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.
A small Thanksgiving: Melting Sweet Potatoes (with Maple-Pecan Sauce)
These melting sweet potatoes topped with pecans and maple syrup are a delicious side dish everyone will love.
- 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
Just did a dry run of this recipe to make sure it was good enough for Thanksgiving Day! I get tired of reading a thousand reviews, then having whatever it is not even be edible! Well, this was NOT the case with these little yummies! Such an easy recipe to whip up, and so very tasty! I will most definitely be adding this to the menu for our family dinner. I didn't want to make one of those marshmallow covered "dessert" concoctions. We'll save the sweets for dessert. Thanks for sharing!
Looks really good. Will try for Easter
Ed Burghard says
Gave it a try. My potatoes did not crisp up, but they looked yummy none-the-less. Have to take to a dinner party. I poured a little maple syrup over each disk. I plan to reheat them in an oven and add pecan pieces to each after heating. ????
Christina Lane says
Hi Ed! This happened to me once when the pan was too crowded. Do you think that's why they didn't crisp up?
These are incredible! I added some Bourbon to the maple and pecans syrup, even better.
Christina Lane says
I'm so glad, Michele :)
can i make these a day ahead and reheat and they will have to travel a couple of hours.
Christina Lane says
Yes, I think so. Just place them in a warm oven. If you're worried about them browning too much, wrap them in foil to reheat gently in the oven.
I tried these out. The potatoes are lovely, but that maple pecan sauce is devine! Seriously,I have no words for how delicious that was.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
I made these this past weekend to use up a sad-looking, almost-time-to-throw-out sweet potato. They were really easy, tasted very good, and it was honestly one of the 1st times I didn't end up with burnt sweet potatoes. I have a knack for burning whatever I cook. I didn't make the maple-pecan sauce, since I decided to cook potatoes on a whim and didn't have pecans in my pantry, but I did hit them with a little bit of just plain maple syrup. Delicious!
Adriana Celko says
I saw the picture of these on your Instagram and immediately knew I had to make them for Thanksgiving dinner. They are SO FREAKING GOOD! They are so sweet and delicious even without the sauce! Thanks for the great recipe!
Kylie Ferguson Solis says
This recipe also works great for the purple Japanese sweet potatoes. It was so good, even without the sauce.
Wow!! Just made these for Thanksgiving!!!!! Made a few additions - cinnamon to the sauce & before topping with the sauce I broiled mini marshmallows on the slices. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks so much!!!!