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a green bowl filled with mashed sweet potatoes, topped with candied pecans.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Pecans

Published by Kate
Unlike most recipes, these sweet potatoes don’t have more sugar in them than the pumpkin pie. The dish is still sweet, but not cloying, and instead it allows the sweet potatoes to shine, punctuated by toasted, spiced pecans on top.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 672 kcal


For the sweet potatoes:

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • cups half and half, warmed slightly in the microwave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the spiced pecans:

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cup dark brown sugar
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white for 20 seconds or until frothy. Whisk in the vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add the pecan halves and stir gently until coated.
  • Spread in a single layer on a large sheet pan fitted with parchment paper or a silicone baking pat. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Gently break up any clumps of pecans and let cool completely (they will harden as they cool).
  • Meanwhile, place the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with water and place on the stove over high heat. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Drain the potatoes and add to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the maple syrup, melted butter, warmed half & half, and vanilla. Mix on low until the potatoes are mashed, about 1–2 minutes.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a serving dish and top with the spiced pecans. Serve immediately.


Both the sweet potatoes and the pecans can be made 1–2 days ahead. To reheat the sweet potatoes, place in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until warm throughout. Store spiced pecans in a zip-top bag (once they are cool) until ready to use. Top the sweet potatoes with the pecans only when you are ready to serve them.


Calories: 672kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 9gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 261mgPotassium: 1043mgFiber: 10gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 32641IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 192mgIron: 2mg
Keyword sweet potatoes, Thanksgiving
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