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Delicious Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baked potatoes have a long-held reputation of being a boring but reliable side dish. For a while, they were even marketed as a “healthier” carbohydrate option. In their most basic form, they can be found dressed with little more than a small pat of butter and a sprinkling of salt. But, with baked potato bars and make-your-own-baked-potato-night offering a slew of interesting toppings to choose from, the perception of this old stalwart has slowly changed from a ho-hum companion to the star of the meal.

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On the other end of the spectrum, twice-baked potatoes, with their hefty additions of sour cream, cheese, bacon and chives, provide a one-size-fits-most version of a decadent spud. Unfortunately, these addictively salty fat-and-starch bombs are one reason baked potatoes have alternatively gotten a bad rap.  

How about taking the best attributes of a twice-baked potato (creamy texture, complex salty flavors) and transforming it into a more nutritionally dense entrée that you can actually feel good about eating? The following senior friendly recipe uses orange-fleshed sweet potatoes in place of traditional russets and incorporates a moderate amount of protein-packed chorizo and black beans for hits of savory flavor. Finished with a reasonable amount of melted cheese on top, this upgraded twice-baked sweet potato is main course material.

Healthy And Delicious

sweet potatoes

What makes a sweet potato better for you than a traditional russet potato, anyway? For starters, it’s packed with vitamin A and is also a great source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium and manganese. Despite having more sugar than russet potatoes, sweet potatoes actually contain fewer carbohydrates and calories overall. Aside from the health benefits, sweet potato flesh, when baked, transforms into a lusciously smooth and creamy texture. Contrasted with the dry and mealy texture of baked russet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes require less added fat for appealing consistency and flavor.

To ensure that these sweet potatoes don’t veer into a dessert-like profile, the flesh is seasoned judiciously with salt and combined with several Tex-Mex-inspired ingredients to bring the final dish into unmistakably savory territory. Is it your typical twice-baked potato? No. But that’s what makes it so good.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Try serving these impressive baked sweet potatoes with sautéed garlicky greens to round out the meal. For an easier alternative to stuffing and rebaking the sweet potatoes, you can opt to stir the cheese directly into the seasoned sweet potato mixture in step 5 and sprinkle the scallions and cilantro on top.

Ingredients

salt

2 large orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, about 1 lb. each

2 tsp. vegetable oil

8 oz. Mexican chorizo, casings removed

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/2 cup rinsed and drained black beans

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese  

2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallions

1 Tbs. chopped cilantro

Cooking Instructions

frying pan

1. Preheat an oven to 400° F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with the tines of a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour.

3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, warm the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and onion and cook until the chorizo is browned and the onion has softened, using a spatula to break the meat up into small pieces, about 8 minutes. Stir in the beans. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl to drain.

4. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a cutting board. Replace the foil on the baking sheet with a new piece of foil and spray the surface with nonstick cooking spray.

5. Cut a slit lengthwise along the top of each sweet potato. When cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out most of the flesh and transfer it to a bowl. Stir in the chorizo mixture and salt until combined and scoop the mixture back into the sweet potato skins.

6. Transfer the stuffed sweet potatoes to the prepared baking sheet, top evenly with the cheese and bake until melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the scallions and cilantro on top.

Serves 4.