By Beth Lipton
If there’s one bright spot about Thanksgiving this year, it’s this: You get to choose which traditions to keep and which to toss. For me, the first thing to go is the sweet potato casserole with the marshmallows on top. I just never really got the appeal of that dish. No judgement if you love it, but personally, I’d rather save the really sweet stuff for dessert. Instead, here are five sweet potato sides that give you that comforting, indulgent holiday feeling, minus the sugar crash.
This one had me at harissa. The Middle Eastern chili paste is the perfect foil to sweet potatoes. With a touch of garlic and maple syrup in the mix and an almond dukkah topping, it’s an irresistible combination of sweet, spicy and salty, creamy and crunchy. Plus, it will look so pretty on your table.
Even though there are likely to be less people around your table this year, that doesn’t mean you won’t have any dietary restrictions to contend with. That’s why this recipe is such a gem: It’s easy to make paleo or plant-based, or both. Sweetened only with apple sauce, it scratches the itch for a creamy casserole, but leaves you feeling good afterwards. Plus, you can make it ahead and warm it up for the big meal.
Fries on Thanksgiving? Heck yeah. First of all, fries are always a crowd pleaser. Secondly, you make these in the air fryer, so they don’t take up precious oven real estate. Third, sweet potato fries and gravy? Oh YES.
A salad is a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving table, balancing out all the rich dishes. Why not toss some roasted sweet potatoes into your salad? Avocado lends creaminess and hemp seeds sprinkled on top add a bit of crunch and even more good nutrition. And then the whole thing is drizzled with a luscious lemony tahini dressing.
These mashed sweet potatoes have a secret: Butternut squash. It adds a little complexity and unexpected flavor to this mash, which also features a touch of maple syrup and fresh thyme. (Don’t want to deal with the squash? Just double the sweet potatoes and you’re good to go.) Butter and milk add richness, though you could easily swap in olive oil and a plant-based milk to make it dairy-free. However you do it, this smooth side is sure to satisfy.