Cooking meals can feel like so much work. Why spend time mindlessly chopping veggies when your go-to salad spot is a few steps away? Does it really help save money?

While treating yourself is a proven way to boost happiness, sticking to the kitchen is nearly always a healthier option. (Even when it comes to that raw vegan sandwich shop that serves everything with sprouts.) Sneaky add-ins like sugar-heavy sauces and high-sodium cheese, hefty piled portions, and oh-so-innocent sides of chips sure do taste good, but when consumed regularly, they don’t do the body good. And they usually cost a pretty penny!

The key to making meal prep both feasible and desirable is finding mouthwatering meals that are simple to whip up, eat up, and clean up. And though sandwiches are sure winners, there’s a new favorite in town: stuffed sweet potatoes. All you need to do is pop them in the microwave (or roast them), stuff em’ with ingredients, and attempt to eat politely.

Recipe: Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins
Photo: Jo Cooks

1. Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins

Sweet, spicy, protein-packed… these skins seem to have it all! Plus, they’re filled with vitamin-rich spinach and disease-fighting spices and herbs. Sound a little too healthy? The melted cheddar cheese topping makes it feel like more of a treat.

2. Baked, Stuffed, and Over-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Looking for a lighter meal? There’s a kale salad add-in for that. Ravenous and looking to scarf down everything in sight? There’s a quinoa, black bean, and mushroom solution for that as well. These recipes cover all the bases by providing a variety of ways to stuff (and over-stuff) a sweet potato—and each one is delicious.

3. Thai Peanut Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

A life without peanut sauce isn’t one worth living. OK, that may not be true, but one bite of this Thai-inspired meal is enough to make you believe it. Filled with fiber-rich broccoli, crunchy green onions, and a handful of edamame, it’s far from your average potato. Bonus: It takes less than an hour to cook (and only 10 minutes to prep).

Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Maple Sweet Potatoes
Photo: The Honour System

4. Quinoa Stuffed Maple Sweet Potato

Maple syrup is similar to peanut butter: It simply makes everything taste better. (Or at the very least, sweeter.) Mixed with quinoa, coconut bacon (or real bacon!), shredded cheese, and chicken breast, this meal is the ideal post-workout snack, power lunch, or dinner.

5. Spinach and Artichoke Sweet Potato Skins

There’s spinach artichoke dip, and then there’s spinach artichoke stuffed sweet potatoes. While both are delicious and great game-day grub options, there’s one clear winner when it comes to health: the beloved sweet potato. Filled with three cheeses, secret spices, and plenty of veggies, you won’t even miss the cream-filled dip and salty chips.

6. Leftover Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Winter (err, Thanksgiving) is coming. And whether you love the food-fueled holiday or not, there’s no doubt leftover turkey will be abundant. Sick of the same ol’ cranberry and stuffing sandwich? Turn to sweet potatoes instead. They’re a great gluten-free vehicle for festive goods and easy to adapt to keep things healthy. Tip: Nix the butter and substitute coconut cream for heavy cream.

Recipe: Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese, and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Photo: How Sweet It Is

7. Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese, and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Roasted veggies are a fall favorite. But roasted grapes?! This is a new concept, and one we’re super excited about. So preheat the oven, forget everything you knew about grapes, and get ready for a sweet and savory combo that’ll knock your winter socks off.

8. Baked Sweet Potatoes Stuffed With Feta, Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Mediterranean ingredients are notorious for being delicious, heart-healthy, and filling. This recipe combines favorites like sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese to create a much heartier twist on a Greek salad. Goodbye for now, sweet pita bread!

9. Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Dried cranberries have a reputation for being packed with sugar, but a little sprinkle can go a long way. (And sweet or not, they’re certainly packed with antioxidants.) This recipe mixes the tart fruit with healthy greens, walnuts, and plenty of potato. And it only costs $5.04 to make! Not too shabby.

Every week, the Greatist Team scours the Web for tasty, trendy, and (mostly) healthy recipes to help open both minds and palates to the wonders of food. Tune in next Wednesday to see what else we have in store!

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