We need to have the best sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.
November 12, 2012 10:58 AM   Subscribe

What are your best recipes for sweet potatoes?

We're not looking for mashed recipes, it should definitely not include marshmallows, and it should be something that can be prepared ahead of time and thrown in the oven for any amount of time to cook/reheat. Kid friendly would be nice, too, but not at all necessary.

posted by two lights above the sea to Food & Drink (36 answers total) 89 users marked this as a favorite
This is a mashed recipe, but you could adapt it to just pour the crunch stuff over some already-roasted sweet potatoes.

Maple-pecan-crusted sweet potato casserole

Bake or boil several sweet potatoes (or any winter squash) until soft and mashable. Mash with oil, butter or fat of choice and flavor with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Crush generous portion of pecans in a plastic baggie with a rolling pin or just your fingers. Mix with maple syrup (1:2 ratio, so 1/2 cup maple syrup to 1 cup pecans) and add cinnamon, salt and nutmeg to taste.

Put mashed sweet potatoes in a lightly oiled baking dish and spread maple syrup mixture over the top. Bake 20-30 minutes in a 325 degree oven or until maple syrup has "set."
posted by mynameisluka at 11:06 AM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Gratin. There are a few ways to do it -- more heat with chipotle, more soothing with Gruyere, maybe toss in a bit of sage or infuse the milk/cream with a bayleaf -- but it's really easy to prepare in advance, and fits fantastically on a Thanksgiving table.
posted by holgate at 11:08 AM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

Potato dominoes, made with sweet potatoes. It's just sweet potatoes and butter, and it is amazing.
posted by mchorn at 11:08 AM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Another mashed recipe, but, seriously, everything else - make ahead, yep. Kids love them. No marshmallows. People who don't like sweet potatoes love these.

I use less cream, and more apples. YUM.
posted by dpx.mfx at 11:08 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not very thanksgivingy...but I cut the potato into thinnish discs then cut those into sticks (hope that makes sense). Then toss the sweet pot fries with maybe a tablespoon or two of olive oil and good healthy lot of cinnamon. Bake about 25 min at 400...i like them to get a little crunchy. Delicious and my kids love love them. I often chop and mix them up early in the day...stores great in the fridge.
posted by orangemacky at 11:09 AM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

Easy-peasy & delicious:
• Heat oven to 350f.
• Wash sweet potatoes.
• Put thin sheen of olive oil on bottom of oven-friendly pan (casserole would be best, but sheet pans are ok, too).
• Cut sweet potatoes in half and put cut-side down into pan.
• Sprinkle backs with ground black pepper and sea salt (not tons of either - just enough to catch notes).
• Roast 45min or until soft.
• If you like, you can flip over again to roast the faces for even more flavour - just until a bit browned. No need to add pepper or salt.
• Serve in skins or spoon out. Reheats well and easily.
posted by batmonkey at 11:09 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

This takes a bit of prep beforehand, but is so worth it.

Bake as many sweet potatoes as you want. I usually do ~1 medium-small sweet potato per person, but I like leftovers. You can also microwave them or boil them. However you want to do it, just make sure you have soft sweet potatoes at the end. Mash them up with a fork or a potato masher in a large bowl, and let them cool a bit. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. You could put this into a casserole and add topping to bake it later, but let's try something else.

Add all-purpose flour and blend it in. I usually end up using about a cup for 2 potatoes, but this is a really rough guideline. Basically, add a few big spoons of flour, mix it up. Add more flour, mix it up. Continue until you think that you might have added too much flour because no WAY is it all going to mix in, and mix until it does. That's when you know you're good. Now take this dough, pull a hand-sized chunk off, and roll it into a snake that's about the diameter of your thumb. Cut off one-inch chunks and roll them off the back of a fork (like this) onto a lightly floured cookie sheet. Now you have gnocchi! These can be boiled whenever it's time for dinner. Just throw them into boiling water, wait for them to float, and scoop them out. Top with browned butter sauce or olive oil with garlic or parmesan cheese or alfredo sauce or whatever you want.

OR. Or you could take it one step further. Take your boiled gnocchi and add them to a casserole dish. Make up a simple white cheese sauce (gouda would be awesome). Pour that sauce over the sweet potatoes, top with more shredded cheese, and keep in the fridge until you're ready to bake it. Bake until browned and bubbly.
posted by specialagentwebb at 11:15 AM on November 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

I do this for Husbunny and he scarfs them right down.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes.

Peel potatoes and dice. If you want, you can buy the pre-peeled and diced potatoes from OreIda. Don't be put off by the Steam & Mash moniker on the bag. They're diced and parboiled.

If you do fresh potatoes, you can zap in the microwave for a couple of minutes to speed things up. Or not.

Coat sweet potato cubes in olive oil.

Throw on Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and cinnamon.

Roast until they are nice and brown.

You don't get the stringiness of a baked potato, or the appaling sweetness of those cassaroles. You get a crunchy, savory and sweet version of a sweet potato.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:16 AM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Wash and dice up sweet potatoes (peeled or not, your choice).
Toss in pan with diced red onion and some olive oil.
Roast at 400F for about 20 minutes. Toss a little then crumble on some goat cheese.
Roast for another 20 minutes or until sweet potato chunks are soft.

Reheats well. Leftovers can be tossed on salads cold, too.
posted by cranberry_nut at 11:17 AM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

another version of roasted sweet potatoes:
cube as described by others.
chop onions into similar sized chunks
chop garlic cloves in halves
coat with olive oil
add spices: old bay and paprika. salt and pepper. some thyme/oregano/basil if you wish.
mix so everything is coated nicely.

roast until everything is cooked through.

spices can be varied - curry is nice too. cumin. and so on.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:20 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Eggs: we made this recently and it was delicious! It was a bit of prep work, but I would definitely do it again. I'm planning to bring it to our family Thanksgiving.
posted by bwilms at 11:23 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

This Smitten Kitchen recipe for roasted sweet potato "coins" topped with goat cheese, cranberries, and pecans is excellent. It's kind of like a Thanksgiving-y bruschetta, with sweet potatoes in place of the bread.
posted by DingoMutt at 11:24 AM on November 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

These Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk are a big hit in our house.
posted by poolsidemuse at 11:25 AM on November 12, 2012

**sorry...scanned too fast and missed the "no mash" request. Oops. Maybe roast slices and top with toasted coconut?
posted by poolsidemuse at 11:26 AM on November 12, 2012

This is my favorite sweet potato recipe, well except for chipotle mashed sweet potatoes. I don't know how it would work as a Thanksgiving side dish...I think the spicy curryish flavor could be a nice counterpoint to the usual turkey and cranberries.

Ethiopian-style sweet potato stew
posted by cabingirl at 11:29 AM on November 12, 2012


I usually use canned yams. Spread them out in a casserole dish, cut them into smaller pieces if necessary. Melt half a stick of butter and drizzle over the yams. Mix some brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Stir around a little. Melt more butter and add more cinnamon and brown sugar as needed! Bake for about 30 minutes are 350. Super delicious!
posted by firei at 11:32 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sweet Potato Fritters

Boil sweet potatoes until cooked (~10 minutes). Let cool, peel, then shred the warm potato with a cheese grater or similar. Blot shredded potato with paper towels to remove moisture. Mix with one or more eggs and a small amount of flour (depending on how many sweet potatoes). Shape into flat discs (they should hold together).
Heat high-smoke-point oil in a pan and drop in fritters. Cook until browned, then flip and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels. Can be reheated in a small amount of oil - don't brown them too much.
Serve with yogurt, greek yogurt, or sour cream. You can also add cinnamon or other spices to the initial mixture. Also works with zucchini.
posted by Red Desk at 11:35 AM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

My kids love roasted sweet potatoes. See the above recipes. I am the Maker of the Sweet Potatoes every year for our family get-together. I highly recommend making them for even non-Thanksgiving meals. I think a touch of fresh garlic mixed in with the other seasonings is especially delish. I would not recommend canned anything, especially not sweet potatoes.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 11:38 AM on November 12, 2012

We make Candied Sweet Potatoes. I've looked for recipes on the web, but I'm not finding any the same way I make them.

Peel 3-6 sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch-inch chunks.
Boil until tender (don't overdo it - they'll get mushy)
Remove from heat and drain.
While the potatoes are cooking: In a separate pan, melt 1/2 stick butter and stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar*. Cook to boiling.
Pour the syrup over the drained sweet potato chunks and stir.

On the web, people have added bits of maple syrup, orange juice, cinnamon, salt and water to this syrup. Not sure it matters. My family just uses butter and brown sugar, and I usually just microwave them together.
For the cooking method, there are some that use crock pot, others that take the syruped potatoes, spread them in a baking pan or casserole and bake for 45 minutes. And lots of people who boil the potatoes whole and cut them into chunks after they are cooked.
posted by CathyG at 11:41 AM on November 12, 2012

I made a really nice soup last night out of sweet potatoes, broth, onion, rosemary, and marscapone. It was also really simple - for 4 people, it would be 2 pounds sweet potatoes, a couple shallots and a couple garlic cloves, about 6 cups of chicken broth and a half cup of marscapone; saute the sliced shallot and minced garlic until soft. Peel and cut up the sweet potatoes, and then add to the pan with the broth. Throw in a couple of whole sprigs of rosemary. Let the whole thing simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft. Then fish out the stems from the rosemary sprigs, run the whole thing through a blender or puree it with a stick blender, then put it back on the heat, add the marscapone and whisk. Heat gently until it's reheated.

if you want to make it ahead, make it to the point that you've pureed it and then refrigerate; saving the marscapone step for last.

The original recipe also called for a little maple syrup; I used a splash of apple cider instead. Either is good.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:41 AM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like my sweet potato recipes savory, not sweet. This is my favorite: sweet potato and quinoa salad. I add green onions, dried cranberries, and feta.
posted by hefeweizen at 11:57 AM on November 12, 2012

We just bake them, like russet potatoes. Easy, tasty (great with sour cream or butter and bacon) and they reheat very well.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:16 PM on November 12, 2012

Definitely not traditional, but these sweet potato and spinach enchiladas have become a staple in my house, though I use half the butter and about a quarter of the sour cream. We also only bake for about 20 minutes, because by the time you're putting it into the over all the bits are cooked already, so you just need enough time for everything to come together and the cheese to get all crusty-yum.
posted by marginaliana at 12:17 PM on November 12, 2012

These whipped sweet potatoes with brown sugar-pecan topping (similar to the first recipe posted here, but not exactly the same) are always gobbled up on Thanksgiving. They are incredible, and pretty easy to make.
posted by k8lin at 12:29 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I peel and slice into rounds, add butter and brown sugar, bake at 350 covered until done. They are candied and delicious. Never have any leftover.
posted by cairnoflore at 12:46 PM on November 12, 2012

Sweet potato crack! Peel and cube sweet potato. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and lots of minced garlic. Toss into the oven at 400 for maybe thirty minutes or so, until the potatoes are soft through, slightly crispy on the bottom, and brown on top. Amaaaaaazing. If you'd like to gild lilies, toss a little freshly shredded parmesan on it for the last ten minutes or so of cooking.
posted by MeghanC at 12:50 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am going to commit foodie sacrilege and suggest a recipe that uses canned SP: as follows: 1 lb can SP, 1 lb Jar applesauce (amounts approximate--I think the can is a little less than a pound, but you get the idea). 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, 1/2 Teaspoon ground mace (you can sub cinnamon or nutmeg--but I really like the mace) 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1 cup walnut halves and about 1/2 stick salted butter.

Dump the SP into a 9" x 9" baking dish (I prefer glass over metal as it is less reactive). Spread evenly.

Mix the applesauce, lemon juice, mace and brown sugar together until the brown sugar dissolves.

Pour the applesauce mixture over the SP. Evenly place pats of butter on top of the applesauce--approximately 2" apart, then artfully or not-so-artfully arrange the walnut halves on top as well (both on and off the butter).

Now, you can slap that in the fridge for a day or so if need be. When ready to cook, place in a 350 (f) oven for around 30 to 40 minutes--until everything is bubbling. Yum!
posted by agatha_magatha at 12:58 PM on November 12, 2012

My family loves the epicurious mashed/whipped recipe.
However, if you don't want all the fat and all the sugar, and whipping is off the table, consider Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lime Syrup and Chives.

It went over pretty well (not a clear win with my son who hates most new things on principal, but my wife and I loved it) and meets all your criteria.
posted by plinth at 1:03 PM on November 12, 2012

Not mashed but the longtime beauty-queen of our Thanksgiving Dinners:
Orange Stuff (with a nod to The Silver Palate Cookbook) It is so delicious and the color will make you crazy happy.
4 large sweet potatoes
1 lb. carrots
2.5 c. water
1 tsp. sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (or more or less...)
1/2 c. sour cream (or more)
1/2 tsp. (or more) fresh grated nutmeg

Bake sweet potatoes until nice and soft (375 for about an hour)

Cook peeled carrots (1" lengths) add water, 2 tbls. butter, sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cook until water has evaporated and carrots begin to sizzle in the butter (30 min. or so) Carrots should be quite tender.

Scrape out sweet potato flesh and combine with carrots in bowl of food processor. Add remaining butter and sour cream.

Add nutmeg and continue to blend until very smooth.

Pile into a nice bowl, top with grated nutmeg and serve warm.
posted by lois1950 at 1:13 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

This recipe pairs the sweetness with salty spice and is delicious.

2.5-3 lbs sweet potatoes cut in small chunks
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
few pinches ground black pepper
1 Tbsp mild miso (eg: barley or brown rice miso)
1/2 Tbsp water
1-1.5 tsp mild curry paste

Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl toss the sweet potatoes with oil, salt, pepper. Transfer to baking sheet. In another bowl mix the miso with the water and curry paste until well combined, then stir in olive oil and set aside. (do not add to sweet potatoes yet) Roast the sweet potatoes for roughly 45 mins, tossing once or twice throughout, until they are nearly cooked. Remove from oven and coat with the miso/curry paste. Return to oven and roast for another 5 mins until nicely browned.
posted by sadtomato at 1:17 PM on November 12, 2012

Okay, this isn't at all cook-ahead, but if you're feeling adventurous I just want to suggest doing tempura-fried sweet potato. I had satsumaimo (a mildly sweet potato) tempura and it was one of the most delicious things I've ever had.
posted by that girl at 1:24 PM on November 12, 2012

I love this recipe for sweet potato and bean burritos. I sub black beans for the kidney beans in the recipe. The burritos freeze and reheat really nicely as well.
posted by rachums at 2:53 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like to take a medium sweet potato and peel, dice and toss in olive oil and then toss in a herb/parmesan mixture which is something like the below (I just guess the quantities a lot of the time):

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan
Shake or two of dried parsley, thyme, garlic salt, onion flakes
Fresh ground pepper

Roast for approx 40 mins until delicious.
posted by latch24 at 3:35 PM on November 12, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all the amazing recipes! We're going to go with the gratin for Thanksgiving, because HOLY CRAP! I know my family will love it, as we are cheese fiends. We'll definitely be trying some of the others down the road, too. Thanks again!
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:49 PM on November 12, 2012

Google Ellie Krieger's nutty sweet potato soup. It's fabulous. Healthy, rich and full of flavor, with peanut butter and red pepper. Yum.
posted by purenitrous at 7:07 PM on November 12, 2012

This is what I do I'm cooking for myself or just a few people, so it's probably not very good for Thanksgiving:

Crank oven to 400 or 450. Wash potatoes, keep them whole and coat them in olive oil. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt (Alton Brown fans probably see where this is going). Bake about one hour directly on rack.

When done plate them and slice them open like a traditional baked potato. Top them with butter, sprinkle with ground cayenne pepper and brown sugar.

Kind of starchy, a little sweet--but not too sweet and some kick.
posted by sourwookie at 7:54 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

« Older I am feeling very unsettled. What should I do?   |   Help assuage my concerns about my little old car! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.