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5 Ways to Jazz Up Sweet Potatoes This Year

Three different sets of baked, sliced sweet potatoes
Half Baked Harvest/Evolving Table/Half Baked Harvest

Tired of making the same old sweet potatoes every year? It’s surprisingly easy to give this holiday favorite a new lease on life. So if it’s time to switch things up, we have just the tips and recipes for you!

The traditional way of preparing a sweet potato side usually involves softening or mashing the potatoes, and then topping them with a sweet, sticky marshmallow layer. If you’ve grown a bit bored with this method, it’s easy to change things up. There are lots of ways you can cook those potatoes and different flavors you can add for a whole new twist

Whether you like crispy or soft, sweet or spicy, these sweet potato recipes are sure to be a hit on any holiday table.

Crispy Parmesan Thyme Sweet Potato Stacks

Several stacks of sliced, roasted sweet potatoes
Half-Baked Harvest

Skip the sweet, sticky casserole and feel like a gourmet chef with these Crispy Parmesan Thyme Sweet Potato Stacks. Instead of roasting, boiling, or mashing the potatoes, these are thinly sliced. Then, you just stack them together with layers of butter, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, and parmesan.

Baked in a simple cupcake or muffin pan, they’re a flavorful, savory alternative to the typical sweet casserole you’re used to. Make them for the holidays, or any time of year.

Chili Baked Sweet Potato Fries

A tray of chili-coated sweet potato fries; a white plate filled with the same fries
Joy the Baker

If you prefer your sweet potatoes with a little kick, these Chili Baked Sweet Potato Fries are for you. The secret to these delicious potato wedges is the preparation method. You soak the peeled and cut fries before seasoning them to remove some of the starch, which prevents them from getting nice and crispy.

The outside is then drizzled with a blend of olive oil and Worcestershire sauce, and then seasoned with a savory, spicy chili blend. Baked in the oven, they’re a flavor-packed alternative to super-sweet potatoes or plain fries.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Brûlée

An overhead view of a sugar-topped sweet potato casserole; a hand sprinkling sugar on top

Prefer your sweet potatoes sweet, but don’t love the classic marshmallow topping? Try Mashed Sweet Potatoes Brûlée for a subtler sweet fix. It’s a relatively simple recipe that starts out with mashed sweet potatoes mixed with a bit of butter, milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

The “brûlée” part comes at the end with a topping of brown sugar, heated under the broiler until it caramelizes. It’s still a toasty, gooey sweet potato casserole, it just has a French twist.

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Sliced sweet potatoes with cinnamon and pecan topping
Evolving Table

Another alternative that puts the “sweet” in sweet potatoes is this Hasselback recipe. They look incredibly fancy but are much simpler to make than they seem. Their beautiful appearance comes from how they’re sliced. You slice them most of the way through, but with a small bit left on the bottom, so they fan out as they bake.

Then, you coat them with a cinnamon, sugar, and oil “sauce,” and add some chopped pecans at the end. This method is a great way to get both the sweetness of a traditional casserole, along with the crispiness of a slice-and-bake method.

Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Maple Butter

Sweet potato slices topped with sauce and pecan pieces
Half-Baked Harvest

These Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Maple Butter take the humble sweet potato and turn it into a delicious gourmet dish. You start by cutting your sweet potatoes into medium-thick rounds, and then you roast them until they’re just crisp enough to provide some texture.

It’s the toppings that really make this recipe shine, though. You drizzle a homemade bourbon maple butter over them, along with some cayenne-tossed pecans for a hint of crunch and spice. The result is a memorable side dish that goes way beyond the simple sweet potato of old.

Sweet potatoes are definitely one of the side dishes everyone will expect to see on your holiday table, but that doesn’t mean you have to serve them the same old way. Surprise everyone with one of these delightful twists on the classic sweet potato casserole—just be prepared to share your secrets.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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