressing, but use as much or as little as you prefer). Save the jalapenos, cilantro and green onion for last add them according to your taste buds. Toss well but gently to ensure the dressing is well distributed.
You can now serve this dish at its current temp or put it in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. It tastes great either way.

Where to Serve Your Sweet Potato Salad BBQ Side Dish

What we especially appreciate about our South of the Border salad is its inherent versatility. In addition to being delicious, it promises to be a crowd-pleaser under many conditions:

  • Picnics are definitely one place to let your sweet potato salad shine. Just tell party guests you’re bringing potato salad. They will picture the humdrum stuff and then be amazed when they dive into your BBQ version.
  • Tailgates come to life when they include some grilled sweet potato salad. Like we mentioned before, the crema can serve as a terrific dipping sauce. If you’re planning to make some chicken wings on your wood pellet smoker grill, offer the crema as a sidekick. Your mild or hot wings will be the better and tastier for it.
  • What about all those Cinco de Mayo celebrations? Any time you feel the call for some Tex-Mex, trust our sweet potato salad as a stand-out Mexican side dish to remember.
  • Holiday buffets can use a little help from a sweet potato salad featuring BBQ overtones. Instead of making a sweet potato casserole, dish out cool sweet potato salad to switch up the experience.

Taking the Heat Up or Down in Your BBQ Sweet Potato Salad

We get it. Not everyone on your guest list likes heat or spice. Although our recipe recommends jalapenos, you can swap them for less intense banana peppers or eliminate the peppers altogether. You will still have Mexican and BBQ flavor, just without the kick.

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Holland, Michigan 49423