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25 Sweet Potato Recipes for Thanksgiving That Go Beyond Marshmallows

Turkey might be the leading lady of the Thanksgiving spread (she’s big, bold and about to occupy your oven for most of the afternoon), but we all know the side dishes are where the excitement is. Chief among them is the sweet potato. Sure, it’s usually relegated to a dessert-like casserole topped with literal candy, and sure, we usually only take a scoop “to be polite,” but let’s make 2022 the year we show these spuds some respect. From cheesy gratin to velvety soup and even a riff on melting potatoes, here are 25 sweet potato recipes for Thanksgiving that are guaranteed to spice things up.

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1. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sriracha and Lime

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian

Roasted sweet potatoes? Been there, done that. But by adding a simple lime-sriracha glaze before they go into the oven, you can reinvent the standard side dish. (They’re pretty spicy, so adjust the heat to your preference.)

2. Grilled Sweet Potatoes with a Dilly Dip

While the oven is burnishing a bird and the stovetop is reserved for gravy (and mashed potatoes, and corn), light up your grill and toss those ’taters on the grates. They’ll have a smoky flavor and gorgeous caramelization, and you can swap the dill dip for an easy lemon-yogurt sauce.

3. Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chickpeas and Yogurt Sauce

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, gluten free, <500 calories

We normally treat this vegetarian number as a light main course, but you can easily serve it as a side for more guests. It’s low-fuss and requires minimal prep—exactly what we want in a Thanksgiving dish.

4. Sweet Potato Crostini

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, gluten free

While you’ll likely serve sweet potatoes at the main even, don’t forget appetizers. These crostini can be topped two ways: cranberry-almond or smoked salmon. (Who even needs crackers?)

5. Sweet Potato Rösti with Fried Eggs and Greens

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: dairy free, ready in <30 minutes, gluten free, kid-friendly

Skip the egg topper and serve these rösti like you would potato fritters or latkes. They’re vegan, gluten free, and can be dipped in just about anything, from sour cream to cranberry sauce.

6. Sweet Potato, Tomato, Kale and Halloumi Sheet Tray

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, sheet pan recipe

If you want to make a gorgeous side, but don't really feel like cooking any more food (it happens), look no further than this sheet pan delight. You just chop up a few vegetables, toss it on a tray and bake (and then pat yourself on the back for working smart, not hard).

7. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients, vegan, gluten free

Are we suggesting you add fries to your holiday menu? Yes, we absolutely are. These are baked instead of fried, and seasoned with garlic and rosemary, so they’re practically classy.

8. Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

If sweet vegetables paired with a sweet topping—we’re looking at you, marshmallows—isn’t your thing, lean savory with this spicy-smoky mash. While it’s bursting with flavor, it actually comes together with just five ingredients.

9. Crispy Smashed Chili Sweet Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, sheet pan recipe

We try not to play favorites, but if there’s a crispy potato option, we’ll always choose it over creamy. These spuds fit the bill, plus they’re topped with chili garlic sauce and feta to take things over the top.

10. Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar Topping

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, gluten free, one pan

These spuds are crowned with a four-ingredient streusel that’s oh so easy to make—and dangerously addictive. You’ve been warned.

11. Sweet Potato and Rosemary Gratin

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, <10 ingredients, gluten free, vegetarian

Would you believe us if we told you this stunning side dish requires just seven ingredients to make? It’s true, and the technique is easy to pick up too. Using buttermilk instead of cream adds a welcome tang to balance the sweetness.

12. Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Roasted Garlic and Crispy Herbed Bacon-Panko Topping

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients, make ahead

We love that this casserole combines sweet and savory, and we’ll never say no to a crispy panko topping (or bacon). Even better, you can make it ahead and reheat the day of your holiday celebration.

13. Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, vegetarian

The brown butter is key to giving this sweet potato dish rich, nutty flavor. Never tried the technique? Follow our helpful how-to here.

14. Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, one pan

Look, Aunt Janet is expecting a classic sweet potato casserole, so don’t let her down. Jocelyn Delk Adams’s version features a buttery streusel topping and luscious creamy potatoes (plus those iconic ’mallows) to please the whole table.

15. Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Honey-Balsamic Glaze

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, dairy free, gluten free

Combining two vegetable sides into one dish? If you’re cooking, you write the rules. The sweet and tangy glaze pairs beautifully with both the charred sweet potatoes and tender Brussels sprouts.

16. Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Labneh

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: gluten free, vegetarian

Lemon zest labneh is the ultimate creamy, cooling foil to these sweet and slightly spicy spuds. You’ll make it yourself with strained Greek yogurt, but you can also use store-bought to save time.

17. Vegan Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan, gluten free, dairy free

This velvety soup gets its creamy texture from the sweet potatoes, so there’s no dairy involved. It gets plenty of zing from a hefty piece of ginger, but you can reduce the amount for a mellower final result.

18. Melting Sweet Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, gluten free

You’ve heard of the internet sensation, “melting potatoes,” now meet their candied cousin. These sweet potato coins are impossibly soft and tender because they’re roasted with stock in the sheet pan—the maple syrup glaze is just gilding the lily.

19. Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, special occasion–worthy

Sure, they’re creamy and caramelized from the double bake, but they’re also hiding a ton of feta cheese and thyme for flavor.

20. Spiral Sweet Potato Bake

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, <10 ingredients, gluten free, crowd-pleaser

Behold a casserole that’s as eye-catching as it is delicious. To make it look as neat as possible, look for long, evenly shaped sweet potatoes so the slices will be as even as possible.

21. Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

The Thanksgiving menu isn’t known for being particularly vegan-friendly, but you can totally change that. This dish gets its creaminess from canned coconut milk, and even omnivores will enjoy it.

22. Roasted Pear and Sweet Potato Gratin

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, Mediterranean, gluten free

Even if you ditch the marshmallows, roasting your sweet potatoes in the oven will bring out their natural sweetness. Crumbled gorgonzola balances the flavors at the end.

23. Easy Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Pecan Topping

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, beginner-friendly, gluten free

This six-ingredient side dish is designed to save you time and effort on the big day. Use ready-made candied nuts and prep your sweet potatoes a few days ahead for less stress.

24. Candied Yams with Honey and Brown Sugar

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Sophisticated and sweet potatoes were never in the same sentence together, until now. They’re glazed in honey, spices and plenty of black pepper for a little kick. (Psst: In most U.S. grocery stores, there’s no distinction between what’s labeled as yams or sweet potatoes. Pick what pleases you most.)

25. Sweet Potato Soup

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, gluten free, beginner-friendly

This creamy soup is layered with flavor from aromatics like garlic and shallot, plus red pepper flakes and lime juice to brighten it up. (The accompanying garlic bread is optional, but it could also be a new holiday tradition if you let it.)

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Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.