These vegan quinoa and kale stuffed sweet potatoes are super nutritious and hearty. Don’t miss out on sweet potato skins: they’re full of gut-friendly and heart healthy fiber!

Two baked sweet potatoes have been stuffed with a colorful mixture of kale, raw vegetables, and almonds.

I put sweet potato into my salads all the time. Sometimes I roast the sweet potato with the skin on. Oftentimes, I bake the sweet potato, chop up the flesh, and throw it into the salad. I discard the scooped out skins without giving it too much thought.

This is OK sometimes, of course, but sweet potato skins have a lot to offer! They’re rich in antioxidants, for one thing. They also house a good portion of the dietary fiber in sweet potatoes. Fiber is important for digestive health as well as heart health.

Finally, sweet potato skins (and the flesh just around them) has potassium, along with Vitamins A and C.

I don’t always succeed at root to stalk cooking, but I keeping trying. These quinoa kale stuffed sweet potatoes are basically salad stuffed into a sweet potato skin. You employ the entire sweet potato, incorporating a ton of nutrient-dense raw veggies along the way.

The recipe is simultaneously very hearty and very fresh. It has become a favorite of mine for days when I want something more substantial than a salad, but still really vegetable-forward.

How to make stuffed sweet potatoes

Making stuffed sweet potatoes can be as simple as baking the potatoes, cutting them open, and stuffing the halves or whole potatoes with any ingredients you choose.

In this kale quinoa stuffed sweet potato recipe, the potatoes are halved after baking. I scoop some of the warm baked potato flesh out of the skins, chop it, and add it to a cool kale salad. Then, I stuff that salad back into the sweet potato skins.

I think that the resulting stuffed sweet potatoes are a perfect mixture of cool and warm. I serve the leftovers cold, and I like that as well.

A ceramic baking dish holds two, recently baked sweet potato halves.

Baking sweet potatoes

There are lots of ways to bake sweet potatoes. I’ve seen recipes that call for baking them at a low temperature, for a long time, while others call for higher oven temperatures. You can wrap the sweet potatoes in foil, prick them before baking (or not), rub the skins with oil before baking (or not).

I bake my sweet potatoes at 425. I scrub the skins and prick them with a fork before baking, then bake them for 50-60 minutes, or until very tender when pierced with a fork or knife.

Can I microwave the potatoes instead?

I microwave sweet potatoes all the time for convenience—especially if I have a craving and don’t have time to bake them. But for this recipes, the potatoes and their skins taste more flavorful with baking.

A large, stainless steel mixing bowl is filled with colorful, plant-based ingredients.

Quinoa kale stuffed sweet potato ingredients

The main ingredient of the dish is sweet potato, of course.

In the kale salad that goes into the sweet potatoes, I like to use a mixture of:

  • cooked quinoa
  • curly kale
  • carrot
  • bell pepper
  • celery
  • chopped green onion tops
  • almonds

The dressing that I use on the salad is a simple mixture of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. In place of the vinaigrette, you could use another type of salad dressing. My Greek vinaigrette would be great here. I also think tahini dressing would work well in the salad, and so would this roasted garlic dressing.

A nice feature of the stuffed sweet potato recipe is that you can modify the stuffing ingredients. I’ve made it with raw, very thinly sliced collard ribbons in place of kale, tomato in place of peppers, and hemp seeds in place of almonds.

You also don’t need to choose quinoa as your whole grain of choice. The recipe works well with farro, barley, wheat berries, and millet.

A white, cream-colored, fluted plate holds two stuffed sweet potato skins. They're filled with a colorful vegetable salad.

Preparation and storage

You can meal prep this recipe ahead of time and store the sweet potatoes in an airtight container for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge.

You can also make parts of the recipe ahead of time and assemble later. This could include baking the sweet potatoes in advance, cooking the quinoa, or preparing the entire salad. All of these components can be made up to two days ahead of assembly!

Two baked sweet potatoes have been stuffed with a colorful mixture of kale, raw vegetables, and almonds.
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Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cooling time 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 cups washed and finely chopped kale leaves (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple or agave syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion tops (optional)
  • 1/4 cup toasted, slivered or sliced almonds

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Prick each potato a few times with a fork. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until each potato is fork tender. Allow the potatoes to cool for about 15 minutes, or until they can be handled.
  • While the potatoes cook, place the quinoa in a fine sieve. Rinse it under running water for about a minute. Transfer it to a small saucepan and add 1 scant cup water. Bring the quinoa to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer the quinoa for 13 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat, fluff it gently with a fork, and then re-cover and allow it to steam for 5 minutes.
  • Place the kale in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and shallot. Place the quinoa in a mixing bowl. Whisk together the oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, agave syrup if using, salt, and pepper. Massage this dressing into the kale, until the kale is very well dressed and softening. Add the cooked quinoa, carrot, pepper, celery, and green onion. Mix well. 
  • When the potatoes have cooled, cut them in half lengthwise and then gently scoop out most of the flesh. Chop the flesh roughly and add it to the quinoa kale mixture, along with the almonds. Stuff as much of the quinoa and kale salad as you can into each half of the sweet potato skin. Serve, along with any leftover filling.
An angled photograph of two baked root vegetables, which have been stuffed with a colorful, plant-based salad.

So much goodness in one place! I love the contrast of textures and flavors in this recipe.

The recipe serves two as a main dish, or four people if you’d like to make it a side dish. Simply double it if you’d like for it to serve four. In my experience, it gets eaten quickly—and happily.

xo

Images courtesy of Lighter.

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    24 Comments
  1. How crazy is it that we posted stuffed sweet potatoes on the same day!! This looks good!

  2. I love this idea! Anytime I need the flesh for a recipe, I always save the skin and snack on it. It’s kind of a goofy thing to snack on, but I like it! Now I’ve got a new thing to do with them.

  3. I love that you’re treating this like a wrap! I normally can’t really get down with wraps and sandwiches… they’re messy and I much prefer the “stuff;” the fillings inside to the carby stuff outside. Collard wraps are lovely, but sometimes a girl wants something in between! These are perfect, Gena!

  4. Lovely! So awesome to see those nutritious skins getting some well-deserved love and attention – I am with many of your readers and could literally eat this type of combo everyday 🙂

  5. Yum. I make a variation on this weekly! I like the idea of scooping out some potato (and saving for something else) to make room for some more yummy filling, I never thought of that. My favorite is a take on those enchiladas you mentioned – kale, black beans, and guac!

  6. These look delectable, Gena! And oh my, your photography is getting more and more beautiful by the day! 🙂

  7. What a great idea! The second picture actually looks a pita sandwich with tabouli in it (now, that would go great with hummus). I love all these ingredients, so I just might make this for lunch tomorrow. Thanks, Gena!

  8. WOW! I just went GF and this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I was looking for, YAY!
    But honestly, never cooked a sweet potato before…do you have oven temp advice or perhaps approx. time recommendations? I’d LOVE to try this out, but i have no idea how to bake them. Also, do you prick them and wrap in foil, etc? Thanks!

  9. This looks down right amazing! I have a sweet potato just waiting for this… I’m doing a project clean the fridge/fruit & veggie bowl before heading out of town and this is perfect 🙂 mmmmmmm….

  10. YUM! I haven’t thought re. preparing a stuffed sweet potato in ages. I made these nearly every day back in the day throughout high school and undergrad school! You have instantly rekindled this long lost love, though I think I’ll skip the celery and add black beans – ultimate comfort food. (I’m loving hemp oil these days too!)

  11. One of these days I will stop giggling about what stuffed sweet potatoes look like and instead write a constructive comment.

  12. This looks super delicious! I love sweet potato “boats”. Have you ever tried filling them with avocado or quinoa with tahini? That’s my favorite! Adding this recipe to my list to try now haha, thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. This is a brilliant idea! I want to make these! Thank you for the inspiration! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me. YUM