Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potato
These Stuffed Sweet Potatoes filled with Southwest flavors including black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes are easy to make, healthy, and made with pantry staples.
There are so many things to love about these Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potatoes filled with black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes and then topped with melted cheese. They are a perfect meal to clean out your pantry and make a great vegetarian meal that is filling and healthy.
Growing up, I don't think I saw a sweet potato all year until Thanksgiving rolled around, and then it was to eat them mashed up and covered in marshmallows and other sweet stuff. I never really liked that dish growing up, and because of that, it never occurred to me that sweet potatoes could be served in any other way.
Fast forward to when I was a young adult, living on my own. I often made a meal out of a baked potato topped with a microwaved box of frozen cheesy broccoli. I figured, I was eating semi-healthy and within budget and that's all that really mattered at that time.
I never gave any potato other than the typical Russet a second glance. I never thought about what I was missing, nutrition-wise. Then, one day I came across a recipe for a baked sweet potato covered in chili and cheese and I never looked back. Luckily, I was feeling adventurous that day and decided to step out of my cooking comfort zone or I never would have had the pleasure of incorporating the sweet potato into lots of my recipes.
Now, here we are, in the present and all I can think about is eating a stuffed sweet potato for lunch every single day. I've discovered over the years that not only do they offer endless combinations in terms of stuffing options, but sweet potatoes are also packed with good-for-you fiber, carotenoids, vitamin E, and potassium. Plus they are affordable, last for a long time in the pantry, and are generally available.
Although I can usually be found stuffing whatever leftover protein and veggies I have into my spuds, this Southwest-inspired combination with black beans, tomatoes, peppers, spices, and cheese is one of my favorites. Bake your sweet potatoes in advance on the weekend (or just use the microwave) and make the filling. Then just stuff them when it’s time to eat.
What Makes Sweet Potatoes Healthy?
In addition to the nutritional information listed above, sweet potatoes are great in other ways as well.
- They are a good source of beta-carotene. You know how carrots have that orange color too? You can thank beta-carotene for that. This substance is a precursor to vitamin A, which means your body turns it into vitamin A. It's also a carotenoid and antioxidant.
- They have anti-inflammatory properties that help your body heal itself.
- They contain antioxidants that can fight the aging process and protect your cells from free radicals.
- Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system in that they contain fiber, which keeps you running smoothly.
- They are low on the glycemic index, which means they don't make you feel hungry 30 minutes after you eat them. They stick around, digesting slowly, and thus keep your blood sugar from becoming too high.
- Sweet potatoes are low fat and gluten-free.
Ideas for Customizing Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Stuffing a potato is easy and Tex Mex flavors lend themselves to all sorts of customization:
- Sub green onions for white or red.
- Add in any kind of bell peppers you like, or try a diced poblano for a little heat.
- You can use any can of diced tomatoes as well, but drain them first. You could also use salsa or pico de gallo.
- You'll want to add black olives to the top of the potato or into the mix if you love them like I do.
- You can add more or less chili powder, depending on how much heat you like in your meals.
- You can also add even more heat with a spicy Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce — one of my favorite toppings for Tex Mex foods. Or add some jarred or fresh jalapenos.
- Add a dollop of low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt to the top of your potato.
- Add diced chicken to the potato toppings for a little extra lean protein.
What's the Difference Between a Sweet Potato and a Yam?
When it comes to the tubers you're used to seeing in your grocery store, really nothing is going to be different whether its marked "yam" or "sweet potato." There are 16 varieties of sweet potato, so you're probably buying one of the varieties.
If you truly want a yam, you're doing to have to look to an entirely different family of tubers. Real yams originated in Africa and Asia and they are actually related to lilies. They have the same shape as a sweet potato, but have black or dark brown, rough skin and white, purple or red insides. Yams are drier and contain more starch, like a regular white potato.
Whether you sweet po-tay-toe or sweet po-ta-toe, you're gonna love this Southwestern dish for lunch or any meal, any day of the week.
Looking for more potato recipes?
- Baked Potato Chips
- Crispy Baked Potato Wedges
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Kale and Chickpeas
- Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
This recipe was originally posted in 2015 but has been updated with new photos and cooking tips.
Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potato
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- 4 sweet potatoes
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 green pepper, diced (optional)
- 14 oz. canned diced tomatoes with green chilis, drained (like Rotel)
- 14 oz. canned black beans, drained
- 1 cup canned corn
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 8 tbsp. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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