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Favourite sweet potato dish?

I found a thread from last year (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/824137) but I wanted to see if I could get any other ideas.

I've never eaten sweet potatoes in my life. It was always one of the things on the Thanksgiving table (the other: cranberry products) I could never get myself to taste. However, my sister and boyfriend are both pretty much demanding them this year, and I'm in charge of sides.

I have no idea what's good and what isn't. BF is very country and wants the usual marshmallow crap, but I told him that wasn't happening. However... I don't know what IS happening.

What are your favourite sweet potato sides for Thanksgiving? I'm looking for something relatively simple, but not boring. Make-ahead-ability is a big plus.

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  1. the anti-marshmallow recipe: Bobby Flay's chipotle sweet potato gratin:

    5 Replies
    1. re: kerns125

      This was a big hit with my family and even my heat-averse father liked it.

      1. re: kerns125

        I've made that and everyone loved it! This is another of our favorites - I add buttered pecan pieces at the end.

        1. re: _nemo_

          That looks really good, though I might prefer Marsala to sherry.

          At a book-festival panel discussion in Nashville many years ago, I asked why Southerners find it necessary to add sugar and marshmallows to a vegetable that's sweet enough already, and wound up in a lively conversation with the Southern food scholar John Egerton and chef Nathalie Dupree, both of whom pretty much agreed with me. The defenders mostly just said that's how they'd always had them and liked them that way … My own preference is baked and seasoned, then mashed with lots of butter. Only thing I want on top is gravy.

          1. re: _nemo_

            I was going to suggest something like that, along with the pecans. One of my favorites.

          2. re: kerns125

            I'm planning to make the Bobby Flay recipe for myself this year - DH hates sweet potatoes and so does his mother, so it will be ALL MINE!!!!!!

          3. I grew up with the icky sweet marshmallow version, but just can't do that anymore. We simply nuke whole naked sweet potatoes and eat them au naturel. However, I did once make a casserole version using some o.j., bit of chipotle and nutmeg--quite good, not sweet, a touch of spice. Will stick to the plain ole baked sweet 'taters, though.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pine time

              I like to make a sweet potato and potato mash. You can use a higher ratio of one or the other, based on your preference. I toss sweet potatoes and russet (baking) potatoes in a small amount of oil, prick each once or twice with a knife and bake at 375 degrees until they are baked and soft (russets take longer than sweet potatoes). I let them cool a bit then peel and mash. The sweet potatoes have a lot of moisture to them, so sometimes nothing needs to be added, though butter is delish. Any seasonings you wish can be added, from green onions to roasted garlic, or cayenne, black pepper, salt, chipotle, fresh herbs, it's really up to you. I never add anything sweet, since the sweet potatoes are already sweet, but the addition of the russet potatoes balances that sweetness nicely. This can be done a couple of days in advance, if necessary and reheated.

              1. re: pine time

                The Japanese yam (or sweet potato) is particularly good au naturel. I peel it, cut it into chunks and steam it. They are good without further seasoning. The only down side is that the cooked color isn't the greatest. It also over roasts well.

                A well stocked Asian market may carry those plus smaller red, white, and purple 'yams'.

              2. Don't know if this is on the previous thread from last year, but my family loves this dish. I make it a day ahead, let it come up to room temp on Thanksgiving day, then bake and serve.


                1 Reply
                1. re: critter101

                  I make something similar sometimes. It is really good. It's my favorite way to eat them.

                2. Just bake them. If you want to make it a dish for a group, peel them and mash with olive oil (or butter) and salt & pepper. Simple. Delicious.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MGZ

                    Agreed! That is the way we like them- when I bake them, I pierce them a few times with a fork, and then bake them in tin foil. They are perfect- nice and dry and ready for the butter and S/P.
                    We eat them this way all year long, not just for T giving. I will admit, I have never had the sweet potato/marshmallow dish, and glad that no one in fhe family wants to add it to our menu!

                    1. I use one that has pureed sweet potatoes layered with apple slices, and everyone loves it. I made it for my son's preschool class one Thanksgiving, and all the kids loved it. I did not expect that! The teacher sent home the recipe with the kids since it was such a hit.

                      When I was growing up, my mother made a layered sliced sweet potato and apple dish every year, but I like this one better with the two textures.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                        That's one of my go-to recipes, layered with brown sugar, but without the puree.

                        Last week I cut one sweet potato into shoestrings, fried it in butter with cumin and cinnamon, salt and pepper, until soft. I'm kind of new to them as is the OP, and it's nice when simple experiments work out so well.

                        1. re: ennuisans

                          I LOVE cumin on sweet potatoes! I saute diced sweet potatoes in butter and olive oil w/ onion and sprinkle in cumin, chili powder and fresh thyme, s&p, yummmm

                      2. I love sweet potatoes pureed with celeriac.

                        1. Made these last year, fantastic


                          Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Pecan-Shallot Butter

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rasputina

                            I made this recipe yesterday with several changes though. I peeled and cut my potatoes into chunks and parboiled. I sauteed the shallots in all of the butter and then added the maple syrup, thyme and toasted pecans. I tossed the parboiled potatoes in the butter and baked in the oven. They were SO delicious and will be a regular on our holiday menu. I love that they aren't too sweet and the shallots and thyme were yummy.

                          2. Potatoes au gratin, with half the potatoes sweet, half white. For the cheese use Oka. Delicious.

                            1. We've been making Epicurious' whipped sweet potatoes with pecan topping for years. It has just enough sweetness to make the marshmallow people happy, with a very pleasing crunch that stands out on a plate of mushy dressing, turkey and mashed potatoes.

                              1. Steamed.

                                And nothing else.

                                1. I quite like sweet potato stuffing for turkey.

                                  1. I think rasputina and JungMann have captured my interest the most.... Unfortunately, I just found out my OTHER sister is bring that marshmallow garbage! No reason to make two sweet potato dishes when there is such limited space on the table.

                                    But I'll make one of these at home for BF - and maybe me, if I can get up the guts to try it! They do sound lovely.

                                    Thanks so much for all of the ideas! Maybe you guys can get me to like these things. :p

                                    1. I don't care for the overly sweet sweet potato dishes. I thought this one looked good (not that I am trying to cut back on calories for the holiday but just because it was more savory than sweet).


                                      1. I am obsessed with simple baked sweet potatoes. I scrub the skin gently and stick it in the toaster oven at 450 for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350 for another 60 minutes. The skin will be crisp and form an edible pocket around the super soft flesh of the potato.

                                        1. The friend who cooked our TG dinner offered the best "sweetened" sweet potato dish I've tasted: big chunks of the vegetable in a pan with some sort of sauce - brown sugar and whatever, but liquid - coming about halfway up. I did not notice if they were covered while cooking or not, but they were just tender enough, not ghastly sweet, and very good. I don't know if he'll spare me the recipe, but I'll ask when I have the chance.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                            That's the way they serve sweet potatoes at many of the buffet type restaurants here in Georgia. I love the simplicity and the big chunks of pure sweet potato - no goopy stuff. I don't know what is in that sauce, either. It's kind of a clear amber color.

                                          2. Either baked then topped with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon or Bombay style!

                                            Well I have to be honest, it's probably very Westernize style, but I cut the sweet potatoes into wedges like steak fries. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, onion powder, Garam masala, red chili powder, and cherry tomatoes. Let it roast 375F ~ 45 minutes. Top with chopped cilantro. Yum!

                                            1. Turkey day has come and gone but this easy fajitas sweet potato dish is a keeper. I like my sweet potatoes untouched by additional sweet ingredients: