I’ll admit I have never been a huge fan of sweet potatoes myself.  I have found a few ways that I do consider them edible, but the bottom line is that they will probably never be a favorite food of my own.  However, I know that lots of people are crazy about them and they are a very popular side dish, so I wouldn’t think of hosting Thanksgiving without serving them.  I know a lot of people like to serve them with a sweeter topping like brown sugar or marshmallows but I prefer the savory route, so I tried this version with a sage butter crumb topping.  It was a really big hit and several of the guests declared it as their favorite dish of the whole meal.  Even I thought they were decent, so I guess that’s saying something.

Of course, looking at the recipe again, I am reminded that the potato puree can be made up to two days in advance and topped with the bread crumb mixture just before baking.  I’ll have to add that to my advance prep timeline!


2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1-2½ tbsp. minced fresh sage, divided
1½ cups warm milk
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs


  • 01

    Combine the sweet potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes in a large stockpot.  Cover with water, season with salt, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and continue to boil until the potatoes are tender, 10-14 minutes.  Drain well and mash potatoes with a ricer or an electric mixer.  In a saucepan, melt 8 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and mix in 1-2 tablespoons of the sage.  (I prefer to go a little light on the sage.) Mix the sage-butter mixture and the warm milk into the potatoes; mix well to blend until smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a 2-quart casserole dish.  At this point, the potato mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

  • 02

    When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  In a small bowl, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.  Mix in the remaining ½ tablespoon of sage and the bread crumbs; season with salt and pepper.  Toss well to combine.  Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the sweet potato mixture.  Bake uncovered until golden brown and bubbling, 30-40 minutes.  (Cover loosely with foil earlier if breadcrumbs brown too quickly.)  Serve warm.

  • I want this now. Oh my.

  • This looks delicious and perfect for Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing :-0

    This looks super amazing
    Just overnight me some please!


  • Kerwin


    I think I may try this one, but as I have plenty of rosemary, do you think that would work or be too over-powering? Also, while I love the baking recipes, I like the less-sweet stuff too. A nice change of pace. All too often I go “That looks great.” But I would weigh 400lbs in about a week. Good job Annie.

  • Ai

    I’ve never had sweet potatoes this way! I live in Japan, and we typically eat it cooked on hot pebbles. Just peel the skin and bite in :) But I might have to try this, it looks really yummy♥


  • Brandy

    Being from South Alabama, sweet potatoes are served frequently for meals here. I always put them on my plate, but I actually can’t stand them. Yeeck. My boys love them though, so I make sweet potatoes for them. I think I might try this recipe, maybe savory instead of syrup-y is the way to go. Aren’t sweet potatoes like the top best food for your body (anti-oxidants and such)?

  • These look delicious. I like sweet potatoes when they are savory, but not as much when the sweet side is played up.

  • HB

    I usually do a sweet potato casserole but it’s so sweet — almost like a dessert. Not that we mind :) but I will probably try this recipe for this year! Love that it can be prepped earlier too — planning to do lots more earlier this year! Thanks for pointing that out!

  • I love sweet potatoes! Great thanksgiving side idea, thanks!

  • This sounds great! :)

  • Looks delicious! I have never been a fan of the traditional sweet potato dish, but I never would have thought to make sweet potatoes this way. I may need to serve this dish this Thanksgiving!

  • sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods! this looks fabulous!

  • It’s surprising how many people are not crazy about sweet potatoes. We’re contemplating a gratin of white potatoes and sweets this year with cream and cheese.

  • WriterCrystal

    That looks awesome! I’ve got some locally grown sweet potatoes coming my way this week. I think I just found what I want to do with them! Thanks!

  • Wow, what a dish Annie. I wish I was having a big Thanksgiving spread this year, so that I could make this! I’ll save this for next year, though. Thanks for sharing!

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black


  • Oh, this looks delicious! And I was looking for a sweet potato dish to bring to a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with friends. I like I found it! :)

  • Annie

    I think rosemary can be kind of overpowering. I’m sure it could be done but you would have to alter the quantity.

  • This looks like a delicious savory twist on the original sweet potato casserole. YUM!

  • I usually like sweet – sweet potato dishes, but this looks like a great option for those who don’t! (like my husband :) )

  • Looks fantastic! I’m not crazy about the super sweet, sweet potatoes either. I’m going to bring this to my mom’s for Thanksgiving! Thanks for a great recipe!

  • I always love your recipes and in case you haven’t seen I gave you a Loveliest Blog Award at http://www.anniesdish.com/2010/11/whole-wheat-pumpkin-muffins.html

  • I am not a huge sweet potato fan either but my husband loves them so I will have to cook this for him sometime!

  • Sounds yummy and easy :) Can’t wait to give this a try!!!

  • Linda

    Sounds good and an alternative to the sweet kind of dish which I like but the rest of the family not so much. Think I could use the Panko crumbs? Just curious since I have some in the pantry and don’t use them that often.

  • Annie

    I suppose you could but I think making fresh bread crumbs, kind of on the coarse side, is best for this recipe. Normally I’m a huge lover of Panko but I don’t think they are the best way to go here.

  • Sara

    Annie, I know this is probably a no-brainer, but I wanted to check before I made this dish. Are the fresh breadcrumbs just small pieces of white bread torn up? Do I need to bake them at all to dry them out? Thank you, Annie. I appreciate your help!!

  • Annie

    I usually just put a hunk of bread in the food processor and pulse it briefly to get the coarse crumbs you see. They do not need to be baked or dried out first.

  • Célia

    Bonjour Annie !

    I just baked this and we LOVED it!!! Thanks for this great great recipe ;)
    While doing it I was wondering why the butter had to be “cooked”… I’ve never heard of that! Even if it smelled really good, I still wonder if that makes a big difference… could you enlighten me?
    Thanks again for your wonderful website!

  • Kimberly

    This looks yummy. I usually eat sweet potatoes pretty plain maybe with a little maple syrup but if you like sweet and savory…sweet potatoes mashed (a tad of butter and brown sugar) topped with carmalized onions is delish!

  • Made it tonight. It was great, except I added some brown sugar to the taters. My sweet potatoes, were not sweet :(

  • Anne

    Hi Annie,
    This looks great! I may have overlooked this, but how many does this serve?

  • Annie

    I don’t typically list servings for things like this because it varies so much depending on the appetites of those you are serving. I think it’s best to just read the ingredient list and estimate it for yourself.

  • Sue

    Annie- I made this. Delicious!! I did taste it after the butter and sage were added but before the milk and it was so good… The milk mellowed it but yummy. Also made the pumpkin yeast bread. And the CI pumpkin cheesecake. Thanks for some great recipes!!

  • I came to the exact conclusion as well some time ago. Great write-up and I will be sure to look back later for more news.

  • I’m so glad you included this in your Thanksgiving recipes section. I don’t have the joy of hosting Thanksgiving this year, but this looks like a great seasonal recipe to make for any meal. I have a lot of dried sage- do you think I could alter the recipe by using a smaller quantity, like one tablespoon?

  • Mary

    Hi Annie!

    I just made these as a pre-Thanksgiving trial run for dinner tonight, and they did not turn out nearly as good as we had hoped, the taste of the potatoes was just really bland and did not have a lot of flavor. One thing that we had to do different was that we only had ground sage to use instead of the minced, fresh sage. Would that difference be enough to throw off the whole dish? What if we used yams instead? Maybe we used the wrong kind of sweet potatoes…


  • Mary

    I see that you, who is not normally a sweet potato eater enjoys this dish, as well as many of your guests, and I see that it’s made the cut for this year’s menu, so whatever help you are willing to give I will take it! Thanks so much! :)

  • Annie

    I think fresh sage is really important to this dish. It’s also possible you just need to add a bit of salt to your potatoes (or more than you used). I hope that helps!

  • Mary

    Okay thanks Annie I will try it! p.s. I tried the turkey roulade stuffing as well, and it turned out SO great!! I totally get why you enjoyed it so much!!

  • Eva Grabowski

    I made these for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner and LOVED them so much that I’m making them for my family’s Christmas Eve dinner too. I’m not usually a big fan of sweet potatoes, but this dish changed my mind forever. Christmas Eve can’t come soon enough! :)