The trees in Munich are all decked out with golden leaves, there is a proper chill in the air and they’ve started covering up the fountains in anticipation of the big freeze. This is the time of year when I crave hearty, flavoursome food. Chilli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are EXACTLY the right meal for the season.
Sweet Potatoes or Kumara?
In New Zealand, sweet potato is known as kumara and is eaten in nearly every household in the land. In fact, it’s been a part of the national diet since the Maori people brought it with them when they settled the country over 1000 years ago. While there are over 400 recognised species of Kumara, there are now four main crops in NZ: Orange, Red, Gold and Purple Dawn. The most widely available across the globe is the orange sweet potato or Beauregard.
Sweet potatoes are full of goodness!
Yes! Sweet potatoes are not only delicious, but they are also full of healthy fibre, vitamins and minerals, and a rich source of the antioxidant beta-carotene.
OK, enough history and science lessons. What’s so good about Chilli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes, fully loaded up with chilli con carne, topped with melted cheese, jalapeños and sour cream are a flavour sensation. They’re a brilliant way to get plenty of delicious veg into your diet and a real burst of colour too – ideal for these cooler, greyer months.
They make a brilliant weeknight dinner
You can make this recipe in advance and reheat the sweet potatoes when you’re ready, or batch up the chilli and cook the sweet potatoes to order. This is a fantastically flexible recipe too. Trying to cut down on meat? Replace the minced meat with cooked lentils or a tin of chickpeas. Don’t like them spicy? Leave the chilli out! I often bring them to the table and let everybody construct their own. If there are any leftover, they make a great office lunch the next day.
I’m confused… is it chilli, chili, or chile?!
Isn’t language confusing? In UK English (that goes for those of us from New Zealand and Australia too) Chilli is spelt with a double L. In Mexico and Latin countries it is often spelt Chile, while in the US it is spelt chili! Howver you spell it, it’s delicious.
I’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables into our diet. Baked and stuffed sweet potatoes are a brilliant dinner option as you can load the chilli up with veg and pulses, using up whatever is in season. I love this sort of warm and comforting food as winter draws near. Let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments below!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I don’t eat meat! Can I make this recipe vegetarian or vegan?
Absolutely! Swap out the minced meat for your choice of cooked lentils, chickpeas or black beans and proceed as the recipe, using veggie stock instead of beef.
Can I reheat Chilli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes?
Yes! They reheat very well, covered with tinfoil in the oven, or loosely covered with a plate in the microwave if you are at work or in a rush.
Can I make Chilli Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with ordinary potatoes?
Yes, of course! Make sure you get some decent sized baking potatoes and cook exactly as per the recipe, testing to make sure they are done after 1 hour.
Chilli Stuffed Sweet POtatoes are a great weeknight standby. You can cook up a big batch of chilli when you have time, then you simply need to bake the potatoes when you get home. Easy, healthy and tasty – win!
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
for the chilli:
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil, sunflower etc.
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 250g minced pork or beef
- ½ red pepper, finely diced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp mild chilli flakes
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp beef stock powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tin kidney beans, drained
- 1 tin whole tomatoes
- 150g Cheddar, grated
- 100g sour cream
- 1 spring onion / scallion, finely sliced
- small bunch fresh coriander / cilantro, leaves only
- jalapeños, to taste
- ham or cooked bacon, finely diced
- COOK THE SWEET POTATOES: Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6. Wash the sweet potatoes, prick them all over with a fork, then bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until easily pierced with a fork.
- SAUTÉ THE ONION, GARLIC AND MEAT: Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan. Cook the onion for 5 minutes until beginning to soften but not brown. Add the garlic, minced pork or beef and red pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
- MAKE THE CHILLI: Stir through the tomato paste, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, sugar and stock powder. Add the kidney beans to the pan, then use a pair of scissors to chop the tomatoes in their tin, and add them to the pan as well. Add ⅓ of a tomato tin of water and stir to combine. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes until thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Keep warm.
- STUFF THE SWEET POTATOES: When the sweet potatoes have cooked, use a small sharp knife to cut them almost all the way through lengthways. Use a fork to mash and fluff up the inside of the sweet potato, then top with chilli.
- MELT THE CHEESE: Top the sweet potatoes with the grated Cheddar, then return to the oven for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted. Top each potato with a big dollop of sour cream, then sprinkle over the spring onion, coriander, jalapeños and bacon if using. Serve hot.
PIN ME FOR LATER!
Want to make these vegetarian or vegan? Switch out the minced meat for cooked lentils, chickpeas or black beans. Use vegetable stock and a vegetarian or vegan cheese.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 sweet potato
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 761Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 987mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 10gSugar: 16gProtein: 51g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.