Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins | The Full Helping

The other day, I revisited my black bean and sweet potato enchiladas—one of the most popular CR entrees, and one of my favorites. In order to make the mashed sweet potato and black been filling, I had to scoop some sweet potato out of the skin.

Normally I’d discard the skin without thinking too much of it; it does contain nutrients, so I usually leave it on in recipes, but on the rare occasion I want the flesh on its own, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to toss it out. That said, I love finding ways to use every part of a food or ingredient when I cook, and I wondered if I might not find a way to make better use of it. And that’s how this recipe for kale and quinoa stuffed sweet potato skins was born.

The idea is simple: if you need to use the flesh of a sweet potato on its own, gently scoop it out so that the skin remains intact. If you cut your sweet potato in half, you’ll end up with what looks like two little canoes. And you can stuff them with just about anything you’d like: grains, beans, veggies, guacamole, hummus—the possibilities are endless.

Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins | The Full Helping

If you want a denser base for the recipe, you can leave some of the sweet potato in the skin (that’s a more traditional “stuffed potato”). If you want to let the filling shine, you can scoop the flesh out altogether, and fold it into the quinoa and kale mixture. This is an easy, forgiving, and flexible recipe.

Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins (serves 2-4)
Recipe Type: entree
Cuisine: gluten free, soy free, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4 servings
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup (dry) quinoa
  • 4 tightly packed cups finely chopped kale leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive, flax, or hemp oil
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup toasted, slivered or sliced almonds (or pecans, or walnuts)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Prick each potato a few times with a fork. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, or until each potato is fork tender. Allow potatoes to cool until they can be handled.
  2. 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 cup water. Bring the quinoa to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat, fluff it gently with a fork, and then re-cover and allow it to steam for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Place the kale in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the hemp oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and shallot. Place the quinoa in a mixing bowl and add the carrot, pepper, celery, hemp oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. Massage the kale with your hands until it’s reduced in size and soft. Add the quinoa, carrot, pepper, and celery. Toss the ingredients to combine well.
  4. 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 mixture, along with the almonds (or other nuts). 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.
Leftover stuffed skins will keep for up to two days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins | The Full Helping

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

Per the recipe instructions, this will serve two people as an entree or four as an appetizer. No matter what, I suggest you serve the skins with the leftover kale and quinoa salad, which is delicious in its own right. Topping it all with avocado slices would be delightful, and black beans would also make a very tasty addition to the dish.

An added bonus of the recipe is that it’s easy to wrap the skins up in some saran or tin foil and transport them someplace for a packed lunch; I did just that on campus yesterday! No matter what, these stuffed skins are a fun and playful way to approach the idea of a wrap/taco/burrito dish. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins | The Full Helping


Images courtesy of Lighter.

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  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