Everyone has their favorites on Thanksgiving. I’m a sucker for stuffing and obvi, Brussels sprouts. (Let’s talk about how it’s November and I haven’t yet posted a single Brussels sprouts recipe. Actually, let’s not since I may cry.) My cousin loves all things pumpkin, and my sister … she is a mashed potato fiend.
(Homegirl loves mashed potatoes so much that we once had to run out on Thanksgiving Day to buy a box of flakes, then bring them to someone else’s home to make. I’m not the only demanding child in the fam.)
Our go-to recipe involves red-skinned potatoes, butter, milk and a lot of garlic. Since she’s on her way home tonight, I decided to make her a little “welcome home” treat, but I wanted something different so I brought in my old nemesis, the sweet potato. Like I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of sweet things topped with more sweet things, so I wanted to go the savory route.
Skinny Taste had my back with a garlic-heavy version, but I took it a step further by roasting the garlic in the oven, until the cloves were sweet and soft and slightly nutty. Mashed into the sweet potatoes with a bit of milk and a spike of chili powder, they’re creamy and fluffy and smooth without pounds of butter and cream. With all of the other indulgences on my Thanksgiving table, I’m extra thankful for at least one lighter option.
This makes enough mashed sweet potatoes to feed four as a side dish. If you’re cooking to feed a crowd, scale up!
- 1 pound (2 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 325F. In a large pot of salted water, boil the sweet potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes.* Drain and set aside to cool for 2 minutes.
2) While the potatoes are cooking, toss the garlic cloves with the oil. Place on a lined baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the cloves are soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool, then pop them out of their skins and crush slightly.
3) Once the potatoes have cooled, return them to the pot and add the garlic, milk, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mash until the mixture is smooth and creamy, adding more milk if necessary. It helps to mash with the heat on very low, so that the potatoes and milk stay warm and more pliable.
*Probably not news to the mashed potato experts out there, but I learned very recently that it’s best to start the potatoes in cold water and let it come to boil on the stove (rather than the pasta method of adding them to already boiling water). This allows the potatoes to cook evenly, instead of cooking the outsides too quickly and leaving the insides raw.
Note: You could make these up to 2 days ahead (aka now) and reheat them slowly, in a microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash of milk if necessary.