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Korean Baked Sweet Potato Bar
with spinach / kimchi / pickled cucumbers

Active: 45 Total: 45

A build-your-own baked sweet potato bar is a crowd-pleaser any night of the week, but a spicy sauce and Korean-inspired toppings take everyday sweets to new heights!
Smarts: Brands of curry paste vary in spiciness, so taste yours and add it according to your desired spice level.



Pickled Cucumbers:
  • Cucumbers - 8 oz , sliced
  • Sesame seeds, white (opt) - 1 tsp
  • Vinegar, rice - 1/2 cup
Baked Sweet Potatoes:
  • Sweet potatoes, medium - 4 , scrubbed
  • Foil - for baking
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Butter (opt) - for serving
Korean Baked Sweet Potato Bar:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
  • Ginger, fresh - 1 tsp , chopped
  • Kimchi - 1 cup , drained and chopped
  • Stock, any type - 1/2 cup
  • Bragg's / coconut aminos - 2 Tbsp
  • Honey - 1 Tbsp
  • Curry paste, red - 1 Tbsp , use more or less depending on your spice preference
  • Lime juice - 2 tsp
  • Arrowroot powder - 1 tsp
  • Green onions - 2 stalks , green and white parts combined
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Beef, ground and lean - 1 lb
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz
  • Plant-based "cheese", any paleo-friendly variety (opt) - 4 slices
  • Furikake (opt) - for serving
  • Hot sauce - for serving


  1. Sweet potatoes - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Garlic / Ginger / Kimchi - Prep as directed. Store garlic and ginger in one container. Store kimchi separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Cucumbers - Slice cucumbers. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

  4. Make pickles - (Note: The longer ahead you make the pickles, the more tart and “pickle-y” they’ll be. You can also wait and toss this together 30 minutes before serving if you’d like them to retain their crunch and just be lightly dressed.) Combine cucumbers and sesame seeds in a small bowl or jar. Pour vinegar over top. (It’s okay if the cucumbers aren’t completely submerged in liquid, but you want them mostly covered. Add some more rice vinegar if needed.) (Can be done up to 3 days ahead.)

  5. Make sauce - Whisk together stock, aminos, honey, curry paste, and lime juice. Add arrowroot powder and whisk until smooth.

  6. Green onions - Prep as directed.

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  1. Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Line a sheet pan with foil.

  2. Slice sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and rub on all sides with cooking oil (portion for sweet potatoes). Place sweet potatoes cut-side down on the prepared sheet pan. Season the tops with some salt. Transfer to the oven and roast until sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on size. (If you prefer, you can also “bake” the sweet potatoes in the microwave - leave them whole and pierce them all over with a fork. Place on a microwave safe plate and cook on high until tender, ~8 to 12 minutes depending on size.)

  3. While potatoes are baking, heat a large skillet or wok with cooking oil (portion for potato bar) over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger to heated oil and saute until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add ground beef to the pan and saute until browned and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.

  4. Give sauce a stir and pour it over beef. Reduce heat to low and add spinach to the pan. Stir to fold spinach into the beef and sauce and bring to a gentle simmer. Continue cooking until spinach is wilted and sauce has thickened slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with some salt and pepper, more curry paste, or more lime juice if desired.

  5. Set out toppings - beef and spinach, kimchi, green onions, plant-based "cheese" (if using), and furikake (if using).

  6. Top sweet potato halves with butter (if using) and mash gently with a fork. Let everyone top their potatoes at the table.

  7. Serve Korean baked sweet potatoes with pickled cucumbers on the side and hot sauce to drizzle over the top. Enjoy!



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