ATK Kids

Got Extra Sweet Potatoes? Set Up a Sweet Potato Bar

Got leftover sweet potatoes laying around post-Thanksgiving? Set up a build-your-own sweet potato bar for dinner tonight.

Published Nov. 29, 2021.

Thanksgiving is over, and that bag of sweet potatoes you bought for your famous sweet potato casserole is still half full. What to do with them? We propose a sweet potato bar—all you have to do is bake the potatoes and raid your kitchen for toppings. Set out all the toppings you’d like (get creative with those Thanksgiving leftovers!) so that everyone at the table can put together their own perfect combinations.

This recipe is so easy that even the youngest chefs can do it—it’s just one of the many fun-filled recipes from My First Cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen Kids’ cookbook designed for 5-to-8-year-olds.

My First Cookbook

From the creators of the New York Times best seller The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs, this collection of approachable and fun recipes is designed to introduce kids ages 5 to 8 to the kitchen, along with their grown-ups. It's not about getting dinner on the table, but about doing fun cooking projects together.  
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Our Foolproof Baked Sweet Potato Recipe

  1. Place potatoes on a greased aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet and prick each potato lightly with a fork in 3 places.
  2. Bake potatoes at 425 degrees for about 1 hour. (Potatoes should be lightly browned and feel very soft when lightly squeezed with tongs.)
  3. Place baking sheet on cooling rack and let potatoes cool for 10 minutes before cutting them open.

Topping Time

The humble baked sweet potato is the perfect canvas for an endless array of toppings. Bring some protein to the party with shredded chicken, crumbled sausage, or chopped bacon. If you want to pass on the meat, try canned beans, avocado, or halved cherry tomatoes. Fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, or cilantro can freshen up the flavor profile. Sprinkle your creation with cheeses such as shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack, crumbled blue or feta, or grated Parmesan. And bring it all together with ranch dressing, salsa, sour cream, or yogurt.

Overwhelmed by the endless possibilities? Try a few of our favorite combinations:

Buffalo Chicken Potato: Top with quick buffalo chicken (in bowl, stir together 1 cup shredded cooked chicken, 1 to 2 tablespoons Frank’s RedHot hot sauce, and 1 tablespoon butter and microwave until butter is melted and chicken is hot, 2 to 3 minutes), crumbled blue cheese or dollop of sour cream, and chopped fresh chives.

Thai-Style Potato: Top with crushed dry-roasted peanuts (crush in zipper-lock bag with rolling pin) and fresh cilantro leaves and drizzle with easy coconut-peanut sauce (stir ¼ cup canned coconut milk, 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in bowl until smooth).

Taco Potato: Top with black beans (microwave 1 can rinsed beans, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon chili powder in bowl), chopped avocado, and crumbled cotija cheese.

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