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Last Updated on December 18, 2023 by Kiersten James

Mashed sweet potatoes makes for the perfect holiday side dish. This recipe uses real ingredients to deliver a touch of sweetness without the negative health impacts. It only takes 30 minutes start to finish and doesn’t require precious oven space.

Close up view of a spoon full of mashed maple sweet potatoes.

As the colder weather rolls in, my mind automatically begins to drift towards the holidays.

Since food is my thing, I think often about seasonal menus and food preparation rather than home decor.

When ever I make a roast, this is one of the side dishes I often love to serve. It’s a huge hit with all of the guests since it’s made with real ingredients yet so decadent and delicious.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes Don’t Have to Require An Oven!

We’re also hosting Thanksgiving at the farmhouse this year.

Oven real estate is extremely valuable. I only have one oven and it’s not an oversized one.

Between the appetizers and main course roast, I’m not able to prepare the traditional sweet potato casserole. As I mentioned in the introduction, these mashed sweet potatoes are made on the stove top and not in the oven.

Blue bowl filled with mashed maple sweet potatoes.

Determining How Much to Make

My rule of thumb is 1/2-2/3 of a good sized sweet potato per guest. It may not sound like much but trust me, the end result makes a lot once it’s blended.

I don’t really measure and instead use my judgment.

If you’re going to have plenty of other side dishes and food available, you won’t need as many potatoes.

If you’re making a main course meat with mashed sweet potatoes and a vegetable only, I’d use a bit more.

If I’m making this dish for our family during the week, I’ll use 4 sweet potatoes for the 3 of us. It easily gives us enough for dinner and 2 or 3 days of leftovers.

For 12 people, I’ll make 8 potatoes. For 25 people, I’d make 16 potatoes and serve it in a full-sized Sterno tray.

Increase or reduce the amount of milk, maple syrup, and butter based on how many sweet potatoes you choose to use in similar proportions. It doesn’t have to be exact.

4 large raw sweet potatoes on a wooden cutting board

Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet potatoes retain very little pesticide residue according to the EWG. If you have access to organic sweet potatoes, that’s great! But regular sweet potatoes are likely just as safe to eat.

Salted butter:

I choose to use salted butter for this recipe and do not add any additional salt for seasoning.

If any of your guests are on a sodium restrictive diet, you can replace this with unsalted butter and adjust the salt level after a low sodium portion has been removed and stored separately.

Pure organic maple syrup:

We use very little sugar in our kitchen and replace with pure maple syrup, raw honey, or agave syrup whenever it makes sense. This mashed sweet potato recipe is definitely no exception.

Pure maple syrup is packed with high levels of antioxidants and vital nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, potassium, and calcium.

I source my maple syrup from Thrive Market. In a pinch, I will grab the Organic Kirkland one from Costco.

Whole milk:

Whole milk has had a poor reputation for being unhealthy which simply just isn’t true. This popular staple in our house is rich with calcium, B vitamins, vitamin D, and protein.

overhead view of mashed sweet potatoes without brown sugar in a blue bowl

How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes (without brown sugar)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

raw sweet potatoes chopped on a wooden cutting board

While you’re waiting for the water to heat up, wash, peel, and roughly chop your sweet potatoes. Smaller pieces helps them cook faster than whole potatoes left intact.

Boil the sweet potatoes for about 15-20 minutes until fork tender.

Drain the potatoes. Leave the hot pot on the stove with the heat off.

freshly cooked sweet potatoes draining in a stainless steel mesh strainer

In the hot pot, melt your butter. If the pot cooled off, you can put the heat back on low to let the butter melt. Just make sure it’s not too hot or the butter will scorch.

Stir in maple syrup and whole milk until well blended.

butter melting in a large stainless steel pot combined with pure maple syrup

Add the sweet potatoes back into the pot.

Using a hand immersion blender, blend the sweet potatoes into the maple syrup mixture until the desired consistency and texture is reached.

using an immersion blender to puree cooked sweet potatoes

Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole

Easily turn these mashed sweet potatoes into the classic holiday casserole by transferring the finished potatoes into a 9×13 glass casserole dish.

Top with a layer of marshmallows.

Lightly brown the marshmallows in the oven under the broiler on the low setting.

Watch them closely! Marshmallows go from beautifully brown to brick oven-burnt really fast!

Storing Mashed Sweet Potatoes

These mashed sweet potatoes stay just fine in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Ours have never lasted beyond that because they always get eaten but I’d imagine they would still be okay to eat up to 7 days.

When left to sit for a while, the liquid content of the syrup will rise to the top of the sweet potatoes. Just give it a quick stir to reincorporate the liquid before serving.

What to Serve With Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The possibilities are endless! Because this dish is on the sweeter side, it goes well with a main course roast or vegetable that has been salted.

Some of our favorites are:

Holiday Honey Glazed Ham

Easy Juicy Roasted Chicken

Best Ever Thanksgiving Turkey

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

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