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Baked Sweet Potatoes (Whole30)

An outstandingly delicious, fork-tender sweet potatoes baked with perfectly seasoned ground beef, a light red pepper sauce, herbs, and spices. A true family-favorite in our home.

easy baked sweet potatoes with ground beef

I was definitely inspired by a dish called imam bayildi—which means imam fainted. In other words, the priest fainted because it was just too delicious.

Originally, the dish consists of minced meat on top of the eggplant. However, there are no sweet potatoes in Turkey. So I would consider this an American-influenced recipe with a Turkish flare.

The Ingredients Will Need To Make These Baked Sweet potatoes

Sweet PotatoesThis recipe calls for four medium-size sweet potatoes
Onion & GarlicHelps build loads of flavor.
SpicesCumin, oregano, (dried mint if you can’t access fresh mint) kosher salt, and pepper are all you need.
Minced MeatFeel free to use lamb, chicken, beef, or turkey.
Red Pepper PasteUsing Turkish red pepper paste is a MUST for a nice Turkish-themed flavor. Red pepper paste can be found in all Mediterranian stores in your area.
Tomato PasteWhile you are at your local Mediterranean market, pick up some Turkish tomato paste while you are there.
Fresh HerbsWe will use fresh dill and flat-leaf parsley.
baked sweet potatoes in a baking dish

How To Cook Sweet Potatoes?

Before we can top the potatoes, they will need to be fully cooked first. Here’s are a few different ways how.

For all methods of cooking sweet potatoes, make sure to wash them rigorously—getting rid of any dirt, and dry well.

Microwave sweet potato. To microwave sweet potatoes, pierce the outer skin 3-4 times with a fork, place into a microwave-safe dish and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until fork-tender.

Instant pot sweet potato. To cook sweet potatoes in an instant pot, pierce around the outer skin 3-4 times with a fork. Add one cup of water to the Instant Pot. Place steaming rack on the bottom over the water. Place the potatoes on top of the rack. Put the lid on and manually set the time to 20 minutes.

Oven-baked sweet potato. To make oven-baked sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up. Rub olive oil around the skin (optional). Place on the baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes or until fork-tender.

Baked Sweet Potatoes (Turkish-Inspired)

More Delicious Recipes

Read the recipe from start to finish. You will better understand the flow of the recipe and identify any unfamiliar words or methods.

Shop for the ingredients beforehand. When you shop ahead, you are less likely to swap out ingredients for what you don’t have, thus creating a complete recipe fail.

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment below and an honest rating. ♡

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Baked Sweet Potatoes (Turkish-Inspired)

  • Author: ashley
  • Prep Time: 45 – 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1-2 hours
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Outstandingly delicious, fork-tender sweet potatoes baked with perfectly seasoned ground beef, a light red pepper sauce, herbs, and spices.



Sweet potatoes

  • 4 medium-size sweet potatoes

Seasoned Meat

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped, (about one small onion)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp coarse black pepper, or to taste
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 pound ground beef, or meat of choice
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Turkish red pepper paste
  • 1 tbsp Turkish tomato paste, or use what you can find
  • 1 tsp dried mint, or 10 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped

Tomato sauce

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Or
  • 1 cup tomato sauce


Cook the sweet potatoes

  1. Cook the sweet potatoes in any of the methods mentioned above. Set aside to cool.  

Cook the meat

  1. When ready, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in oil, add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions have softened. Next add the garlic, oregano, and cumin. Stir-fry until aromatic, about 10 seconds. 
  2. Then add the ground meat, more salt, and pepper. Cook until the meat has browned and little crispy bits develop on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Next, add the red pepper paste, and tomato paste. Stir-fry until meat is coated in the pastes. Then, add the mint, parsley, dill, and 3 tbsp of water. Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated. Cook for 10 minutes, long enough to allow the flavors to develop.

Make the tomato sauce

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the water, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Mix until a sauce forms. Set aside. Skip this step if you are using premade tomato sauce.

Putting it all together

  1. Pour the tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. This will ensure the potatoes do not get dried out. Finally, slice the sweet potatoes in half and place each one in a baking dish. Top each potato with the meat mixture and bake in the oven at 425°F uncovered for 15 minutes—long enough for the meat to brown on top. 
  2. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a serving plate or else they may fall apart.
  3. Enjoy.


  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop and Baked
  • Cuisine: Turkish-American

Keywords: baked sweet potatoes, baked sweet potato recipe, gluten-free sweet potatoes

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