Sweet n’ Smokey BBQ Bacon Sloppy Sweet Potatoes


These sloppy potatoes are the epitome of sweet and savory.  Another way to eat meat and potatoes? Yes please! The ground beef topping is smokey, slightly sweet, and full of bacon-y goodness. The slight zing from the jalapeño makes the soul happy.  The cinnamon and clove compliment the sweetness of the potato beautifully while the smokey and spicy aspect of the topping adds amazing contrast to the sweet. Comfort food at it’s best. Tag me if you make this @castironandpearls on Instrgram and on FB!  I would love to hear how you and your family enjoyed it and/or if you have questions.

Happy Living!

Serves 2-4

Time to make: 1 hour to bake sweet potatoes, 30 minutes to make topping.  Make the topping while the sweet potatoes bake.

Special Equipment: 12 inch Cast Iron Skillet

Batch Cooking:

  • Yes! Make some extra.  It saves and reheats well.

Meal Prep/time saving tips:

  • Cook up sweet potatoes on your meal prep day. Cook up topping at the same time and save both in the fridge until ready to eat.
  • Or….make topping fresh and top reheated sweet potatoes.


  • Use ground buffalo or ground chicken
  • Use shallot instead of red onion (topping won’t come out as sweet)
  • Use white potatoes instead of sweet potatoes (might be on the dry side)
  • Make a sloppy joe!
  • Serve Ground Beef topping on a salad (sounds weird but think taco salad)
  • Serve Ground Beef topping on veggie noodles
  • Add cheddar cheese if you wish!


  • 1 pound ground beef (select any fat percentage you would like)
  • 1/2 to 1 package of bacon.  The more bacon the better. (Select brand to be Paleo and Whole 30 compliant if needed. I like Pederson’s Natural Farms brand).
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce (select brand to be Paleo and Whole 30 compliant if needed.  I used a local brand from Colorado that was not compliant).
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire (not Paleo/Whole 30 compliant, contains sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinager
  • 1/2 red onion, diced small
  • 1 jalapeño, fine dice (remove the ribs and seeds to make the jalapeño less spicy)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (adjust salt as needed during cooking process)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 TBSP Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • Big pinch ground cinnamon (thumb and two fingers)
  • Pinch ground clove (thumb and index finger)

A note on Worcestershire sauce….I try not to use too many products with added sugar when I cook, however, I can pronounce all the ingredients in the Worcestershire sauce.  This product then meets the first rule in my kitchen.  Limit products with sugar in them is my second rule.  I feel that the amount of sugar is negligible in the Worcestershire sauce, so I cook with it.   If you leave it out let me know how the recipe turns out!


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Clean the sweet potatoes.  Poke a few holes into the sweet potatoes with a fork or knife and pop them into the microwave to cook on high for 5 minutes.  Microwaving a potato first will cut down on the cooking time needed to make a baked potato.
  3. Place sweet potatoes directly onto the oven rack and cook until a knife easily pierces the sweet potato, about 1 hour. Now is the time to make the topping while the sweet potatoes cook!
  4. Preheat cast iron skillet on med-low. Once skillet is heated add the bacon. There is no need to add fat to the cast iron skillet first.  The fat from the bacon will render out and prevent the Bacon from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
  5. Cook the bacon until crisp.  When the bacon is crispy, remove the bacon from the skillet and drain it on a paper towel lined plate.
  6.  Reserve 2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease.  Wipe skillet clean.
  7. Add the bacon grease back to the clean skillet.
  8. Add the red onion and jalapeño and cook until the red onion is translucent.
  9. Add the garlic.  Cook until fragrant, about one to two minutes.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  10. Add the ground beef and cook until the beef is almost browned to 100% browned.  Drain the excess fat from the skillet if needed.
  11. Add the smoked paprika, chili powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to the meat mixture and stir.
  12. Add the tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce to the skillet and stir.
  13. Add the cinnamon and clove to the skillet and stir.
  14. Let the meat mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Reserve some of the bacon to top the potatoes. Stir the rest of the bacon into the skillet.  If your ground beef was almost browned when you added the spices and liquids, then make sure it is cooked all the way at this point. Select simmer time accordingly.
  15. Taste!  Please adjust salt and pepper and the rest of the seasoning to your liking. If the meat topping dries out add a little more BBQ sauce to make it glossy and sloppy.  Keep topping warm.
  16. When sweet potatoes are finished cooking, cut them open, fluff the insides, and top.  Enjoy for dinner, lunch, or breakfast (because everything is better with an egg on it).