Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes ♥

Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes, another seasonal vegetable recipe ♥ A Veggie Venture. Gluten Free. Easy Make Ahead.
Today's special sweet potato recipe is one of my all-time favorites, in part because it's so flexible. It can be jazzed up with a pretty topping when presentation matters (hello, Thanksgiving) but also works for everyday (as pictured). The process is really simple. Just sweet potato cubes are steamed or boiled, then glazed in a syrup made with butter, maple syrup and fresh ginger.

Just Five Ingredients! Fresh & Seasonal, Perfect for Cold-Weather Months. Easy to Make Ahead. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free. Slow Cooker Option.

The Short Version

Cook some sweet potatoes, either steaming cubes or boiling whole. Make a simple sauce, just butter, maple syrup, fresh ginger, salt and pepper. Gently toss the cooked sweet potatoes with the warm sauce, bake for 45 minutes. Simple, yes? Detailed recipe below.

A Sweet Potato Casserole That's Not the Sweet Potato Casserole

Oh man, oh man, oh man. Are these sweet potatoes good?! Yes, they are! That makes them a great vegetable recipe for Thanksgiving, less sweet (but still sweet) than a sweet potato casserole but full of flavor and buttery-gingery-syrupy goodness. (Looking for something more traditional? My Sweet Potato Casserole is also less sweet but keeps a few of those requisite marshmallows!)

But there are so many other choices for Thanksgiving. I can't help but be tempted by other recipes, especially the World's Best Green Bean Casserole. And what about Smothered Cabbage? And the Creamy Carrot Purée? And ... hmmm, must do more taste tests.

No doubt, over the years, I've built an amazing collection of Thanksgiving vegetable recipes, My Very Best Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes.

So good news, Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes are also simple enough for everyday. It turns out that while I'm not "famous" for Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes (I am, I really am, for the World's Best Green Bean Casserole) but I do make them often and find the recipe most adaptable, even while adhering to its essence, cubes of sweet potato glazed with a buttery, gingery syrup.

"This was a hit at our dinner!" ~ HoomeCook
"It came out v well ..." ~ Dhivya
"... a dinner staple at our house – they are my 9-year old's favorite veggie." ~ Sharon
"I love this recipe; I have made it many times." ~ HillPill

Just updated. First published way back in 2006!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes
Serves 8 (in usual-sized meal servings, 16 for small-ish big-dinner servings)

Just five ingredients!
2 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes, scrubbed well
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/3 cup maple syrup (sorghum works great, too)
1/3 cup water
Salt & pepper to taste
Garnish, optional

Decide how you're going to cook the sweet potatoes, either steaming or boiling. Both work.

TO STEAM Start the water to boil for the steaming. Peel the sweet potatoes and dice into pieces about 3/4". Place in an even layer in a steamer basket, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until fully cooked. Remove from the heat, uncover (so they don't get soggy).

TO BOIL Place whole unpeeled well-scrubbed sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover the sweet potatoes with plus an extra good inch, you want the sweet potatoes remain fully immersed, allowing for evaporation. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a fast simmer and let cook until a knife can be easily inserted into the center, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Peel and cut into a 3/4" dice.

MAKE SAUCE In a large skillet, melt the butter until shimmery. Add the ginger and let cook for a minute until fragrant. Stir in the maple syrup and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the water and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the cooked sweet potato and stir well to coat. Season to taste and stir well again. Transfer to a lightly buttered baking dish. Cover with foil.

BAKE COVERED Heat oven to 375F. Bake for 30 minutes, stir, then return the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

BAKE UNCOVERED Remove the foil, stir and bake for about another 15 minutes until the glaze has thickened just a bit. Serve immediately.

THE DAY BEFORE Cook the sweet potatoes and assemble the dish. Cover and refrigerate. (The sweet potatoes don't turn brown, no problem.)
THE DAY OF Return to room temperature, then bake, allowing an extra 10-15 minutes oven time.

SLOW COOKER OPTION You can make Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes in the slow cooker – just combine all the ingredients in a three-quart slow cooker and cook on HIGH for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally if you can. What you get is the flavors – though not cubes of sweet potato glazed in maple syrup and ginger. The last time I did this, I let them cook another 4 hours, they got really soft and luscious and maple-syrup colored, so I served them mashed. Very good!

STEAMING vs BOILING The inspiring recipe called for boiling whole sweet potatoes, then dicing. I prefer to dice and steam sweet potato cubes but both techniques work fine. Boiling leaves the diced pieces slightly softer to better soak up the butter-ginger-syrup glaze. Steaming is faster. These days, I only steam the sweet potatoes but do let them cook slightly more. Be gentle when stirring the sweet potatoes, you really don't want them to break up into a big mush.
FRESH GINGER Use a microplane to easily grate fresh ginger. I've learned the hard way that fresh ginger makes for something special, my usual reliance on a jar of Asian ginger, something ordinary. Go for the fresh ginger!
MAPLE SYRUP Grade B maple syrup has the most flavor. It's not always easy to find though is almost always in stock at Trader Joe's. UPDATE The maple syrup people have done away with the long-time grades, although the changes will be implemented in phases over about three years. Now all maple syrups will be "Grade A" but will also include a taste description. The old Grade B will be described as "Dark / Robust Taste".
PEPPER Don't skip or be skimpy with the pepper, it's great contrast to the sweet, sticky maple syrup.
FANCY GARNISH Without some sort of garnish, Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes look quite plain, even unappealingly plain. For holiday meals, I "dude them up" by serving in a shallow dish topped with toasted pecans as "petals" in three flowers, with dried cranberries as the flower centers. Easy and quite pretty! I've also topped with toasted slivered almonds, also candied walnuts or glazed pecans.

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Still Hungry?

More Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes

~ My Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes ~

~ Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry & Orange ~
~ Savory Stir-Fried Sweet Potatoes ~
~ Frozen Sweet Potato Fries: Are They Worth the Money? the Calories? ~
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Chicken Cider Stew ~
~ Rustic Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Carrots ~
~ Sweet Potato Salad with Roasted Poblano, Roasted Corn & Chipotle ~
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2014 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This looks AWESOME, and it just so happens I have an enormous bag of sweet potatoes just waiting to be used!

  2. Some of side dishes are even more beloved than the turkey itself. There is no limit to what can be served with a Thanksgiving turkey dinner.All sweet potatoes recipes will enjoy everyone . I'll try Maple ginger sweet potatoes ( It looks good for side Thanksgiving dish)

  3. My husband will love you for this recipe!

  4. s'kat ~ there are so many good choices for sweet potatoes but this one's high on the list, for sure ...

    home cook ~ agreed! let me know how it goes ...

    sher ~ ginger in a jar is a wonder product, I find myself using it almost every day, especially in salad dressing

    lydia ~ oh good, we love to make husbands happy!

  5. This was a hit at our dinner! One of best recipes I have ever had the pleasure of cooking and eating. Top recipe!! Thank you

  6. Hoome ~ I love it when recipes get lots of exclamation points! Thanks for taking the time to say so! ; - )

  7. Hi Alanna,

    I was partnered with you for the T&C Event and I made this recipe.Its came out v well and we all appreciate you for sharing it with us.

    Thanks :)

  8. LOVE your site -- and LOVE the new email feature. It is wonderful.

    Your maple-ginger yams are now a dinner staple at our house -- they are my 9-year old's favorite veggie.

  9. I love this recipe; I have made it many times. However, I would like to make it in the slow cooker for Thanksgiving to free up the oven for other things (green bean casserole, anyone?). Would you not recommend making this in a crock pot? I don't want my first Thanksgiving as the hostess to be a flop :)

  10. HillPill ~ Y'know, I'm glad you asked! I just checked this new recipe for Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry & Orange and think that yes, this recipe could convert too.

    I'm doing a thank-you dinner tomorrow night where this would be a good side dish, let me try them in the crockpot! The one issue I'd see is size. Most crockpots are just too big. Two pounds of sweet potatoes is perfect in a 1.5 quart crockpot which is the smallest I've ever seen except the mini.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna