You'll love these vegan stuffed potato skins loaded with black bean salad, sunflower sour cream, and crispy coconut bacon. Great for parties!
I wanted to share this fun healthi(er) “game day” recipe before the Super Bowl even though, admittedly, we’re not big football fans. And by “we,” I mostly mean me. Jack will socially watch a game at a party, but my relationship with football didn’t exactly start off on the right… foot.
Beginning in 1st grade, every year in gym class, we started the year with a football written test. Way to get kids interested in sports, right? The teacher would hand out worksheets to bring home and study (which I never did) and every year I’d bring home a failing grade and a sheet that my mom would have to sign. I’d walk up to her feel really awful (although not awful enough to study the following year!), but every year my mom would make me feel better by saying how ridiculous it was that we had a football written test while she signed my failed worksheet.
While I still don’t know the rules of the game or who’s playing, I can get behind sporty food, made in healthier ways. So let’s talk about potatoes!
For this recipe, Jack all but made me go outside of my sweet potato box to roast up russet potatoes and get that classic crispy potato skin. Don’t worry though – I stuffed them with very un-classic things. This recipe has a few components involved, most of which can be made in advance.
I made a “sour cream” out of sunflower seeds. It’s creamy, tangy, and delicious – which we need on these potatoes because this also takes the place of any cheese. If you have extra, scoop it into tacos, onto burrito bowls, or use it as a dip for veggies. It’ll keep for a few days in the fridge, and it’s a delicious creamy condiment to have on hand.
What’s next? Coconut bacon! It’s super easy to make, but since your oven will be roasting the potatoes, it’s best to make this in advance. Luckily, it’s actually super easy. All you need is coconut flakes, tamari, smoked paprika, and maple syrup. You could add liquid smoke if you want – I don’t because it’s not something I keep on hand, and I get enough smoky flavor from the smoked paprika.
The filling here is made of black beans, (frozen) corn, red onion, chili powder, lime juice, and cilantro. I would eat this salad on its own any day, but today we’re stuffing it into these potatoes.
The final step? Assemble into crispy potatoes and serve!
Healthier (Vegan) Stuffed Potato Skins
- 5 small to medium russet potatoes
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1½ tablespoons tamari
- Scant 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1¼ cups hulled raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup water
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 (14-ounce) can black beans (1½ cups), drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup frozen corn kernels
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon chili powder, more as desired
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Chives, sliced
- Jalapeño pepper, diced (optional)
- Cilantro, chopped
- Make the Coconut Bacon: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the coconut flakes, tamari, maple syrup, and paprika on the baking sheet and toss gently to coat. Spread in a thin layer and bake until dark golden brown and slightly crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. This can be made ahead and stored at room temperature for up to a week.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scrub the potatoes, poke holes with a fork, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until fork-tender. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 450°F. When cool to the touch, slice each potato in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving a ¼-inch lining of the potato in the shell. Drizzle the potato skins with olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on the baking sheet, cut-side down. Roast for 10 minutes, turn, drizzle with more olive oil and a very generous sprinkle of salt, and roast for an additional 10 minutes, or until crispy. Save the scooped out potato flesh for another use.
- Make the Sun Cheese: In a blender, combine the sunflower seeds, water, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and blend until creamy, about 1 minute. Chill until ready to use.
- Make the Black Bean & Corn filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the black beans, corn (it thaws quickly, so I just mix it in frozen), red onion, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, cilantro, and salt.
- Scoop the Black Bean & Corn filling into the potato skins and season with more salt and squeezes of lime (the potatoes really benefit from generous amounts of seasoning). Top with the Sun Cheese and Coconut Bacon. Garnish with the chives, jalapeño, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.