Call me old-fashioned, but as far as I’m concerned the classic baked potato doesn’t need any updating or sprucing up. Melted butter, gooey shredded cheese, crunchy bacon bits, sour cream, fresh chives: It’s a perfect formula. Let’s leave it be, eh?
If you want to get creative with your baked potato, I’d recommend turning your attention away from the Russet and focusing instead on its orange-tinted cousin, the sweet potato. Obviously you can go the traditional bake and load with toppings route or, as it turns out, the good-for-you-tuber works impressively well as a stand-in for many of your favorite gluten-heavy junk foods. Pizza, tacos, garlic bread, you name it—a baked sweet potato can make it healthier and just as tasty. It can even upgrade your beloved avocado toast. Check out seven of our favorite creative baked sweet potato recipes.
It’s tough breaks, toast, but apparently just because your name is in the title doesn’t mean you have to show up to work anymore. As it turns out, those looking to abstain from bread needn’t give up their beloved, trendy toasts: Baked sweet potato slices are more than up for the job. Seriously, this non-toast toast crushes the breakfast game as a vessel for savory mashed avocado and slices of soft-boiled egg. (Or, if you want to get a little fancy-brunch with it, try this poached egg, cucumber, and smoked salmon variation.) Get the recipe.
Speaking of the many ways baked sweet potatoes can be used to replace bread, why not give these mozz, parm, and garlic butter-slathered slices a go the next time you’re craving cheesy garlic bread? Just ignore the Italian food purist over in the corner giving you side eye, you know good when you taste it. Get the recipe.
Taco-bout thinking outside of the shell. Forget the whole corn vs. flour tortilla debate, baked sweet potatoes have that combo crisp exterior-soft interior texture on lock. Plus you can knife and fork it so you don’t have to do the filling-and-toppings-spilling-out-as-you-bite-from-side-to-side dance. Get the recipe.
If you like the idea of giving taco night a baked sweet potato makeover, you’re going to love how the concept works for pizza night. Go classic with the toppings as they do here—zesty tomato sauce, basil, and gooey mozz—or experiment with more off-the-beaten-path flavors like roasted figs, prosciutto, and balsamic. Plus the mini rounds work perfectly as cocktail party finger food. Get the recipe.
Sweet potato in your stew, sure. But sweet potato as more or less of an edible bowl for your stew? Now that’s interesting. Here, chickpeas are cooked in a bold cumin, coriander, and paprika-spiced tomato broth and poured over savory-sweet baked potatoes to create a real (not to mention, healthy) get-you-through-the-worst-of-winter kind of dish. Get the recipe.
“Toad in the hole,” “eggs in a nest,” “one-eyed Jack,” “egg in the middle”—whatever you call it, rest-assured that this breakfast classic is just as delicious (if not heartier, and a bit less basic) when the traditional bread is replaced with a baked sweet potato. That this recipe adds a drizzle of Sriracha and crumbled bacon to the mix only improves matters. Get the recipe.
Forget pie, this creative (not to mention health-minded) sundae variation is here to open your eyes to the tuber’s dessert potential. You can get as creative as you want with toppings, but there’s no going wrong with this rendition’s indulgent combination of peanut butter, chocolate sauce, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, and crushed walnuts. Get the recipe.