Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

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twice baked sweet potatoes topped with bacon and scallions

Credit: Laura Rege

Inspired by classic twice-baked potatoes, we switched out the standard russet potato with sweet potatoes. We mashed the sweet potato flesh with butter, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onions, but that wasn’t enough to match the sweet potato’s assertive flavor — so we topped it off with cream cheese, hot sauce, and garlic powder to get the filling just right. These baked sweet potato boats prove that a little extra time in the oven can pay off.

How to Prepare Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

Twice-baked sweet potatoes require a little time in the oven, some mashing, and a return to the oven to finish.

  • First, roast the sweet potatoes whole, just like a baked potato, until they are fork-tender. Select sweet potatoes that are about the same size, so they bake in the same amount of time.
  • Slice the top off the sweet potatoes and scoop out the insides, making sure to leave about a 1/4-inch-thick shell to ensure the filling can be supported and doesn’t fall apart. Discard the skin from the top third. 
  • Turn the scooped insides into mashed sweet potatoes, adding in all the creaminess of cheese, butter, and sour cream.
  • Spoon or pipe the mashed sweet potatoes back into the potato skins, piling them up over the top, and bake until slightly puffed, the cheese is melted, and the potato is hot.

Can You Eat the Skin of a Twice-Baked Sweet Potato?

Absolutely! Potato skins have more nutrients and fiber than the insides. Always clean and scrub the potatoes to remove any excess dirt or debris before cooking them.

Why Are My Twice-Baked Potatoes Gummy?

Over-mixing mashed potatoes can activate the starch and turn the insides gummy, so mix until just combined. Twice-baked sweet potatoes are less prone to gumminess than the traditional russet variety, however, because sweet potatoes are not as starchy as white russet potatoes. 

Can You Overcook Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes?

Sure, you can overcook anything, but sweet potatoes just get sweeter and tastier as they continue to cook. Follow the timing and stop before the cheese burns and you should be good to go!

Best Toppings for Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

We love finishing these potatoes off with crumbled bacon and more green onion. Don’t hesitate to play around, though! Try a dollop of sour cream, pico de gallo, or fresh leafy green herbs like parsley or cilantro. Or really turn the potatoes into a meal by topping them with smoked salmon, chili or ground taco meat, or sautéed veggies. 

These baked sweet potato boats prove that a little extra time in the oven can pay off.

Ingredients

  • 4

    large sweet potatoes (about 10 ounces each)

  • 2 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 3

    medium scallions

  • 6 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup

    sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    hot sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

  • 4 slices

    cooked bacon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange two racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 400ºF. Meanwhile, scrub 4 large sweet potatoes clean and pat dry. Let 2 ounces cream cheese and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter sit at room temperature to soften while the potatoes cook.

  2. Place the sweet potatoes directly on the upper rack and place an aluminum foil- or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any juices. Roast until tender and a fork pierces easily into the potatoes, about 50 minutes.

  3. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Discard the foil or parchment. Place the baked potatoes on the baking sheet and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Thinly slice 3 medium scallions; set 2 tablespoons of the dark green parts aside for garnish. Grate 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 1/2 cups).

  4. Carefully, as the potatoes will still be hot, slice the top third lengthwise off of the baked potatoes. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the remaining potatoes into a medium bowl, leaving a scant 1/4-inch border to create potato shells. Return the potato shells to the baking sheet and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt on the insides. Scoop out all of the flesh from the trimmed top third of the potato and add to the medium bowl; discard the excess skin from the top third.

  5. Add the remaining scallions, cream cheese, butter, about two thirds of grated cheddar cheese (about 1 cup), 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the sweet potato flesh. Mash until combined and mostly smooth. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

  6. Generously fill each shell with the mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake until the filling is hot and the cheese on top is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved scallions and more freshly ground black pepper. Crumble 4 slices cooked bacon, if using, over the top.

Recipe Notes

Scooping the potatoes: Make sure to leave about 1/4-inch-thick border to make sure the boats can hold up to the filling. If you accidentally scoop a bit too much in a spot, smooth some of the scooped flesh back into the shell with the back of a spoon.

Make ahead: You can prepare the sweet potatoes up to a day ahead of time. Assemble them up until the second bake, cover, and refrigerate. Remove the stuffed potatoes from the refrigerator to take their chill off while you preheat the oven then proceed with the second bake as instructed.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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