Mexican Baked Sweet Potatoes

  • author name Stephanie Swavely, RD, CSO, LDN
Mexican baked sweet potatoes

A recipe specially created for cancer patients by an oncology dietitian at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, to be enjoyed by everyone!

We top off beautiful orange-yellow sweet potatoes with a blend of black beans and red pepper for a colorful, delicious and nutritious cancer-fighting mini-meal.

Sweet potatoes, or yams, are super foods high in fiber and so many minerals and vitamins important to anyone’s diet. The orange-yellow color of the sweet potato tells us it is high in beta-carotenoids, part of the family of carotenoids that protect against a number of cancers and may also reduce the risk of breast cancer.

The side kicks in this dish pack power too. Black beans, shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers due its flavonoids, also aid in digestion; and red bell peppers, also high in beta-carotenoids, add vitamins C, B6 and folate to help iron absorption and prevent anemia.

Easy to prepare, the combination of soft, creamy sweet potato with a pop of spice and cool yogurt will wake up the taste buds.

Preparation time: 1/2 hour
Baking: 45 minutes
Total time: about 1 hour and 15 minutes



  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, or yams, washed in water and scrubbed with brush
  • ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium taco seasoning (purchase or make your own - see recipe below)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion (about ½ cup), diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can black beans (15.5oz) drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup fresh salsa
  • ½ cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions or cilantro, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Use fork to prick skin, about ¼ inches deep, 6-8 times over the top and bottom of each sweet potato. (Pricking the skin prevents steam to build up during baking that may cause the sweet potato to explode.)
  3. Place sweet potatoes in baking pan lined with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Sweet potatoes will be soft when poked with a fork. Turn off heat and leave sweet potatoes in oven while you prepare the toppings.
  4. In a small bowl mix together yogurt and taco seasoning and set aside.
  5. Heat a 10-12 inch skillet to medium high and add olive oil, red bell pepper, onion, chili powder, paprika and cumin. Sauté about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions begin to brown.
  6. Mix in black beans and heat another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  7. Take sweet potatoes from the oven and cut around the top of each one with a knife to remove the skin. The skin will pull off easily. Scoop several Tablespoons of cooked sweet potato off the top to make room for the toppings. (Top off the extra cooked sweet potato with some salsa, cheese, yogurt and scallions to eat on the side.)
  8. Top each sweet potato with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the red pepper/black bean mixture; 2 Tablespoons salsa; 2 Tablespoons cheese and 2 Tablespoons Greek yogurt mixture. Sprinkle with scallions or cilantro to serve. OR place toppings on the Table and have each person add their own. Serve leftover red pepper/black bean mixture on the side.

Makes 4 servings. Adapted from

Nutritional Information
One sweet potato with toppings: 350 calories; 6.5g total fat (2.2g saturated, 0.4g polyunsaturated, 2.6g monounsaturated); 637mg sodium; 8.8mg cholesterol; 63g carbohydrate; 12.2g fiber; 6.4g sugars; 12.9g protein; 1,375mg potassium.

Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and use as needed. Store in airtight container. (From

author name

Stephanie Swavely, RD, CSO, LDN

Stephanie Swavely, RD, CSO, LDN, is an oncology dietitian and patient navigator at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute.

Education: A graduate of West Chester University with a B.S. in Nutrition, Swavely sits on the Board of Directors of the Central Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Call: 717-544-9400

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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