baked sweet potato with humous and za'atar

Simple sweet potatoes with houmous and za’atar

Gavin Wren Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

If ever there was a meal that had “I can’t be bothered to cook tonight” written all over it, this is the one. It’s been widely employed in this household for a few years as a simple, low ingredient weeknight dinner that requires almost no preparation and extremely small amounts of your precious, valuable time.

It came about almost by chance. I’m not going to pretend there was any deep sensory analysis of ingredients or flavour comparisons, it was simply a day when I hit a new low and couldn’t be bothered even to cook baked beans to go on my potato. You see, just because I write a food blog, it doesn’t mean I live some divine, virtuous lifestyle, devoid of any tinned or pre-prepared foods. I too long for meals that require no effort as much as I love to spend hours in the kitchen over one item, it’s an awfully human dichotomy.

baked sweet potato

Back to the potatoes. You see, topped sweet potatoes are a favourite around here. My avocado topped potatoes succeeded today’s houmous topped ones, which in turn were preceded by tuna and coriander tops. Baked beans and cheese were the first round of sweet potato adornments, however I’m not going to do a post about making those. Yet.

baked sweet potato with humous and za'atar

I think Yotam Ottolenghi has a lot to answer for here. It was in the wake of his ‘Jerusalem‘ book launch, as ever a jewel in the bookshelf which I highly recommend, in which I first bought into the world of za’atar. His roast butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za’atar remains a regular feature in our diet and a recipe where we ignore the recommended quantities of za’atar and plump for having the jar on the table for personalised, liberal application.

baked sweet potato with humous and za'atar

If you don’t know what za’atar is, it’s a blend of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, salt and occasionally a few other herbs. It comes in various styles, names, quantities but is something that I would recommend hunting out if you have a mediterranean deli anywhere near you, as they often sell enormous bags for little more than the supermarket offers tiny pots for. From thereon, experiment with anything you feel like, because it works as a fabulous seasoning to many simple things such as chicken, chick peas, dips, salads, breads and roast vegetables.

baked sweet potato with humous and za'atar

As was the case on the first fateful night of these roast sweet potatoes, a pot of humous and our enormous jar of za’atar were staring me in the face and I was easily swayed, not least for the 50% reduction in washing up over beans and cheese, a considerable factor that’s hard to ignore in these situations. And so it came to be, a sweet potato, half a pot of humous and liberally apply as much za’atar as you desire. I’ll offer you a beginners quantity to start with in the recipe, but I feel that it’s such lovely stuff it should be used generously, so go wild.

baked sweet potato with humous and za'atar

Simple sweet potatoes with houmous and za’atar


Serves 2

Uses a baking sheet

PDF recipe card to download or print


2 sweet potatoes about 250g each
1 teaspoon olive oil
200g houmous
1 tablespoons za’atar


Pre heat the oven to gas mark 8, 425ºF, 218ºC, 198ºC fan.

top and tail your sweet potatoes, rub the skins with the olive oil. Place on a baking tray in the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven, split in half and spread out across the plate slightly, spoon the humous on top and scatter generously with za’atar.


baked sweet potato with humous and za'atar

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