Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry Pecan Streusel: Woah baby! These sweet potatoes knock it out of the park with a cheesy twice baked filling and sweet streusel topping. It’s the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
Let’s face it, the sweet potato casseroles our moms made, and maybe still make, for Thanksgiving dinner get a bad rap these days.
Too much sugar. Too much butter. The marshmallows are too processed. The pineapple is too sweet.
Believe me, I’ve seen allll the comments over the past few years. But you know what?
I still love a good ol’ fashioned sweet potato casserole with the crushed pineapple and toasted mini marshmallows on top. Sue me.
It’s nostalgic. And the smell of those marshmallows toasting in the oven just bring back so many memories of bustling kitchens on Thanksgiving day that I can’t help but indulge just a little.
A New Face for a Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish
But times, they are changing. I get it. You guys have asked for new Thanksgiving side dishes and so to go along with my homemade creamed corn, these honey dinner rolls with maple butter, and my absolute favorite creamed spinach recipe, I’m adding these twice baked sweet potatoes.
They’re SUPER easy to make and can be made a day in advance, making them quick to reheat in the oven for a few minutes before serving.
Like my caramelized onion twice baked potatoes and bacon cheddar ranch twice baked potatoes, these twice baked sweet potatoes are scooped out of their skins and are mixed with butter and shredded gruyere cheese. There’s a little dried sage in there too because, hey! It’s the fall and Thanksgiving and all those things and sage is kind of a requirement.
The cheese makes the filling a little savory and nutty but the sweet potato flavor isn’t overpowered by the gruyere at all. It’s such a great combination of flavors!
And then to top the sweet potato off, I added a fantastic streusel that’s filled with brown sugar, butter, dried cranberries, and candied pecans.
YOU GUYS!! This streusel topping is eeeeeverything!
I felt like the twiced baked sweet potatoes on their own needed a little crunch to balance out the creamy filling. And rather than a traditional cheesy lid on top of the potatoes, I went down the sweet and crunchy road instead.
The streusel adds just the right amount of texture and sweetness that this baked sweet potato recipe needed.
How to Bake Sweet Potatoes
I’ve heard from a few readers recently about the ways they bake their potatoes and sweet potatoes so I thought I’d bring up the topic here too. I bake my regular potatoes in the oven using a quick brine method that helps to flavor and crisp up the skins.
However, I’m not nearly as rigid with my method to bake sweet potatoes and I don’t have an oven baked sweet potato recipe either. I simply poke them with a fork a few times on each side and bake them directly on the oven rack.
A couple of you mentioned that you bake them foil and I plan to look into how to bake sweet potatoes in foil. Maybe I’ll do some testing in the next couple of months and share the results here. It can’t be a difficult way to bake them, right?
How Long to Bake Sweet Potatoes
I bake my sweet potatoes for 45 to 60 minutes at 425° F. I like them extra soft and for the skins to brown a little in places so I bake them for a long time at a high temperature.
The high oven heat causes the juice in the sweet potatoes to ooze out through the holes I poke so about halfway through the baking time, I like to slip a piece of aluminum foil underneath the potatoes (on the rack below them) to catch the bubbly juices.
This prevents the juices from burning up on the bottom of my oven, which I abhor trying to clean up before the next time I need to crank up my oven.
I hope you all love these twice baked sweet potatoes just as much as I did! They’re an elegant addition to your holiday side dish menu and make for a great accompaniment to your Thanksgiving turkey, turkey roulade, or roast beef at Christmas.
What to Serve Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with
Obviously, these potatoes would be excellent alongside your holiday turkey or roast. But they would also be outstanding with some roast chicken, grilled steak, Ina’s turkey meatloaf, this chicken with country gravy, this butterflied and grilled chicken, or even bacon and onion jam burgers!
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry Pecan Streusel
Twice baked sweet potatoes with cranberry pecan streusel will be your new favorite holiday side dish! Nutty gruyere and dried sage are mixed into the sweet potato filling to create a savory and slightly sweet flavor. The streusel adds just enough sweetness and a bit of crunch to make these a truly unforgettable new friend to your turkey or roast beef.
For the sweet potatoes and filling:
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup shredded gruyere cheese (about 2 oz)
- ¼ tsp dried sage
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- Couple cranks of freshly ground black pepper
For the streusel topping:
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp packed light brown sugar
- Small pinch of table salt (less than ⅛ tsp)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries
- ¼ cup candied or glazed pecans, roughly chopped (see note below)
For the optional fried sage:
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Pierce the sweet potatoes a couple times on the top and bottom with a fork.
- Bake sweet potatoes using your preferred method. If you don't have a preferred method, bake them directly on the middle oven rack for 45 to 50 minutes, until a fork slides in easily and potatoes are soft to the touch. Around the 30 minute mark, slip a piece of aluminum foil onto the rack directly below the sweet potatoes to catch any of the oozing juices. This will prevent the juices from burning on the bottom of your oven.
- While the potatoes bake, make the streusel. Mix the flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Cut in the cold butter with 2 knives or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Toss in the dried cranberries and pecans. Refrigerate until needed.
- After the potatoes are finished baking take them out of the oven, reduce the oven to 400° F, and allow the potatoes to cool for 5 minutes. Slice each potato open through the equator so you have 2 separated halves from each potato.
- Scoop out the filling - try not to tear the skin here - and place it in a medium bowl. Mix the gruyere, dried sage, butter, salt, and pepper into the sweet potato until the butter is completely melted.
- Ready a parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill the skins with the potato filling and place each onto the baking sheet. Top each potato with the streusel topping, lightly pressing the topping into the sweet potato filling so it sticks.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the topping is browned. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- If you want to add the fried sage to the top of the sweet potatoes as a garnish before serving, heat the oil in a small frying pan and drop in the sage leaves (they will snap and pop when they hit the oil). Fry them for about 30 seconds and then let them cool and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Add one leaf to the top of each sweet potato before serving.
You can sometimes find candied/glazed pecans in the salad topping section of the salad dressing aisle in the grocery store. If you can't find them, you can make them too! My recipe is included with my Harvest Salad recipe. If you can't find them and don't want to make them, you can definitely use plain halved pecans.
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How do you retain the potato skin shape once filled with the filling and baked. When I baked them – the potato flattened out and did not retain their shape at all. Kinda turned into a pancake 🙂
Be sure to leave a 1/4-inch rim of potato around the skin when you scoop it out. That will help to give the skins some structure.