Melt-In-Your-Mouth Roasted Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes

So many of us look forward to that classic sweet potato casserole each fall, especially on Thanksgiving.

Vertical image of a rectangular white ceramic serving platter of roasted sweet potatoes topped with chopped pecans in a mixture of butter and brown sugar, on a striped gray and white cloth kitchen towel, with a small glass bowl of chopped nuts and a swingtop jar of brown sugar to the left, and plant leaves at the top right corner, on a gray background, printed with orange and white text in the top third and at the bottom of the frame.

You know the one I’m talking about. It’s a dish that’s topped with puffy marshmallows and packed with sugar – a clever way that many of our parents tried to get more vegetables into our bellies.

As much as my husband loves marshmallows, he hates when this delicious and naturally sweet root vegetable is served with them.

Vertical closely cropped overhead image of a white ceramic rectangular serving platter of roasted sweet potatoes with pecans on top, on a folded striped gray and white cloth, with a glass swingtop jar of brown sugar to the left.

Growing up really does change your taste buds, and even I am not a fan of the overly sweetened casserole-style dish anymore. Instead, I am always on the lookout for new ways to serve yams or sweet potatoes as a side dish.

I tried the glazed method first, but he really wasn’t a fan of that either. Let me tell you, it was a rough couple of years at the Thanksgiving dinner table before I would finally nail the recipe just the way he wanted it…

With a handful of years of experimenting with new recipes under my belt, I can confidently say that nothing brings out the flavor of these vegetables like roasting them.

Horizontal overhead closely cropped image of a white ceramic rectangular platter of roasted butter pecan sweet potatoes on a striped gray and white cloth, with a small dish of chopped pecans and a glass swingtop jar of light brown sugar to the left, and two vases of yellow and pink flowers at the top of the frame, on a gray surface.

I absolutely love the fresh taste of sweet potato in this dish. You can actually taste their sweet earthiness, instead of it being covered up with all that sugar. Crazy, right?

After you roast the tubers for a bit, you add the flavorful, crunchy topping. There’s still a little brown sugar in there, combined with butter and pecans. This makes for a killer mix of nutty, rich, and just a bit sweet, with minimal kitchen prep required.

Vertical head-on image of a platter of roasted sweet potatoes with chopped pecans on top, on top of a folded gray and white striped kitchen towel, with a jar of brown sugar and two vases of flowers in the background, against a black backdrop, on a gray surface, in bright focused light.

My husband went crazy over this dish when I made it. Being able to actually taste the delicate flavor of the tubers was what won him over, but the nutty topping served as a textural surprise that had him finishing his serving off before he touched anything else on his dinner plate.

This is an easy dish to make because it all cooks up in the oven, perfect for when you’re preparing a big holiday meal with a little room in the already-hot oven to spare. Halve it for a weeknight meal, or double it if you have a ton of people coming over for a festive gathering.

Vertical image of a serving platter of roasted butter pecan sweet potatoes, on a striped gray and white kitchen towel on a gray surface, with a swingtop jar of brown sugar to the left and two vases of fresh flowers in the background.

You can even get this dish started a day ahead if you need to. I’ll describe more about that at the end of this article – keep reading for my tips!.

Regardless of whether it’s served as part of your holiday spread, or as a simple side dish to pair with a fall weeknight main, this easy recipe is all you need to bring your haul of sweet potatoes to life in a way everyone will enjoy.

Print
Horizontal head-on image of a white ceramic platter of roasted butter pecan sweet potatoes, on a striped white and gray cloth, with a small glass bowl of chopped nuts and a jar of light brown sugar in the background.

Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Make the most of your favorite fall vegetable with butter pecan sweet potatoes. You get a lot of flavor with a nutty crunch and a velvety finish.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs total weight)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Slice each half crosswise into ½-inch pieces (half-rounds).
  3. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer. You may need two baking sheets, depending on their size. Toss with olive oil and salt.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until soft, stirring and rearranging in a single layer halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with butter, brown sugar, and pecans.
  5. Return to oven and bake for 8-10 more minutes, until sugar is caramelized and crunchy. Serve warm.

Notes

Adapted from Martha Stewart.

  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Baking, Roasting
  • Cuisine: Vegetables

Keywords: sweet potato, butter pecan, pecan

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Melt, Chop, and Measure

Melt two tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, for about 30 seconds.

Chop enough pecans until you have 1/4 cup total.

Horizontal overhead image of a small square glass bowl of oil, small round glass bowls of salt, chopped pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter, and six whole sweet potatoes, on a dark gray background.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Preheat your oven to 400˚F.

Step 2 – Peel and Cut

Get out your vegetable peeler, a chef’s knife, and a sturdy cutting board. Peel all of the sweet potatoes. Cut each in half lengthwise. Then slice each half crosswise into half rounds that are about ½ inch thick.

Horizontal overhead image five halved sweet potatoes arranged cut side up on a wooden cutting board, on a dark blue-gray and black surface.

Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet, and spread the pieces out into a single layer. You may need more than one baking sheet, depending on the size you have.

Horizontal overhead image of a metal baking pan of raw peeled and sliced sweet potato cut into rounded half-moons.

Add the olive oil and salt, dividing them equally between the two baking sheets if necessary. Toss to coat evenly before spreading them back out into an even layer.

Step 3 – Roast

Place the trays in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. To encourage even cooking, give them a stir and rearrange them in a single layer halfway through cooking.

The sweet potatoes should be soft at this point. Remove the pans from the oven.

Horizontal overhead image of a metal baking sheet of peeled orange sweet potato slices that have been peeled and cut into half-moons.

Sprinkle with butter, brown sugar, and pecans, again dividing between the baking sheets if necessary.

Horizontal oblique overhead image of roasted half-moon sliced and peeled orange sweet potatoes in a baking pan, topped with chopped pecans.

Place the pans back in the oven, and bake for another 8-10 minutes. The sugar should be caramelized and crunchy.

Horizontal image of roasted sweet potatoes spread out on a metal baking sheet in a single layer, topped with chopped pecans, brown sugar, and butter.

Serve warm.

Can I Prep This Recipe Ahead of Time?

You can do most of the work for this recipe ahead of time, which is especially helpful for when you are juggling ALL the things that you’ll need to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Simply peel and cut the tasty tubers, then store them in an airtight container or bowl covered with cling wrap in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roast. You can also chop the pecans ahead of time. Then your prep will be reduced to mere minutes the day you cook it up.

Horizontal head-on image of a white ceramic platter of roasted butter pecan sweet potatoes, on a striped white and gray cloth, with a small glass bowl of chopped nuts and a jar of light brown sugar in the background.

For more sweet potato recipes that make delicious holiday sides, try these Foodal favorites:

What main dish will you serve with this simple side? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back to rate the recipe as soon as you try it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by November 17, 2010. Last updated: September 24, 2019 at 15:07 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Breakfast and Brunch Gluten Free Pancakes Cookies Christmas Desserts How To Baking Comfort Food Quick Breads Beef Coffee Recipes Mexican & Latin America Vegetarian Italian Veggies Summer
Sort by

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

1 thought on “Melt-In-Your-Mouth Roasted Butter Pecan Sweet Potatoes”

  1. I did a test run with this just to make sure before I served it at Thanksgiving. Lets just say I hate half myself. Soooo good!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.