Sweet Potatoes with Sage Butter Crumb Topping

I’ll admit I have never been a huge fan of sweet potatoes myself.  I have found a few ways that I do consider them edible, but the bottom line is that they will probably never be a favorite food of my own.  However, I know that lots of people are crazy about them and they are a very popular side dish, so I wouldn’t think of hosting Thanksgiving without serving them.  I know a lot of people like to serve them with a sweeter topping like brown sugar or marshmallows but I prefer the savory route, so I tried this version with a sage butter crumb topping.  It was a really big hit and several of the guests declared it as their favorite dish of the whole meal.  Even I thought they were decent, so I guess that’s saying something.

Of course, looking at the recipe again, I am reminded that the potato puree can be made up to two days in advance and topped with the bread crumb mixture just before baking.  I’ll have to add that to my advance prep timeline

Sweet Potatoes with Sage Butter Crumb Topping
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2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1-2½ tbsp. minced fresh sage, divided
1½ cups warm milk
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Combine the sweet potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes in a large stockpot.  Cover with water, season with salt, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and continue to boil until the potatoes are tender, 10-14 minutes.  Drain well and mash potatoes with a ricer or an electric mixer.  In a saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and mix in 1-2 tablespoons of the sage.  (I prefer to go a little light on the sage.) Mix the sage-butter mixture and the warm milk into the potatoes; mix well to blend until smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a 2-quart casserole dish.  At this point, the potato mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  In a small bowl, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.  Mix in the remaining ½ tablespoon of sage and the bread crumbs; season with salt and pepper.  Toss well to combine.  Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the sweet potato mixture.  Bake uncovered until golden brown and bubbling, 30-40 minutes.  (Cover loosely with foil earlier if breadcrumbs brown too quickly.)  Serve warm.

Source: Martha Stewart

34 Responses

  1. I want this now. Oh my.

  2. This looks delicious and perfect for Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing :-0

    This looks super amazing
    Just overnight me some please!


  4. Annie:

    I think I may try this one, but as I have plenty of rosemary, do you think that would work or be too over-powering? Also, while I love the baking recipes, I like the less-sweet stuff too. A nice change of pace. All too often I go “That looks great.” But I would weigh 400lbs in about a week. Good job Annie.

    • I think rosemary can be kind of overpowering. I’m sure it could be done but you would have to alter the quantity.

  5. I’ve never had sweet potatoes this way! I live in Japan, and we typically eat it cooked on hot pebbles. Just peel the skin and bite in 🙂 But I might have to try this, it looks really yummy♥


  6. Being from South Alabama, sweet potatoes are served frequently for meals here. I always put them on my plate, but I actually can’t stand them. Yeeck. My boys love them though, so I make sweet potatoes for them. I think I might try this recipe, maybe savory instead of syrup-y is the way to go. Aren’t sweet potatoes like the top best food for your body (anti-oxidants and such)?

  7. These look delicious. I like sweet potatoes when they are savory, but not as much when the sweet side is played up.

  8. I usually do a sweet potato casserole but it’s so sweet — almost like a dessert. Not that we mind 🙂 but I will probably try this recipe for this year! Love that it can be prepped earlier too — planning to do lots more earlier this year! Thanks for pointing that out!

  9. I love sweet potatoes! Great thanksgiving side idea, thanks!

  10. This sounds great! 🙂

  11. Looks delicious! I have never been a fan of the traditional sweet potato dish, but I never would have thought to make sweet potatoes this way. I may need to serve this dish this Thanksgiving!

  12. sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods! this looks fabulous!

  13. It’s surprising how many people are not crazy about sweet potatoes. We’re contemplating a gratin of white potatoes and sweets this year with cream and cheese.

  14. That looks awesome! I’ve got some locally grown sweet potatoes coming my way this week. I think I just found what I want to do with them! Thanks!

  15. Wow, what a dish Annie. I wish I was having a big Thanksgiving spread this year, so that I could make this! I’ll save this for next year, though. Thanks for sharing!

  16. YUM!!!

  17. Oh, this looks delicious! And I was looking for a sweet potato dish to bring to a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with friends. I like I found it! 🙂

  18. This looks like a delicious savory twist on the original sweet potato casserole. YUM!

  19. I usually like sweet – sweet potato dishes, but this looks like a great option for those who don’t! (like my husband 🙂 )

  20. Looks fantastic! I’m not crazy about the super sweet, sweet potatoes either. I’m going to bring this to my mom’s for Thanksgiving! Thanks for a great recipe!

  21. I always love your recipes and in case you haven’t seen I gave you a Loveliest Blog Award at http://www.anniesdish.com/2010/11/whole-wheat-pumpkin-muffins.html

  22. I am not a huge sweet potato fan either but my husband loves them so I will have to cook this for him sometime!

  23. Sounds yummy and easy 🙂 Can’t wait to give this a try!!!

  24. Sounds good and an alternative to the sweet kind of dish which I like but the rest of the family not so much. Think I could use the Panko crumbs? Just curious since I have some in the pantry and don’t use them that often.

    • I suppose you could but I think making fresh bread crumbs, kind of on the coarse side, is best for this recipe. Normally I’m a huge lover of Panko but I don’t think they are the best way to go here.

  25. Annie, I know this is probably a no-brainer, but I wanted to check before I made this dish. Are the fresh breadcrumbs just small pieces of white bread torn up? Do I need to bake them at all to dry them out? Thank you, Annie. I appreciate your help!!

    • I usually just put a hunk of bread in the food processor and pulse it briefly to get the coarse crumbs you see. They do not need to be baked or dried out first.

  26. Bonjour Annie !

    I just baked this and we LOVED it!!! Thanks for this great great recipe 😉
    While doing it I was wondering why the butter had to be “cooked”… I’ve never heard of that! Even if it smelled really good, I still wonder if that makes a big difference… could you enlighten me?
    Thanks again for your wonderful website!

  27. This looks yummy. I usually eat sweet potatoes pretty plain maybe with a little maple syrup but if you like sweet and savory…sweet potatoes mashed (a tad of butter and brown sugar) topped with carmalized onions is delish!

  28. Made it tonight. It was great, except I added some brown sugar to the taters. My sweet potatoes, were not sweet 😦

  29. Hi Annie,
    This looks great! I may have overlooked this, but how many does this serve?

    • I don’t typically list servings for things like this because it varies so much depending on the appetites of those you are serving. I think it’s best to just read the ingredient list and estimate it for yourself.

  30. Annie- I made this. Delicious!! I did taste it after the butter and sage were added but before the milk and it was so good… The milk mellowed it but yummy. Also made the pumpkin yeast bread. And the CI pumpkin cheesecake. Thanks for some great recipes!!

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