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sweet potatoes make the best leftovers

Sometimes it seems as if sweet potatoes are the ugly stepchild at Thanksgiving dinner. The dish that is expected but not overly anticipated or appreciated.


I remember looking forward to them when I was a kid, but today we eat them more than just once a year. Sweet potatoes are in fashion all year long. Then there are sweet potato fries, which are offered and ordered nearly as often as their French fry cousins. If you’re like me, you select them over potato fries more often than not.

I have to admit that this was the case with this dish at our Thanksgiving buffet. Most guests took a small portion for their plate, but chose to fill up on the stars of the day; the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

And that was just fine with me. These maple-roasted sweet potatoes made great leftover dishes for breakfast (sweet potato hash with eggs) lunch (added to a turkey taco) and dinner (part of a black bean chili or puréed and added to risotto).


When shopping for sweet potatoes, I bought three varieties in a pretty trio of colors.


Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Pam cooking spray
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with Pam and set them aside.


Place sweet potato cubes in a large bowl and coat them with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, then toss to coat.


Divide the potatoes in half and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Be sure they are in one layer and have a little space between cubes. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the melted butter and maple syrup. If the mixture begins to solidify before you use it, just reheat it slightly in a microwave oven.


Remove the potatoes from the oven and drizzle with the syrup mixture and stir to evenly coat. Return baking sheets to the oven, switch the position of the pans on the oven racks, and bake for 15 minutes more.

Remove from oven and toss again. Return to the oven, if needed, for another 5 or 10 minutes until the potatoes are caramelized, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.


Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately.

Serves 8 to 10



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