Everyone has that part of the Thanksgiving spread that they get super uppity about being juuuuuust right, and these Glazed Sweet Potatoes (with whiskey pecans!) are mine.
Like Sweet Potato Souffle, these glazed sweet potatoes are a tradition in my family. They feature hunks of sweet potatoes, bathed in a spicy-sweet honey glaze.
We make this recipe every year, and then we fight over the leftovers.
The morning after Thanksgiving, and you’ll catch me munching them cold out of the fridge, for good reason: they are nothing short of sensational. If you don’t finish them right away, someone else will!
Unlike other candied sweet potato recipes, these are not overly sweet.
- A shower of pecans on top adds toastiness, gourmet flair, and crunch.
- Diced apples balance the sweet potatoes in both flavor and texture.
- A pinch of cayenne makes them both spicy and sweet. And of course…
- That splash of whiskey! It gives this dish a signature holiday vibe.
They’re easy to make ahead and sure to win the hearts of everyone at your table.
I love glazed sweet potatoes as an elegant, delicious, and a fun alternative to classic sweet potato sides. If you are a fan of Roasted Sweet Potatoes, you’ll adore them.
At Friendsgiving (which is going on a heartbreaking hiatus this year), I usually make this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole or the Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes from The Well Plated Cookbook.
Then a few days later, when it’s time for our family’s Thanksgiving, we feast on my mom and stepdad’s stellar side dish line up. These glazed sweet potatoes with apples are the first on my plate.
Plus, they can be prepared in advance, making them a holiday side dish MVP.
5 Star Review
“Great recipe! Thanks for another yummy dish!”— Bailey —
How to Make Glazed Sweet Potatoes
If you’re accustomed to having brown sugar-glazed sweet potatoes with marshmallows during the holidays, consider this recipe a delicious upgrade!
These honey glazed sweet potatoes have the same cozy appeal with an unexpected, welcomed twist of spice and crunch.
- Sweet Potatoes. Roasted sweet potatoes are nature’s candy and a must-have on my holiday table. Sweet potatoes pair perfectly with the honey, pecans, and whiskey glaze. Plus, they’re an excellent source of fiber and vitamins.
How to tell if a sweet potato has gone bad: if your sweet potato has become mushy, turned to a dark brown or black color, or has signs of mold, it has gone bad and should be thrown out.
The milky substance in sweet potatoes is the sap from the plant itself. It’s safe to eat and doesn’t mean that your sweet potato is bad.
- Apples. Their tartness balances the sweetness of the honey and sweet potatoes.
- Pecans. Adds a scrumptious nuttiness and crunch.
- Honey. For a touch of sweetness. The honey also tastes wonderful with whiskey.
- Spices. A mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne turns the entire ordeal into one nutty, caramely, spicy-sweet pan of glory.
- Whiskey. The addition you didn’t know these Thanksgiving sweet potatoes needed but now can’t do without!
- Scrub the sweet potatoes, then bake them for 45 to 60 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove the skins, and cut them into chunks.
- Toast the pecans in a skillet. Add the butter, then stir in the honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cayenne. Let simmer for a few minutes, then pour in the whiskey.
- Place the sweet potatoes and apples in a baking dish. Top with the whiskey glaze. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate glazed sweet potatoes in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- I do not recommend freezing this dish, as the texture of the apples will become mushy once thawed.
- Slice the potatoes and apples, and arrange them in the dish up to 1 day in advance, then cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate (they will brown somewhat but still taste fine). Wait to prepare and pour on the whiskey sauce until just before baking.
- You can also bake the dish a few hours ahead, then rewarm it in the oven prior to serving.
What Goes Well with Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Turkey Meatballs
Crock Pot Pork Chops
Rosemary Chicken Thighs￼
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Dish. Perfect for making these healthy glazed sweet potatoes.
- Skillet. Great for preparing the whiskey pecan glaze.
- Measuring Spoons. Stackable and magnetic, making them easy to store.
Glazed Sweet Potatoes
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes about 4 large
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2/3 cup honey
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper a bit more if you like a good kick
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup whiskey see notes section for brand recommendations
- 2 cups peeled, cored, and 3/4-inch-diced tart, firm baking apples such as Granny Smith or Cortland (about 2 medium or 3 small)
- Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes (leave the peels on), then place whole on a sheet of aluminum foil. Place the foil directly on the baking rack. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until slightly soft when squeezed (they do not need to be cooked all the way through). Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the skins. Cut into 3/4-inch chunks and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, add the pecans and lightly toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes (watch them carefully so that they do not burn). Add butter and coconut oil, let melt, then add the honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cayenne. Allow the mixture to simmer and bubble for 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully add the whiskey—stand back a bit from the pan, as the honey mixture will begin to bubble violently. Let simmer for 5 additional minutes, until slightly reduced. The glaze will still seem a bit liquidy
- Lightly grease an 9×9-inch baking dish or similar 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Scatter the sweet potatoes and apples in the baking dish, alternating between the two so you have a mix throughout. Pour the whiskey-pecan glaze over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until the apples are softened (they do not need to be completely mushy—just fork tender) and the dish is fully warmed throughout.
- Whiskey: My mom uses Maker’s Mark, which is a fantastic choice for this recipe. I’ve also made it with both Irish whiskey and Bulleit bourbon, all with great results.
- Make it ahead: You can slice the potatoes and apples and arrange them in the dish up to 1 day in advance, then cover them tightly with plastic and refrigerate (they will brown somewhat but will taste fine). Wait to prepare and pour on the whiskey sauce until just before baking. You can also bake the dish a few hours ahead, then rewarm it in the oven prior to serving.
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More Delicious Holiday Sides
Try one of these delicious holiday sides, or check out my other sweet potato recipes.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
Scalloped Potatoes with Goat Cheese
And for posterity, here’s the original photo of this recipe from 2013!
Can’t wait to make the sweet potato dish
I might not wait until Thanksgiving. Thanks
I love it anytime Marlene! I hope you enjoy it too!
Is there anything that could be used as a substitute for the whiskey? These sound DELISH!! But I don’t want to buy a bottle of whiskey just for this :) LOL
Hi Jess! Bourbon would also work well here. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!
Had this on Thanksgiving. It was delicious!!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Megan! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
I made this dish for Thanksgiving & it was a hit! Even with my husband who graciously puts up with my sweet potato obsession. It’s on the table again for Christmas :) A tip – we didn’t want to get a whole bottle of whiskey, so we bought 2 of those individual shot bottles of Makers. Worked perfectly with enough leftover for the cook to enjoy a drink :)
So so happy to hear that Jen, thank you for sharing your review and tips!!
Made this yesterday, call me a rebel but it looked good and I had a bunch of sweet potatoes that I wanted to use up. Tasted great with my baked chicken! Will definitely be on the menu for Thanksgiving 2021!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Lisa! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Hello! Question about prepping before thanksgiving. Would you still bake the sweet potatoes and then slice and add apples then refrigerate, or just slice raw?
Please and thank you!!
Hi Candi! These are my make ahead instructions: Make it ahead: You can slice the potatoes and apples and arrange them in the dish up to 1 day in advance, then cover them tightly with plastic and refrigerate (they will brown somewhat but will taste fine). Wait to prepare and pour on the whiskey sauce until just before baking. You can also bake the dish a few hours ahead, then rewarm it in the oven prior to serving. Hope you enjoy them!
You may want to use an 11×9 pan. I thought that my 8×8 was going to be too small so I used a 12×10 and it filled the pan completely. Make some extra glaze, you won’t be disappointed!
Hi Chris! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
I would love to make this for Christmas but wondering if I can leave out the whiskey or if you’d suggest a substitute for it? We have children in our group. Thank you!
Hi Susan, you can just leave it out! Hope you enjoy it!
Have you ever tried this recipe with no butter or oil? I have a guest who can’t digest fat and I think the most I could do would be to butter the casserole. I do so want to try this re recipe for Christmas. It sounds amazing!
Hi Pam! I have not tested it this way but would love to know how it turns out if you decide to experiment!
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