Loaded Sweet Potatoes, Three Ways

Spiced Chickpea and Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Photo: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN

In case you didn’t already notice, sweet potatoes have been having a moment. An extended moment, but still. I’ve seen them in everything from pancakes to chili to buddha bowls, or even as a stand-in for a burger bun (which, while creative, is not my favorite use for them). Even though white potatoes are wonderful for a myriad of reasons, sweet potatoes offer a silky smooth flesh and a slightly sweeter taste, plus a hefty dose of vitamin A.

While they are perfect as is (roasted, mashed or baked), I have a favorite way to eat them as of late, loaded up with toppings for a quick and complete weeknight meal.  There are so many possibilities but today I’m sharing three of my favorite combinations — buffalo chicken, chickpea and kale and Mexican.

My favorite part about these is how fast and customizable they are. If you have a protein, something green and a sauce of some sort on hand, these come together super fast with most of the time being hands-off (waiting for the potatoes to bake). If you want to make them even easier, bake the potatoes on the weekend and you’ll have a 20-minute meal ready for you all week.

To bake the potatoes, just scrub them well (no need to take the skin off), slice in half lengthwise and place them flesh-side down on a sheet pan lined with foil and sprayed. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Just a note: When in doubt, err on the side of leaving these in the oven longer — you don’t want them to be undercooked.

Once out of the oven, I like to fluff the flesh with a fork and season well with salt and pepper before adding all of the toppings. Which of these combinations sounds most delicious to you?

Buffalo Chicken

  • Leftover shredded chicken (or rotisserie chicken)
  • Bleu cheese crumbles
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Green onions + cilantro


  • Black beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Sriracha mayo

Spiced Chickpea and Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

A flavorful and satisfying plant-based weeknight dinner.


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • One bunch kale, rough chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed (dried with paper towels)
  • 12 tsp smoky paprika
  • 12 tsp garlic powder
  • 13 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp hot chili sauce
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • to taste salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise and place flesh side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium nonstick skillet and add garlic, cooking just until fragrant. Add kale and stir to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes and then add 14 cup water, cover and simmer for about 5 more minutes until bright green and wilted. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the same skillet and add the chickpeas, smoky paprika, and garlic powder. Cook until brown around the edges, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Lastly, to make the tahini sauce combine tahini through rice vinegar in a jar, mix well with a fork. Add about 14 cup hot water, put the lid on and shake until well combined.
  6. Once the sweet potatoes finish cooking, fluff the flesh with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Top with kale, chickpeas, and tahini sauce plus more chili sauce if desired.
Leanne Ray on FacebookLeanne Ray on InstagramLeanne Ray on Twitter
Leanne Ray
Leanne Ray, MS, RDN, is a virtual nutrition coach and the founder of
LeanneRay.com. Her blog is aimed at making cooking and nutrition
practical for busy people with an intuitive eating focus. Connect with
Leanne on her blog, Leanne Ray Nutrition, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.