Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

by Julie Hoag, guest blogger

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes is a dish that my family has enjoyed for many years. It’s a delicious, tasty fall comfort food side dish that pairs beautifully with any Thanksgiving feast. I love the colors this dish adds to the Thanksgiving table with the gorgeous deep orange of the sweet potatoes and the brown pecans against a bit of white from the marshmallows. The fall colors of this side dish compliment the autumn table decorations. Under the white of the marshmallows, the sauce has a brown tinge to it from the brown sugar adding a warm brown color to the dish.
This side dish is easy to make and goes along well with a busy cooking schedule for the holiday because it is made completely on the stove top. This frees up the oven for other Thanksgiving dishes, so I love the stove top aspect of this dish. I often make it ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator. When it is getting close to the meal time I warm it up in the oven or microwave. The other option would be to just keep it warm on your stove top until it’s time to eat if you have a warming burner.

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes is a sweet tasting dish that appeals even to the kids because of the sweet taste. With the addition of the marshmallows at the end, my kids’ interest is peaked and this ingredient intrigues my kids enough to eat it.

Food carries memories with it. I grew up eating this dish as a part of my family’s Thanksgiving meal, so it isn’t Thanksgiving without it for me. It’s a family recipe and even though my mother is not alive anymore, I have the recipe card written in her handwriting which makes it even more special to make each year.
Adults will love the rich sweet taste of the sweet potatoes paired with the pecans, plus the sweet sauce makes it so delicious. An option to reduce the sugar content would be to eliminate the marshmallows, but I do love them in the dish so I add them.


6 sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs)
½ cup butter or margarine (I use butter)
½ cup water
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup pecans
1/3 cup small marshmallows

Serving size: 6+

1). Prepare the Sweet Potatoes: Place the sweet potatoes in a large pan and cover with boiling water. Heat water to boil again, then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes until tender (assess by stabbing the potato with a fork). Drain the potatoes and let cool. Peel the skin off the potatoes and slice in half lengthwise.

2). Prepare the Sauce: Combine the butter, salt, brown sugar, and water in a pan and stir over low heat. Continue to periodically stir until the butter melts and the sugar becomes dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved, boil sauce for 3 minutes uncovered.

3). Add Potatoes and Pecans: Reduce the heat and add the potatoes halves. Add the pecans. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes while basting potatoes with the syrup. TIP: Don’t stir too much or the potatoes will become mushy.

4). Add the Marshmallows: Remove the pan from heat. Add the small marshmallows and cover with a lid to allow the marshmallows to melt. Once the marshmallows are melted, baste the potatoes again.
Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks for family, friends, and good food. I am thankful to have my mom’s original recipe card to celebrate her along with this dish for the holiday. I look forward to making this dish again this year as a part of our family Thanksgiving feast to carry on the tradition for my own kids.

As a bonus, these potatoes are just as tasty the next day as leftovers as well. Our family loves leftovers the day after Thanksgiving; we look forward to leftovers the next day almost as much as the day of the holiday itself.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your family and good food, and add in this sweet tasty dish to your menu, you won’t regret it!

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Categories Family Food, HolidaysTags , , , , ,

5 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

  1. I love this recipe! It carries with it so many great memories! Food memories bring so much joy because we can revisit the memory each year when we make it. Plus if I get to share something with my kids that my mom made, that means I’m adding more great memories to the dish. Food is love! I can’t wait to make this dish again this Thanksgiving!!

  2. ok… so I am the worst cook in the world and have to follow a recipe ALL THE TIME!! This recipe not only sounds delicious… but I think I can actually make it! WIN WIN!! Plus I needed an idea to make for thanksgiving!

  3. Yum! Looks delicious, and I’ve been on the hunt for a sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving this year so this is perfect!!

  4. this looks so great! i LOVE sweet potato but my son is randomly allergic to it!

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