While it can be exciting to try totally new foods and combinations, it’s also perfectly fine to stick with classic, comfortable favorites like these Sloppy Joe Sweet Potato Boats. In my house, with two teens, busy schedules make it a challenge to get everyone around the dinner table at the same time. So, if I can make the meal preparation part easier with a simple dinner like this, that makes everything else go more smoothly!
This comfort-food recipe is one of our fall and winter favorites. The sloppy joe mixture includes a hefty dose of onions and peppers, and with an added veggie side like a leafy green salad (or, my lazy veggie side pictured here – pickles!), it’s a well-rounded real-food meal that even a picky eater can appreciate.
Here are some ways you can jump start your prep ahead of time, to get this dinner on the table even more quickly:
- Chop the onion and pepper earlier in the week, and store in refrigerator until use.
- Sweet potatoes can be cooked ahead and stored in refrigerator until use. A quick reheat is all they’ll need.
If you’re going to spend time making this recipe, you might as well leverage your efforts and make a little bit extra of some of the ingredients to repurpose in other meals during the week. I like to call these my “Now & Laters” – I’m prepping some for now, and some for later use in other meals, with hardly any extra effort.
NOW & LATER:
- The sloppy joe mixture freezes very well, so consider doubling that part of the recipe, so you can store a batch for a quick dinner another time. A 12-inch or larger skillet is best to use if doubling the recipe.
- Throw extra sweet potatoes on the baking sheet, which will give you enough for another dinner later in the week, or to have with eggs at breakfast, or to tuck into a lunchbox or burrito bowl.
- Wondering what to do with the rest of that tomato paste in the can? Scoop it out in tablespoon-size portions on a baking sheet or dish, and place in freezer. Once they’re frozen, remove from dish, and store them in the freezer in a container or ziploc bag. Let’s face it, you typically only need a tablespoon or two in a given recipe, so why buy a new can each time? This saves you the hassle of shopping for it over and over again.