It’s good to have a few leftover recipes in your back pocket when taking steps to make greener choices in the kitchen. Not only do they help keep your food waste down, but they also allow you to develop new dishes — some that, in my experience, have gone on to become household favorites.

When it comes to leftovers in my home, it’s either nachos or this sweet potato hash recipe, a versatile and tasty dish that you can truly make your own.

This is a no-waste recipe and anything goes.

What I love most about this recipe is that you can add absolutely anything to it and it’ll be delicious.

Use up all those leftovers. Beans, rice, chicken enchiladas (yep, chop them up and put them in) — anything goes. Roasted vegetables, like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, are perfect for this recipe. Their caramelization adds a developed umami flavor that pairs well with the sweeter side of the dish.

Fresh vegetables and other adjunct flavors. You can’t go wrong with avocado slices, and leafy greens are also a great addition. Spinach is a personal favorite; it’s packed with vitamins and adds nice color and flavor to the final dish.

Beef it up with a protein. Sausage and bacon are great. Dicing up leftover chicken or steak and adding them to the skillet is also a great option.

Consider toppings or a sauce. This is completely optional, yet mandatory in my home. Melted cheese and salsa are tasty. Over-easy eggs were made for this dish, and I often turn to this simple hollandaise recipe for another layer of flavor. It takes only a few minutes to make.

If you’re not a fan of sweet potatoes, you can use russet or Yukon gold potatoes instead and this will still be the tastiest meal made out of leftovers that you’ve ever had.

This No-Waste Sweet Potato Hash Recipe Will Turn Leftovers Into Your Favorite Meal
A big pile of fresh spinach adds flavor, texture, and a fresh accent to this sweet potato hash recipe.
Stacy Buchanan

Put the peeler away, we’re keeping the skin on.

For starters, this is a no-waste recipe, which means we leave nothing behind. Second, the skin is where the vitamins (C, E, iron, and potassium, to start) fiber, and flavor are, so why are we still cooking without it?

If you insist on removing the peels, add them to a compost pile, or the vegetable scraps bag in your freezer (which is also where your onion skins should be going). The peel's vitamin-dense flavors will make a great addition to a forthcoming stock.

This No-Waste Sweet Potato Hash Recipe Will Turn Leftovers Into Your Favorite Meal
Cooking tip: speed up the process by cooking the sweet potatoes in the microwave for a few minutes before dicing and adding to the skillet.
Stacy Buchanan

When it comes to cooking, and greener choices in the kitchen, cast iron is the way to go.

Not only does cast iron add flavorful caramelization to the sweet potatoes and onions, but it also cooks the hash evenly. And did you know that it’s one of the only stovetop cooking tools that will up your iron intake, and it doesn’t give off toxic fumes while you cook? Its environmental benefits don’t stop there; cast iron’s slow oxidization process releases carbon-based iron ash that promotes green growth on land and increases planktonic life in the ocean. Win, win.

This No-Waste Sweet Potato Hash Recipe Will Turn Leftovers Into Your Favorite Meal
In my home, a sweet potato hash isn't complete without a couple of over easy eggs and a sauce. Delicious!
Stacy Buchanan

No-waste Sweet Potato Hash


  • 2 whole sweet potatoes, skin on
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Other seasonings of your choosing
  • Leftovers and add-ins
  • Toppings of your choosing


Wash and prick the sweet potatoes with a fork. Cook together in the microwave for five minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1/3 cup olive oil in your cast iron skillet and add the onion. Sautee for 3-5 minutes until translucent.

Remove the sweet potatoes from the microwave and dice them up, then add them to the skillet along with the salt, pepper, garlic salt, and other seasonings of your choosing. Cook for about 10 minutes, letting caramelization develop on the sweet potatoes and onions.

Mix in your leftovers and add-ins and cook until heated. Serve with your favorite toppings.