Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

by Gena on March 6, 2013

kale stuffed sweet potato skins

The other day, I revisited my black bean and sweet potato enchiladas—one of the most popular CR entrees, and one of my favorites. In order to make the mashed sweet potato and black been filling, I had to scoop some sweet potato out of the skin. Normally I’d discard the skin without thinking too much of it; it does contain nutrients, so I usually leave it on in recipes, but on the rare occasion I want the flesh on its own, it doesn’t seem like a big deal to toss it out. That said, I love finding ways to use every part of a food or ingredient when I cook, and I wondered if I might not find a way to make better use of it. And that’s how this recipe for kale and quinoa stuffed sweet potato skins was born.

The idea is simple: if you need to use the flesh of a sweet potato on its own, gently scoop it out so that the skin remains intact. If you cut your sweet potato in half, you’ll end up with what looks like two little canoes. And you can stuff them with just about anything you’d like: grains, beans, veggies, guacamole, hummus—the possibilities are endless.

PicMonkey Collage 2

If you want a denser base for the recipe, you can leave some of the sweet potato in the skin (that’s a more traditional “stuffed potato”). If you want to let the filling shine, you can scoop the flesh out altogether, and use the skin as a wrap of sorts. I’m frequently asked whether I can recommend a good gluten free and vegan wrap. There are plenty to suggest, including one of my raw wraps (but those involve a dehydrator), brown rice tortillas from the Food for Life company (though they’re a wee bit stiff, and break easily), or collard wraps (of course!). This is another great option.

Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins (serves 2-4)


  • 2 whole baked sweet potatoes
  • 4 tightly packed cups of kale, washed, dried, and chopped finely
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tbsp hemp oil
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds


  1. Carefully cut each sweet potato in half (lengthwise). Gently scoop out the flesh. You can leave a little of it in for a heartier skin, or you can scoop it all out so that you can fit in more stuffing.
  2. Mix the kale, carrot, pepper, and celery. Massage it with the oil, lemon, sea salt and pepper, and maple syrup till it's soft and evenly dressed.
  3. Add the quinoa and almonds to the kale/veggie mix. Combine well.
  4. Stuff as much of the quinoa and kale salad as you can into each half of the sweet potato skin. Serve, along with your leftover salad.

So much goodness in one place! I love the contrast of textures and flavors.

PicMonkey Collage 3

Per the recipe instructions, this will serve two people as an entree or four as an appetizer. No matter what, I suggest you serve the skins with the leftover kale and quinoa salad, which is delicious in its own right. Topping it all with avocado slices would be delightful, and black beans would also make a very tasty addition to the dish.

An added bonus of the recipe is that it’s easy to wrap the skins up in some saran or tin foil and transport them someplace for a packed lunch; I did just that on campus yesterday! No matter what, these stuffed skins are a fun and playful way to approach the idea of a wrap/taco/burrito dish. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

PicMonkey Collage 1


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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah March 6, 2013 at 11:39 am

This is a brilliant idea! I want to make these! Thank you for the inspiration! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me. YUM


McKel | Nutrition Stripped March 6, 2013 at 11:51 am

This looks super delicious! I love sweet potato “boats”. Have you ever tried filling them with avocado or quinoa with tahini? That’s my favorite! Adding this recipe to my list to try now haha, thanks for sharing :)


Dana @ Vanishing Veggie March 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm

YUM! Sweet potatoes and kale are my recent obsession as well, but I haven’t thought to prepare them like this.


Hannah March 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

One of these days I will stop giggling about what stuffed sweet potatoes look like and instead write a constructive comment.


Gena March 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm



Karen March 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

YUM! I haven’t thought re. preparing a stuffed sweet potato in ages. I made these nearly every day back in the day throughout high school and undergrad school! You have instantly rekindled this long lost love, though I think I’ll skip the celery and add black beans – ultimate comfort food. (I’m loving hemp oil these days too!)


Christa @ Edible Balance March 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

This looks down right amazing! I have a sweet potato just waiting for this… I’m doing a project clean the fridge/fruit & veggie bowl before heading out of town and this is perfect :) mmmmmmm….


brittany March 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm

WOW! I just went GF and this is EXACTLY the kind of thing I was looking for, YAY!
But honestly, never cooked a sweet potato before…do you have oven temp advice or perhaps approx. time recommendations? I’d LOVE to try this out, but i have no idea how to bake them. Also, do you prick them and wrap in foil, etc? Thanks!


Lw March 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

375, 35-45 min expending on size. Just keep poking with a fork and when it goes in without resistance, like room- temp butter, they’re ready. : )


Lw March 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Do prick them, and foil is optional.


Gena March 11, 2013 at 6:39 am

I echo this, belatedly! Thanks, Lw. :)


Elisabeth March 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

What a great idea! The second picture actually looks a pita sandwich with tabouli in it (now, that would go great with hummus). I love all these ingredients, so I just might make this for lunch tomorrow. Thanks, Gena!


Molly March 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

These look delectable, Gena! And oh my, your photography is getting more and more beautiful by the day! :)


Lauren G. March 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Yum. I make a variation on this weekly! I like the idea of scooping out some potato (and saving for something else) to make room for some more yummy filling, I never thought of that. My favorite is a take on those enchiladas you mentioned – kale, black beans, and guac!


Shira March 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Lovely! So awesome to see those nutritious skins getting some well-deserved love and attention – I am with many of your readers and could literally eat this type of combo everyday :)


Carol March 6, 2013 at 11:53 pm

What a great idea for a portable lunch, Gena! I can’t wait to try this.


Rose March 7, 2013 at 7:12 am

I love that you’re treating this like a wrap! I normally can’t really get down with wraps and sandwiches… they’re messy and I much prefer the “stuff;” the fillings inside to the carby stuff outside. Collard wraps are lovely, but sometimes a girl wants something in between! These are perfect, Gena!


Marissa March 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

I love this idea! Anytime I need the flesh for a recipe, I always save the skin and snack on it. It’s kind of a goofy thing to snack on, but I like it! Now I’ve got a new thing to do with them.


Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian March 7, 2013 at 11:22 am

These look great. I’ve never tried stuffing sweet potato skins before. Very cool idea.


Christy March 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

How crazy is it that we posted stuffed sweet potatoes on the same day!! This looks good!


Tanya @ Playful and Hungry March 9, 2013 at 5:31 am

Oh, you post this NOW that kale season is over where I live… that’s mean! ;)


Stephanie March 19, 2013 at 12:00 am

This looks absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try.


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