As a kid, when we had Sloppy Joes, they were always made with that sauce poured right out of a can and plated on an airy but nutrient-lacking sesame-studded bun. It was a meal I looked forward to, but it wasn’t a particularly healthy one. These stuffed sweet potatoes change all that. With a quick but healthy homemade sauce and a nutrient-dense sweet potato standing in for the bun, you can have it both ways. And yet they’re every bit as delicious as I remember from my childhood.
You start by baking your sweet potatoes, since that does take a while. I like to drizzle them with oil and salt and bake them in the oven, but you could nuke them in the microwave to really make this a quick dinner.
While those cook, you saute some onion, bell pepper, and garlic with some ground beef.
Once the beef is cooked through, you add tomato sauce, some low sugar (or no sugar!) ketchup, and some chili powder, paprika, cumin, Worcestershire, and Dijon mustard.
That all simmers together for just five minutes or so until it has thickened up and the flavors have melded nicely. It’s hard to argue with a sauce that takes just over ten minutes to make and tastes this good. It’s not only better for you, it tastes so much better than the stuff that comes in a can.
Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, you split them open, fluff ’em up, and top them with the Sloppy Joe mixture. The sweetness of the potato contrasts the savory tomato sauce and beef so well, I don’t think you’ll even come close to missing the bun.
Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes or yams
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, undrained
- 1/4 cup reduced or no-sugar ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Prick potatoes all over with a fork, coat them with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake potatoes until tender, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling:
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until vegetables have softened. Add beef and cook until browned, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in chili powder, paprika, cumin, tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon. Simmer until sauce has thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, make a slit in the top of each one creating a pocket. Use a fork to fluff the inside of each potato, top with sloppy joe mixture, and serve. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Clean Food Crush.