Orange Maple Slow Cooked Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Slow cooked, soft and luscious sweet potatoes. Perfectly spiced with ginger, cinnamon, cumin & coriander. And oooh… a bit of orange and maple, too! Mmm, mmm. Smells like Thanksgiving in your slow cooker!

It’s that TIME!! I started a few weeks ago… and maybe you did too? But now it’s definitely ON. Time to start thinking about what’s looming in late November. The biggest eating day of the year! What are you going to make?

Sweet potatoes cut into rounds and in slow cooker

I love turkey and all – but it’s worth repeating – to me Thanksgiving dinner is ALL about the sides.

Six things must be represented on my holiday table for it to feel right. I don’t always make the same dish, in fact it’s pretty rare that I do, but these are my *Thanksgiving must haves* dressed up in some form or another:

  • Cranberries
  • Turkey & Gravy
  • Stuffing (or dressing) usually involving chestnuts
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • And at LEAST 4 desserts (one gingerbread, one apple, a chocolate, and a pumpkin)

Other traditional dishes weave their way in and out from year to year: Green beans, mashed potatoes, winter squash, homemade biscuits. But my Thanksgiving must haves are always at the core!

Orange Maple Slow Cooked Spiced Sweet Potatoes plated with a fork

Until I started publishing my recipes, I didn’t always test out my creations before they appeared on the Thanksgiving spread. As our family and friends can attest, there certainly were some misses over the years. 😬

But now, I test and retest to make sure I’ve got my recipes exactly right, and that they are easy to follow. I want to help YOU not have any misses on one of the most important days in the kitchen!

Orange Maple Slow Cooked Spiced Sweet Potatoes in a serving dish topped with candied nuts and fresh goat cheese

What’s so special about these sweet potatoes?

  1. They’ve got zest. Literally! It’s a chef trick to make just about anything pop.
  2. They can be made in a slow cooker so you can assemble and walk away knowing you’ve got one dish “Done. And. Done”. No need to think again about it until serving time.
  3. No slow cooker? No problem. Assemble in a baker instead. You’ve got two options: cook it in the morning then reheat before dinnertime, or refrigerate uncooked and bake off an hour before it’s sit-down time.

I’ve never been one for that quintessential T-Day dish of mashed sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows. Might be decadent and delicious – but to me that’s what dessert is for, not a side dish. I want my sweet potatoes to walk that fine line between perfectly sweet and succulently savory.

In my version, the orange zest, maple and cinnamon brings out the inherent sweetness of the potatoes. The broth, cumin, paprika and coriander keep it grounded.

I love the addition of the goat cheese on top. Initially, I had thought of it as an optional ingredient, but after testing the dish twice, I realized how integral it is- providing a further depth and balances the sweetness – also bringing that earthy vibe that only goat cheese can. Of course if you aren’t a fan, you can substitute with feta.

Make sure you tune in for my next post on Brussels! I’ve got even more sweet ‘n savory ideas coming that I know you’re going to love!

Orange Maple Slow Cooked Spiced Sweet Potatoes plated with a fork

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Make Ahead Healthy Dinner Party Mid-Week

Orange Maple Slow Cooked Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Or if using Slow Cooker5 hrs
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut ½ inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • ½ cup candied nuts such as pecans or walnuts

Instructions

If making in a slow cooker:

  • Place the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker in an even layer. Combine ½ cup stock, juice and zest from the orange, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cinnamon, paprika, ginger, and maple syrup and stir. Pour over the potatoes, then scatter the butter over top. Set the cooker to medium heat, and set the timer for 5 hours.
  • Halfway through cooking, turn the sweet potatoes over in the liquid.
  • After 5 hours, the potatoes should be tender. At this point you can turn your slow cooker to warm if not using right away. In this method of cooking, there will still be a fair amount of liquid in the bottom, as it won’t evaporate like it does in the oven. I just spoon it back over top, basting the potatoes, but another option is pouring the liquid off and reducing it on the stovetop, then pouring it back over the potatoes once thickened. This is not a necessary step if you don’t mind a more brothy dish.
  • Before serving, crumble the goat cheese on top of the sweet potatoes. Return the lid and set it to high to warm the cheese through, about 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with nuts.

If using a standard baking dish:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place the sweet potatoes in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Combine ½ cup of stock, juice and zest from the orange, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cinnamon, paprika, ginger, and maple syrup in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over the potatoes, then dot with the butter. Cover tightly with a piece of aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil, give it a stir, and if it is still liquidy, bake uncovered until it has mostly evaporated. Otherwise, cover again with foil and return to the oven. Continue baking for another 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. Uncover and top with the goat cheese. Keep warm until serving, scattering with the candied nuts.

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