Baked Sweet Potatoes, with Sardines, Green Olives and Kale

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batch_Baked Sweet Potatoes l:scape

There’s nothing like a baked potato to evoke comfort and nostalgia, be it the quickest of lunches or the most leisurely of suppers. When I was growing up, my mother would often put potatoes cooked in their ‘jackets’ (as she called them) on the table, filled with whatever happened to be in the fridge and needed eating up at the time. Usually it would be something ultra simple like canned baked beans, or shrimps with ketchup-laced mayonnaise but they would always be gratefully received and eaten with huge satisfaction.

I wanted to switch the nutritional content up a notch by ensuring a plentiful helping of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, whilst recreating those cozy times gone by. And though my children aren’t as fond of sardines as I am, this recipe is a winner in our house because their flavor doesn’t dominate. Rather, the oily salinity of the olives and anchovies balances the potatoes’ natural sweetness, which I tend to find quite cloying on occasion.

batch_Baked Sweet Potatoes Portrait

What could be more time saving than leaving a scrubbed sweet potato in the oven, whilst you busy yourself doing something more interesting. Such as putting your feet up and snatching a bit of “me” time perhaps? You only need return for the final ten minutes to make your filling, set the table and enjoy!

batch_Baked Sweet Potatoes process
5.0 from 3 reviews
Baked Sweet Potatoes, with Sardines, Green Olives and Kale
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp solid fat (lard) + extra for the sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 oz brown mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 anchovy fillets (from a can, rinsed)
  • 1 tbsp oregano, finely chopped
  • ½ cup green pitted olives, chopped*
  • ½ bunch green kale, roughly chopped
  • 2 cans sardines, packed in spring water or olive oil and drained
  • Small handful flat parsley, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prick each sweet potato several times and place them on a large baking sheet and bake for around 1 hour, depending on their size.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan and add the fat.
  3. Throw in the onion and sweat on a low heat for 6-8 minutes, until soft and translucent.
  4. Now turn up the heat to medium, put the mushrooms into the pan, stir to coat them with the fat and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden around the edges.
  5. Add the garlic, anchovies and oregano and cook a further minute or two.
  6. Add the olives and kale to the pan, cook around 3-4 minutes until the kale wilts, then add the sardines and warm through, breaking them up into large mouthfuls with a wooden spoon.
  7. Finally, throw in the parsley and combine everything.
  8. Split the sweet potatoes lengthwise down the middle and drop a knob of solid fat into each one. Top with the sardine mixture and serve immediately.
*Be vigilant about the olives you source. Many are packed in brines that contain lactose, citric acid or other ingredients that are not AIP-friendly.


About Kate Jay

Kate Jay, NTP, RWP, CGP and AIP Certified Coach, has been blogging at Healing Family Eats, since June 2014. Diagnosed years ago as hypothyroid, she and her family were already following the GAPS diet for digestive issues when Kate noticed swelling consistent with RA. She set up her AIP food blog as motivation for making the restricted diet as exciting as possible for her children, who felt they missed out on the junk their friends took to school. Originally a classically trained chef, who freelanced with popular food magazines in the UK, she is now passionate about helping her clients heal using a combination of her holistic training, lab work and real food as medicine. She focuses on creating simple, nutritionally dense and balanced family meals, without compromising on flavour. Find her also on FacebookPinterestTwitter and Instagram.


  • This is right up my alley, Kate! I can’t wait to make this!

    • Absolutely perfect for someone in your lovely condition. I hope you both enjoy 🙂

  • […] about that recipe, find it over on Autoimmune-Paleo. It’s a simple, cosy comforting meal that takes moments to prepare (hurrah!), leaving you […]

  • Holly says

    Nice looking recipe! Just wondering if the anchovies are meant to be the mild White Anchovies, or the briny dark little ones with the strong flavor? Thanks.

  • Cheryl Lundgren says

    Made this tonight. Didn’t have any kale or parsley but I’ll make sure I have it for next time. For something green I tossed in a little avocado. Absolutely delicious! This is going to be a favorite.

  • Hollie says

    Wondering why we would use lard….what would be the benefit of using it? Can Coconut Oil be used in place of lard? Thank you.

    • Hi Hollie, I tend to alternate between coconut oil and lard in my cooking, just to ring the changes, have a break from coconut and make use of different fats. You can use whatever you prefer.

  • Sara says

    This may be my favorite recipe on this site! The only modifications I make for personal taste is to use a full bunch of kale, a whole 8 oz container of mushrooms and approximately 1/2 oz of anchovies. I have no idea how many fillets that is, but it is delicious!!

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