Our version of this holiday season classic pairs creamy vanilla-scented sweet potato mash with a crave-worthy crunchy topping of pecans and brown sugar. The pièce de résistance? A crowning layer of flaky coconut that bakes up golden and super crisp. Using sweetened shredded coconut is traditional, but if you’re looking to try something a little different (and cut out a bit of the sugar in the dish) unsweetened flaked coconut tastes great and looks dramatic, too. If the topping begins to brown too quickly before the rest of the dish has warmed through, just protect it with a tent of foil.
A little bit sweet and a little bit savory, this genius update on a classic sweet potato casserole forgoes the usual sticky marshmallow topping for something infinitely more grownup and craveable. A generous flurry of salty Parmesan gets roasted into peeled and sliced sweet potatoes seasoned with salt and black pepper, and then the whole mixture is topped with a mixture of brown sugar, pecan, thyme and cayenne pepper. Nutty, crunchy, sweet, and spicy—what's not to love? If you'd like to play around, try substituting toasted almonds or walnuts for pecans, or for a little more heat, add an extra pinch of cayenne.
Sometimes the simplest holiday sides are the ones we return to again and again. Like this delicious combination of cubed sweet potatoes, slicked with butter, ground ginger, and nutmeg, and roasted until golden and tender. The warm spices fill your kitchen with delightful scents and imbue the dish with the classic flavors of fall. Best of all, the whole thing requires less than 5 minutes of prep time and can be made entirely on one baking sheet—which means fewer dishes for you to worry about washing. Pair the potatoes with roast chicken (or turkey!) and a green salad, and you have an autumn supper the family will ask for over and over.
Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Lime and Cilantro
Give simple sliced sweet potatoes some tropical flair by seasoning them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a flurry of fresh lime zest before sending them into a piping hot oven to roast until golden and crispy. Once they’re done, double up on the citrus flavor by drizzling them with a shot of lime juice and sprinkling them with a pile of bright cilantro leaves. Just remember to give the slices plenty of room while they’re roasting: crowd them too much, and they’ll steam instead of getting crunchy and golden. Serve them plain—or, perhaps, with a dash of hot sauce for some extra kick.
Side dishes don’t come any simpler—or more delicious—than this one. Just split a few sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, season them with salt and pepper, and roast them cut side down on a baking sheet until they’re tender at the center. Then flip the halves over, pile them with a generous pinch of grated cheese—and pop them under the broiler for a few minutes more, until they emerge from the oven molten and golden. Any salty, easily shreddable, firm to semi-firm cheese will work well here, but we’re partial to the combination of Parmesan and Fontina, which lends the dish a deeply creamy, savory bite.
Some ingredients are just destined to go together—like, for instance, earthy, roasted sweet potatoes and dark, sweet maple syrup. As the main players in this easy but flavorful side dish, they nod to the classic flavors of a traditional marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole, but in one simple dish (and with much less sugar). The method couldn’t be more straightforward. Just bake the potatoes until tender, then mash them along with a few glugs of syrup, plenty of butter, and the secret ingredient: tart, rich, sour cream. A final flurry of nutmeg adds a warm, spicy note and brings the whole combination together.
Looking for a foolproof holiday season side dish that is seriously hands off? We’ve found a winner for you. These gently-spiced sweet potato wedges require nothing more from you than a few slices with a sharp knife and a toss with some pantry staples before being shepherded onto a baking sheet and into a hot oven for a nice, long roast. When they emerge an hour later, perfectly golden brown, extra crispy, and just the right amount of savory-sweet, all that’s left for you to do is pile them onto a platter and serve them with a smile.
Don’t let its reputation intimidate you: making risotto from scratch isn’t nearly as laborious a process as it's often made out to be. And, with results this delicious, the little effort you do have to put in is more than worth it. Here, golden cubes of sweet potato are sautéed with fragrant garlic before adding Arborio rice and stock, and stirring until creamy. But don’t worry about exhausting your arm: while you do have to attend to the risotto now and then, you only need to stir occasionally, not constantly, for the 30 minute cook time. Then, stir in some grated Parmesan and a pinch of oregano and pow! You’re done.
Call it what you want: scalloped potatoes, potato gratin, potatoes dauphinoise—this decadent and deliciously creamy casserole of sliced potatoes and cream is a staple on holiday season tables year after year for good reason. But maybe this time you want to switch things up just a bit? Why not try swapping out your usual spuds for the sweet variety? Garlic, butter, and cream work their usual magic, while a pinch of fresh thyme leaves lend a note of herby freshness. Just remember to give your dish plenty of time to bake uncovered before serving: everyone knows the crusty bits are the best bits!
Mustardy Kale Salad With Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple
Can’t imagine a Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes on the table—but looking for a lighter preparation than the usual candy-coated casserole this year? This eye-catching and crisp fall salad might just be the answer. Sunny sweet potatoes get cubed and roasted until lightly golden and tender, before getting tossed with a tangy mustard vinaigrette, dark frilly kale, tart red apples, and crunchy almonds. One helpful tip: Gently rubbing or “massaging” the kale leaves with a bit of the dressing before assembling the mixture will help tenderize the tough greens and make sure that the flavor of the vinaigrette is distributed evenly.