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41 sweet potato recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert

Bake 'em, fry 'em, stuff 'em — when it comes to sweet potatoes, the possibilities are endless.
/ Source: TODAY

Shakespeare once wrote, "Would a sweet potato by any other name still taste as sweet?" OK, maybe that wasn't the exact line from "Romeo and Juliet," but sweet potatoes are certainly a starch any star-crossed lover can appreciate. Once you get beyond their rough exteriors with a good scrub, they're tender on the inside, have a natural sugary flavor and are full of healthy benefits.

According to NBC News’ health and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom, sweet potatoes (aka nature's perfect carbohydrate) are classified as "complex carbohydrates," which means they're rich in fiber and digest more slowly in our system. This actually keeps the body feeling energized throughout the day and helps keep blood sugar stable. They're also packed with vitamins A and C, magnesium, iron and potassium.

While the sweet potato's nutritional profile is advantageous enough, the starch is an absolute joy to eat. Nothing quite hits the spot like a baked sweet potato with a dollop of butter on top. There's just something about that combination of the sweet, starchy meat with little pools of melted butter adding a salty, creamy taste. But to truly appreciate the sweet root vegetable for its versatile, it's important to explore how far it can go on the dinner table.

Sweet potatoes can be used in stews, soups and chilis to balance out taste and texture. They shine as hearty vegetarian and vegan main dishes in lieu of animal protein. They're perfect as side dishes, snacks or entrées and can play into sweet, spicy, earthy or umami flavor profiles.

So, yes, if we called a sweet potato by any other name, they would absolutely be as sweet.

Sides, snacks and apps

Barbecue Sweet Potato Wedges

The sweet potato and all-purpose barbecue seasoning are just a match made in heaven. These fries also give a vegetarian option a very recognizable barbecue flavor.

Serve this delightful sweet potato mash in a bowl in the center of a platter of glazed pork chops. It makes for a wonderful presentation and it's much easier to serve — and for your guests to dig into.

This dish is not only cheap and easy to make, but it's also addictively sweet and savory with a zing of spice.

Crispy Sweet Potato Bake

This recipe is quick to throw together. It boasts just the right balance of fragrant flavor with zingy garlic and earthy rosemary, plus the presentation makes it feel fancy.

Perfect Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Having delicious, perfectly roasted sweet potatoes on hand during the week is a game-changer. Follow this recipe to master this starch in all its simple glory.

Savory pancakes are a fun change of pace. This dish has a subtle sweetness to round out all the savory flavors it is paired with. Plus, when it's cooked on the stovetop, the natural sugars in the sweet potato get extra caramelized resulting in an irresistible crunch.

Roker Family Sweet Potato Poon

Playing on the already sweet taste of these vibrant orange potatoes, Al Roker's family's recipe is a Thanksgiving classic that can be enjoyed anytime of year. If you're not making turkey, try this marshmallow-topped favorite with chicken or pork.

Geoffrey Zakarian tosses together a beautiful vegetable dish that works for a party or an everyday dinner. Honey, ginger and sherry vinegar brighten up the sweet potatoes and creamy feta and crunchy almonds diversify the texture and flavor.

Everything Bagel Sweet Potato Fries

Everything bagel seasoning is the perfect topping for sweet potato fries. It adds a salty finish to the sweet fries. The honey is almost dessert like over the savory fries. Each bite packs so much flavor.

"I love sweet potatoes. In fact, I might even go on record as saying they are my favorite vegetable," Bobby Flay says. "This is an especially great way to prepare them. Not only do they look impressive on the table, but sweet smoky flavor of the glaze also adds a bit of a crispy texture to the outside of the skin."

What's not to love about barbecue-flavored sweet potato chips? These are the perfect snack for game day, or the perfect thing to serve alongside a bunch of sandwiches or sliders.

Five ingredients is all it takes to make Kelly Senyei's awesome cheesy bacon-loaded sweet potato skins recipe.

Get ready for a whole latke love. This healthy spin on the Hanukkah classic is made with a lot less oil in a sheet-pan so you don't have to spend time cooking and flipping over a hot stove. Using the sweet potato adds some unique flavor and boosts nutrition.

Sweet potato entrées

A salmon dinner with a side of sweet potatoes is full of healthy fats, protein and nutrients for skin glow, good energy and a healthy gut. It's an easy, fuss-free healthy meal that you will want to make over and over again.

This meal is easy to throw together and you just need a couple of fresh ingredients to make it; everything else is a pantry essential, so you save money and put what you already have to good use. And it's still bursting with flavor thanks to the blend of spices, miso, garlic and chiles.

Sweet Potato Chicken Bowl

This is a quick and easy recipe for lunch or dinner that easily incorporates veggies and leftovers you might already have in the fridge. That’s the magic of bowls: You just put everything together, serve and enjoy!

Crispy Sweet Potato Frittata

A base of thinly sliced sweet potatoes adds a crispy crunch to this fluffy, veggie-filled frittata.

Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes

These salmon cakes are easy to make, great for meal prepping, filled with healthy ingredients and so flavorful. The sweet potato acts as a binder so there's no egg needed, and chickpea panko keeps these tasty bites totally gluten-free.

This healthy lentil stew or soup recipe from actor and bakery owner Jennifer Esposito is gluten-free and gives you a hearty dose of superfoods, including sweet potatoes, kale and turmeric.

"Now, normally, I don’t like a lot of veggie burgers. They either try too hard to simulate a meat burger or they just fall apart," says singer Trisha Yearwood. "Mine has chickpeas and sweet potatoes, and it really holds together."

A far cry from a classic shakshuka, yes, but we've found that sweet potatoes provide just the right amount of moisture and heft to serve as a base for these eggs. Serve this vibrant dish as a weekend brunch; it sure looks the part.

Sweet Potato Tacos

Sweet Potato Tacos

Alana Leland

These tacos are simple to make and require minimal prep, making them an ideal dinner on hectic weeknights. You can dress up this veggie-based meal with avocado, a squeeze of lime, crumbled feta cheese and fresh cilantro.

Sweet Potato Wellington

This recipe is a fabulous vegetarian alternative to a fancy entrée: the beef Wellington. Sweet potatoes are used instead of beef and Swiss chard is used instead of prosciutto for a recipe that can still give the wow-factor a traditional meat-focused entrée would.

Healthy Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Every bite of this meal is bursting with flavor; it has the perfect combination of sweet and savory from the sweet potatoes and sautéed black beans and kale, and the cashew dressing adds creaminess.

The only thing better than a roasted sweet potato is one that's stuffed with chana masala. The spice blend's rich, spicy and savory notes work so well with the sweet earthiness of sweet potatoes. Chickpeas have plenty of protein and fiber so this dish isn't just comforting, it's still light and energizing.

Shakshuka is traditionally a breakfast food made in a cast-iron pan, but there is just never enough for the whole family to enjoy. This sheet-pan version makes plenty of servings to go around the dinner, breakfast or lunch table — even with seconds!

Savory pulled pork pairs with the sweetness of the potato in this dish in a memorable way. As opposed to enjoying the two ingredients beside each other on a plate, this method truly creates a flavor explosion in your mouth with each and every bite.

Fresh garlic, onions and ginger build the foundation of this soup. The coconut milk brings richness, and the miso paste provides a well-rounded depth of flavor that can't be beat! Top this soup with toasted coconut flakes, creamy labneh, toasted sesame seeds and tangy sumac, and you're in for a seriously delicious healthy dinner.

This delicious main course from Kevin Curry is gluten-free and way lower in carbs than classic lasagna.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

This is a go-to vegetarian dinner. It's so easy, everyone loves it (including meat eaters) and it makes for excellent leftovers.

Joy's Harvest Bowl

Enter Harvest Bowl 101: Scrumptious mounds of nourishing greens, grains, seasonal produce and protein-packed sustenance. This recipe makes about five servings of roasted veggies, so you can save the leftovers for future bowls or scrumptious dinner sides.

When craving a meal that's well balanced and nutritious, this is a winning option. The salmon provides the protein and healthy fats, sweet potatoes bring vitamins and the broccolini adds fiber. It's an easy dinner that is flavorful, simple and satisfying.

Easy desserts and morning sweets

Sweet Potato and Plantain Pie

Sweet Potato and Plantain Pie

Maya-Camille Broussard

Sweet potatoes and plantains are a match made in dessert heaven, and Maya-Camille Broussard's pie is proof. This recipe will become a staple for special occasions.

Using sweet potatoes as the base creates pancakes that are incredibly fluffy, moist and so tasty. It's a vegan breakfast that will make the whole house smell heavenly.

Sweet Potato Coffee Cake

Sweet Potato Coffee Cake

Jocelyn Delk Adams

This coffee cake because is a lovely switch-up from pumpkin flavor during the autumn season. For anyone who enjoys a morning confection, it's so comforting with warm spices throughout that it's really a hit all year round.

Every element of this decadent dish is evocative of s'mores (minus the chocolate), yet the flavor is so sophisticated. It's like creating the campfire classic for adults to enjoy.

Frozen Baked Sweet Potato

According to George Lee, summer in Taiwan is only bearable with this: a caramelly, sweet, custardy, cold sweet potato. That's right: The sweet potatoes here are exactly as it sounds — baked then frozen.

"These are sweet enough to make you remember what a mess you’d make with the icing from a cinnamon roll as a little kid," says Jenne Clairborne.

Cornbread Sweet Potato Cobbler

This cobbler begins with a handful of warm spices, maple syrup, sweet potatoes, plums and blackberries. But, unlike Will Coleman's grandmother's cobbler, this one's topping is made from a few scoops of cornbread. The chef combines two crucial ingredients of his childhood and on his ancestors' plates: cornbread and sweet potatoes.

Patti LaBelle's Sweet Potato Pie

Singer Patti LaBelle learned this pie recipe from her best friend and hairstylist Norma Gordon Harris. This sweet potato pie has a thin layer of brown sugar on the bottom crust. This "black bottom" doesn't just add flavor, it also helps keep the filling from making the crust soggy.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Kimberly Schlapman

This creamy sweet potato casserole — topped with a sugar crumb topping and cranberries — is a must-try. It can be served as a side dish but really boasts the decadence of a dessert.