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There are two kinds of people: people who wants their sweet potatoes, well, sweet, and those who want them savory. Miraculously, this recipe manages to satisfy both camps. A pepper-infused, buttery maple glaze coats fat wedges of sweet potato and petals of caramelized shallot. These are then showered with cayenne- and lime-flecked candied pecans (which could also live happily on a cheese or grazing board). This elegant dish is a perfect addition to a Thanksgiving sideboard, or as a side for a dinner party. It’s all but guaranteed that at least one person will ask for the recipe. And if there is one thing to take away from this dish to replicate for a weeknight dinner is that a dusting of lime zest on roasted sweet potatoes brings on a delicious vibrancy to repeat over and over again. Shopping tip: Look for long, skinny sweet potatoes so the wedges aren’t too thick.


Credit: Victor Protasio

Recipe Summary

45 mins
15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together pecans, cayenne, several grinds of pepper, ¼ cup syrup, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until bubbling and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to prepared baking sheet; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon lime zest and stir, spreading mixture into an even layer. Let cool for about 15 minutes (pecans will be sticky). Wipe saucepan clean; set aside.

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss sweet potatoes, shallots, oil, several grinds of pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Turn potatoes so 1 cut side faces down. Bake until almost tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, make glaze: Cook butter, several grinds of pepper, and remaining ¼ cup syrup and ½ teaspoon salt in cleaned saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until mixture is foaming and butter melts, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Drizzle glaze over potato-shallot mixture and gently stir to coat. Return to oven and bake until potatoes are glazed and tender when pierced with a fork, 8 to 10 minutes. Top with pecans and remaining 1 teaspoon lime zest before serving.


Prepare pecans up to 1 day in advance and store at room temperature, loosely wrapped in parchment paper.