Brown Butter Sweet Potato Crisp


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Don’t get me wrong, I could eat a dozen s’mores in one sitting, but I just can’t get behind marshmallows on my Thanksgiving plate. This recipe is part of my campaign to ban the overly sugary sweet potato casserole of years past with a modern version that brings it into the realm of savory. May I welcome you to the magical world of savory baking with this Brown Butter Sweet Potato Crisp! Instead of a marshmallow topping, a *lightly* sweetened oat crisp topping coats roasted sweet potatoes dressed with brown butter and herbs. It’s the perfect combo of textures and warm fall flavors!

My favorite part is how easy this dish is to prepare in advance of the big day. You could make the oat topping and freeze in advance, as well as make the sweet potato filling a day in advance and refrigerate the dressed mixture. Then, all you’ve got to do is assemble and bake before serving with the full spread. So even if you’re one to break down into tears over the stress of Thanksgiving entertaining, you’ll at least have one dish perfect and ready!

I promise you’ll be sweet on this savory crisp, so save those marshmallows for your next campfire!

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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 20mins
Cook time 35mins
Serves or Makes: 8-10

Recipe Card

For the Crisp Topping


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose or gluten-free 1:1 flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

For the Sweet Potatoes


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black peppercorn, freshly ground to taste
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced sage
  • 1 tablespoon minced thyme
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced


  • Step 1

    Make the crumble topping: In a large bowl, toss crisp topping ingredients together, using your fingers to incorporate butter into pea-sized crumbs. Set aside.

  • Step 2

    Prepare the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place sweet potatoes on a parchment lined sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast until just tender, 30 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until browned, 6-8 minutes. Pour into a large heatproof bowl with the remaining ingredients, then toss in roasted sweet potatoes to coat.

  • Step 4

    Transfer to a large cast iron skillet and top with crisp topping. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 25-30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve.