Everyone has heard of a baked potato bar — but how about a baked sweet potato bar? This fresh twist on the classic party meal was the centerpiece of the fall pumpkin-carving party I hosted and it was a great way to feed a crowd without a lot of fuss. I chose to go with an Indian-themed meal full of spices, curries and coconut, but there are so many other directions you can take an idea like this.
This type of meal is perfect for a party because it requires very little hands-on work after your guests arrive. The stewed or braised dishes that taste so good scooped onto a hot sweet potato can almost always be made ahead of time and reheated right before serving. For my own meal, I made two curries that tasted even better after a day or two in the fridge.
While I suppose you could pre-bake and reheat the sweet potatoes, their actual baking time is so hands-off that I found it easy to do during the party. I washed the sweet potatoes the morning of the party and had them pricked and ready to go on a sheet pan, so all I had to do was pop them in the oven about an hour before dinner. (I don't wrap my sweet potatoes in foil while roasting them. I just prick them and roast them bare at 425°F for about 35-45 minutes.)
Before serving, I cut the potatoes lengthwise, so it was easy for guests to scoop on the topping(s) of their choice. Everyone loved this autumn-appropriate alternative to other starches like rice, pasta or polenta — I think your guests will too!
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What toppings would you make for a baked sweet potato bar?
Thank you to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission for providing sweet potatoes for this story.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Bridget Pizzo; Emily Ho; Faith Durand)