The first thing everyone reaches for on my Thanksgiving table is not the turkey or even that green bean side dish. My melting sweet potatoes are everyone's favorite side dish! The potatoes are delicately crisp on the outside and fluffy and velvet-like on the inside. You can serve them with maple pecan sauce, or plain--they're great either way!
These oven roasted sweet potatoes are my favorite part of my small Thanksgiving for two menu.
The business of making a starch melt in your mouth is actually quite simple. The only technique required is roasting in the oven with butter. A long time ago, we stopped drizzling things with melted butter before roasting in the oven. Also a long time ago, oven fries died.
I'm not sure when oil became the only acceptable thing with which to roast, but its heyday has come and gone in my kitchen.
I love neutral oils as much as the next chick, but golden brown and crispy, it does not make my starches. Ergo, I'm back to the butter.
- Sweet Potatoes. We need two pounds of fresh sweet potatoes. You can double this recipe and use two roasting pans and 4 pounds of sweet potatoes. I reach for the orange variety, and please note that I have not tested this recipe with any other variety of sweet potato. If you do, let us all know in the comments.
- Butter. Yes, we really need a half stick of butter. We're roasting in all butter today, which is key for the texture of these melting sweet potatoes.
- Salt. A pinch of sea salt before roasting brings out the sweetness of the tubers.
Optional Maple Pecan Sauce Ingredients:
- Maple Syrup. I commonly reach for grade B maple syrup because I love the smokiness, but anything you have is fine. However, please don't use pancake syrup with imitation maple flavor.
- Pecans. Chopped pecans that have been toasted gently in a skillet or low oven until they smell very fragrant.
How to Make Melting Sweet Potatoes:
- First, peel and chop your sweet potatoes into 1" round disks. For Thanksgiving, I would use slightly less than one pound of sweet potatoes per person. As a side dish to a meal, I would plan on one pound per person.
2. Spread the disks on a roasting pan, making sure they are not touching. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter per pound of sweet potatoes, and drizzle it on top.
3. Toss the slices together with the butter.
4. Spread them back out in an even layer, not touching. If you're making the wet pecan sauce, add a small sprinkle of salt. If not, add ¼ teaspoon of salt per pound.
5. After roasting for 20 minutes at 425, flip each melting sweet potato disk over. They will be nice and golden brown on the first side. It will be hard to resist eating one, but just you wait--they're going to get even better.
6. After 20 minutes roasting on the other side, they look like this. Which is glorious, in case you couldn't tell.
I kinda sorta forgot to take photos of the wet pecan sauce, but it's very simple.
- Gather your ¼ cup of chopped pecans and ¼ cup of maple syrup per pound of sweet potatoes.
- Bring the maple syrup to a boil in a small pan. Add the chopped pecans. Bring it back to a boil, then cook for 1 minute, and you're done!
You can use all of the sauce for the melting sweet potatoes, but I think the recipe makes a bit much. (I didn't want you to be lacking on the big day).
The pecans do get softer and softer the longer they sit in the maple syrup, so try to use it up in 2 days.
Drizzle it over the melting sweet potato disks, and serve with a smile.
These melting sweet potatoes are so good that I made them 3 times in one week. The texture of the sweet potatoes indeed is like velvet. I love them on top of Buddha Bowls for lunch, and with fried eggs for breakfast. Yes, they are that good.
And we haven't even talked about the sauce. I made a wet pecan sauce to top them for your Thanksgiving festivities. It's entirely optional, but when you see that it only has 2 ingredients and comes together in 7 minutes, you won't be one to opt out.
- 2 pounds of sweet potatoes
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the maple pecan sauce:
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 425. Have ready a roasting pan.
- Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into 1" thick slices, and scatter them on the roasting pan, not touching.
- Melt the butter, and drizzle it on top of the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle on the salt. Toss to coat, and then redistribute on the pan in a single layer, not touching.
- Roast for 20 minutes.
- Flip with tongs, and roast for another 20 minutes.
- The potatoes are done when they're golden brown and crisp, and the insides are light and fluffy.
- To make the maple pecan sauce: bring the maple syrup to a boil in a small sauce pan.
- Add the pecans.
- Wait for the sauce to come back to a boil, cook for 1 minute, and then remove from heat.
- Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 505Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 352mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 9gSugar: 40gProtein: 6g