Updated: Nov 19, 2020
I'm not sure if you can relate to me in this but when I was growing up our Thanksgiving table always had a traditional sweet potato casserole topped with maple syrup and toasted marshmallows. While I think it's fairly common for kids to not love sweet potatoes, these never found a place on my dinner plate.
I think I was in high school when my mom started experimenting with new sweet potato recipes that more of the family would enjoy, and all I can say is... bless her heart. She's gonna hate me for this but there were bananas involved... bananas!?
Anyways, I took over one year with a new sweet potato recipe that I found and it was a sure-fire winner. We've been having it every holiday ever since. Now, I didn't create this recipe, but let me tell you a little bit about my cooking process.
First, I usually search Pinterest for inspiration. I read through 2-5 recipes that look good to me and then I just shop and cook on recall subbing and omitting things based on my preference and what I already have. If I like the recipe, I just keep making it on memory. If I don't like it, I don't usually try again. After cooking this recipe for 6+ years I'm sure I've made some modifications, but just know the original genius of this sweet potato dish is not me.
This sweet potato recipe is savory with a hint of sweetness (obvious from the roasted sweet potatoes, but also) from some brown sugar. Dare anyone at your dinner table who says they don't like sweet potatoes to try this recipe and I would bet that you wont have as many sweet potato leftovers as last year!
4 medium-large sweet potatoes
1 large shallot sliced
5 strips of bacon
2-3 tablespoons of chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons of brown sugar (light or dark)
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (+ more for topping)
1/3 cup of heavy cream if needed.
Depending on your preference, you can roast or boil your sweet potatoes. Either way, peal your sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. If you plan to roast them, drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you boil them, make sure to thoroughly salt the water.
Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook over medium heat. When crisp, remove the bacon from the pan but leave the rendered fat. Save this bacon for later.
Add your sliced shallot and chopped rosemary to the bacon fat and cook for a couple of minutes. Once the shallot is translucent, add your butter to the hot pan.
Once your butter is melted, add your brown sugar and stir thoroughly.
Remove your sweet potatoes from the oven or pot once they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and move them to a large mixing bowl. Mash them until smooth with a hand masher or mixer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour in your brown sugar mixture, bacon bits, shredded Gruyere cheese, and a splash of heavy cream. Mix with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated.
Transfer your potatoes to a baking dish. You may choose to top your potatoes with extra cheese now or later.
You can place your whole dish in the fridge (once cool) to bake tomorrow or put it directly into the oven. If you refrigerate this dish, you need to take it out of the fridge and leave it on the counter for at least 1 hour before baking. A refrigerated dish will need to bake in the oven at 385 degrees for at least 30-40 minutes but maybe more depending on the depth of your baking dish. Look for lightly brown edges and bubbly cheese on top. If you are placing this straight in the oven while still hot, you are pretty much just melting the cheese on top so 15-20 minutes will probably be sufficient.
If you introduce this sweet potato recipe to your family this year, make sure you tag me on IG @carlyrhill so that I can see your masterpiece! Click the links below to see some more of my Thanksgiving Recipe Series!