The Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes for Thanksgiving: Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter
I LOVE sweet potatoes. Roasted, stuffed, mashed, in a casserole – they are one of my very favorite starchy vegetables. Like their name suggests, sweet potatoes are naturally sweet and when roasted, that flavor is only enhanced.
While they are delicious on their own, when you add a little maple syrup, vanilla extract, creamy coconut milk, and a few warming spices to the mix, they are taken to the next level.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
This recipe for brown butter mashed sweet potatoes really highlights that delicious natural sweetness by adding brown butter which has a delicious rich caramel flavor.
Whether you are looking for a weeknight side dish or planning out your holiday menu, these mashed sweet potatoes are sure to be a hit with everyone. They are naturally gluten free and use just a few real food ingredients for show stopping results.
Just a Few Simple Ingredients
Note: full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Sweet potatoes – my favorite sweet potatoes to use are garnet sweet potatoes. They have a reddish skin and beautiful orange color.
Butter – because the flavor of the brown butter is really on display in this recipe, you want to use the good stuff! Look for a butter made from the milk pasture-raised cows with a deep yellow color for the best flavor.
Coconut milk – the flavor of full fat canned coconut milk works really well in this recipe. Feel free to use almond milk instead, if you prefer.
Maple syrup – adds just a touch of sweetness to the already slightly sweet potatoes.
Vanilla extract – an absolutely delicious addition.
Warming spices – instead of simply using cinnamon, this recipe calls for ground ginger and allspice as well for even more flavor.
How to Brown Butter
If you have never made brown butter before, this recipe is a great place to start. Browning the butter a bit before using creates a deep, rich, caramel like flavor.
First, add the diced butter to a small skillet or pot.
Next, heat the skillet over medium heat. The butter will start to melt as the skillet heats up.
Then, allow the butter to bubble and “cook” until it begins to change from a bright yellow color to a golden brown color. At this point, you should see some brown bits beginning to form in the bottom of the skillet.
Lastly, remove the butter from the heat and transfer to a heat safe dish or pour it directly into the mashed sweet potatoes.
Roast: This is my preferred way of cooking the sweet potatoes for this recipe because it is incredibly easy, develops flavor, and is also a very hands off way of prepping the sweet potatoes. All you have to do is prick the sweet potatoes on the outside with a fork or knife and then roast them on a lined sheet pan for forty-five minutes to an hour until tender.
Boil: If you do not want to roast the sweet potatoes, boiling them is another great option. All you need is a large stock pot filled with water to do this. You can boil the sweet potatoes whole, with the skin on, or peel them and dice them into large chunks. Boil the sweet potatoes until tender.
Microwave: If you are really pressed for time, you can also microwave your sweet potatoes. To do this, just prick the sweet potatoes on the outside with a knife or fork, four or five times. Place a single potato on a microwave safe plate and microwave for five minutes. The potato should be fork tender all the way to the center once it is done. If the potato is still hard, you can continue to microwave if for one minutes at a time until fully tender.
How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Note: full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
Step One: First, start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place them on a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper. The parchment paper helps to avoid any of the sugary sweet potato juices from sticking and burning to the pan so don’t skip this step. Bake the sweet potatoes until they are fork tender. This usually takes around one hour. Once the potatoes are tender, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly.
Step Two: While the potatoes are roasting, make your brown butter.
Watch How to Make Brown Butter
Step Three: Once the potatoes are cooled enough to handle, peel the skin away from the flesh and add them to a large mixing bowl. Add in the coconut milk, brown butter, maple syrup, and spices. Use a potato masher or hand mixer to mash the potatoes until creamy. Give them a taste to be sure the flavor is where you want it to be and add an extra splash of milk if you want the potatoes to be creamier.
Step Four: Finally, transfer the potatoes to a serving dish. Top them with remaining brown butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make these sweet potatoes vegan?
Yes! The flavor of brown butter really makes these potatoes come alive but you could skip that step altogether and just add your vegan butter to the sweet potatoes instead.
Do I have to use coconut milk?
No! Feel free to use your favorite milk of choice. If you want to use a non-dairy milk, almond milk would work well. You could also use a splash of half and half or heavy cream to make these potatoes even more decadent.
What can I substitute for maple syrup?
The combination of maple syrup and all of the spices in these mashed sweet potatoes goes really well together so, maple syrup will always be my first choice. If you find yourself completely out of maple syrup, you could use honey instead!
What is the best way to mash sweet potatoes?
My favorite way to mash sweet potatoes is with a handheld potato masher. I find that it makes the potatoes nice and creamy while still leaving a bit of texture, which I prefer. A hand mixer will also work well. If you prefer a silky smooth sweet potato mash without any of that classic potato texture, a food processor is the way to go!
Serving This Recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner?
Here are a few more delicious recipes to add to your menu:
I hope you give these Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes a try! They have the most delicious flavor and consistency!
If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on Instagram. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.
Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place them on a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper. Bake the sweet potatoes until they are fork tender. This usually takes around one hour. Once the potatoes are tender, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly before peeling and transferring them to a large mixing bowl.
While the potatoes are roasting, make the brown butter. Add the diced butter to a small skillet or pot. Heat the skillet to medium heat. The butter will start to melt as the skillet heats up. Allow the butter to bubble and “cook” until it begins to change from a bright yellow color to a golden brown color. You will know the butter has “browned” when you see brown bits beginning to form in the bottom of the skillet or pot. Remove the butter from the heat and transfer to a heat safe dish.
Once the sweet potatoes are done cooking, and have been transferred to a mixing bowl, add the coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, salt, and brown butter (reserve 1 tablespoon of butter for the top) to the mixing bowl.
Use a hand mixer or potato masher to mash everything together until the potatoes reach your desired consistency. Give the potatoes a taste and add extra milk if you prefer.
Transfer the potatoes to a serving dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and top with the remaining tablespoon of brown butter before serving. Enjoy!
Keywords: brown butter mashed sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes, thanksgiving side dish, brown butter
Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Casey Colodny / THE MINDFUL HAPA