Stuffed sweet potato with barbecue chicken is a simple and satisfying meal! Loaded with fresh kale, spinach, peppers and lean chicken for a wholesome dish.
Do you obsess over sweet potatoes as much as I do? I confess I have a sweet tooth. These tasty tubers help satisfy that craving while providing tons of nutrients with each bite. Healthy nutrients like calcium, potassium, fiber and vitamin A and C are all there.
How about trying something a little more fun and stuffing those bright orange vegetables with fresh greens and savory chicken?! Did I forget to mention a little barbecue sauce drizzle? Oh yes, it’s all here in one delicious edible potato boat. You don’t want to miss out on all of this goodness so let’s get roasting!
Ever since my son James started eating solids, I made sweet potatoes almost every day. Even now he can down a whole plate! Can you blame him? I’ve been thinking of new ways to switch up our sweet potato consumption. Instead of just making it a side dish, I thought I would let it take center stage for a change.
When you roast sweet potatoes, something magical happens. They contain an enzyme that converts its natural starches into a sugar called maltose. This process increases over time during storage, and even more, as it cooks.
That’s why sweet potatoes taste different than a traditional spud. It’s so perfect as it is, you don’t need to add anything extra. That’s why they are ideal for stuffed sweet potatoes.
Perfectly golden brown chicken, just the right protein to add on top. I added a simple seasoning of salt, pepper, and paprika on both sides. Paprika adds a beautiful dark red color to the surface in an instant and makes the chicken look even more appetizing.
A quick saute in your favorite skillet, and it’s ready to chop and top. I could eat this as barbecue chicken with the sauce on its own. It’s so tasty!
A balanced meal is not complete without some vegetables, right moms and dads? Eating your veggies can be delicious! A simple saute of kale and spinach with some minced garlic, shallots, and red bell peppers are all you need. I add this as the first layer of the potato.
Oh yeah, are you ready to dig in?
If you are in a rush, just grab your favorite BBQ sauce as your finishing touch. Sweet Baby Ray’s happens to be our families favorite. If you have time to make some from scratch, you need to try my sweet and spicy barbecue sauce!
Now that you know how to roast sweet potatoes, the filling possibilities are endless! This is a great idea for meal prep. Cook the potatoes on the weekend, reheat and fill as you go. What different stuffing will you try?
How does roasting sweet potatoes affect their taste?
We love sweet potatoes because of science! Potatoes contain starches called polysaccharides, which is composed of sugar molecules called glucose. When you roast a sweet potato, you not only make the flesh tender enough to eat, but the heat causes enzymes in the potato to convert the starches into maltose that we taste as sweet. This starts happening as the high heat of the oven increases the potatoes internal temperature to 135°F. The starch to sugar conversion stops at 170°F when the enzymes can no longer perform. Baking temperatures of 350°F and above (I use 375°F) helps the conversion and cooking process to maximize the sweetness of the potato. You don’t want to bake at too high of a temperature because it can denature the enzymes too quickly, and decreasing the sweetness potential. (Source: Serious Eats)
Stuffed Sweet Potato with Barbecue Chicken
- 4 sweet potatoes, medium-sized
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- kosher salt, as needed for seasoning
- black pepper, freshly ground, as needed for seasoning
- paprika, as needed for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, cut into ¼-inch dice (½ cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced into ¼-inch cubes
- 2 cups kale
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, or as desired
- 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Wrap each sweet potato in a piece of foil and place on baking sheet. Bake on center rack of oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft to the touch and a knife can easily pierce through the flesh. Time will vary depending on the size of the potato. You can also start to smell the sweet aroma as it gets closer to being fully cooked.
- Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and allow to heat up. Carefully add the chicken breast and allow to cook for 6 minutes. Flip to the other side, reduce heat to medium and cook another 6 to 7 minutes, or until no longer pink and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. Transfer to a clean plate to allow to rest and cool slightly. Once slightly cooled, chop the chicken into ½ inch cubes.
- In the same pan as you cooked the chicken keep the heat at medium. Add the garlic and shallot, cook for about 1 minute until fragrant, stirring continuously. Add the bell pepper and cook 2 minutes, stirring as needed. Add the kale and spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes and stirring continuously. Lightly season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Once sweet potatoes are finished cooking, unwrap. Make cuts ¾ of the way through the center of the potato to allow for stuffing. Use a fork to fluff up some of the sweet potatoes so it looks mashed.
- Evenly divide the sauteed vegetables and add into each sweet potato. Top with equal amounts of diced chicken. Drizzle the top of the chicken with warmed barbecue sauce as desired. Garnish with green onions and cilantro. Enjoy!