whole food ~ well made

A casserole of mashed sweet potatoes with candied pecans

Spiced Up Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole

Put a twist on this favorite side dish of mashed sweet potatoes with the warm and savory spice mix, garam masala.

Sweet potatoes are a welcome side dish at the holiday table. I like to highlight their natural sweetness with a savory counterpoint as in this deep-dish sweet potato gratin.

This year, I’m adding the sweet-and-savory spice blend, garam masala I like to call the other pumpkin spice.

Aromatic with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and clove, it also includes coriander and cumin and other spices, similar to the spice mix known as curry.

Mashed sweet potato casserole with candied pecans

You can find it in the spice aisle. But for the freshest flavors, make your own blend by toasting whole spices and grinding them. I’ve featured garam masala in this recipe for a holiday side dish of mashed sweet potatoes.

A Not Too Sweet Side

As a counterpoint to the classic sweet sweet potato side dish, this recipe brings garam masala to the party.

This warm spice mix is often added to curries and stews at the end of cooking. So, it’s perfect for mixing up a sweet mashed potato side dish.

Baked and split sweet potatoes on a baking sheet

Just bake or microwave sweet potatoes. {I like baked.} Then, mash with butter or ghee and spice it up to your taste.

Similar to curry seasoning, garam masala is a quick, fragrant way to add complexity to a simple sweet potato side dish. It’s dashing!

You can make this spiced mashed sweet potato side dish up to one day in advance. Just reheat and sprinkle on garam masala before serving.

Mashed sweet potato casserole with candied pecans

I added a holiday garnish of quick candied pecans. Toasted pecans work great, too.

This garam masala twist quickly and easily transforms a holiday classic into a memorable savory side.


and become a forager

What are your favorite twists on classic holiday sides? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Garam Masala Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The fragrant spice mix of garam masala adds a savory twist to the classic sweet potato holiday side. You can prepare this dish up to 1 day in advance and reheat to serve.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Indian
Keyword mashed sweet potatoes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 10 people
Author lynnes


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or ghee
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons garam masala plus additional for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Pre-heat the oven at 400 degrees. Prick the skins with a fork in a few places, rub with oil and bake on the oven rack until a fork slips in easily, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool until they are easy to handle.
  • Alternatively, prick the potatoes, but omit the oil and microwave one at a time using the potato setting on your microwave.
  • Peel off and discard the skins. Mash the sweet potatoes in a bowl with a fork while they are still hot. Add the butter, garam masala and salt and mash until they are very smooth. Taste for seasoning.
  • Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes to an oven-safe serving dish. If preparing in advance, allow to cool and refrigerate overnight. Then, reheat in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Before serving, sprinkle with additional garam masala, if desired.

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