The Basics: How to Make Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes bust into the seasonal American diet in a big way every year at Thanksgiving. Below, you'll find a handful of recipes appropriate for the Thanksgiving buffet (and other holiday tables), but first, an easily memorized formula for the simplest sweet potato side ever: diced, tossed with a little oil, seasoning, and brown sugar. You roast them in a hot oven till they're brown, and serve; few dishes are as satisfying in their simplicity.

For 8 servings, you'll need:

  • a large bowl
  • a baking sheet
  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 packed tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (it will take at least 20 minutes to warm up) and arrange a rack in the upper third.

    Scrub the sweet potatoes and cut them into large, even pieces.

    Place the sweet potatoes in the bowl, add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, two large pinches of salt, a generous pinch of black pepper, and the brown sugar. Mix until the sweet potatoes are evenly coated.

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    Dump the sweet potatoes onto the baking sheet and spread them in an even layer. Place them in the oven.

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    Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are lightly browned and roasty looking. They're ready to serve.

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    RECIPES

    Sweet Potato Casserole

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    The Thanksgiving side almost every American grew up with is shockingly easy to make—and satisfyingly simple to get right, without cooking the yams to mush or ending up with something sweet enough to serve as dessert. As with most things on Thanksgiving, simpler is better. Get our Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.

    Sweet Potatoes Anna

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    Pommes Anna is a delightful French dish made with regular potatoes. We riffed a little, to produce a dressed-up sweet potato dish that’s crunchy, fun, and not too sweet. Chopped, brown-sugared walnuts from the topping, above yams tossed with butter, maple syrup, orange zest, and cinnamon. Get our Sweet Potatoes Anna recipe.

    Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole with Bourbon

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    Flavor-rich Garnet sweet potatoes are mashed, mixed with bourbon, butter, ornage zest, cinnamon, and a little milk, then spread in a dish. On top: a streusel topping of brown sugar, butter, and pecans. Get our Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole with Bourbon recipe.

    Sweet Potato Biscuits

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    Frankly, the best of both worlds at Thanksgiving: the flavor and color of mashed sweet potatoes, fused into tender baking powder biscuits. If you’re cooking Thanksgiving for a small crowd, serve mashed potatoes and these, which take the place of Parker House rolls and baked sweet potatoes. Remember to serve with plenty of butter. Get our Sweet Potato Biscuits recipe.

    Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

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    Sweet potatoes are baked, scooped, then stuffed back into their shells, after being mashed with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and, of course, butter. The topping is a crisp and nutty topping of chopped pecans, and the jackets of the sweet potatoes are delicious (and full of fiber) in their own right. Get our Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes recipe.

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