Lentil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

In Healthy Dinner Recipes/ Recipes

Lentil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes | A Couple Cooks

Lentil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes | A Couple Cooks

Lentil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes | A Couple Cooks

Lentil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes | A Couple Cooks

Lentil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes | A Couple Cooks

We’re somewhat in denial but it’s true: Thanksgiving is around the corner. This year is our first time hosting Thanksgiving in quite a while; 8 years ago actually, when we’d just started learning about how to cook. I ate roasted Brussels sprouts for the first time (a revelation!), and made my Grandma’s pumpkin pie. We crowded around the table in our “new to us” house and took our wedding dishes on their first run. This year we’re 8 years older, there’s a handful of new nieces and nephews, and we’re in a different “new to us” house with a kitchen that comfortably fits more than one cook.

Each year Alex and I have a little Thanksgiving tradition: we create and share a veggie-filled menu to show that the holiday can be about seasonal, nutritious eating instead of stuffing ourselves with rich foods. Usually it’s a vegetarian main dish, accompanied by several sides and a wholesome dessert. It’s a fun challenge to come up with something other than turkey and pumpkin pie, and each year the dishes get even tastier. The funny part is that we have to make it well in advance of the holiday in order to photograph it and get it to you in time for the big day, so each year it’s like a little October date just the two of us. This year was much easier than previous years; in particular, the main dish turned out wonderfully (last year we made countless flavorless stuffed squashes before we finally settled on this one).

Our pick for a vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish (or any fall or winter meal, really): stuffed sweet potatoes with lentils and goat cheese. With no exaggeration, it’s one of my favorite recipes we’ve made this year. I modeled it off of these potato skins with pinto beans, but used lentils and goat cheese for a more refined, french-style winter vibe. The goat cheese is not only crumbled over the top with black lentils, fresh thyme, and crunchy celery leaves, but it’s mixed into the inside of the potato for a creamy, savory filling. While the recipe takes about 1 1/2 hours to prepare, it is well worth it for the flavorful dish that results.

We hope you’ll give this a try for a Thanksgiving meal or other menu – let us know if you try it out! And tell us: what are you making for Thanksgiving?

Why to Make It: A vegetarian and gluten-free entree that’s elegant and full of flavor, with black lentils, fresh thyme and creamy goat cheese
When To Make It: Fall or Winter
Caveats: It takes about 1 1/2 hours to put together, so plan accordingly.

Looking for Thanksgiving recipes?

Looking for Thanksgiving recipes? Here are a few of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes on A Couple Cooks:


Lentil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4 to 6


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (2 ½ pounds)
  • 3/4 cup black lentils (or French lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 stalks celery, including leaves
  • 1 large green onion
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes, and prick them all over with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the sweet potatoes, until tender.
  3. In a medium pot, combine 3/4 cups black lentils with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, until tender but not soft. Drain in a colander, removing as much liquid as possible, then transfer to a bowl. Mix lentils with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Thinly slice celery stalks and green onion and chop 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, then mix in with the lentils. Reserve the celery leaves.
  4. When the potatoes have finished baking, remove them from the oven. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly until able to handle. Cut each potato in half with a serrated knife, then scoop out the insides into a bowl, making sure to keep a layer of sweet potato within the skin so that it can stand on its own. In the bowl, mash the potato with a masher, then stir in half of the goat cheese, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.
  5. Fill each potato skin with the potato filling and top with the lentils. Bake until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and garnish with celery leaves and the crumbles of the remaining goat cheese. Serve hot.


About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.


  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 1:05 am

    These look absolutely gorgeous! My husband and I are hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever this year- we’re beyond excited and way nervous. I love the menu you’ve pulled together, and might steal your idea for the green beans with hazelnuts.

  • Reply
    Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table
    November 4, 2015 at 6:39 am

    These look perfect – festive enough for Thanksgiving, but also healthy and quick enough for everyday making. I just love the look of those dark lentils with the orange of the yams!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 7:46 am

    This is a perfect reminder to eat more lentils! These potatoes look lovely!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    November 4, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Wow, this is a show stopper! I love the more refined French style you’re going for here. And can’t wait to see the roasted cauliflower dish in the line-up too!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    November 4, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Such a beautiful dish – perfect for Fall. And what a beauty to put on the Thanksgiving table!

  • Reply
    Sarah | Broma Bakery
    November 4, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Oh em gee those black lentils are stunners. You’re my hero.

  • Reply
    Bethany @ Athletic Avocado
    November 4, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    This is an absolutely gorgeous side dish that my family would LOVE!

  • Reply
    Sara @ Cake Over Steak
    November 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Mmmm this sounds so good! We have a bunch of sweet potatoes right now so this would be a perfect weeknight meal around here.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I’m so into sweet potatoes lately, and Andrew and I have been searching for a solid stuffed sweet potato recipe to test out. These look like the winner! Also you really can’t go wrong with goat cheese, all the more reason to try these. And beautiful photos, those colors are incredible.
    Please do show your Thanksgiving menus if you have the chance! It’s so hard to eat healthy during the holidays even though I completely know they can be done!! :)

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    These look lovely! Can’t wait to try them out. Last year’s stuffed squash recipe was divine, and I’m sure we’ll love this one too.

    I actually made two recipes of your’s this past week – your work is always very much appreciated around our house!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    All the menus please! I love your recipes, and definitely need to add some new ones to my list.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    These look fantastic! Thank you for featuring veg Thanksgiving ideas! I’m looking for fun ideas for a couple of guests this year and it’s so helpful to have a bunch of great-looking ideas in one place.

  • Reply
    Jenna Hazel
    December 15, 2015 at 10:04 am

    I was super inspired by this recipe! I ended up turning it into a mashed sweet potato bake (mainly because I ripped the potatoes far beyond recovery when scooping the insides out) and then served it along side cayenne pepper topped lentils . I also swapped the celery for caramelized onions (my husband and I aren’t fans of cooked celery, I’m sorry Alex.) It was literally to die for. Thank you so much for the inspiration! I would never have thought to mix goat cheese with sweet potatoes.

    • Reply
      December 18, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      This sounds fantastic — I love all your twists on it! So glad that it was a hit. Thank you so much for letting us know! (And haha about celery!)

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