I Tried Ina Garten’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes and I’ll Be Making Them All Winter Long

published Dec 16, 2023
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Credit: Sheela Prakash

I keep a compact list of sweet potato recipes I turn to time and time again. They vary from butter-roasted and smashed, to whipped and baked. The orange-hued spud is one of my very favorites, and I am always on the lookout for inspired recipes to add to my collection. So when I caught a glimpse of Ina Garten’s twice-baked sweet potatoes on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, I immediately bookmarked them. They’re loaded with melty cheese, scented with plenty of thyme, and looked like they had the potential to be the ultimate fall and winter side dish. So I took to the kitchen to find out.

Get the recipe: Ina Garten’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

How to Make Ina Garten’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

You’ll start by baking a few whole sweet potatoes for an hour or so until they’re very tender. While they cool, you’ll sauté minced shallots and thyme in butter until the shallots are softened and the mixture is fragrant. Next, you’ll cut the baked potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. You’ll mash the flesh with a few tablespoons of butter; add the shallot mixture, diced Taleggio cheese, a lightly beaten egg, salt, and pepper; and stir until combined. You’ll then spoon the mixture into the sweet potato shells, top each with a thyme sprig, and bake until puffed, melty, and lightly golden-brown, 20 to 30 minutes.

Credit: Sheela Prakash

My Honest Review

These sweet potatoes were simple to make and oh-so impressive to serve. They were so pretty to pull out of the oven and competed for attention with the broiled salmon and sautéed kale I served with them. The bits of melty, extra creamy Taleggio cheese were fun to pull at in each slice and forkful of potato. I expect to make these sweet potatoes again and again all through the chilly months ahead, to pair with steak, chicken, and fish. They’re sure to be main-dish material for me and my husband, too. Paired with a simple salad or cooked green, these sweet potatoes can hold their own as a cozy meatless dinner.

If You Make Ina Garten’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes, a Few Tips

While this recipe is exceptionally straight-forward, I discovered a few tricks along the way.

  1. Feel free to bake the sweet potatoes in advance. With the exception of baking the whole sweet potatoes, this recipe is pretty quick to pull together. So to make it a weeknight-friendly recipe, I baked the sweet potatoes a couple of nights in advance while I already had the oven on for something else. I tucked the cooked whole sweet potatoes into the fridge and they were ready and waiting when it was time to proceed with the recipe. They warmed up perfectly once stuffed and baked again.
  2. Trim the sweet potatoes ends. If you think of it, trim a tiny bit off both ends of the cooked whole sweet potatoes before slicing, scooping, and stuffing. This makes for easier eating later, so you and your fellow diners don’t have to cut off these tough ends and leave them behind on your dinner plate.
  3. You can use a large egg. Ina is known for calling for extra-large eggs rather than large eggs. I’ve never had an issue swapping in large eggs, which are much more standard in kitchens and in recipes, and the same goes here.
  4. Seek out good Taleggio cheese, if you can. Taleggio cheese is marked by being pleasantly fruity and pungent, with a creamy, buttery texture. Some domestic versions lack these special characteristics. I grabbed a domestic version myself — the only option at my grocery store — and while it melted well, it lacked the rich flavor I love about Taleggio. If you can get your hands on the real Italian stuff (check well-stocked grocery stores, Italian markets, and cheese shops), you won’t be disappointed. Otherwise, feel free to try other flavorful, melty cheeses like Gruyère, Fontina, or sharp Provolone.

Get the recipe: Ina Garten’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

This post originally appeared on Kitchn. See it here: I Tried Ina Garten’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes and They’ll Be a Go-To All Winter Long