Recipe courtesy of Elena Besser

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Topped with Spiced Ground Beef and Pine Nuts

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
When I go to Israel to visit my family one of the first meals we share together always involves lots and lots of dips and spreads to go along with fresh bread. An all-time favorite hummus preparation we've enjoyed together is Lebanese hummus kawarma: hummus topped with spiced chopped, minced or ground meat, usually lamb. In the fall, I absolutely love eating roasted sweet potatoes, and the combination of the spiced meat I adore in hummus kawarma and creamy sweet potatoes makes an incredible lunch or dinner. My version calls for ground beef as the base and is a breeze to put together. Feel free to serve the meat over hummus instead of potatoes if you want to try it in the more traditional way too!



  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Poke holes all over the sweet potatoes with a fork. Rub them with 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes are soft and juices bubble out of the holes, about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the raisins and lemon zest and juice in a small bowl. Set aside to let the raisins plump.  
  4. To make the spiced beef, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beef, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and season with salt. Continue to cook, breaking the beef up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and no longer pink, 6 to 7 minutes. 
  5. Pour in the broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the raisin and lemon mixture.
  6. To plate, split open the tops of the potatoes with a knife, top with the beef and garnish with the pine nuts, feta and parsley. Enjoy!