By Team Dirty
Dec 25, 2021,
Sometimes you reach the end of December and, while you’re growing tired of eating traditional, rich holiday food and treats, you’re not quite ready to commit to the salads and lighter fare you crave in January. If this is the case, these Apple Raisin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are for you.
Maybe you’re overwhelmed and short on time, but still want to feed yourself and your family delicious plant based meals. These Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are for you.
Or maybe you just really enjoy sweet potatoes. These are definitely for you.
These sweeties are oil-free and made without overly processed ingredients or sugars. You might have trouble believing that something so nutritionally-dense and good for you is also so delicious.
Eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Serve them with a side salad or enjoy them alone. Throw one in your lunchbox to enjoy hot or cold at work, or keep the ingredients on hand for when you need a quick meal but you haven’t had time to batch that week. You’re not going to be disappointed.
Oh, and while you’re prepping the ingredients, check out our podcast episode about mixed eating households. We’ve got some sanity-saving advice if you’re exhausted from juggling plant based, omni, or picky eaters.
What you need to make Apple Raisin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes: While we aren’t going to be particular about the variety of sweet potatoes you buy, we can say that you’ll probably enjoy the orange varieties more than white or purple flesh sweet potatoes in this recipe. Sweet potatoes with orange interiors, like Jewels, Garnets, or Beauregards, are going to be sweeter and have a better texture for this application.
A brief note on yams: here in the US, many canned and fresh tubers are labeled and sold as “yams,” however, these are almost certainly sweet potatoes. Unless you’re shopping in a specialty international market, you’re not likely to find true yams on US shelves. Yams are botanically separate from sweet potatoes; they look different and have a different flavor profile. We don’t recommend using true yams for this recipe.
Cinnamon powder: If you’re a spice buff, you may know that most of the cinnamon sold in America isn’t actually cinnamon, but rather something called cassia, which is a close cousin. This distinction doesn’t matter for our application, either variety will work well, but if you love cinnamon, we encourage you to seek out true ceylon cinnamon and give it a try. The flavor is quite unique.
Apples: You can use any kind of apple for this recipe. If you like crisp, sweet apples, we recommend Honeycrisp. If you like softer, delicately sweet apples, try Gala. If you want a firm texture and bright tartness, Granny Smith would do well. You can use a selection of different apples together for a fun variety of flavors and textures.
Raisins: Traditional or golden raisins work equally well for this recipe.
Almonds: We like to buy our nuts, including almonds, in the bulk section of the grocery store. They’re generally cheaper and have less packaging. Many stores will even let you bring your own container as long as you let them weigh the empty container first. When buying products in bulk, choose a store that has a popular bulk section. This will ensure that the products in the bulk bins are fresh.
100% pure maple syrup: When we say 100% pure maple syrup, we mean the only ingredient is maple syrup. Some manufacturers add food coloring or other sugars to help stretch the actual syrup. You don’t want to buy those. Grade A and B don’t indicate quality, they indicate flavor and color. Grade A tends to be lighter in color and more delicate in flavor. Grade B is darker and has a more robust taste. Choose whichever sounds best to you, just make sure the only ingredient is maple syrup.
How to make Apple Raisin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
We include both Instant Pot (IP) and oven directions in our recipe, but we prefer ours to be roasted in the oven. The dry heat caramelizes some of the sugars in the sweet potatoes to create a rich flavor. However, if you’re in a rush or just don’t want to mess with the oven, the IP version is tasty, too.
First, scrub your sweet potatoes and leave the skin on.
Instant Pot directions
Pour 1½ cups of water into the inner pot of your IP and place the trivet on the bottom. Then, place the sweet potatoes on the trivet and lock the lid into place. Use the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) mode and set the timer for 15 minutes on high pressure. When the timer is up, you can use the quick release (immediately turn the steam vent nozzle to release steam). Once all the steam is out of the pot, open the lid and remove the potatoes.
Preheat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Prick your sweet potatoes with a fork in several places then lay the sweet potatoes onto your baking sheet. Roast for 25–30 minutes, until soft and the edges are browned and caramelized. You can check the softness with a fork by piercing the largest sweet potato through its thickest area. If the fork slides in and out easily, the potatoes are done. Remove from the oven.
While your sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare your fillings
Leave your apples unpeeled and dice them into ½-inch cubes. You can put them in a bowl of lemon juice and water to keep them from browning before you’re ready to use them. Then, chop your almonds. After your sweet potatoes are ready, open them up by slicing them down the middle lengthwise. Use a fork to fluff the inside and release most of the flesh from the skin. Sprinkle each potato with cinnamon.
Now, add the diced apples, chopped almonds, and raisins.
Finally, drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy!
That’s it! These are so easy to make and so deliciously satisfying.
Make more (or less)
This Apple Raisin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes recipe was written for 4 servings, but you can easily scale it up or down. For each person, you will need 1 potato, a pinch of cinnamon, about ½ cup of diced apples, 2 tablespoons each of raisins and chopped almonds, and about 1 tablespoon maple syrup.
For the 4 servings here, prep time will take about 15 minutes.
For a fast meal, you can keep a batch of pre-cooked sweet potatoes in your fridge and get the filling ready in the time it takes to reheat a potato. Pre-cooked potatoes will keep in an airtight container in your fridge for about a week.
Allergic to almonds? Don’t have raisins? We got you.
Sweet potatoes: If you don’t have or can’t eat sweet potatoes, this recipe would work well with smaller varieties of winter squashes, like acorn or delicata. A small butternut squash would work as well, although you may need to scale up on your fillings. You also may need to cook the squash longer, depending on its size. Use the same method for testing doneness mentioned above. You can eat the roasted squash skin or not, up to you.
Cinnamon powder: The cinnamon isn’t absolutely necessary for this recipe, so you can leave it out, or experiment with other spices like nutmeg, clove, or allspice.
Apples: Pears are the best substitute here to remain true to the flavor and texture of the original recipe.
Raisins: Any sweet, dried fruit like dried cranberries, dates, or currants will work.
Almonds: Most other nuts will work, but we prefer pecans due to their flavor and texture. If nuts are a no-go due to allergies, pumpkin seeds will work well.
Maple syrup: If you don’t have maple syrup, using some soaked, chopped dates will add a bit of sweetness. Otherwise, you can simply sprinkle with coconut or date sugar. Molasses will work as well, but go easy. You won’t need as much molasses as you would maple syrup.
These Apple Raisin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are so easy, versatile, and scrumptious. We know you and your family are going to love them, whether they eat plant based or not. They’re perfect for when you need a break from Holiday food or just an easy-to-assemble, nutritional meal that’s actually tasty. Happy eating!
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 2 cups apples, diced (unpeeled) (see Ingredients section above for variety recommendations)
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
- Wash your sweet potatoes and leave the skin on. Choose your cooking method below.
Instant Pot Directions:
- Pour 1½ cups of water (355 ml) into the inner pot of your Instant Pot and place the trivet on the bottom.
- Place the sweet potatoes on the trivet and lock the lid into place. Use the Manual (or Pressure Cooking) Mode and set the timer for 15 minutes. Use the quick release method when the timer is up.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pierce your sweet potatoes with a fork in several places and lay the sweet potatoes onto your baking sheet.
- Bake for 25–30 minutes or until soft and the edges are browned and caramelized.
Garnish and Serve:
- Cut your sweet potatoes lengthwise down the center and fluff the insides with a fork. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon inside the potato, then load it up with diced apples, raisins, and almonds. Drizzle some maple syrup over the top and enjoy!
Stuffed sweet potatoes variations
Ready to get creative and make this dish your own? We have a couple of ideas for variations for you here, but we’d love to hear your ideas, too. Comment below if you’ve tried something unique and interesting.
Papaya Stuffed Butternut Squash: Start with a small Butternut squash and roast it until it’s soft. Slice in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and fluff the insides. Sprinkle with cinnamon and ground ginger and fill with diced papaya, dried cranberries, chopped almonds, and drizzle with maple syrup.
Loaded Root Veggies: Roast carrots and parsnips instead of sweet potatoes. Mash them well with a fork, sprinkle with cinnamon, and add the apple raisin almond filling on top. Drizzle with maple syrup if you’d like.
Holiday Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Sprinkle cooked sweet potatoes with a pinch each of ground nutmeg and clove in addition to cinnamon. After chopping your apple, soften it in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat for about 4–5 minutes. Add a little water if it begins to stick. Sprinkle the softened apples with date or coconut sugar if you wish. Add your fillings and maple syrup (you may want to skip this if you sweetened your apples) to the sweet potatoes, and garnish with a little chopped fresh sage or thyme.
Check out this savory stuffed sweet potato, too. It’s a Dirty classic.
We hope you enjoy this delicious and versatile recipe. Let us know if you try it and how it went in the comments below.
Wishing you endless possibilities.
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