While we have nothing against pumpkin spice per se, there is more to fall flavors than a classic pumpkin spice latte. One of the ingredients we look forward to cooking with when temperatures start to drop: sweet potato. It's just hearty enough, and it's the perfect respite from squash and gourds.
We recently learned that being able to use an ingredient in multiple ways over the course of one week was the secret to meal prepping successfully, so we decided to put this to the test with our star ingredient: How many recipes could you potentially make in a week with a bag of sweet potatoes? As it turns out, many. From immune-boosting breakfast smoothies to vegetable soups and salmon burger lettuce wraps with sweet potato straws, these are our favorite healthy sweet potato recipes to make any time of day.
Here are our seven favorite dishes featuring the bright-hued veggie.
Immune Booster Orange Smoothie
The Recipe: Immune Booster Orange Smoothie
The Standout Ingredient: The turmeric and ginger, which both have anti-inflammatory properties, and the orange juice, which is packed with vitamin C. We couldn't pick just one star ingredient because nearly all of the foods in this smoothie pack a punch.
The Pro Tip: Prep your banana and sweet potato for easy assembly. You can cut and freeze bananas in bulk. As for the sweet potatoes, Dana Schultz of Minimalist Baker suggests to "preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and split sweet potatoes in half lengthwise."
Sweet Potato, Corn, and Feta Fritters With Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
The Recipe: Sweet Potato, Corn, and Feta Fritters
The Standout Ingredient: The corn and feta together, which give the fritters a salty-sweet flavor.
The Pro Tip: "A tip for cooking poached eggs is to poach them in simmering water for three minutes, drain them, and put them immediately into iced water to stop the cooking," Sarah Tuck of From the Kitchen advises.
Spiced Indian Vegetable and Lentil Soup
The Recipe: Spiced Indian Vegetable and Lentil Soup
The Standout Ingredient: Turmeric, which is packed with flavor and extremely nutritious.
The Pro Tip: What's heartier than a delicious soup simmering in the kitchen? "It's fragrant with cumin, turmeric, ginger, garam masala, and a hint of chili," Tuck says. She recommends serving it with naan or roti on the side.
Crispy Skinned Sweet Potato
The Recipe: Crispy Skinned Sweet Potato
The Standout Ingredient: The poached egg, which, let's be honest, makes everything taste better.
The Pro Tip: "It's best to make the chimichurri a day or two before, so the flavors develop," Jodi Moreno of What's Cooking Good Looking suggests. "Make it no less than 30 minutes before serving."
When preparing the sweet potatoes, they should to be fork tender (cooked enough to be easily pierced with a fork) but not completely done because they will keep baking in the oven.
Brazilian Steak and Grilled Sweet Potato Fry Quinoa Bowl
The Standout Ingredient: Fried plantains, which may be the only "unhealthy" ingredient in the bowl, but they're so delicious.
The Pro Tip: Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest recommends cooking the quinoa in coconut milk: "To make the quinoa, add the coconut milk to a saucepan, and bring to a low boil. Watch closely, as it boils over fast. Once the milk is boiling, add the quinoa, cover, and reduce the heat to low." Unlike when you cook rice, you need to keep a close eye on quinoa.
Curried Salmon Burger Lettuce Wraps With Crispy Sweet Potato Straws
The Standout Ingredient: Goat cheese, which adds an unexpected creaminess and sweetness to the dish.
The Pro Tip: Use a mandolin slicer to cut the thin straws. "Place the straws on a baking sheet, and toss them with the melted coconut oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper," Gerard instructs. The thinner, the better.
Stuffed and Sauced Sweet Potatoes
The Recipe: Vegan Stuffed and Sauced Sweet Potatoes
The Standout Ingredient: The tahini sauce has the perfect amount of flavor courtesy of fresh ginger and a lot of lime juice. In our opinion, it has the perfect amount of kick for an otherwise sweet dish.
The Pro Tip: Laura Wright from The First Mess suggests using basil if cilantro isn't readily available at your supermarket. "Both grocery stores I went to were out of cilantro (this is a recurring theme for me for some reason), so I just ripped up a bit of basil that I had on-hand," she says. "I imagine lots of leafy herbs would be delicious with this recipe."