Stuffed Sweet Potato with Lentil and Mushroom Ragu
Sweet potatoes or “batatas” belong to my most beloved root vegetables, together with parsnip and radish. They are also a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B. Besides that, they ARE sweet and I really like sweet! Baking the sweet potato is probably the safest way of preparing it (besides turning it into a soup). With its mushy consistency, they don’t easily substitute traditional potatoes in dishes or as a snack. When baked, it works well with many different toppings. The choice is almost limitless but today, we will prepare stuffed sweet potato with lentils and chanterelle mushrooms.
The beauty of this sweet potato recipe is not only its simple preparation but also its possibility for storage and meal prep. When I make this recipe, I bake 2 to 3 potatoes in one go. This amount can last for quite a few meals – depends on how big of an eater you are. If you get tired of stuffing the baked potatoes, there is always the possibility to use them in a different way, for example as a base for sweet potato gnocchi. To get inspired, you can check out my sweet potato gnocchi with mushrooms and cherry tomatoes recipe.
The benefits of sweet potatoes
I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember eating sweet potatoes when I was growing up. One of the reasons may have been their exotic origin and a need for a very warm and humid environment to grow. Sadly for me, exotic goods didn’t make their way to post-soviet destinations until the late 90s. Either way, I’m thankful for the internationalization of the food supply and our access to this wonderful vegetable nowadays. Compared to a normal potato, a sweet potato (aka batata) is very high in fiber, vitamins C & E as well as potassium – great for a work out day! On top, as the orange-colored flesh suggests, sweet potato is a great source of beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A – amazing for our sight, immune system, and healthy skin.
How to make this stuffed sweet potato?
This recipe is wonderful for both vegetarians and vegans. With a large variety of toppings, anyone can be pleased! In this version, we use oat cream for cooking to make the mushroom-lentil ragu nice and creamy. You can easily add shredded cheese or a spoon-full of double cream on top if dairy is desired.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lentil & Mushroom Ragu
2-3 large sweet potatoes
1 cup dry green lentils
200g of chanterelle mushrooms
100ml of vegan cooking cream (soy or oat)
1-2 garlic cloves
100g of fresh spinach
1/2 tsp of dry thyme
1/2 tsp of dry basil
(the above herbs can be substituted by Italian spice mix)
1 spring onion
Vegan double cream or quark (seasoned by paprika, salt and pepper)
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and prepare a large baking sheet topped by a baking paper.
- Set a medium-sized pot on the stove with water and lentils. Cover the lentils sufficiently, about 1cm above the level. Cook for about 15 min or until cooked through. (taste to see if they softened up, avoid overcooking them)
- Clean the sweet potatoes, scrub the skin under the water properly as we are keeping them on for the dish. Cut the potatoes in half (use a proper chopping knife as halving sweet potatoes can be challenging). Bake for about 15-20 min or until a wooden pick easily cuts through and the surface of the potatoes starts to caramelise.
Note: If you have smaller sized potatoes at hand, feel free to bake them in whole. For larger potatoes, halving them makes the baking process faster and give the potatoes a nicely caramelized surface.
- While the potatoes are baking, we prepare the filling: quickly clean the mushrooms under cold running water and let them dry on a kitchen towel.
- Finely chop the onion and garlic, prepare the mushrooms by gently tearing them to smaller pieces or cutting them as well. Leave the tiny mushrooms whole, they work well for decoration.
- Put 1-2 Tbs of olive oil on a frying pan. Fry first the onion, then add the garlic and mushrooms, add the spices. Add a little bit of water to help the mushrooms cook. Then add the cooked lentils and the cooking cream.
Cook for about 10min.
- Add the fresh spinach last and don’t overcook, only let the spinach soften up, not lose its green colour 🙂
- Let the potatoes cool a little, then spread out the sides to create more space for the filling. Serve topped with the mushroom-lentil ragu, sliced avocado, choped spring onion and sprinkled with seeds of your choice. For those who like to add some spice: sriracha works well in this recipe.
This recipe is truly among my favorites. You have the freedom to experiment with the fillings, make it vegetarian, vegan, use meat substitutes instead of lentils, or pick different legumes depending on your pantry supply. A lovely alteration to the filling is marinated tempeh, or soy granulate. If you want to try a different version of this recipe but are not confident to create your won, check out my recipe about baked sweet potato stuffed with marinated tempeh.
If you baked too many sweet potatoes and wonder how to use them in a different fashion. Try making sweet potato gnocchi. It tastes just as well made from baked potatoes as they do with boiled ones and it can be wiped up in about 30 minutes. The last time I ended up with too many baked yams, I made this simple sweet potatoe gnocchi with tomato and mushrooms dish and it was delishous!