I’d have to say this Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter is one of our favorite side dishes, maybe number one. You’ve got the sweetness from the potatoes balanced by spice, along with the savory butter. Just be sure to serve it with something good so it doesn’t steal the show! Read on for details about this tasty side dish, or click here to jump down to the recipe.
What goes with mashed sweet potatoes?
A great side dish can really elevate the meal. I first developed this Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter to go with a grilled pork tenderloin recipe, and it certainly goes very well with pork. But then when experimenting with creative pairings for Thanksgiving, I served this sweet potato dish with roasted turkey, and that was a nice combination, too.
So whether you’re looking for a special side for Thanksgiving or any other meal you are fixing, give this a try!
The most recent batch of mashed sweet potatoes was served with onion roasted sirloin steak with onion sauce. A lot of flavor on that plate! We updated the November 2016 version of this article following a November 2019 remake of the dish.
I like the sweet flavor of sweet potatoes anyway. But add some savory butter and sage, and some garlic and cumin for some kick, and you really have something tasty going on with this Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter recipe! Family and friends tend to eagerly request this side dish to be made when I go too long without fixing it.
Making this recipe
For a dish with such sophisticated flavor, this is pretty easy to make. It can be made ahead of other things, and kept covered on very low heat with a bit of the milk on top to keep it moist as you finish the rest of your meal. Here are some tips to making our favorite mashed sweet potatoes:
- Pull that butter out of the fridge 20 or 30 minutes before you get started cooking to have it softened and easy to work with. I often use Earth Balance spread instead of dairy butter, and that softens a bit faster.
- If you forget to take the butter out in advance of the time you need to start putting things together, you can microwave it for 3 to 5 seconds to get it soft enough.
- Place the butter in a small bowl, then mash it with the minced garlic. Mix in your spices and herbs with some lime juice, and your cumin sage butter is ready to go! Set it aside while the sweet potatoes cook.
- Once you have the butter made, it’s a pretty straightforward process, similar to other mashed potatoes.
- If you are scaling this recipe up for a larger crowd such as you might have for Thanksgiving, keep in mind a full pan of sweet potatoes will take a bit longer to cook.
- If your mashed sweet potatoes are ready ahead of the other dishes, keep it warm by adding a bit of extra milk and butter to the top of the potatoes, as shown above (plain butter is OK at this point). Cover, and keep on very low heat. Just before serving, uncover and stir to incorporate the extra milk and butter.
Once you get the idea of mixing up a flavored butter like this, you’ll find it can be used in many other dishes, such as flavoring a roast turkey or chicken.
If you like this recipe, you might also like our Savory Mashed Butternut Squash!
While I would focus the wine pairing selection on the main course, keep in mind that this is a full-flavored side dish with some spice. So a wine with some big flavors and a spice element is going to complement more than one that is a simple, fruit forward wine. The Brennan’s Vineyard Winemakers Choice red blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc and Carmenere) from Texas worked nicely with the sweet potatoes and steak we had. Previously, we enjoyed these sweet potatoes with grilled pork tenderloin and a Bonny Doon Syrah.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter combines sweet, savory and spice for a spectacular side dish.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 4 to 5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- ½ to 1 cup milk
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened a bit
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 sage leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- juice from ½ of a lime
- salt & pepper to taste
- Cook the sweet potatoes: Bring a pot of water to boil for the sweet potatoes. Add the potatoes and cook until soft–they cook a bit quicker than regular potatoes, about 20 to 25 minutes should do.
- Make the butter: As the potatoes cook, make the butter. Place the softened butter in a medium sized bowl. Add the garlic, sage, cumin, and lime juice to butter, and stir to combine. You need to stir vigorously at first to get things well incorporated into the butter. Continue stirring until everything is well mixed together. You can make the butter earlier and refrigerate if you like.
- Mash sweet potatoes with butter: Drain the potatoes, add ½ cup of milk and butter. Mash in the butter and milk as you would other types of mashed potatoes. Add extra milk as needed, mashing until you reach your desired consistency.
- Serve with turkey, pork or other entree. Enjoy!
- Take the butter out of the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before making the cumin sage butter. This allows it to soften a bit.
- If you forget to take the butter out in advance, you can soften it by heating in a microwave for 5 seconds or less.
- We often use Earth Balance Buttery Spread in this recipe. In addition to being dairy free, it softens a bit more quickly than regular dairy butter.
- If your mashed sweet potatoes are ready ahead of the other dishes, keep it warm by adding a bit of extra milk and butter (plain is OK) to the top of the potatoes. Cover, and keep on very low heat. Just before serving, uncover and stir to incorporate the extra milk and butter.
Keywords: sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes with cumin
Best Holiday Side Dishes From Sunday Supper
Our Mashed Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter recipe was shared in November 2016 as part of a Sunday Supper event focused on holiday side dishes. We came back to update the recipe in November 2019. Check out the links below for more great side dish ideas!
Fruity Side Dishes
- Cranberry Apple Relish by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Cranberry Fluff Salad by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Easy Cheesy Pineapple Bake by This is How I Cook
- Pecan Cranberry Jello Salad by Curious Cuisiniere
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Apples by Dizzy Busy and Hungry
Other Side Dishes
- Chestnut Stuffing by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Easy Mushroom Rice Pilaf by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- One Pot Macaroni and Cheese by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Potato Dinner Rolls by The Redhead Baker
- Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing by Life Tastes Good
Potato Side Dishes
- Gingered Sweet Potatoes by Simple and Savory
- Marmalade Glazed Sweet Potatoes by Sunday Supper Movement
- Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes by Cookin’ Mimi
- Sour Cream and Onion Smashed Red Potatoes by Food Done Light
- Southern Praline Sweet Potato Casserole by The Weekend Gourmet
- Southwestern Potato Bake by The Freshman Cook
- Stacked Sweet Potatoes by My Imperfect Kitchen
- Sweet Potatoes with Cumin Sage Butter by Cooking Chat
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes by Mindy’s Cooking Obsession
Vegetable Side Dishes
- Acorn Squash and Brussel Sprout Side Dish by Caroline’s Cooking
- Bacon Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts by The Crumby Cupcake
- Braised Red Cabbage by Turnips 2 Tangerines
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese Bake by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Candied Acorn Squash by Cricket’s Confections
- Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Casserole by Food Lust People Love
- German Green Bean Salad (Bohnensalat) by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Homemade Green Bean Casserole by Family Around The Table
- Loaded Mashed Cauliflower Casserole by My Life Cookbook
- Miso Glazed Corn by NinjaBaker.com
- Pan Roasted Carrots with Apple Molasses by Palatable Pastime
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Cranberries by The Chef Next Door
- Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Walnut Pesto by The Hungry Goddess
- Roasted Onions with Parsley Pesto by Monica’s Table
- Roasted Parsnips with Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary by Wholistic Woman
- Roasted Pumpkin with Rosemary and Thyme by Feeding Big
- Spicy Balsamic Roasted Vegetables by Pies and Plots
- Sweet Corn Pudding by Brunch-n-Bites
Lea Ann Brown
Hi David, I saw your comment on G+ about the Social Share buttons and had to come over for a look. Glad I did since the sound of these sweet potatoes sound like a great dish for my Thanksgiving feast. I’m a huge cumin fan and with sage? You bet! Thanks for a great idea.
Thanks for stopping by, Lea Ann! I’ve always liked cumin and sage independently, was glad to stumble upon the idea of combinging them!
I love sweet potatoes anyway but that cumin-sage butter sounds like a delicious addition.
Thanks, I have to agree!
I love sweet potatoes. For many years I only had them with sweet additions to them. I have been trying them more savory and love them too.
big fan of savory & sweet combo here!
Abbe@This is How I Cook
Just got back from China where they use cumin in a lot of potato dishes! Can’t wait to give these a try!
I think it’s a nice combo! Bet there was a lot of interesting food to try in China!
EA The Spicy RD
What a delicious flavor combination! I never would have thought to pair the cumin and sage together, but I bet these taste amazing! Pinning for the holidays!