Sweet potatoes are a nutrient dense starchy vegetable providing an excellent source of carbohydrate at meals along with rich sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, B vitamins, potassium, and fiber.

Sweet potato (with skin) nutrient content per 1 cup:

Calories: 180

Fat: 0 g

Cholesterol: 0g

Total carbohydrate: 37 g

Fiber: 7 g

Protein: 4 g

The sweet potato bowl is a weekly favorite in my household, and lucky me, it is one of the quickest dinners (or lunches) to prepare. If you don’t have the sweet potato bowl on your weekly or monthly meal plan, you may want to start! A perfect way to use up your leftovers at the end the week or meal prep ahead of time for busy nights you don’t have time to cook.

Obviously, the main ingredient to the sweet potato bowl is the sweet potato itself, but the other ingredients tend to change weekly depending on a variety of factors:

Are there leftovers from the previous night (s) that can be incorporated into the sweet potato bowl?

Are there vegetables that need to be used in a meal asap before they go bad?

What are other ingredients in the refrigerator, freezer or dry storage cabinet that can add color, flavor, and texture to our sweet potato bowl?

The Basic Components of the Sweet Potato Bowl

  1. Sweet Potato
  2. Cooked Vegetables
  3. Raw vegetables
  4. Beans or whole grains
  5. Sauce
  6. Lean Meat

Now the Nitty Gritty of the Sweet Potato Bowl

  1. Sweet Potato
    • Instructions to cook a perfect sweet potato to my standards:
      1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F
      2. Wash sweet potato and poke holes all around the potato with a fork.
      3. Place sweet potato in a glass microwavable dish.
      4. Microwave sweet potato for 7 minutes (or until a fork can puncture the potato easily)
      5. Place the glass dish in the oven for 30 minutes (or until a caramel colored liquid is bubbling out of the poked holes). Usually, I have roasted vegetables in the oven at the same time and cook the sweet potato until the roasted vegetable are done.

Roasting Brussel Sprouts and Baking Sweet Potato

  1. Cooked vegetables: Prepare at least 1 roasted and/or sautéed non-starchy vegetable
    • Popular vegetables options: bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, kale, zucchini, yellow squash, and brussels sprouts.
    • Flavor with your basic extra virgin olive oil, black pepper, and pinch of salt.
    • If roasting: Pre-heat oven to 40o F, place vegetables on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil and cook for 30 minutes. Stir vegetables every 10-15 minutes.
    • Optional: Add mexican spices such as cumin and chill pepper OR Italian spices such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano.
  2. Raw vegetables:
    • If you aren’t vegged out yet, place sweet potato on a bed of dark leafy greens and top with chunks of avocado, diced red onion, chopped tomato, and/or red bell pepper.
  3. Bean or whole grain:
    • Choose a can of beans and rinse thoroughly. Keep in a container and add to meals throughout the week.
      • Black beans
      • Kidney beans
      • Chickpeas. Maybe you roasted a can of chickpeas and add them to your bowl for a crunch.
    • Whole grains
      • Quinoa
      • Brown rice
      • Wild rice
      • Barley
      • Farro
      • Etc. Try something new! Millet, bulgur, couscous, get in touch with your grains!
      • Whole grains tend to be a part of my bowl if I have whole grain leftovers or I anticipate using the grain later in the week as part of my stuffed peppers, shrimp stirfry or cold whole grain caprese salad.
    • Make it a Meatless Monday meal by adding both a bean and whole grain OR add extra beans OR add baked tofu or tempeh for more plant-based protein options.
  4. Lean meat for all you meat eaters:
    • Easy crockpot shredded chicken.
      • Place 2 chicken breasts in a crockpot with 1 cup of salsa OR 1 cup of  vegan creamy buffalo sauce. Cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 6-8 hours until chicken can be pulled apart easily. Pull apart the chicken breasts in the crockpot. Mix the shredded chicken to absorb the liquid left in the crockpot. Put the crockpot on the warm setting until dinner is served.  IMG_0274
        • Cooks during the day while I am at work or during a weekend afternoon of errands.
    • Lean ground meat (chicken, turkey, or beef). Use at least 90% lean ground meat. Cook ground meat in a skillet until browned. Optional: Add southwestern spices OR mix in canned diced tomatoes after meat is cooked.
    • Good ol’ grilled meat (lean steak, chicken breasts or tenderloins).
  5. Sauce: drizzle one sauce/dip/dressing on top
    • Vegan creamy buffalo sauce. I always have a mason jar of this homemade creamy buffalo sauce in the fridge. It is that good!
    • Salsa or pico de gallo
    • Low fat greek yogurt tzatiki sauce or low-fat plain greek yogurt mixed with southwestern spices.
    • Any hummus
    • Balsamic vinegar

All ingredients can be leftovers from previous nights or made in bulk to add to other meals throughout the week or why not eat a sweet potato bowl for 2-3 nights in a row!

I present the sweet potato bowl ingredients on the kitchen counter as if I were going to build my own taco.

Build your bowl

side bowl

Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Sweet Potato Bowl

(My favorite go to combo)

  1. Sweet Potato…of course!
  2. Cooked vegetable: Crispy Asian Brussel Sprouts. If you love siracha, you will love these brussels sprouts!
  3. Raw Vegetables: handful of mixed greens, avocado, and tomato.
  4. Beans: black beans
  5. Crockpot shredded chicken or grilled chicken with creamy buffalo sauce.
  6. A drizzle of creamy buffalo sauce on top!

Do you remember my post on MyPlate for Athletes and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and athletes too? Sweet potato bowls are an easy and fun way to make sure you have ALL your food groups on your plate (or your bowl in this case  😉 ). Your bowl can look messy and it will still taste amazing with sweet, savory, and spicy flavors exploding in your mouth with every bite!

Have fun building your sweet potato bowl!


Thanks for reading!

Your Dietitian,

The Nutriciser