Tex-Mex Sweet Potatoes

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Loaded Tex-Mex sweet potatoes are a simple meal with tons of flavor. Add your favorite toppings to make it your own!

When I was a kid, there was a fast-food chain that featured a baked potato bar. Back then I thought it was really weird — I mean, who wants to eat a baked potato when there are French fries, cheeseburgers, and nuggets to be had?

Of course, these days I’ve realized that baked potatoes? Pretty awesome. And baked sweet potatoes are even better. Throw a bunch of stuff on top of them, and you have a meal that is perfect for these cold days.

sweet potato topped with meat, cheese and other toppings on a plate with a decorative napkin

Now, I’m not going to knock you if you decide to use white potatoes for this recipe, but sweet potatoes are filled with lots of good-for-you vitamins and taste great plain. (My baby agrees.)

Sweet potatoes are also usually quite large, so you only need two for this recipe to feed four people.

And don’t forget that leftover baked potatoes can be used in a lot of different recipes, from quick mashed taters to an easy hash for your breakfast eggs.

Tex-Mex Sweet Potatoes - These aren't your mama's loaded baked potatoes.

Recipe substitutions

These Tex-Mex Sweet Potatoes are filled with ground beef seasoned with cumin, chili pepper, and Mexican oregano

If you don’t have Mexican oregano, you can swap in the Mediterranean version (jars just labeled “oregano” are this), but use a bit less. 

We were lucky and had some way-early-season tomatoes from the market, but just swap in a can of diced tomatoes if tomatoes aren’t in season where you are.

This can easily be turned vegetarian with a swap of beans for the meat, or add beans to the original recipe (plus another sweet potato) to bulk up the dish and feed a larger family.

overhead of sweet potato topped with meat, cheese and other toppings on a plate with a decorative napkin

How to bake sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are large and very thick in the middle, and some sweet potatoes weigh as much as half a pound, so they can take a long time to bake!

To bake a sweet potato, prick it all over with a knife or fork, then set on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake it at 425°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. You’ll know it’s done when the skin looks slightly puffed and a fork pierces the center easily.

You can also check the temperature of the sweet potato with an instant read thermometer. It should read approximately 205°F for a fully cooked sweet potato.

Let the potatoes rest until cool enough to handle, then slice in half and fluff with a fork before filling.

Top the potatoes with salsa, pickled onions, guacamole, or cheese — or all four — and you’re set to dig in!

This filling recipe for Tex-Mex Sweet Potatoes aren't your mama's boring baked potato.

Depending on the size of your appetites, you might have leftover filling. You can easily use it for a taco lunch the next day, or add it to a pot of macaroni and cheese.

overhead of sweet potato topped with meat, cheese and other toppings on a plate with a decorative napkin

Tex-Mex Sweet Potatoes

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Sweet potatoes filled with your favorite taco flavors.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded cheese, salsa, and guacamole (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Prick potatoes all over and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on size, until easily pierced with a fork. Keep warm in the microwave.
  3. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add onion and red pepper and saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Cover and let simmer over medium-low for about 15 minutes, until tomatoes have broken down and the meat is saucy (but not talking back).
  7. Slice cooked potatoes lengthwise, then make cuts across the flesh to "open up" the potato.
  8. Take each potato half and fill it with a few spoonfuls of the meat mixture, then add your favorite toppings.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/2 potato
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 480Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 714mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 7gSugar: 12gProtein: 36g

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3 Comments

  1. When I moved to England, I thought it was weird that Brits have “jacket potatoes” available everywhere – food carts especially. And they cover them with everything, from tuna salad to chili, to sweet corn and cheese. But the longer I lived there? The more genius I found it to be. There’s not much more comforting than a baked potato covered in yummy stuff on a rainy cold day. I’ve also recently become obsessed with sweet potatoes – I want to try an “Italian” version of this. I’ve been roasting them with oregano and basil. Add a little meat sauce and mozz? Oh yeah.

  2. I am so jealous that you have access to fresh tomatoes right now! We are still totally iced over!
    This will be a great recipe to try with my kids. They’re really into making their own food, and with this one they can top it anyway they like.
    When the kids were babies, I’d puree this sort of thing into stage 3 baby food too; is your little one into solids yet?

    1. @Lea I swear the tomatoes were a fluke! It has been back and forth with the temperatures here, but overall much colder than usual!
      My baby has started solid food but he’s not very into it yet. He’s definitely against spoon feeding and purees, so we’ve been trying to follow the baby-led weaning method of offering larger chunks of soft food. So far he really likes apples, broccoli, and carrots – we did give him some of the plain sweet potato from this dinner, but it’s hard to tell how much of it ends up in his belly after you view the mess 😉

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