Sweet Potato Skins

Potato Skins1Remember when potato skins were on the appetizer menu of almost every bar and casual restaurant? Looking back now through Primal eyes, there are so many things wrong with potato skins (starchy russet potatoes, loads of low quality grated cheese, Ranch dressing on the side) it seems wise to banish them forever. And yet, admit it….you still have a spot in your heart for potato skins, don’t you?

Whether it’s because of nostalgia or that crispy skin and creamy filling, cravings for potato skins may come up from time to time. And that’s okay, because this recipe for meaty sweet potato skins (cheese optional) gives the appetizer a Primal makeover.

The change from regular potato to sweet potato isn’t just about healthy eating, though. It’s about flavor, too. Why use a bland white potato, when the sweetness of an orange beauty tastes so good with seasoned ground meat, cilantro and green onions? Cheese is optional, and less necessary than with regular potato skins, because there’s already so much flavor going on.

It’s true that most of the anti-nutrients in potatoes can be found in the skin, but eating the skins every once in awhile isn’t likely to cause much harm. If you’re concerned, then skip the skins and simply scoop the potato flesh into a bowl and top with the meat and garnishes. It’ll turn this recipe into a delicious main course, instead of finger food.

Servings: 2 to 3

Time in the Kitchen: 1.5 hours



  • 6 small sweet potatoes
  • ½ pound ground meat (230 g)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin (2.5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (5 ml)
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander (2.5 ml)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup sliced green onions (120 ml)
  • Optional: 1 cup (90 g) grated high-quality aged Cheddar and/or a dollop of sour cream, crème fraiche or full-fat Greek yogurt


Preheat oven to 400 ºF/205 ºC degrees.

Wash the potatoes well and dry. Pierce each sweet potato a few times and bake for 40-50 minutes or until soft. Allow the potatoes to cool.

While the potatoes are baking, cook the ground meat over medium high heat. Season with cumin, chili powder and coriander. Salt to taste.

Slice the baked sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out most of the sweet potato and put it into a medium bowl, leaving a thin layer of sweet potato inside the skins.

Step 1

Place skins back on the baking sheet, skin side up. Brush the potato skins with olive oil or butter and bake for 10 minutes, or until a little crispy but not overly browned.

Add the cilantro to the sweet potato flesh in the bowl. Salt to taste.

Remove the skins from the oven. Fill each one ¼ full with the sweet potato and cilantro filling. Top with ground meat. If desired, cover with a sprinkle of cheese.


Return the filled potatoes to the oven and bake just until cheese is melted, or just until warm.

Garnish with green onions and a hit of hot sauce before serving. A dollop of yogurt, sour cream or crème fraiche is optional.

Potato Skins1

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