26 sweet potato sides, from mashed to Ottolenghi-fied

They're perfect for your Thanksgiving menu — or just dinner tonight

Published November 12, 2021 3:00PM (EST)

 (Julia Gartland / Food52)
(Julia Gartland / Food52)

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Whether you like your sweet potatoes snow-capped with marshmallows or as savory as these orange tubers can be, there's no doubt that a sweet potato side dish belongs on your Thanksgiving menu. We've broken it down by texture — mashed, roasted, pancake-ified, you name it — so you're one step closer to deciding how you want to present these crowd-pleasers.

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Casseroles and bakes

1. Sweet Potato Casserole With Brown Sugar Fluff

Homemade (brown! sugar!) fluff is marshmallow with more sass, and gives you the opportunity to add some dramatic swooshes to this traditional casserole.

2. Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock's Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole meets pecan pie in this rendition from Southern cooking legends Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock.

3. Sweet Potato Bake

Cinnamon and orange gives this baked dish zip. Freeze it, unbaked, so it's ready to go in the oven on the day of the feast.

4. Individual Sweet Potato Gratins with Creme Fraiche, Onions and Bacon

Whether you make this as individual dishes or double (or triple) it for a group, this savory gratin — which still tips its hat to American tradition with the inclusion of brown sugar — won our Best Potato Gratin recipe contest.

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Roasted (kinda)

5. Sweet Potatoes Roasted in Coconut Oil

A simple, riffable way to serve sweet potatoes without overthinking it.

6. Orange Cardamom Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Make this orange cardamom salt blend once, then use it for any manner of dishes, like these Thanksgiving-ready sweet potatoes.

7. Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Apples, and Pearl Onions with Crispy Sage

An autumnal medley that's just as good on a festive table as it is any other night.

8. Nduja-Brown Butter Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Chives

This recipe is more involved than your set-it-and-forget-it variety in that you have to toss the potatoes frequently so the 'nduja doesn't burn, but it is a million percent worth the extra fuss.

9. "Ottolenghi-Fied" Sweet Potatoes

There are simple roast potatoes, and there are Ottolenghi-fied ones, supercharged with Middle Eastern ingredients like tahini and pomegranate molasses.

10. Sweet Potatoes with Orange Bitters

. . . And if you're after sweet potatoes from Ottolenghi himself, look no further.

11. Spiced Peanut Sweet Potato Salad, from Deliciously Ella

This is a "salad" insofar as it is a mix of ingredients with different textures in a dressing. Semantics aside, it makes for one excellent, hearty side dish.

12. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Merguez, Persimmon, and Za'atar Yogurt

Persimmon and parsley bring freshness to this side. If you can't get your hands on persimmon in time (or if it doesn't ripen in time!), you can skip it and it will be just as good.

13. Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Crème Fraîche from Nik Sharma

A (lime) zesty side dish recipe with a streamlined steaming-roasting technique you can do in one pan.

14. (Sweet) Patatas Bravas

An iconic Spanish tapas dish, Thanksgiving-ified by swapping regular potatoes for sweet.

See Also: A Roasted Sweet Potato Matrix

See how recipe whiz Emma Laperruque got creative with simple roast potatoes for some inspiration on how you can add your own spin, from cacio e pepe to saucy caramel.

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Mashes (and hashes)

15. Spicy and Sweet Potato Colcannon with Pancetta

This not-so-traditional Irish colcannon just so happens to be perfect for Thanksgiving (and for sneaking in some greens if kids are around).

6. Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This vegan sweet potato mash relies on coconut milk for richness and ginger adds warmth. Fresh chiles, or red Thai curry paste, would be welcome additions.

17. Sweet Potato and Parsnip Mash

A root vegetable mash that's enlivened with just enough horseradish to, as recipe author hardlikearmour puts it, "add interest but not clear the sinuses."

18. Mashed Maple Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

A bit of Canada and a bit of Mexico meet in this great North American side. Let your microwave help you here if the oven and stove are busy with other dishes.

19. Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Crème Fraîche and Herbs

Sweet potatoes take a distinctly savory turn here with garlic, Parmesan, and thyme.

20. Ciabatta Stuffing with Chorizo, Sweet Potato, and Mushrooms

Not technically a hash, but what's more Thanksgiving than stuffing? (Don't answer that.)

21. Tempeh and Sweet Potato Hash

Make this dish for Thanksgiving, or use sweet potato leftovers to make it the next day.

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22. Sweet Potato Parsnip Latkes with Feta And Leeks

Are these an appetiser or a side? Unclear, but we'll never say no to a latke and her sisters, wherever they show up in the meal.

23. Sweet Potato Maple Hash Browns

Why limit hash browns to breakfast? Invite them to the Thanksgiving table and nobody will be upset.

24. Sweet Potato and Manchego Tortilla with Coriander Mojo

This is a mighty side, or potential main, for vegetarian feasts.

25. Maple Sweet Potato Cakes with Curried Greek Yogurt

Sensing a theme? Maple and sweet potato, in any form, pair together like a charm.

26. Miso, Ginger, and Scallion-Crusted Sweet Potatoes

If your sweet potatoes are particularly large, this side dish recipe is ideal–and it serves up to 8 as a side.

By Nikkitha Bakshani

MORE FROM Nikkitha Bakshani

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Casseroles Food Food52 Holidays Side Dishes Sweet Potatoes Thanksgiving