Fall is fast approaching, which means cozy comfort recipes and warming seasonal ingredients. And, what better way to stay satiated than a grounding plant-based recipe made with protein-rich foods? Best of all, this nourishing fall recipe will leave you satisfied without feeling overly stuffed. Speaking of full, this loaded sweet potato is packed to the brim with the most nutritious foods — we guarantee it will be a crowd-pleaser! With less than 10 ingredients needed for the base and just a handful needed for the dressing, whip up this easy-prep recipe with ease. Perfect for game days, Sunday meal prep, and weeknight dinners.
What’s more? It can be easily modified for any eating plan or dietary preference. Swap out lentils for chickpeas or black beans, skip the legumes altogether and load up with various veggies, or top off your plate with extra protein like shredded chicken or hard-boiled eggs.
Stuffed Sweet Potato Ingredients
This yummy recipe is stuffed with a balanced proportion of macronutrients to keep you nourished — think: clean carbs, healthy fats, and protein-rich plant foods!
The star of this plant-based dish is none other than nature’s comfort food: sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a seasonal fall food full of Vitamin A, antioxidants, and gut-supporting nutrients like fiber.
Now that sweet potatoes are in season, there are tons of types to choose from! Switch up this recipe by subbing traditional sweet potatoes for one of its nutritious cousins. Try Japanese sweet potatoes for a slightly sweet flavor, or purple sweet potatoes for something more starchy and hearty.
Avocado makes a nutritious, healthy swap for butter or sour cream, two fat sources typically used to flavor potato dishes. Avocados are a healthy fat source full of fiber, filled with potassium (even more than a banana!), and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
RELATED: The Healthiest Fats to Add to Your Diet
We opted for lentils as our primary protein source — they’re low in fat, rich in protein, and plant-based to support all types of diets! Did you know this plant-based legume contains an impressive 18 grams of protein per cup? Plus, a single cup contains more than 20% of your daily fiber, iron, potassium, and folate needs — just to name a few! Impressive, huh?
With high levels of minerals like zinc, manganese, magnesium, and copper, these small but mighty seeds add the perfect amount of nutritious crunch to top off our dish. Plus, one cup contains an additional 7 grams of protein! Who said you need meat to get your daily protein needs?
We decided to add a fresh element of seasonal flavor by seasoning our plate with detoxifying parsley. Parsley is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K and full of anti-inflammatory properties. Don’t be afraid to get heavy-handed with this flavorful herb!
Did you know you can make a creamy and delicious dressing without adding oil? We subbed tahini for a nutritious oil replacement — get the satiating fat benefits with the addition of other nutrients like protein and B vitamins.
Forget empty calories, artificial ingredients, and sneaky sugars — flavor your dish the healthy way by making your own dressing! We used lemon juice for a low-cal, fresh, and flavorful way to spice up this dish.
Protein-Packed Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 2 avocados
- Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup lentils, cooked
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
For the dressing
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 tbsp tahini
Step #1: Prep Your Ingredients & Cook Your Sweet Potato Base
Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and line a baking tray with parchment paper, then gather all of your ingredients for the base recipe and dressing.
Place the sweet potatoes evenly on the tray, and using a fork, poke holes in each sweet potato. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft and cooked through.
Step #2: Prepare Avocado Filling
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prep avocados for the sweet potato filling. Slice lengthwise and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado flesh, and add to a separate bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, mash the avocado in a separate bowl with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Step #3: Make The Dressing
Make the dressing by adding the lemon juice, tahini, water, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl and whisk. Set aside
Step #4: Remove Sweet Potatoes From The Oven
Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow them to slightly cool before cutting them in half. Scrape half of the sweet potato flesh out, leaving room to add the cooked lentils and mashed avocado.
Step #5: Fill Your Sweet Potatoes With the Base & Bake
Fill each sweet potato with lentils. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Step #6: Toast the Pumpkin Seeds
While the sweet potatoes are cooking for the additional 10 minutes, evenly spread the pumpkin seeds on another lined baking tray and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until toasted and slightly golden.
Step #7: Fully Stuff & Dress Your Sweet Potatoes
Remove sweet potato and top with avocado, pumpkin seeds, chopped parsley, and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with the tahini dressing and enjoy!
Protein-Packed Ways to Fuel Your Fall Menu
Comfort food made easy, healthy, and flavorful. Add this protein-packed dish to your meal plan and prepare to soak in the comforting (plant-based) flavors of fall. With ingredients this healthy, keeping up with your fall fitness goals is looking easier than ever.