Paleo Hungry Man Sweet Potato Casserole


We put eggs in the crock pot, for real.

This dish is dedicated to all of you that work hard and play harder. Not everyone who follows a paleo template is looking to lose weight. I know some of you are wicked awesome CrossFitters and weight lifters. You need lots of food, lots of macronutrients, lots of awesome to help keep you progressing. Some of you just really like sweet potatoes, and that is just as noble. The hungry man is just a catchy title, and I fully expect the ladies to make this big batch of goodness as well. This recipe yields a lot of food, all at one time, eat it or freeze it, you know you need it. By the time you read this, I’ve already eaten this for 3 different meals. Catch up! Before you go crazy and start peeling your taters, please take note that this recipe was cooked in a 6 quart slow cooker and filled it up about 3/4 of the way.

What you need:

  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef (other ground animals will work too)
  • 1/2 pound of bacon
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 large sweet potatoes (get 4 just in case)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large red onion
  • Spices: Cayenne, paprika, garlic, black pepper, oregano
  • 1 large deep rimmed skillet or pan
  • Coconut Oil to grease your slow cooker

Food Prep:

  1. Peel your sweet potatoes and microwave them for 2-3 minutes to soften them slightly
  2. Slice your sweet potatoes into 1/8″ slices, or thin like in the picture
  3. Dice your bacon finely and brown it in a pan into crisp pieces
  4. Remove your bacon from the pan and set it aside for later
  5. Dice your onions into large chunks and add to your pan along with your ground beef. Make sure you use a deep skillet or pan big enough to brown 2 pounds of beef and 2 onions.
  6. Season your beef as you wish. I used a generous amount of cayenne, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.
  7. Make sure your beef is fully browned and onions are translucent.
  8. Beat your 8 eggs in a bowl, blender, or food processor. I use my trusty magic bullet. Add some cayenne and paprika to your egg mixture if you wish.

 

Assembly:

  1. Grease your slow cooker with some coconut oil.
  2. Line the bottom of your slow cooker with slices of sweet potato. Just enough so that you cover the bottom.
  3. Spoon in a layer of your seasoned beef onto the sweet potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle some of your crisped bacon pieces on top of the beef.
  5. Repeat.
  6. The goal here is to keep layering evenly until you use up your supplies. If you end up with some extra sweet potatoes, I’m sure you can think of a few ways to eat them later.
  7. Once you have finished layering, pour your egg mixture over the top. Trust me on this. The eggs will fall into place and make the magic happen.
  8. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  9. Allow pot to cool. If your ceramic crock is removable, throw it in the fridge overnight. This will allow the dish to congeal and set nice. You can then slice the casserole into pretty pieces like in the picture.
  10. Thank me after you WOD faster or lift heavier things after eating this amazing stuff.

 

If you don’t like sweet potatoes, you’re wrong.


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Comments 85

  1. Hey! I have this recipe cooking in the crockpot as we speak! I had some leftover sweet potatos so I cooked them in the bacon grease and had more or less fried sweet potato fries. SO good. And if I had any left of the meat mix I would’ve thrown that on top of the fried potatoes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope this helps for those who need some ideas for any of the leftovers…if any!

  2. I made this for my nephews (minus the onions) and we all really enjoyed it. We spiced it up slightly with some Frank’s Red Hot after it was cooked and YUM! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. WOW!!! This recipe is friggin amazing! I am eating it while I type this! And it makes LOTS of leftovers!!!! I think I divided it into 10 servings! Now I don’t have to cook lunch and dinner for the next week! Thank you Paleo Pots!!!

  4. I made this today and it turned out amazing! I used one pound of chicken and one pound of ground sirloin, each with different seasoning, in different layers. It was a long torturous day smelling it cooking in the kitchen – but worth the wait. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I do think it would be possible to cook this in the oven, yet I have no idea as to what the correct cooking time and temp would be. Guessing a lower heat for longer, because of the eggs. This is why I love the slow cooker, less thinking.

  5. This stuff is awesome!
    I only have a small crockpot (and I’m now seeing the error of my ways), so I only used probably two sweet potatoes. The meat and egg amounts, proportion-wise, still worked pretty well–maybe I went a little heavier on the beef per layer–but it still turned out fantastically.

    My extra sweet potatoes were turned into hash that I sauteed with the beef and onion drippings, mmm!

  6. Thanks for the kind words Kait! Your recipe blog looks awesome as well. If you whip up any slow cooker recipes and want help sharing them, just say the word. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Thanks Robin! It’s all about maximizing the yield of your food purchase. Flexible leftovers is the key. I love to throw some of this dish in with my eggs, then cover with chipotle hot sauce!

    1. Depends on what you want to call a serving. I both work and play hard, and this still lasts me 3-4 days. I would estimate this makes about 8 hearty servings at least.

    1. You could, yet I would cook with it on low heat. I personally don’t cook with olive oil, only eat it raw. I highly suggest using coconut oil to grease up your slow cooker!

    1. Many people in the paleo community consider yams and sweet potatoes as safe starches. If you do not eat them, that is completely understandable. Many athletes seem to perform better when replenishing muscle glycogen with post-workout tubers. What starches do you eat Jamie?

  8. Great recipe! I’m a bit lazy/impatient and don’t love making crock pot dishes where I have to pre-cook mostly everything so I just baked mine in the oven to save time and it was still delish! I used 6 sweet potatoes and 9 eggs and spread everything between two casserole dishes. After slicing the sweet potatoes I split them into three groups and steamed each group in my steamer pot for about 7 minutes while the meat/onions were browning. After layering it all up, I poured the egg on top, and baked in the oven for 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until set. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Kaitlyn, thanks for the recipe hack! Hope it came out awesome for you. Would you be so kind as to share your oven based version over at our facebook page? I’m sure some people would love to hear it!

    2. Thanks. Was stumped when I read microwave the sweet potatoes. Seriously? Microwave? No thanks. I just might try this now. Glad you thought past that and thought of steaming them.

  9. Wow….my husband and I are really excited about this and will make it this weekend. It looks fantastic for easy work week lunches and really good for the atheletic type of paleo eater trying to refuel in a healthy manner!!! Thanks. Love this site!!

  10. This was amazingly good! The sweet potatoes turned out so tender, that they melted into the rest of the dish… I added cumin to the meat and Mrs. Dash italian blend believe it or not… The result- outstanding. The photo does not do this justice it was so good I think I will make it every week. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I’ll be making this Hungry Man Sweet Potato Casserole this weekend for my Crossfit son and future daughter-in-law. I’d like to make it on Saturday, in the crockpot, and serve it on Sunday. Is there any way I could completely cook it, refrigerate it overnight (in the crockpot), and then heat it back up in the crockpot on Sunday? If so, for how long, and at what temperature, would you suggest? Can’t wait to try this – it sounds wonderful!

    Pauline

  12. I used 1lb of chorizo (Mexican style) and one pound of ground turkey, omitted the bacon. I also added sliced mushrooms while browning my onions. This is super yummy!

    1. Sweet! Did you use raised beds/boxes to grow them by any chance? I have a sweet potato soup coming up in a few days as well (need to get photos done). Roasted red pepper sweet potato soup, watch out for it.

  13. I added mushrooms when I cooked the onions and spinach when I assembled the ingredients in the crook-pot…yummo! Love this, I can prepare everything the night before assemble in morning and come to a home cooked meal! Brillant

    1. Totally, they work out well. Just keep in mind greens contain water, so a ton of greens will release water into the dish. I toss chard or spinach in sometimes, but just a little bit as a layer.

  14. This recipe looks unbelievable! I was just wondering if you re-heat it after letting it set in the fridge. I imagine it would be good whether it’s cold or hot. Thanks!

  15. I made this tonight with pastured pork sausage instead of bacon – on the Whole30 and don’t have sugar free bacon. Also added chili powder. YUM! You could also call this the “Hungry Breastfeeding Mama Sweet Potato Cassetole”. Totally hit the spot! Thank you!

  16. Love this recipe.
    We added a fair amount of salt at the table, but otherwise perfect.

    Also very good cold. My kids enjoyed in brown bag lunches.

  17. This sounds a lot like a recipe we Puerto Ricans make called pastelรณn which is made with sweet plantains instead of sweet potatoes and in my family we include french cut green beans in with the ground beef and onions. Since my kids aren’t big plantain eaters, I’m going to try this out with sweet potatoes and see how it goes over. Either way, I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it and will eat it all myself if I have too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I was right, this was fantastic! My mom is convinced we should now make pastelรณn like this as well. Since plantains are paleo, I don’t see why we shouldn’t try it! Everyone, including the kids loved it, and the leftovers will be gone by lunch tomorrow. Thanks again for a great recipe and we will definitely be making this again!

  18. Here’s my redux of your recipe…

    This dish is a power-packed, nutrient-dense meal that is quite balanced in terms of carbohydrates-to-proteins. Yet this ain’t yo Momma’s sweet potato casserole!

    This one has some bite, but not more than will make it a delictable favorite for you. This Paleo template isn’t about loseing weight, it’s about taste, nutrients, and palate pleasure. You may be a wicked awesome CrossFitter or Cross-weight lifter, and because of that, you need lots of food, lots of macronutrients, and lots of awesome flavor to help keep your progression moving.

    For those of you who really like sweet potatoes, this recipe is dedicated to you. This recipe yields a lot of food, all at one time, so freeze the leftovers and savor them when you really need them. Please take note that this recipe is designed to be cooked in a 5.5 to 6 quart slow cooker; it can be filled up to within 2″ of the top of the crock.

    Ingredients:
    – 12 oz. of ground sirloin
    – 12 oz. of ground Italian sausage, removed from the casings
    – 8 oz. of Chorizo sausage, removed from the casings
    – 1 pound of bacon
    – 1 dozen large eggs
    – 5 or 6 large sweet potatoes
    – 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
    – 1 large red onion, finely chopped
    – 1 jalapeno chile, finely chopped
    – 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
    – 1 habanero chile, finely chopped
    – 1 tbsp. of cayenne powder
    – 2 tbsp. of red curry powder
    – 4 garlic cloves, minced
    – 1 herb bundle: 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary; 3 to 4 sprigs of
    fresh thyme; 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh sage leaves. Tie these herb
    sprigs together with kitchen string to form a bundle.
    – 2 tsp. of Kosher salt
    – 1 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
    – 2 cups of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    – 2 cups of Parmigiano-Regiano cheese, grated
    – coconut oil to grease your slow cooker

    Directions:
    Grate the cheeses; set aside.

    Finely dice the bacon and cook it until the pieces are crispy; set aside.

    In a large stock-pot, bring 5 to 6 quarts of aggressively salted water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, just to soften. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool, then peel and slice (lengthwise) into 1/8″ portions; set aside.

    While the sweet potatoes are cooking, in a large cast-iron skillet, over medium heat, add the ground meats, chopped onions, chiles, cayenne powder, curry powder, and garlic. Cook the mixture until the meat is fully browned and the onions are transluscent. When the meat mixture is fully cooked, drain the excess grease off.

    Beat the eggs in a medium bowl; set aside.

    Assembly:

    Grease your slow cooker with the coconut oil.

    Cover the bottom of your slow cooker with a layer of the sweet potato slices.

    Spoon a layer of the seasoned meat onto the sweet potatoes.

    Sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese on top of the meat.

    Sprinkle a layer of bacon on top of the cheddar cheese.

    Then add another layer of sweet potatoes on top of the bacon.

    Add another layer of meat on top of the sweet potaoes.

    Sprinkle another layer of cheese on top of the meat, but this time use the Parmigiano-Regiano cheese.

    Repeat.

    The goal here is to keep layering evenly until you use up your supplies. Once you have finished layering, pour your egg mixture over the top. Trust me on this. The eggs will fall into place and make the magic happen.

    Cook on high for 1 hour, then low for an addition 4 to 5 hours.

    Take the removable crock out of the slow-cooker and allow to cool for an hour. Place the removable crock in the refrigerator overnight; this will allow the dish to set up and also allow all of these incredible flavors to marry. When ready to serve, slice the casserole and garnish with more grated cheese.

  19. Oh, one last thing…place the herb bundle between the first and second layers of the potatoes-meat-bacon-cheese. You could also make two herb bundles if you desire, one between two layers…

  20. I made this last night while we were sleeping and put it in the fridge during the day. Omg! This recipe came out amazing! I substituted one lb of the ground beef for a lb of venison and it came out so good! This is definitely a keeper in our house! My husband couldn’t stop raving about it and how happy he was there were leftovers:) thanks!!!

  21. I made this last night and it’s fantastic and makes great leftovers. I wonder, for the lazy ones amongst us, since it’s cooking in the crock pot for so many hours, is it necessary to brown the beef before putting it in the crock? I can understand the bacon since you don’t want all that grease/fat in there, but with lean 90/10 beef, is there reason to brown it, or even soften the onions for that matter? Just curious if anyone has tried it.

    1. The browning is more of a flavor addition. The only way I usually add ground beef to the crock without browning is when doing meatballs or meatloaf, or in stuffed peppers or cabbage. The meat would cook fine, it would just lack some of the flavor that direct browning provides. Hope this helps.

  22. We have made this before and loved it (even though I didn’t have all the ingredients).

    This question may have been asked already, but is this freezable?

    Right now it’s just me and my kiddo, so I know we won’t be able to get through all of the food. If I can throw it in the freezer, that would be awesome.

  23. Hello, I only have a 3qt crock pot. Can you help me figure out how to adjust the amounts for my smaller pot?

    Thanks!

  24. super psyched to try this recipe! we don’t have a microwave – how necessary is that first step? should i par-boil or do you think i’ll be ok just putting the sweet potatoes in raw?

  25. Just tried this yesterday and it was delicious! I just removed the crock portion of my slow cooker from the rest and let it cool for about 45min with the lid on and it set up beautifully. I love this and may try some modifications to reduce the egg content and/or try adding some other veggies. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  26. I’m doing the 21dsd (with both athlete and nursing modifications) and just put this in the crockpot. Can’t wait! I wonder if you could spiralize the potatoes and just throw it all in the crockpot together to shave off the layering steps. May try that next time if recipe turns out as yummy as I suspsect it will. Thanks!

      1. Will do! May be awhile though as I’m the only one in my family who will eat this, unfortunately. Thought the kids would love it but they cried and rioted at the sight of it on their plates lol. Do you have approx measurements for the spices? I think I may have been terribly off. It also burned on the bottom and sides so I’ll have to cook it less next time. Thanks!

  27. Made this today and OMG this is SO GOOD. I am doing the 21 day sugar detox and this really hits the spot! I liberally seasoned the beef with the spices you suggested and cooked on low for about 4 hours (my slow cooker is new and seems to cook at a higher heat). I ate a nice size portion of this and feel satisfied and could not be more satisfied with the taste! AMAZING! this is going in the “make this regularly” file and I can’t wait to have this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. SATISFACTORY! Next time I think I will cook some mushrooms in with the bacon for a profile a little more indepth but totally perfect as is!

  28. This is my daughters favorite meal. We are starting up a Whole30 and this will be eaten pretty regularly I think.

    And we have discovered that this freezes pretty well. I’ll be attempting to cook this in the oven today as the slow cooker is full of bone broth and won’t be done until after supper tonight.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  29. Since I cook for my mother-in-law/94 yr. young/Alabama farm girl, I made a sweet sauce for the topping when serving: Dark brown sugar, maple syrup, butter and cinnamon. She ate it all! Pretty amazing. How’s that for thinking outside the box/pot, whatever?

  30. I’m on paleo and I’m trying to lose weight but this looked so good that I had to make it. I subbed the sweet potatoes for butternut squash and it turned out really good!! Only annoying part is having to peel the squash. I also added salt to the meat and to the eggs

  31. I’m eating this right now and YUMMMMMMMMMM
    I did 1lb ground beef and 1lb breakfast sausage, skipping the bacon. Added parsley and used white pepper, no cayenne. I also used yellow onions instead.

    OMG it is so good!

  32. Many thanks or this recipe, I’ve made it twice. I love the wide eyes and grin I get from my husband when he discovers what lies beneath the crockpot lid! As all casseroles, I always use what’s on hand and this still turns out perfectly!

  33. I love this recipe! I was very skeptical when it finished in the crockpot, but after it set in the fridge it was sooo good today. I made a couple of alterations, but thank you so much! I will be making this again!

  34. This is just the kind of recipe I’m looking for as I have a 6’4″ 17 year old son who never gets full. My problem is that he is allergic to eggs.:( I know, bummer. Does anyone have any possible suggestions as to what I might substitute in place of the eggs that would still make this dish turn out delish and hold together? Thanks!

  35. This looks incredible! I am 37 weeks pregnant with my third son and trying to make paleo/primal freezer meals so we can stay healthy after the baby arrives for those first few months while I am struggling to find time to grocery shop, cook, and clean! I am planning to try this one for dinner and freeze the leftovers!
    Can you please give me an estimate/ball park figure for how much of each spice you used? Are we talking 1 Tbl of each? Or more or less? Does this make a super spicy dish, or is it pretty kid-friendly? My boys have eaten paleo for a while now, and aren’t picky eaters. However, their little tiny tongues can’t handle as much spice as my hubby and me. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for your reply!

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Paleo Hungry Man Sweet Potato Casserole

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