Side Dishes, Thanksgiving

Pecan, Butternut, Sweet Potato Mash-up

A classic dish on Thanksgiving Day! But really, this side dish can be made for any occasion.  It is naturally sweet, crunchy, and very satisfying!  Not only do I love sweet potatoes because they taste amazing, they have incredible benefits as well. Did you know sweet potatoes are considered a superfood? They are one of the healthiest (and cheapest) vegetables! There is a unique protein in sweet potatoes (sporamin) that potentially have an anti-cancerous effect.  They are also packed with antioxidants (as long as you keep the skin ON!), almost as high as blueberries! Best cooking method is boiling to preserve nutrients.


Prep time:


Squash and Sweet Potatoes:

  • 12 large sweet potatoes, halved (skin on)
  • 4 small butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
  • 8 tbsp grape seed or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter

Pecan Topping:

  • 4 cups pecans (roughly chopped)
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease (or use parchment paper) 2 large baking sheets. Put halved sweet potatoes on one baking sheet, and cubed butternut squash on the other. drizzle each with melted coconut oil or grapeseed oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast butternut squash for ~25 minutes, remove and test donenes. It should be very tender and easily mashed.
  3. Roast sweet potatoes for 35-40 minutes, also until very tender and easily mashed. Then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped pecans and toast for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. After 5 minutes, add coconut oil, sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Stir to coat and cook another 2 minutes or so.
  5. Peel sweet potatoes (or leave them on if you don’t mind skin in your mash potatoes) and add to large mixing bowl with butternut squash.  Mash well using a whisk or potato masher. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon, maple syrup, and vegan butter. Mash again to combine, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Transfer mashed squash and potatoes to prepared baking dish and top with toasted pecans. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until completely warmed through. Let cool briefly then serve.

This recipe yields 24 servings. If you would like a smaller batch, divide all ingredients by 4 and reduce cooking time for butternut squash and sweet potatoes to 15 minutes and 30 minutes.


About Dana Stapleton, RDN

Hi, I'm Dana! Creating delicious plant-based meals and nutrition is my passion! Thanks for visiting!
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