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TIP OF THE DAY: Sweet Potato Toppings

We love sweet potatoes. Often, after a day of tasting all sorts of foods for THE NIBBLE, we have a simple baked sweet potato for dinner.

Sometimes we’ll eat it plain. Sometimes, we’ll add butter. And sometimes we give it the white potato treatment of sour cream and scallions.

Recipe by Becky of A Calculated Whisk, which focuses on creative paleo and gluten-free recipes, developed this one for the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission.

Her toppings are just a start. Add your favorite ingredients to a sweet potato, from rustic Tex-Mex to elegant crème fraîche and herbs.

Add more sweet potatoes to your weekly diet. The Commission has a wealth of savory and sweet sweet potato recipes.

Ingredients Per Potato

Breakfast Sweet Potato

  • 1 slice thick-cut bacon, chopped into half-inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon snipped chives
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Pesto Chicken Sweet Potato

  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup cooked chicken, cubed or shredded, reheated as necessary
  • 1 tablespoon pesto, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream or coconut milk, optional
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Chorizo Avocado Sweet Potato

  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2-3 ounces bulk Mexican chorizo, or links with the casing removed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tomato
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 Haas avocado, cubed
  • Wedge of lime
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Garlic Shrimp Sweet Potato

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 medium, 21-25 count per pound shrimp
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Spiced Almond Butter & Honey Sweet Potato

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of allspice
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted if desired (here’s how)
    Apple Walnut Sweet Potato

    This recipe is delicious for breakfast.

  • 2 teaspoons butter, ghee, or avocado oil
  • 1/2 small apple, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt

    1. BAKE the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork and arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when squeezed with an oven mitt on or when pierced with a fork.

    2. LET cool for a few minutes, then cut partway through the potato lengthwise and then crosswise, to open it up. Mash the insides a little with a fork if you like. Top as desired (see instructions that follow) and serve hot.

    Breakfast Sweet Potato

    1. COOK the bacon pieces in a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat until crisp, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

    2. RAISE the heat to medium high. Carefully crack the egg into the bacon grease and cook for 1-2 minutes, carefully spooning some of the fat onto the top of the whites if desired, until the edges of the whites are browned and crisp and the yolk is cooked to your liking.

    3. TRANSFER the egg to the paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle the bacon onto the cooked potato, place the egg on top, and sprinkle with chives, salt, and pepper.

    Pesto Chicken Sweet Potato

    1. TOAST the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.

    2. MIX the chicken, pesto, and cream (if using) in a small bowl. Stuff a potato with the pesto chicken and top with pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Chorizo Avocado Sweet Potato

    1. HEAT the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat with a spatula, until browned and cooked through.

    2. TOP the potato with the chorizo, tomato, red onion, cilantro, avocado and a squeeze of lime. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Garlic Shrimp Sweet Potato

    1. HEAT the oil and garlic in a saucepan. When hot, add the shrimp and saute.

    2. ADD the shrimp to the potato and pour the oil-garlic sauce on top.
    Spiced Almond Butter & Honey Sweet Potato


    [1] You can use a different topping on a baked sweet potato every time (photo © North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission).

    Cooked Bacon Strips
    [2] For breakfast, top a sweet potato with bacon and a fried egg (photo © Edwards Virginia Smokehouse).

    [3] A potato topped with chicken and pesto is a meal in itself (photo © Looby | iStock Photo.

    Halved Avocado
    [4] Add a Mexican touch with avocado, chorizo, cilantro and other garnishes (photo © California Avocado Commission)

    Sliced Apple
    [5] Add some sweetness with apples, walnuts, maple syrup and cinnamon (photo © U.S. Apples).

    [6] Shrimp and garlic are a great topping for anything, from pasta to sweet potatoes (photo © Louisiana Seafood).

    [7] Almond butter and honey with allspice and ginger make a nutritious lunch (photo © Good Eggs).

    1. SEASON the almond butter with the allspice and ginger.

    2. DRIZZLE honey into the potato. Top with almond butter and garnish with the sliced almonds.
    Apple Walnut Sweet Potato

    1. SAUTÉ the apples and walnuts in butter, with the cinnamon and salt. When the apples are soft, stir in the maple syrup.

    2. TOP the potato with the mixture, and serve with extra maple syrup on the side.


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