* I used both small Yukon gold potatoes and larger sweet potatoes. They both were delicious and everyone in the family was able to stuff their favorite potato their own way. If you use an assortment of sizes, simply check them to determine doneness and remove each potato from the oven when it is fork tender.
Beef and Black Bean Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Yield: 6 servings
6 medium 4-5" potatoes or 12 small 2-3" potatoes
1 lb ground beef
2 tablespoons taco seasoning, I used this Mexican Spice Mix
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans or 1 can rinsed and drained black beans
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice, I used Pepperjack and cheddar
Optional toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, olives, avocados, sour cream
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes and then rinse and dry thoroughly. Poke several holes into each potato with a fork and then place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle the potatoes lightly with oil. Generously sprinkle each potato with salt and then place in the oven. Bake until the potatoes are fork tender. They should be crisp on the outside and tender inside. This took about 40 minutes for the small potatoes and between 60-70 minutes for the large potatoes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
When the potatoes are almost done, cook and crumble the beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. As it is cooking, sprinkle with the spice mix. Whisk together the water and the cornstarch. When the meat has browned, stir in the cornstarch slurry. Add the beans and let the sauce simmer and thicken for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Slice each potato down the center and fluff the insides with a fork. Top each potato with the beef and bean mixture and then with cheese. For ease of serving, you can also simply chop a baked potato onto a plate and top with the beef and bean mixture and then with cheese. Add any additional toppings that you desire. Enjoy!
FREEZER MEAL: This is a great recipe to double or triple. The filling can be cooled completely and then transferred to a freezer safe ziploc bag or airtight container. Thaw completely before reheating. Cook and stuff the potatoes as directed above. This meat and bean mixture also works great on nachos or spooned over rice.
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