Smoky lentil stuffed sweet potatoes are a vegan and gluten-free main with a one-two punch of plant protein and fiber. Serve these stuffed spuds with a side salad for a healthy and hearty weeknight dinner. HAPPY 2019, friends! I hope you had an enjoyable New Years Eve and started 2019 feeling excited for a year of endless possibilities. I’m working on a whole lineup of delicious, nutritious recipes to jumpstart your January, and today we’re kicking things off with these wildly delicious stuffed spuds.
They’re sweet, smoky, a little spicy, and supremely satisfying. They’re also completely plant-based, so if incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet was part of your 2019 intentions, these make it easy and tasty as ever.Red lentils are cooked in a mix of shallots, garlic, tomato paste, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes to infuse them with a wealth of flavor and spice. Their smoky backbone is the perfect counter to the sweetness of the spuds. Stirring in chopped walnuts at the end adds welcomed texture and crunch (plus some heart-and-brain-healthy fats!).
Topping them off with a dollop of yogurt (Greek or coconut-milk based) adds cooling creaminess to cut through the heat and richness of the lentil mixture. Lentils are one of the most nutritious, affordable, and versatile plant-based proteins. One serving averages about 9 grams of protein and a whopping 8 grams of dietary fiber to help keep you full longer. Beyond soups and spud-stuffers, I love adding them to salads and grain bowls, blitzing them into dips and spreads, and even molding them into burger patties.
You could say these almighty legumes are a pantry staple over here for good reason. Both the lentil mixture and sweet potatoes can be cooked ahead, so weeknight dinner or make-ahead lunches come together in a cinch. Store leftovers in separate containers and re-assemble once warmed through, and this recipe is the gift that keeps on giving days to come.
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. And if you have a chance, come back and comment below and rate the recipe—it helps tremendously in terms of web searches! Happy New Year, my friends!
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1½ cups water
- ¼ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- Optional toppings: fresh cilantro leaves, Greek yogurt (or coconut milk yogurt if making vegan), and sliced avocado
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Poke each sweet potato a few times with the prongs of a fork. Wrap each potato in foil. Place on center oven rack and bake for 60 to 80 minutes, until fork tender.
- While potatoes bake, heat oil in a large skillet with a fitted lid over medium heat. Add shallot; cook 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, until aromatic. Add tomato paste and red pepper flakes; cook 1 minute, stirring often. Stir in smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, and lentils; cook 1 minute, stirring to coat lentils. Add broth and water, bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 20 to 22 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender and have absorbed most of the liquid. Stir in chopped walnuts.
- Slice sweet potatoes down the center, lengthwise. Fill evenly with lentil mixture. Garnish with fresh cilantro, yogurt, and avocado, if desired.