Submitted by Jackie Pedersen
About the cook: Born and raised in Iowa, my love for cooking was sparked on a snowy winter day, as I watched Food Network chefs prepare delicious-looking meals. I was inspired by the food I saw on T.V. that day, and continue to be inspired by food today! I love preparing (and eating) delicious and unique dishes for family and friends - especially when I can call the creation my own!
About the dish: Summer barbecue meets fall in this unique sweet potato recipe! Great for a dinner party or weeknight meal, this recipe is a crowd pleaser and leftovers reheat very well!
National Origin: American
Estimated Time: 1 to 2 Hours
4 medium sweet potatoes, washed
1 red onion, finely chopped (save ½ cup for topping)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional salt to taste
16 ounces ground Italian sausage
1/3 cup BBQ sauce of choice, plus additional sauce for drizzle topping
1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Place potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast potatoes in oven
for 45-55 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced by a fork.
2. While potatoes are roasting, prepare the onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and cilantro.
3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Once hot, add onions to pan and cook 5-8 minutes, or until softened. Once softened, stir in the minced garlic and salt, and cook for an additional minute.
4. Add the Italian sausage to the onions and cook until browned, crumbling the sausage to bite-sized pieces as it cooks.
5. Once browned, turn heat to medium-low. Stir in the BBQ sauce.
6. When potatoes are fork tender, remove from oven. Once cool enough to touch, cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the potato flesh with a spoon, leaving only a small amount of potato flesh lining each potato skin. Place potato flesh in a medium bowl, and mash with a potato masher, fork, or the bottom of a cup. Add the mashed potatoes to the Italian sausage mixture and stir until well-combined. Taste the potato/sausage mixture, and add salt to taste.
7. Evenly distribute the sausage mixture between the eight sweet potato halves, stuffing each until full.
8. Top each potato half with chopped red pepper and the remaining chopped onion. Drizzle each potato half with BBQ sauce, and top with chopped cilantro.