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.

Glazed sweet potatoes in a baking dish

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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.

Glazed pecans in a skillet

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.


The Ingredients

  • 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.

Tip!

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!

Ingredient Tip

Cook with a mid-range whiskey or bourbon—something good enough to use for cocktails but you don’t need to splurge for top shelf. Save the good stuff for sipping after dinner (or while you cook!).

For the whiskey, my mom uses Maker’s Mark. I’ve also made these glazed sweet potatoes with Irish whiskey and Bulleit bourbon, all with great results.

The Directions

  1. Scrub the sweet potatoes, then bake them for 45 to 60 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove the skins, and cut them into chunks.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Alternative Cooking Methods

Need to free up your oven on Thanksgiving? Try these Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes or the Brown Butter Mashed Sweet Potatoes from The Well Plated Cookbook.

Thanksgiving sweet potatoes with pecans and apples

Storage Tips

  • 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.

Make-Ahead Tips

  • 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.
Glazed sweet potatoes with pecans

What Goes Well with Sweet Potatoes

Healthy sweet potatoes with apples and pecans

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.

Must-Have Skillet

A high-quality, medium-sized skillet is an essential part of my kitchen. It’s great for this recipe and so many others!

Glazed Sweet Potato Bake with Cinnamon Butter Pecans. The BEST sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime you need a great side dish recipe. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Glazed Sweet Potato Bake with Cinnamon Butter Pecans. The BEST sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime you need a great side dish recipe. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Glazed Sweet Potatoes

5 from 7 votes
Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes topped with delicious candied pecans will steal the show at your next gathering! An easy, make ahead side dish for Thanksgiving or any holiday.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1 hr 40 mins
Total: 1 hr 45 mins

Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes about 4 large
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • ¾  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper a bit more if you like a good kick
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup whiskey see notes section for brand recommendations
  • 2 cups peeled, cored, and ¾-inch-diced tart, firm baking apples such as Granny Smith or Cortland (about 2 medium or 3 small)

Instructions
 

  • 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 ¾-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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 10)Calories: 341kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 100mgFiber: 6gSugar: 29g

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More Delicious Holiday Sides

Try one of these delicious holiday sides, or check out my other sweet potato recipes.

And for posterity, here’s the original photo of this recipe from 2013!

Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Whiskey Pecans

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Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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92 Comments

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  1. Now that’s how to eat sweet potatoes…yummo!!! And I love, love, love the Thankfulness List. What a great tradition to carry on every year!!!

  2. Haha – your intro made me laugh!
    Yup – these sweet potatoes with pecans and apples would indeed be hard to share! Looks amazing – safe travels next week!

    1. Thanks so much Shashi!!! Knowing I have more of these sweet potatoes on the other side should help keep my spirits alive, no matter what travel bumps I run into :)

  3. I totally have been dreaming about my mom’s sweet potato dish since September, too! Twinsies. :) I’m going to be dreaming about this recipe, too, now until I can make it for myself. Yummmz.

  4. Oh, I am a new sweet potato lover and I absolutely MUST try these! Whiskey and honey and pecans and sweet potatoes? Yes.

  5. I am loving sweet potatoes right now and am looking for new ways to cook em. I can’t wait to try this recipe, especially since I have all the ingredients already at home.

  6. Any time I can have sweet potatoes and pecans as a side dish, I’m happy! This dish is so pretty and the whiskey pecans sound fantastic. I like the idea of 100 things, it’ll be so fun to make it. What a fun Thanksgiving project!

  7. I.
    Need.
    To.
    Make.
    This.
    Could this stuff look anymore amazing?? Those honey-whiskey pecans are calling my name, they sound utterly delish!
    And the Thankgiving list is such a fab idea, I think I’m trying that one!
    I hope you have a great & safe travel :D

    1. They are totally calling your name Consuelo! I can practically hear my honey and pecans wanting to get together and make this sweet potato bake happen for you. Thanks so much for your kind wishes and have a lovely evening!

    1. Patty that sounds like such a fun twist! Maybe we’ll just have to do two pans: one with tart apples and one with tart cranberries. For “research” purposes of course ;-)

  8. I’m planning to prepare this for a group Christmas luncheon. The instructions say to bake the prepared casserole for 30 minutes. What oven temperature do you recommend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Nancy! I’m so excited that you are going to try this dish. Bake the casserole at 375, the same temperature at which you roast the potatoes. I hope you and your guests enjoy it!

  9. For some reason when I try to share your links, they get blocked on Facebook. The message just says “You can’t post this because it has a blocked link.” So sad!

      1. Bah! I did their little “tell is if you think we’ve made a mistake” so hopefully it will be rectified someday…well I am super impressed with your blog, these are AMAZING recipes. I am just learning to love to cook, and these beautiful, delicious edibles and drinks are warming me up to it! Happy Thanksgiving!

        1. Thanks so much Kimberly!! I truly appreciate it. Thank you also for your kind words about my blog! It absolutely makes my day :-) I’m so happy you found my site, and wishing you a warm wonderful Thanksgiving.

  10. This looks delicious Erin! I love all these flavors together. And your updated photography is gorgeous!

    1. Hi Glenna! You could certainly experiment, but I think you would definitely lose some texture and the pecans might not be as crisp. I’d stick with the oven to be safe, but if you decide to play around with the crockpot, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

    1. Hi Kelly! It looks like you found Glenna’s question above, but I haven’t made this recipe in a crock pot, so I couldn’t say for sure how it would turn out. You would probably lose some texture, and the pecans wouldn’t be as crisp, so I’d recommend sticking with the oven just to be safe. If you do try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  11. This might be a silly question but does the alcohol in the whiskey coom off? We have a few pregnant women at our thanksgiving dinner this year and I want to make sure they can eat this! Looks amazing!

    1. Hi Kate! From what I have read online, alcohol does not cook off 100%, but it’s pretty darn close to zero. I’d talk to your guests and see what they are comfortable with. I hope you love it!

  12. This looks A!Maz!Ing! But my husband is reluctant because his favorite aspect of my sweet potatoes casserole is the marshmallows on top. Is there any Thanksgiving miracle in which marshmallows could be incorporated in your recipe?

    1. Hi Elizabeth! To be honest with you, this recipe wasn’t designed for the marshmallows—I’m worried that would be excessively sweet. If you want to go that route, I would suggest this vanilla bean sweet potato casserole. It will be really sweet with the marshmallows on top, but you could bake them on there at the end anyway if that is your family thing :-) https://www.wellplated.com/healthy-sweet-potato-casserole/

  13. Planning to make this for the first time this year. Looks like just what I was looking for. Would you recommend sweet potatoes or more of a ruby-fleshed yam? Thanks!

  14. Hi Erin, all of the coconut oil I can find say that the it is flavorless. Can I substitute vegetable oil? I am so looking forward to making this dish and don’t want to spoil it.
    Thanks,
    Ben

    1. Hi Ben! Sure, you can substitute vegetable oil. Flavorless coconut oil would probably work too. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  15. Great recipe! I doubled the topping for even more whiskey-pecan goodness, and it’s in the oven as I type! :) Thanks for another yummy dish!5 stars

  16. This was delicious! The only sub I made was olive oil for coconut oil. However, I thought the sweet potato prep was overly complicated and time consuming. I just cubed them raw and roasted, didn’t peel.5 stars

    1. Melanie, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for sharing your swap and for taking the time to leave this review!

    1. Hi Beth, you could keep them warm in the slow cooker, but overall I recommend the oven for the baking because it helps the glaze reduce and the pecans crisp up further. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  17. I tried this recipe and it was a huge hit. At first, I thought this recipe couldn’t get any better, but I like to experiment and i love color. I’m going to try this again, but next time things are going to get a little wild. I’m going to add beets (adapted from candy roasted beets and sweets recipes) and top the dish with a garnish of fresh blueberries, because blueberries with pecans are delicious.5 stars

    1. I’m glad you enjoy the recipe, and your ideas for next time sound colorful! Thanks for taking the time to review the recipe.

  18. What can I substitute the liquor for what are some good ideas being as though there will be kids eating this dish.

  19. 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