Maple-Pecan Roasted Sweet Potatoes are the spicy-sweet side dish your holiday (or weeknight dinner!) spread needs. This recipe features roasted sweet potato slices tossed in cinnamon maple-butter and topped with spicy-sweet pecan praline. Sweet potatoes have never been this decadently delicious!
Why You'll Love these Roasted Sweet Potatoes
These roasted sweet potatoes are an elegant, delicious, and fun alternative to classic sweet potato sides. Unlike cloyingly-sweet sweet potato casseroles, these spuds come equipped with a spicy, savory edge. (Read: no marshmallows in sight!). Not that I have against the classic casserole, but I find that it veers more on the side of dessert.
These spuds are roasted in cinnamon-spiced maple butter and topped with a spicy-sweet pecan praline. The praline has a touch of cinnamon and cayenne to double down on the depth of flavor. There's also roasted shallots in the mix to build a more savory backbone.
This recipe makes a fantastic holiday side dish, however it's simple enough to serve on any given weeknight, too. It pairs well with roasted turkey or ham, pork roast, chicken, or a hearty vegetarian entree. It's also packed with good-for-you nutrients like vitamin A, magnesium, and fiber.
Recipe Ingredients and Substituions:
- Sweet Potatoes: AKA nature’s candy and a must-have on my holiday table! Sweet potatoes pair deliciously with maple, pecans, and savory spices. Plus, they’re an excellent source of eye-healthy vitamin A, and fiber. You need 2 lbs of sweet potatoes for this recipe, which amounts to roughly 4 medium sweet potatoes.
- Maple Syrup: I love how the deep flavor of maple syrup adds more dimension to this dish. Maple syrup is also more nutrient dense and antioxidant-rich than most other sweetness. It's particularly high in minerals like manganese and zinc.
- Oil + Butter: Using a mix of oil and butter keeps the saturated fat in check while still adding quintessential richness. If making the dish vegan/dairy free, you can swap the butter for a plant-based buttery spread. My personal favorite is Miyoko's brand.
- Spices: A mix of cinnamon and cayenne pepper balance the honeyed sweetness of sweet potatoes, rendering a more balanced side dish.
- Pecans: There's no better match for creamy roasted sweet potatoes than crunchy pecans. You can also use walnuts here, which add even more richness.
Step 1: Prepare Pecan Praline Mixture
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a small baking sheet or plate with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Combine pecans, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-high until bubbly and thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Pour onto parchment paper and spread evenly. Allow mixture to cool while you prepare remainder of recipe.
Step 2: Roast Sweet Potatoes and Shallots
Toss sweet potatoes and shallots with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet, avoiding too much overlap, if possible.
Bake until sweet potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
Step 3: Prepare Maple-Butter
In a small bowl, microwave 2 tablespoon of butter until melted. Next, stir in maple syrup and cinnamon.
Step 4: Toss Sweet Potatoes in Maple Butter
Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and toss in maple-butter mixture. Rearrange sweet potatoes on pan, and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
Step 5: Top Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Praline
Transfer roasted sweet potatoes to a serving platter and top with pecan praline mixture. Grate either lime or orange zest overtop, and serve immediately.
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:
- To Make Ahead: Peel and slice the potatoes and arrange them on a baking dish (or in a airtight Tupperware container) up to 1 day in advance. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can also prep the pecan praline up to 5 hours ahead.
- To Store: Refrigerate roasted sweet potatoes in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350ºF for best results.
- Entree: Of course these spuds would be fantastic with any classic holiday entree like turkey, ham, or a pot roast. However they would also be delicious with my Best Ever Vegan Meatloaf.
- Salad: A big green salad, such as this Winter Chopped Salad with White Balsamic, will be a fresh, flavorful compliment.
- Sides: To round out a side dish spread, these 5-Ingredient Marsala Mushrooms and/or Sautéed Broccoli are quick and easy!
Are Sweet Potatoes Healthy?
Sweet potatoes are full of slowly digested carbohydrates for sustained energy, plus vitamins A and C. In fact, one medium sweet potato delivers nearly 4x your daily vitamin A, which promotes good vision.
One thing to note, however, is that vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it needs a source of fat to properly absorb and function. In this case, oil and butter are key to unlock its full potential.
Recommended Tools to Make Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Rimmed Baking Sheet: I love my OXO Good Grips Non-Stick baking sheet for everything from roasted veggies to cookies.
- Vegetable Peeler: To peel the sweet potatoes, I use this swivel peeler, which makes peeling easy peasy!
- Small Saucepan: This stainless steal pan is durable and oven-safe.
More Holiday-Worthy Side Dishes:
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love for you to leave a rating and review. Also, be sure snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations.
Maple-Pecan Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Small saucepan
- Large rimmed baking sheet
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped (sub walnuts)
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, divided
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced crosswise into ½” rounds
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and quartered
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- Orange or lime zest for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a small baking sheet or plate with parchment paper. Combine pecans, ¼ cup maple syrup, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, and cayenne in a small saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-high until bubbly and thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Pour onto parchment paper and spread in an even layer. Allow mixture to cool completely while you prepare remainder of recipe.
- Toss sweet potatoes and shallots with olive oil and remaining ½ tsp. salt. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet, avoiding too much overlap, if possible. Bake until sweet potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, microwave butter in a small bowl until melted. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. maple syrup and ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and brush with maple butter. Flip the sweet potato slices over, then brush the other side with remaining maple butter. Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes, until browned and caramelized.
- Transfer roasted sweet potatoes and shallots to a serving platter and scatter pecan praline mixture overtop. Garnish with orange or lime zest, if desired.