Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Cilantro Pesto Recipe

If you're looking for a side dish that's packed full of flavor and nutrients, Miriam Hahn has got the recipe for you. The recipe developer is cooking up a colorful dish of roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto. The sweet potatoes, she notes, "offer lots of vitamin A, so they are great for your skin!" And that's not all. Some studies point to a link between sweet potatoes and improved gut health, lowered risk of cancer, and more.

Hahn notes that this dish is the perfect side for a plant-based veggie burger or your favorite roasted meat. It's also great as the base of a Buddha bowl. "I make a big batch of roasted sweet potatoes every week," she explains, "and I put them in Buddha bowls with different pestos and sauces."

The pesto itself deviates a bit from the norm, with cilantro in place of basil and a pleasant hint of heat. "The jalapeño just offers a little kick," she says. "It is not too spicy once you mix it in with everything else."

Gather the ingredients for the roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto

To make these roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto, you'll start by cubing and roasting two large sweet potatoes. Doused with a hint of cooking spray — go with a natural one made with olive, avocado, or coconut oil — they'll cook up nice and sweet.

For the pesto, you'll combine cilantro, jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed), garlic, lime (both zest and juice!), olive oil, salt, and a touch of cumin. For texture and nuttiness, Hahn opts for bright green pistachios. "The pistachios add a buttery and earthy flavor," she explains. "A nice change from the typical pine nuts that are usually added." A touch of water, and you're ready to go!

Roast the sweet potatoes for the roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto

The first step in making these roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto is to preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This higher heat will help the sweet potatoes caramelize on the outside and become tender within.

Speaking of which, while the oven heats, cube the sweet potatoes. Be sure to cut them into pieces of the same size so that they cook up evenly. Spray them with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper to taste, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, turn on the broiler for just a few extra minutes (three tops!) to make them extra crispy.

Make the cilantro pesto for the roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto

While the potatoes cook, it's time to make the pesto. To do so, simply add the cilantro (tender stems and all!), pistachios, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, water, salt, and cumin to a food processor, and blend until smooth.

The water, Hahn notes, helps the pesto to become a touch thinner without adding too much extra fat. The resulting pesto's texture is "more like a thick dressing," making it easy to drizzle over the hot potatoes.

Serve the roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto

When sweet potatoes emerge from the hot oven, it's time to serve them! Simply transfer to a serving dish and dollop the cilantro pesto over the top. And if you have any leftover pesto, Hahn has a few ideas for using it up.

"My favorite way to use leftover pesto is with grilled eggplant, zucchini, and red peppers on a sandwich or panini," she says. "It's also great on baguette bread with fresh tomatoes and basil as an appetizer."

Just be sure to cover the surface of any leftover pesto with a thin layer of olive oil or plastic wrap in contact with the surface of the sauce so that it doesn't oxidize with exposure to air. This will keep it nice and green even a day or two later.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Cilantro Pesto Recipe
5 from 33 ratings
If you're looking for a side dish that's packed full of flavor and nutrients, this colorful dish of roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto is for you.
Prep Time
8
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
6
servings
Roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto
Total time: 28 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup cilantro, packed
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cube the sweet potatoes and place on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and shake on some salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Place under the broiler for 2 to 3 additional minutes to make the sweet potatoes crispy.
  4. Meanwhile, add the cilantro, pistachios, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, water, salt, and cumin to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  5. When sweet potatoes are done, put on a serving plate and dollop on the cilantro pesto. Serve!
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 162
Total Fat 10.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Total Sugars 3.4 g
Sodium 221.4 mg
Protein 3.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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