Appetizer: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes


By Jenny Pham

The best thing about sweet potatoes is that you could soothe your sweet tooth while you enjoy your meal – no need to wait until dessert! Similarly to regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are highly versatile and can be cooked, baked, boiled, fried, and mashed into whatever your heart desires. The hint of sweetness balances out any savory dish or could be amped up and paired with brown sugar and marshmallows for a special treat during your meal.

Sweet Potatoes

So why is it necessary to bake these sweet potatoes twice? The first time is to get them soft enough to scoop out the meat of the potatoes. The second time is where the party starts. We’re going the sweet route with this recipe and layering in the sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. The purpose of the second baking round is to let these spices and flavors meld into the sweet potato, yielding soft steamy boats of goodness.

Here’s the secret:


  • 5 medium sweet potatoes, try to pick ones with the same size and shape for an aesthetically pleasing presentation
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar plus some for sprinkling
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugared pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Wash, scrub, and dry each sweet potato. Pierce the sweet potatoes and bake for about an hour or until tender (pierce with a fork to test)
  3. Let the potatoes cool slightly then cut off the top ⅓ of each potato lengthwise and scoop out the inside, making sure to leave ¼ inch wall of sweet potato meat inside the “boat”
  4. In a bowl, mix the scooped out sweet potato meat with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and butter and mash until smooth.
  5. Once combined, spoon the mashed sweet potato/sugar mixture back into each shell, top with brown sugar and pecans, and bake for an additional 15-18 minutes



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