Cooking So You Don’t Have To

Part one of the Thanksgiving side dishes: caramelized sweet potatoes.


How the caramelized sweet potatoes turned out. Super delicious and sweet!

Allyson May, Editor in Chief

As more holidays are slowly approaching, new foods will be cooked to serve among others. November is right around the corner, which means new festive foods for Thanksgiving. This story will be a series of different Thanksgiving side dishes that will make you get into cooking and make your family have a new taste experience.  

The first side dish of this series will be caramelized sweet potatoes: a new twist instead of mashed potatoes. 

The first step is to acquire your ingredients. As this dish does make a large amount, you can always half the amount for less, which I ended up doing. (courtesy of sallysbakingaddiction) 

  • 5-6 medium sweet potatoes 
  • ½ teaspoon of salt 
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter 
  • 3 tablespoons water 
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup 
  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar 
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg 
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Instructions are quite simple and it does not take too long to complete. They include: 

  • Peeling and slicing the potatoes into ½ inch thick slices. Place into a 9×13 dish. Add a sprinkle of salt to the top. 
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit  
  • Cut the stick of butter in half. Combine all ingredients except the vanilla extract and mix over a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter has melted. Boil for 2 minutes without stirring. Remove sauce and stir in vanilla extract.  
  • Pour sauce over potatoes. 
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, cover the pan with aluminum foil. 
  • Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy! 

This dish pairs well with turkey or chicken when serving hot. It adds a bit of sweetness to the salty foods served. Eating by itself as a treat is also another way to enjoy it. I would recommend adding salt to the top when it is completed, as it equals the amount of sugar and salt.  

Not into the sweetness? Leave out the brown sugar and replace it with 2 teaspoons of orange zest to add more flavor. 

To make it have some heat, add red pepper flakes into the mixture to switch things up. 

Take this dish into consideration when wanting to change up the types of foods served at Thanksgiving. Or, give it a try whenever you want to. Another story is coming up to serve another dish. Enjoy!