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Smoky Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato

I love sweet potatoes.  My go-to method for cooking them is in steak fry-style wedges, with olive oil, honey, and red pepper flakes. The result is a sheet pan full of crisp, caramelized wedges of deliciousness...but not really a dinner. This recipe was born of an attempt to make my favorite snack or side into a more rounded meal. Rather than slicing the sweet potatoes and roasting them at a high heat, I took inspiration from Saveur and sloooooooow roasted them whole for two and half hours. The result is a potato with crisp-skin and a caramelized bottom that is so rich and creamy you’ll assume it’s been prepared casserole-style with butter and cream.

I top those sweet potatoes with smoky, subtly spicy black beans. The bean mix has  a chili-esque vibe, comes together in under 15 minutes, and includes several handfuls of hearty greens. To serve, I finish the dish off with creamy goat cheese and then hoover it down immediately. The sweet potato, black beans, and cheese harmonize into an extremely cozy dinner that also manages to meet all your January good intentions.

And yes, I know that two and a half hours to roast some sweet potatoes is a time commitment--and a very un-weeknight friendly one at that--but my approach is usually to bake a tray of sweet potatoes during the weekend and then to reheat them in the oven or microwave when I’m ready to eat. In a pinch, the potatoes can also either be baked for a shorter amount of time at a higher heat or cooked in the microwave, but they won’t be quite as melt-in-your-mouth.

Smoky Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 
Serves 4

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, whole
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ of a 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼  cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 chipotle pepper canned in adobo, minced
  • ½ tablespoon adobo sauce from the chipotle can
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups chopped hardy greens (such as spinach, kale, or swiss chard)
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • Lime wedges and hot sauce for serving

  1. Bake Sweet Potatoes: Scrub the sweet potatoes lightly and then pat dry. Rub the sweet potatoes in a ½ tsp oil each along with a generous amount of salt and pepper. If you have the time, roast in 275 degree oven for 2.5 hours until very soft and the bottoms are caramelized. Short on time? Wrap in foil and bake at 375 degrees until soft, 30-60 minutes.
  2. Make the Smoky Beans*: combine the tomato sauce, vegetable broth, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cumin, and garlic in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add the black beans and cook for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Stir in greens and cook for another 2 minutes, just until the greens have wilted.
  3. To serve, split the sweet potatoes in half and fill each with a quarter of the bean mixture. Top with crumbled goat cheese and parsley or cilantro. Finish with a squirt of lime juice and hot sauce, if desired.

*This filling is pretty dang good on its own, so I could also envision it being great in tacos, burritos, or quesadillas.