I must admit, it’s hard to beat traditional sweet potato casserole for the holidays. But in the off chance that you’re cooking for a group of people who enjoy culinary adventure, I recommend changing things up a bit with this Sweet Potato & Plantain Mash with Toasted Hazelnuts! It’s close enough to sweet potato casserole that you won’t be straying from tradition too much, and the added plantains complement the sweet potatoes with their mild sweetness and starchy goodness. Top the whole thing off with toasted hazelnuts, and you have a nutritious side dish that’s worthy of the holiday table.
But first, let’s do a recap of the Thanksgiving recipes so far:
And now, Sweet Potato & Plantain Mash!
If you’re not excited about Thanksgiving, you should be!
Chef Abby is ready!
If you’ve never eaten plantains before, it’s important to know that a) they do not taste like bananas, and b) they are actually ripe when the skins are almost completely black. They’re starchy and slightly sweet, and are often used in Caribbean cooking (fried plantains are the BEST). If you’re concerned some people you’re serving won’t like them, try keeping the plantain mash on its half of the pan/dish rather than swirling too much of it in with the sweet potatoes. That way your guests can choose one or the other, or combine them.
Now, on to the recipe!
- 3 medium to large sweet potatoes
- 3 ripe plantains, peeled and chopped
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ¾-1 cup coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice), divided
- 3 T. Earth Balance (optional), divided
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground ginger
- Pinch salt
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts (toast on baking sheet at 375 degrees until golden), chopped
- Bake sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or in a baking dish on 375 degrees F for about 1 hour (time depends on size of potatoes), or until you can easily pierce them with a fork.
- While the potatoes are baking, add your chopped plantains to a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ½ cup coconut sugar, 2 T. Earth Balance, and salt. Cover with water and simmer until tender, 15-20 mins. Drain and reserve liquid. Mash the plantains, adding enough of the reserved liquid until creamy. Taste for sweetness.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, pull off the skins and discard. Mash the potatoes with ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ cup coconut sugar, 1 T. Earth Balance, pinch ground ginger, and salt. Add some of the plantain liquid and mash until creamy. Taste and add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter dish.
- In an oven-safe dish or skillet, spread out the plantain mash on one half and the potatoes on the other. Using the back of a spoon, swirl the two halves together (just a little!), allowing ridges to remain on top.
- Broil mash for 5-8 mins until the ridges turn golden, if desired. Sprinkle with more cinnamon and toasted hazelnuts before serving. If you're really feeling indulgent, drizzle with a little melted Earth Balance.
Even though I designed this recipe with Thanksgiving in mind, it would really be good any time of the year! It’s a great side dish because it’s sweet, creamy, and adds a pretty golden color to your plate.
Let me know if you try it!
Happy Thankgiving, everyone!