Take twice baked sweet potatoes to the next level with this delicious brown sugar maple walnut topping. Perfect as a Thanksgiving side dish!
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite on the Thanksgiving dinner table – and excuse the 5 year old within me, but I live for marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole.
But I know not everyone is into that, and some years we may have a smaller celebration that doesn’t warrant an entire casserole. Which is when these Maple Walnut Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes come in handy! They are easy to make and taste absolutely delicious. Each is like a marshmallow-free mini sweet potato casserole 😉
I decided to make these with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, because that’s what I usually have on hand and I wanted to keep this recipe on the sweeter side. If you prefer sour cream, feel free to swap that in!
Ingredients you’ll need
Here is an overview of the ingredients in the recipe (great to use as a visual grocery list at the store!). Scroll down to the recipe at the bottom for quantities.
- Sweet Potatoes: Try to find smaller sweet potatoes, so that half a potato will be just right for one serving. It’s easier to cut them in half lengthwise if they’re somewhat evenly shaped.
- Greek yogurt: Like I menitoned in the introduction, you can use sour cream in place of the yogurt for more savory and a little more decadent sweet potatoes.
- Pumpkin pie spice: If you have strong feelings against this, just use ground cinnamon instead.
- Maple syrup: You can subsitute pancake syrup, honey, or brown sugar.
- Brown sugar: I would go with 3-4 tablespoons first, and then adjust from there to taste (just taste-test the filling and add more sugar if you feel it needs to be sweeter).
- Nuts: I have readers who have successfully made this recipe nut-free by using rolled oats in place of the walnuts/pecans.
- Butter: Real butter works best here. If you need to use margarine for any kind of reason, please use stick margarine intended for baking and NOT a soft margarine spread.
How to make twice baked sweet potatoes
You start by baking the sweet potatoes in their skins. Prick them a few times with a fork so they don’t explode, then bake them until tender.
Once they’re done, let htem cool slightly, then cut them in half and carefully scoop out the flesh (1). Make sure you don’t damage the skins – set them aside to fill them later (2).
Then, mash the flesh (3) and add the remaining filling ingredients (4). Fill the sweet potato skins (5).
Finally, add the topping ingredients to a small bowl (6) and stir to combine (7). Spoon a little over each sweet potato skin (8), then finish baking the skins in the oven.
You can drizzle some extra syrup over them to serve, if you like. The sweet potato skins taste best hot! Check further below for make ahead instructions if you need to prepare these ahead.
Don’t overbake the sweet potatoes the first time around: You want them to be very soft, but not blackened. Not only will they start to taste bitter, but your skins will get paper-thin and have holes in them. Not ideal for filling them later on!
Sweeten to taste: Since I feed all of the recipe you see on this blog to my family, and I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old, I try to limit sugar in dishes a lot of the time.
I didn’t sweeten these sweet potatoes too much, so if you’re looking for a really sweet dish, just add a few tablespoons of brown sugar to the mashed sweet potatoes.
Make ahead instructions
If you need to bring them to a party (instead of serving them to guests in your own home), I suggest assembling them fully, but skipping the second bake. Refrigerate them covered with plastic wrap for up to a day.
Just bring the filled skins and the topping to wherever you’re going and then put them in the oven right before serving.
You can also do this if you’re the host and need to make a few appetizers ahead of time to lessen your stress – a great holiday party hack.
More easy holiday side dishes
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Maple Walnut Twice Baked Sweet Potato Skins
- baking pan
- 4 small sweet potatoes
- ½ cup Greek yogurt OR sour cream
- ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar or more to taste; can also be left out for a less sweet dish
- pinch of salt
- ⅔ cup chopped walnuts OR pecans
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- Bake potatoes for the first time:Preheat your oven to 400°F. Pierce the potatoes with a fork, place in a large baking pan and bake until soft (time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potatoes, anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes).
- Scoop out potatoes: Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the baked insides. Try to keep the skins whole as much as possible!
- Make filling:Place the potato skins back in the baking pan. Mash the baked potato flesh in a bowl until smooth. Mix in the Greek yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup (and brown sugar, if using) and salt. Scoop this filling into the sweet potato skins (I get 6 skins out of 4 baked potatoes).
- Make Topping:In a separate bowl, mix all topping ingredient. Sprinkle over the filled sweet potato skins. Bake at 400°F for 12-15 minutes.
- Finish:Drizzle with extra syrup to serve, if you like, and serve hot.