Many Thanksgiving tables are graced with sweet potato dishes that could stand in for dessert, with their sugary marshmallow and streusel toppings and sweet spices. These preparations balance the potatoes’ inherent sweetness with more savory ingredients.

chococat steams sweet potatoes until soft; while they cook, he cooks chopped bacon until the fat renders and the bacon is crisp, and removes the bacon, then sautés finely chopped shallots in the bacon fat until caramelized, adding a bit of smoked paprika at the end. Mash the cooked potatoes with the shallots and bacon, and add butter, salt and pepper, and brown sugar to taste. magiesmom steams sweet potatoes and mashes them with sautéed apples, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and a good amount of pepper.

Bobby Flay’s sweet potato gratin with smoked chiles, which is simply made from sweet potatoes, cream, and a chipotle chile, is delicious, says boredough. Scalloped sweet potatoes in lemon-ginger cream sauce are the best ever, declares lexpatti. Prosciutto-wrapped, maple syrup–glazed sweet potatoes are “very tasty and simple,” says JudiAU; see a video demonstration here.

Discuss: Sweet potatoes: your BEST!

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