AIP beef cuban food gluten free paleo 

Stuffed Sweet Potato Buns

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
― Albert Einstein

No truer words Al! I’d been posting pictures on Instagram of beautiful empanadas, made of sweet potato dough! The first time I made them they were perfect, so I knew I’d have to practice again. Second time, too potato-y, third time was darn good. Fourth time, I was all confident, I doubled the recipe. Naturally, I mucked it up. For the life of me that potato would just stick to the parchment paper & I could not roll out the dough. With a large bowl of floured mash in front of me, a skillet full of ground beef next to me… I decided to simplify my life, I would make papas rellenas.

Papa rellena, which translates to stuffed potato; is a Cuban staple at any coffee stand or party. These little carb bombs are made using mashed potato dusted in flour & deep fried, filled with traditional picadillo (onions, olives, raisins, tomato etc). Obviously all that wasn’t going to jive with me, luckily the “failed” dough worked better than expected!

I rolled up 8- 2 inch sized balls, made wells in them, spooned in some delicious spiced beef & radishes. Closed them, rolled them in olive oil, set them in the oven & crossed my fingers.

The result… a bun! A super bread like, crispy outside, golden little balls. I was in love. Lighter than their traditional counterparts, not as greasy, yet crispy & portable, these stuffed sweet potato buns scream picnic food, party food & freeze me batch cook food! Sayonara empanadas, we have a new meat stuffed, sweet potato, paleo pastry in town!

*you can fill these with anything, pulled chicken, greens & cauliflower cream or pulled pork!

Serves 1 bun

Stuffed Sweet Potato Buns

30 minPrep Time

40 minCook Time

1 hr, 10 Total Time

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Recipe Image


  • Ingredients:
  • 2 large boniato (aprx 1.5lb) (white or Japanese sweet potato)
  • *peeled & boiled- do this ahead of time
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2/3 cup arrow root starch
  • 2 tsp grass feed beef gelatin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder (I make the Bob's Red Mill recipe, equal parts: baking soda, cream of tartar & arrowroot starch)
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil + more for coating
  • 1lb grass fed beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 radishes
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp horseradish powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Pink Himalayan salt


    First prepare beef:
  • In a large skillet heat oil, 1 tbsp.
  • Add sliced onion, radishes & cook until tender.
  • Add in beef, break up with spatula, add in salt & spices.
  • Stir constantly until browned & crumbly.
  • Add in coconut aminos.
  • Lower heat & simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat, set aside to cool.
  • Dough:
  • Pre-heat oven to 400F
  • Bring a pot of water to boil
  • Peel & dice the boniato, add to boiling water, boil until very tender.
  • Drain, let cool.
  • Place cooled potato in a bowl & mash with a whisk until smooth.
  • Add in flours, gelatin, baking powder & garlic + salt.
  • Add in vinegar, fold in.
  • While drizzling in oil, mix the dough until well combined.
  • If it doesn't seem to be coming together with the spatula, try mixing it with your hands, you're going to get them dirty in the next step anyway!
  • Shape 6-8 2 inch balls, like if you were making meatballs.
  • Once by one, pick up a potato ball, using your thumb make a 2oz sized well in the middle with one hand, while cradling it in the other hand.
  • Spoon in 1 tablespoon of beef mixture, more if it fits.
  • Then using your free hand, pinch together the potato dough to close.
  • Now roll the dough between both hands to make it a ball again. Gently dip it in the extra oil and roll it again to evenly coat it.
  • Place it on sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes until just golden.
  • You don't want to toast them because toasted sweet potato has an overpowering bitter taste, great in fries, not in these!
  • These are heavy; I would portion 1 per person, maybe 2 if you're carb loading. Serve with salad 🙂








I just made a batch with Okinawa sweet potato, the purple kind! So pretty!
The potatoes were a little smaller & they are starchier. I doubled the vinegar & added 1/3 cup warm water to the dough. Posting pics soon! I stuffed them with nightshade free curried cauliflower rice & turkey… purple buns with bright yellow filling!



liveout-loudRecipe submitted to The AIP Round Table

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35 Thoughts to “Stuffed Sweet Potato Buns”

  1. Oh, these look fabulous! Have you included gelatin to help bind the potato, or is it just in there for the nutrition? Do you think they'd hold together without the gelatin?
    1. I think it attributes to a bit of the composition, but they will surely hold without it!
  2. Garoulady
    If I can't find japanese white sweet potatoes is it possible to use regular sweet potatoes. I don't know if they are AIP approved but for myself I can still eat them. Thank you so much for the awesome recipe. Looks delicious and I do miss bread a lot though for me, its the crunch I miss.
    1. Hi! Japanese sweet potato goes by a few names, like yama, boniato & white sweet potato. But you can also make these with Okinawa sweet potatoes or the regular (garnet) sweet potatoes. There is a note at the end of the post on that. Garnet potatoes are not as starchy as the others ones, so the mix might need an spoonful or so more flour. It's a very flexible/forgiving recipe! Go nuts!
  3. Lisa
    Do you have an approximate weight on on the sweet potatoes? Either unpeeled/raw or cooked?
    1. I would say 1.5lb uncooked potato, the cooked/mashed potato should come to 2 rounded cups. Hope this helps!
  4. Oh my goodness, these look delectable! I'm still in the midst of my Elimination diet, so these would be great...I can see a sweet/spicy filling with some raisins :)
    1. Yes! I bet they would. Nightshades (aka anything spicy) are a no go for me. But I bet even with ginger or horseradish I could figure it out :)
  5. Lisa
    Have you tried freezing these? I'm searching for make ahead and grab quick type recipes and these fit the bill if I can freeze them!
    1. Hey! Yes! I have frozen them. Sorry, I thought I responded to your comment yesterday, but it was still in the cue. I freeze them in ziplock bags, lay them flat in the freezer and thaw in the fridge overnight and bake to heat! Love that you stuffed them with the pulled pork!
  6. Kim
    Going to try these stuffed with BBQ Pork! YUMMY!
  7. liz
    what kind of vinegar and what kind of radishes?
    1. Apple cider vinegar... any kind of radish you want ;)
  8. Clarissa
    Making these tonight. Can I sub coconut oil for the avocado? Thanks
    1. That should work just fine Clarissa, this is a very flexible recipe!
  9. What a great dinner change up! I needed a new idea! Thank you!
  10. Wow. We eat beef empanadas a lot, but I bet these would be just as big of a hit with my kids (and let's face it, me). They look so good!
    1. Thanks! They're a play off papa rellenas which, like empanadas are a classic Cuban party food.
  11. These look so cute and perfect for a Spring picnic. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us!
  12. This is a brilliant idea! So fast, easy and portable.
    1. Thanks! They are great grab and go.
  13. Oh, my dear, Christina, these are simply amazing! I love your willingness to try and fail and stretch yourself to think outside the box. that is the great part
  14. Oh my goodness, this is incredibly creative, and I absolutely love the purple ones - so vibrant and beautiful!
  15. These look so good! I love buns or pies with ground beef inside. A very creative recipe :)
  16. This is brilliant! My husband would LOVE these! I'm looking forward to your nightshade free curried cauliflower rice & turkey version too!
    1. Thanks! Yes, my husband loves these too!
  17. The perfect hand food! These look so delicious!
  18. Wow ! This is simply amazing ! They must be delicious !!
  19. Wow! These look amazing! Can't wait to try them!!
  20. What?!?! These look so amazing, Cristina!!
  21. Um WHAT sign me up!!! Pulled pork inside as an option too? Yeeeessss.
  22. These are adorable! I put a purple sweet potato version up on my Instagram years ago, I totally forgot about that. 😊
  23. The purple ones look great, how unusual they look a little like an English Cornish pasty, im intrigued to try them on a carb loading day!
  24. OMG those purple sweet potato buns look sooooooo so good. I'm jumping on a plane right now haha!

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