Twice baked sweet potatoes stuffed with Italian sausage, leeks, and topped with grated Swiss cheese bring new flavors to a popular side fall vegetable.
When most people prepare sweet potatoes, they automatically load them up with sugar and spice and everything nice. Don’t get me wrong! I love sweet potatoes loaded up with butter, cinnamon, sugar, and gooey marshmallows. But sweet potatoes are great as a base in savory dishes as well.
Twice baked potatoes are a popular side item in my house. Substituting sweet potatoes for the standard baking potatoes gives this a completely different texture and flavor. These are savory with a hint of sweetness and much creamier.
How to Make Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
You’ll need to start by baking your sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Poke holes in your potatoes. Then roast them for about an hour until you can easily poke them with a fork. Let them cool completely.
In the meantime, cook one pound of Italian sausage in a large skillet. I stuck with mild Italian sausage so my kids could eat it, but hot Italian sausage would be just as delicious. Cook until the Italian sausage is no longer pink. Be sure to break up the sausage into bite-sized pieces as you’re cooking. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Melt one tablespoon of unsalted butter in the same skillet. You’ll be using this to cook your leeks. Leeks look like giant green onions, but have a much milder flavor. You’ll want to have your leeks washed and diced before you get to this step. Be sure to use the white and light green parts of the leek only, as the dark green leaves are too tough to eat. Slice the leeks in half and wash any dirt that may have gotten trapped between the layer. Then chop the cleaned leaks and add them to the pan with the melted butter, fresh sage leaves and fresh thyme. Saute for 10 minutes until the leeks are soft.
Your sweet potatoes should be cool enough to handle by now. Carefully slice them open and scoop out the insides. Be sure to leave enough around the edge to help the skins keep their shape. Scoop the sweet potato flesh into a large mixing bowl. Add the cooks leeks and Italian sausage. Add half a cup of sour cream and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Mix everything together until it is well combined.
Preheat the broiler. Refill the sweet potato skins with the filling. Sprinkle the tops with shredded Swiss cheese. Broil for about five minutes until the potatoes are heated through and the Swiss cheese is melted. I serve these alongside an entree such as grilled pork tenderloin, but honestly they are filling enough that they would have made a great meal on their own.
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Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
- 4 small sweet potatoes about 8 oz. each
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups leeks white and light-green parts only, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Poke holes in each of the potatoes with a fork. Bake potatoes in the oven until fork tender, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
In the meantime, cook the sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat. Break up the sausage into bite-sized pieces using a wooden spoon. Cook sausage until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain grease from the skillet and then return to heat.
Add butter to the skillet. Once butter has melted, add leeks, sage, thyme, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and cook until they start to turn golden brown and become tender, about 10 minutes.
Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and carefully scoop out the insides to within about a 1/8-inch of the side. Place flesh in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add sausage, leeks, and sour cream. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Place an oven rack within the top third of the oven. Preheat broiler.
Spoon mixture back into the sweet potato shells. Top with Swiss cheese.
Arrange stuffed potatoes on a foil lines baking sheet. Broil potatoes until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.