Dinner Plans: Sweet Potatoes

Turn 1 Big Batch of Sweet Potatoes Into 3 Easy Weeknight Dinners

Baked Sweet Potato With Cinnamon Sugar
Diana Rattray

Dinner Plans is a realistic road map to put in a few hours of planning, shopping, and prepping to get a big head start on your week. Get ready to bake a bunch of potatoes all at once, and then use them as the base for a host of weeknight dinners, lunches, and snacks—think veggie burgers, shepherd’s pie, and falafel.

The Game Plan

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  1. First, bake 8 sweet potatoes, but skip the butter and seasonings in step 7 of the recipe.
  2. Organize and prep the ingredients for the other meals. Rinse and dry herbs, chop vegetables.
  3. Use 3 to make sweet potato veggie burgers on prep day. Reserve and refrigerate the remaining 5 for the next two recipes.

Prep Day Dinner: Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Combine mashed roasted sweet potatoes with steamed quinoa, kale, pecans and seasonings to form, highly flavorful patties. We love these vegan burgers served in hamburger buns, with an easy vegetable side dish, like these cucumbers.

Vegetarian sweet potato burgers
 

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Mash the sweet potatoes with a fork. The puree does not have to be very fine.
  • Make quinoa while the potatoes cook.
  • Toast the pecans in a small saucepan over medium-low heat before chopping.
  • Make the cucumber salad while the burgers cook and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Top each burger with crunchy lettuce or radishes in addition to the sautéed onions.

Shepherd's Pie Night

Swap mashed sweet potatoes for the usual white potatoes in this tasty twist on shepherd’s pie, one of the most beloved comfort foods of all time. Serve with a simple green salad or steamed green beans.

Vegetarian shepherd's pie. Potatoes, lentils and seasonal garden vegetables casserole. Autumn vegetarian lunch
OksanaKiian / Getty Images

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use 4 of the roasted sweet potatoes in place of the white potatoes in the recipe; proceed to Step 3, combining the peeled roasted sweet potatoes with the milk, butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Try ground beef or lamb in place of the turkey, if desired. 
  • simply spread the mash into an even layer over the filling. If you want to get fancy, make a decorative topping by piping the sweet potato mixture through a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
  • Make the shepherd’s pie ahead of time, if desired. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate up to 12 hours, then add 15 to 20 minutes to the baking time.

Sweet Potato Falafel Night

Including a few mashed sweet potatoes into this mix makes for a decidedly delicious spin on weeknight falafel. These are baked instead of fried, for greater ease and less mess, or just use your air fryer. Serve in pita pockets for sandwiches or as part of mezze platter with hummus, tabbouleh, olives, feta cheese, and other Middle Eastern favorites. Don't forget the toum.

falafel
Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Getting Dinner on the Table

  • Use the remaining 2 mashed sweet potatoes for the falafel. Skip Step 1 of the recipe and proceed to Step 2. 
  • Form the mixture into balls, then refrigerate until firm, at least 45 minutes and up to 1 day.
  • Bake the falafel up to 1 day ahead of serving, then store in the refrigerator. Reheat them in a low (300 F) oven or in the microwave.

Essential Info

About Dinner Plans: Making quick weeknight dinners is easier when you start with a few building blocks. Preparing a big batch of one ingredient (protein, vegetables, or grains) gives you the flexibility to plan a variety of meals.

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