Smoky lentil stuffed sweet potatoes are a vegan and gluten-free main with a one-two punch of plant protein and fiber. Serve with a side salad for a healthy and hearty weeknight dinner. Firstly, 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 recipes to jumpstart your January, and today we’re kicking things off with these wildly delicious spuds.
To sum up, they’re sweet, smoky, a little spicy, and supremely satisfying. Additionally, this recipe is 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.
How to Make Stuffed Sweet Potatoes:
In this recipe, 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. I love this mixture because the smoky flavor is the perfect counter to the sweetness of the spuds. Next, chopped walnuts are stirred in to add texture and crunch (plus some heart- and brain-healthy fats!).
Lastly, these spuds get topped with a dollop of yogurt (for example, Greek or coconut-milk based) to add cooling creaminess and cut through the heat of the lentil mixture.
Are Lentils Good for You?
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.
To sum up, 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!
Other Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes:
- 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.