Embrace the cooler fall weather with this hearty meal. This is a terrific dish than can be easily prepared ahead of time and then baked during busy weeknights. The recipe is also versatile. Use any combination of vegetables you have on hand. Choose either ground turkey breast, ground chicken breast or 93% lean ground beef for the meat. If opting for a more plant-based meal, trade out the meat for drained black beans. Pair with a side salad to round out the meal. — Kimberly Spatola, Novant Health registered dietitian
Loaded Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
4 sweet potatoes
1 pound ground turkey breast or turkey breast/ 93% lean ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash original seasoning
4 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese, diced
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Take sweet potatoes and prick with a fork on all sides. Microwave sweet potatoes, 2 at a time, in 1-minute intervals until fork tender; about 4-5 minutes. Repeat with remaining sweet potatoes and set aside to cool.
In a skillet over medium heat, add in ground meat and cook until thoroughly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
In the same skillet, add in olive oil and sauté onion and bell pepper together until lightly browned and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash seasoning. Add in drained spinach and stir well until evenly combined. Add in 3-4 tablespoons water to deglaze the pan. Add all vegetables and any remaining liquid to bowl with ground meat.
Heat the oven to 350° F.
Take sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Carefully remove inner flesh of sweet potato with a spoon; be careful not to puncture the skins.
Add removed sweet potato and cream cheese to bowl with vegetables. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Divide mixture between sweet potato skins. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake loaded sweet potatoes on a baking sheet until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Serve with a side salad or your favorite vegetable.
*Alternatively, sweet potatoes can be prepared a few days in advance. Store sweet potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cook in a 350° F preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.
Yield 8 servings