Need an appetizer that is truly the easiest thing ever and tastes like you put a lot of effort into it? These Sweet Potato Starter Bites fit the bill. They are easy to make, can be put together in about a half an hour (which includes 20 minutes of baking time) and are really versatile.
The Sweet Potato Starter Bites are easy peasy and I especially love them when its cooler out. (Yes, I know I live in California now, but the insulation just isn’t as good as it is back in the icy Midwest, so I’m always cold.) I like making these because I can turn my oven on and it not only warms up the house, but in just a short while I can have a tasty and filling appetizer.
They are so quick to come together. I’ve given you a couple of ideas for the toppings, but honestly they will work with many different things. I like to make at least two versions when serving them so my guests (or my family) have options.
I also like that sweet potatoes and yams come in several different colors so when you plate them to serve they look really pleasing on the plate. In these photos you can see a purple yam and an orange and a yellow sweet potato. They are available at your regular grocery store, so be on the look out for them.
The various colors of sweet potato and yams bake in the same amount of time so you don’t have to worry when using different kinds. (This recipe also works with regular russet potatoes but they take a little bit longer to bake, so if you switch that up, be sure and put the russet potatoes in for about 10 minutes longer than the yams/sweet potatoes.)
I’ve spread them all with a creamy cheese (Philadelphia Cream Cheese) then I made couple of choices for different versions of toppings.
For the first version: a top the creamy cheese simply add chopped pistachios and cranberry pieces. The nuts give a nice crunch while the dried cranberry adds a tart burst of flavor.
In the second version—don’t worry, they’re just as easy: on top of the creamy cheese add chopped walnuts and a few slices of dried figs. Then I drizzled sweet honey over the top. Mmmmm, the honey brings the whole bite together, nutty, fruity, creamy cheese tied together with the sweetness of the honey.
The fact that these Sweet Potato Starter Bites are a two bite appetizer make them a perfect choice for a party appetizer but they also are a great filler when you just need something little before a light meal.
Try these the next time you want something fast, easy and delicious!
- 2 large sweet potatoes or yams, peeled
- 8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese
- ¼ cup Pistachios (meat only, roughly chopped)
- ¼ cup Walnuts (meat only, roughly chopped)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 4-6 dried figs, sliced into slivers
- Any dried herb of your liking (tarragon, basil, oregano all work well)
- Honey as desired
- olive oil for brushing
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Take the cream cheese out of fridge and allow it to soften while the you work with the sweet potatoes.
- Slice peeled sweet potatoes/yams into ¼" slices. You can cut them at a diagonal to get a longer diagonal piece or cut them straight across to get a more round looking bite.
- Place olive oil in a small bowl and use a brush to baste both sides of sweet potato/yam and place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all pieces are complete.
- Place in oven for 20 minutes. Edges will turn a golden brown, The potato/yam will be firm on the outside and the inside will be like a baked potato consistency.
- Once rounds are finished baking sheet, allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Once you can handle the rounds, using a knife put a thin layer of cream cheese on all rounds.
- If I'm using multi colored potato/yams I will have one color with one set of toppings and the second color with a different topping.
- Lightly top ½ of the cream cheese topped rounds with a small amount of chopped pistachios and dried cranberry bits. Then sprinkle with the herb of your choice.
- On the other half of the cream cheese topped rounds place 2 slivers of the dried figs on top then sprinkle with a few pieces of the chopped walnuts.
- Place all rounds on the serving platter. On top of the fig/walnut rounds drizzle a little bit of honey over them to allow for a slight bit of sweetness.
- Serve while they are still warm.
This recipe also would work with russet style potatoes, but the cooking time would be an additional 10 minutes for a russet potato. If you are doing russets and yam/sweet potatoes place the russet slices in the oven for 10 minutes then add the yam/sweet potato slices on the tray. By doing it this way, your rounds will all finish at the same time.