Load up a plateful of spiced Sweet Potato Nachos with all your favourite toppings for a healthy version of that popular southwest treat.
Cooking With Meredith
Oozing melted cheese, dollops of zesty salsa, olives, bacon, diced avocados, chicken – who doesn’t love a plate piled high with tasty toppings? – only instead of tortilla chips, Meredith and I loaded all those yummy tidbits onto a plateful of spiced, baked, sweet potato rounds.
The meal instantly intensified in healthy vitamins and antioxidants and got an ‘oomph’ in the flavour department.
The only part of this meal that needed adult help was the slicing of the sweet potatoes. Older children could do it with adult supervision, but since the potatoes are hard and large, I did the slicing on a mandoline, although a sharp knife would do the job just as well (maybe not quite as quickly). Meredith did all the rest of the slicing and dicing herself. Once the sweet potato slices are roasting, it’s quick to prepare the rest of the ingredients.
The beauty of this simple meal is that everyone can customize their own nachos: If you like things spicy, use ‘hot’ salsa or pile on some jalapeño peppers or hot sauce. If you like it mild, forget about the spicy stuff. If you eat vegetarian or vegan, omit any of the meat, and use vegan cheese. If you’re really hungry, make the whole batch for yourself (or maybe share with one other person)!
You can have a delicious meal on the table in 35 minutes, one that will receive ‘oohs and ahhh’s all around.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: For these Sweet Potato Nachos it’s best to choose long thin, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. If all you can find are those monstrosities often labeled ‘jumbo yams’ you might want to cut them in quarters lengthwise and then slice them, though they might not hold together as well as the thinner ones, since the strip of peel around the outside of each slice helps keep it together once cooked.
It’s easy to scale this recipe for more people – just use more sweet potatoes and more toppings!
Sweet Potato Nachos
- 2 long orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (1½-1¾lbs/700-800gms total weight)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons onion powder (granulated onion)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
Toppings of your choice:
- shredded cheddar cheese (we like ‘extra old’ for flavour)
- salsa (mild, medium, or spicy, to taste)
- finely diced cooked chicken
- crumbled cooked bacon
- crumbled cooked hamburger or sausage meat
- sliced black olives
- diced avocado
- diced sweet peppers
- diced fresh tomatoes
- cooked or canned corn
- cooked or canned black beans
- sliced green onions
- pickled jalapeño pepper rings
- hot sauce
- sour cream or Greek yogurt
- cilantro leaves
- whatever else your heart (or stomach) desires
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Slice them into rounds (best if an adult does this) with a sharp knife or mandoline. The slices should be a little less than ¼ inch thick (about .5 cm).
Place the sweet potato slices into a large bowl. Drizzle them with the olive oil and sprinkle with the seasonings.
Use your hands to toss the slices with the oil and seasonings until all sides are evenly coated. Scoop your hands down the sides of the bowl and bring up handfuls of slices in the middle. Use your fingers to rub any slices that have large clumps of seasonings together with slices that are bare, so that they can spread around the flavour.
Lay the slices in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes, then take the cookie sheets out of the oven, and using tongs, turn each of the slices over.
Bake for 15 more minutes.
While the sweet potato slices are cooking, prepare your toppings. Shred the cheese, and slice or dice any toppings that need it. Place each topping in a separate little bowl.
When the sweet potato slices are cooked, lay as many as you want for each person in a single layer on a plate. Top with shredded cheese.
Microwave the plateful of sweet potato nachos until the cheese is melted (about 1 minute on high) or, if the plate is ovenproof, turn the oven down to 325°F and heat the plateful in the oven until the cheese is melted.
Be careful taking the plate out of the microwave or oven – it’ll be HOT.
Now you can add whatever toppings you’d like on your nachos. Go crazy and pile them high. Don’t forget to drizzle with a bit of salsa. Sour cream or Greek yogurt is nice, too.
Eat them with your fingers and a fork to help things along. Use lots of napkins to wipe up because these Sweet Potato Nachos are fun and just a bit messy to eat.
For a whole lot more great projects to cook with kids, check out my ‘Cooking with Kids’ page.
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