Breakfast Recipes

Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta Hash

Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta HashThis is the sort of dish that my belly likes! The flavors of the sweet potatoes and apples cooked in the fat of the pancetta are amazing, the texture is comforting, and the balance of starchy carbs and fat seems to be perfect for my particularly quirky digestive system.

When I first went grain-free it was in the context of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which operates under the theory that certain carbohydrates feed bacteria in the gut which creates a vicious cycle of irritation and inflammation and therefore does not allow starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, and jicama. Although I experienced some healing on that diet and finally got my anemia under control, many of my most frustrating symptoms remained and I also very rapidly lost precious weight I could ill afford to lose.

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After I decided to eliminate additional foods that are known gut irritants and potential autoimmune triggers (dairy, legumes, nuts, seeds, coffee, alcohol, eggs, and nightshades) I immediately saw dramatic improvement in my bowel symptoms. For a while I continued to keep the starchy vegetables out of my diet – not wanting to undo any gains I had made in rebalancing my gut bacteria, but I still couldn’t gain weight, even as my digestion started working more normally. After doing a lot of research into the paleo autoimmune protocol and other sources, I came up with the theory that perhaps the beneficial bacteria in my gut actually needed some starch to feed upon as a prebiotic, so I decided to cautiously experiment with sweet potatoes. And just yesterday I found this FAQ answer on The Paleo Mom’s site that also refers to a bacterial “undergrowth” and notes that it mostly applies to people with IBD and celiac disease, so I feel like my theory may have some validity.

As it turns out, this was just what I needed. I saw immediate improvement in my bowel function as well as my energy levels. Gaining back the weight I lost is taking a little longer, but is slowly starting to happen. Now my diet follows the basic framework of the Perfect Health Diet, written by Paul Jaminet and Shou-Ching Jaminet, with modifications for autoimmunity.

Since the complications of my surgical history have left me with most of my ileum missing and only part of my colon, I always have to be cautious of eating too much fat or too much simple carbohydrate at a single time as either can overwhelm my system and trigger problems. However, I have found that if I balance the fat and carbohydrates with foods that are rich in fiber and/or starch, everything slows down a bit and I am able to digest and absorb the nutrients much more easily. This dish fits the bill perfectly, and with the addition of a fried egg (which I am still cautiously reintroducing to my autoimmune protocol diet), it also provides a good dose of protein!

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I also make sure to use coconut oil because it is easy for my body to digest and absorb.

For more on “safe starches”…

I highly recommend this cookbook by Russ Crandall (also known as The Domestic Man).


Apple and Pancetta Hash Recipe

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Sweet potato apple and pancetta hash in cast iron skillet

Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta Hash

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4.7 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Jaime Hartman
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 2-3 1x


This delicious hash is perfect for a crisp fall morning! Pair with an egg for a complete breakfast, or enjoy on its own to be fully autoimmune protocol compliant.


  • 6 ounces pancetta, diced (or regular bacon)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large apple (or 2 small), cut into cubes that are no bigger than 1 inch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons coconut oil, butter, ghee, or other solid cooking fat (if needed)
  • 1 large sweet potato (or 23 small), peeled and cut into cubes that are no bigger than 1 inch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)


  1. In a medium cast iron skillet over medium to medium-low heat, cook pancetta 3-5 minutes or until crispy and fat has rendered.
  2. Remove pancetta with slotted spoon, leave fat in pan.
  3. Add onion, apples, and cinnamon. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes.
  4. Remove from pan and add to reserved pancetta. Set aside.
  5. If pan is dry add 1-2 tablespoons fat and allow to melt. Add sweet potatoes to pan and allow to cook undisturbed for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir, allow to cook for another 2 minutes undisturbed.
  7. Continue cooking sweet potatoes, stirring as needed to insure all sides get browned and none burn, until soft (about 5-6 more minutes, about 10 minutes total).
  8. Add reserved pancetta, onion, and apples back to pan. Add sage and stir to combine and warm throughout.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: American

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Sweet Potato Apple and Pancetta Hash

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This post shared on Fat TuesdayParty Wave WednesdayReal Food Wednesday Simple Lives ThursdayPennywise Platter Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Healing with Food Friday, Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.

65 replies on “Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta Hash”

I see that you have this listed under whole30. I am wondering how people can label stuff as whole 30 but have bacon or pancetta. I understand that you can have these, as long as they are compliant. So my question for you is, what brand did you use that was whole 30 compliant? I think it might be beneficial to you in future posts if you are going to use a whole 30 tag, to state what compliant brands you used and if thats not possible, I would remove the whole 30 tag. The average consumer is going to see that you used bacon, and go buy store bought oscar meyer thick cut bacon…..We all know that isnt complaint. Just my 2 cents.

I personally disagree with your statement. If someone is doing Whole30, as the cook they are responsible for locating the proper compliant ingredients. There are several compliant bacons, should it have listed each one, no. Not up to her to make the determination of whether i want fully compliant bacon, or technically compliant bacon. This is a great recipe which i eill add to my menu.

Thank you for your feedback. Please note though that I actually didn’t tag this recipe as Whole 30 compliant… My friend Rachael (Meatified) linked to it on a roundup of Whole 3o breakfast recipes, but I didn’t think to label it is such. That said, I think it is perfectly fine. Pancetta or bacon is not forbidden on the Whole 30, especially in meals like this where it is just playing a supporting flavor roll in an otherwise nutrient dense and healthy meal. For more information, see The Bacon Manifesto on the Whole 9 site…

Thanks for the recipe. I am always looking for egg free breakfast recipes for my family who have egg sensitivities. As for naming the brand of bacon, if you are doing a Whole30, like I am, you have already identified your compliant bacon, ham, etc. Part of doing a Whole 30 is being a big boy or girl and doing your research!

Was looking for something different and healthy for Sunday brunch and came across this recipe. It was easy and delicious. Will definitely add this to my recipe rotation. Thanks for sharing!

[…] Sweet Potato Pancetta Hash from Gutsy by Nature […]

Omg!! This was incredible! i just bought more ingredients to make it for the rest of the week! thank you thank you thank you! I was getting sick of my whole 30 breakfasts

[…] For breakfast, I typically eat a grapefruit every day. I LOVE grapefruit. But since I plan to add exercise to my life, I know this won’t be enough. So I’ve found a few recipes that will work that I can make ahead and take to work and reheat, like this sweet potato, apple, and pancetta hash. […]

[…] this easy to make breakfast (that I can’t stop eating) // and this fudge (that I need to make) […]

[…] Sweet Potato, Apple, and Pancetta Hash First off, I couldn’t find pancetta at all at any of my ‘regular’ stores. So bacon it was – for the aforementioned $6.99/10 oz. Second, this was delicious. But. It took way longer than the times listed in the recipe itself for each step. I expected to spend about 30 minutes on this, including prep. It was more like an hour and a half. Turn up the heat on your pan to medium-high, and you should spend infinitely less time on this. […]

Are the apples peeled? Also curious as to what variety you use to hold up to the heat. Thinking a granny smith would do the trick. Just curious. Thanks in advance. Looking forward to making this for the hubs. He is about “egged” out. We are nearing the end of our Whole 30, but always looking to expand on a healthy hearty breakfast that we can reheat and go. We both work healthcare and it requires us to be at work early and nice hot pre-cooked breakfast is a must to make it through until lunch.

A granny smith would work perfectly, but I’m pretty flexible. Any apple I happen to have in the crisper drawer is good for me! And peeling is a matter of personal preference. If you are in a hurry and/or like the peels, leave them on.

Where do you find AIP compliant pancetta in NoVA? I’ve search high and low and they all seem to have ‘spices’. Thanks!

La Quercia ( is not 100% compliant, but the only non-AIP ingredients are white and black pepper. You can get it at Cheesetique on Mount Vernon Ave in Alexandria.

I also use the pre-cubed stuff you can get at Trader Joe’s. It is a bit of a risk because it does include “spices” but a couple years ago I contacted them and they told me there were no nightshade spices. At the time, AIP didn’t forbid seed-based spices so I didn’t ask any further.

I was searching for eggless breakfasts on Pinterest and discovered this recipe. It is delicious and, if it lasts long enough, is even better on day two. I made this using bacon for coworkers, and with sausage for the family. Today, I’m using both meats for a Thanksgiving side dish. I’ve used a variety of methods with fresh sweet potatoes, pre-cubed butternut squash and cranberries, and pre-cooked sweet potatoes. They are all delicious. Thank you.

[…] Sweet Potato, Apple and Bacon Hash Lemon Chicken Pizza Soup Meatza Steak and Sweet Potato […]

[…] Sweet Potato, Apple, and Pancetta Hash First off, I couldn’t find pancetta at all at any of my ‘regular’ stores. So bacon it was – for the aforementioned $6.99/10 oz. Second, this was delicious. But. It took way longer than the times listed in the recipe itself for each step. I expected to spend about 30 minutes on this, including prep. It was more like an hour and a half. Turn up the heat on your pan to medium-high, and you should spend infinitely less time on this. […]

[…] Sweet Potato, Pancetta, and Apple Hash– an egg-free option for those of us who can’t handle eggs every day! This is equal parts sweet and savory…yum. If you will miss your eggs, just add one or two in and scramble it up! […]

[…] Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta Hash from Gutsy by Nature […]

Thank you so much for posting! I didn’t think I would get sick of eggs like everyone said I would but it happened! And your recipe was my knight in shining armor. 🙂 Made a few changes based on my needs and what I had in the fridge: chicken apple sausage (coleman’s brand, whole30 compliant) instead of the pancetta, added zucchini because it was in my fridge and needed to be used up, and substituted onion powder for the onion. Came out delicious! Thanks again for the inspiration and recipe. 🙂

I love this recipe and have made it the last few years after finding it here. It’s something different, it goes with so many things, and so delicious.

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