This simple roasted mashed sweet potato recipe takes inspiration from Batata Mashwiya, the roasted sweet potatoes of my childhood.

Bowl of Roasted Mashed Sweet Potato with walnuts on the side

I grew up with sweet potatoes totally "bare." We called them Batata Mashwiya (roasted sweet potatoes.)

During the cold months, street vendors lined up near the boardwalk in my hometown of Port Said, Egypt. Their carts were often topped with some make-shift tin "ovens" and sweet potatoes roasting away on open fire. Their sweet aroma filled the air so much that you couldn't help but grab a potato, served in a wrinkled brown paper cone.

Mashed Sweet Potato served in a bowl with walnuts as a garnish

I ate my sweet potato whole--no utensils necessary. There was no special seasonings nor marshmallows on top.

This is, of course, not how I would serve sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. Still this very simple, rustic approach to sweet potatoes is what inspired today's recipe for roasted mashed sweet potato with thyme and molasses. By the way, if you're looking for a more savory option, check out my other mashed sweet potatoes recipe or my roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes with Thyme and Molasses served in bowls

Best way to roast sweet potatoes whole

In my opinion, without an open fire, the best way to roast sweet potatoes whole is to wrap them each in their own foil pouch and roast them in a high temperature heated-oven for at least one hour. To achieve a bit of that rustic texture, you mash the potatoes with a masher or fork, leaving some of that caramelized skin on.

A little thyme and nutmeg provide an earthy, nutty flavor to the sweet potato. And a drizzle of molasses lends a nice caramel-like sweetness without overpowering.

I hope that you'll give this Mediterranean-inspired mashed sweet potato a try!

Here is the step by step for Roasted Mashed Sweet Potato with Thyme and Molasses:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare large pieces of aluminum foil in a baking pan. Place each sweet potato in its own foil. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Fold the aluminum foil tightly sealing the sweet potatoes into their own pouches.

Sweet Potatoes in a baking pan in aluminum foil

Sweet Potatoes wrapped in Aluminum foil

Roast in the 400 degrees F heated-oven for 1 hour or until very soft (if the flesh busts out of the potato skins, that is a good sign.) Remove from the oven and let cool briefly.

Sweet Potatoes after being baked

When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and discard some of the skin but not all of it. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a pot or bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Now add the butter, nutmeg, ½ the amount of thyme, and the molasses. Stir to combine.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes in a pot

Molasses added to pot of mashed sweet potatoes
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining thyme, walnut halves and a drizzle of molasses. If you like, keep extra molasses and walnuts handy for individuals' use. Enjoy!

Walnuts added to the top of Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Bowl of Roasted Mashed Sweet Potatoes with molasses and extra walnuts on the side

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Roasted Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Thyme and Molasses | The Mediterranean Dish. Do not hide your mashed sweet potatoes underneath marshmallows. Try this simple, rustic and flavor packed mashed sweet potatoes instead. The perfect Thanksgiving dish.

Roasted Mashed Sweet Potato with Thyme and Molasses


Description

This simple roasted mashed sweet potato recipe takes inspiration from Batata Mashwiya, the roasted sweet potatoes of my childhood.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 lb sweet potatoes (2-3 large sweet potatoes)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly melted
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 8 springs fresh thyme, leaves picked off stems, divided
  • 4 tsp molasses, more to serve
  • Walnut halves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare large pieces of aluminum foil in a baking pan. Place each sweet potato in its own foil. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Fold the aluminum foil tightly sealing the sweet potatoes into their own pouches. Roast in the 400 degrees F heated-oven for 1 hour or until very soft (if the flesh busts out of the potato skins, that is a good sign.) Remove from the oven and let cool briefly.
  3. When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and discard some of the skin but not all. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a pot or bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Now add the butter, nutmeg, ½ the amount of thyme, and the molasses. Stir to combine.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining thyme, walnut halves and a drizzle of molasses. If you like, keep extra molasses and walnuts handy for individuals' use. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Recommended for this Recipe: Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
  • Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Roasted Sweet Potato, Mashed Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato with Thyme and Molasses

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Roasted Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Thyme and Molasses | The Mediterranean Dish. Do not hide your mashed sweet potatoes underneath marshmallows. Try this simple, rustic and flavor packed mashed sweet potatoes instead. The perfect Thanksgiving dish.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. This is wonderful. I had after Thanksgiving and loved the "adult" vibe of the old and tired sweet potato casserole for kiddies. Btw, my molasses turned to vinegar (or alcohol--woah!) so I used a little dark brown sugar, which worked well. This is another in your long list of recipes that are "keepers" for me.

  2. Theses babies Rule !! We had them with smoked turkey and twice smoked ham. They quickly became the meal favorite. Sent your site home with all !!

  3. I don’t have molasses. What do you think would be the best substitute....maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar? Would the amount be the same for any of these? Thanks!

  4. Made this tonight. Yum. Had a vegetarian at dinner. Made the Egyptian Pea & Carrot Stew, these sweet potatoes & dessert Made the Easy Fig Pastry. No leftovers. Excellent

  5. Hi Suzy,

    I am trying out this recipe today. I don't have fresh thyme, is it ok to use dried thyme? If miso, how much would I use?

    Thank you,
    Dawn

    1. Hello, Dawn. I am sorry I'm just now able to see this question, I was away from my computer over Thanksgiving break. I typically follow a ratio of 1/3 unit dried to substitute for 1 unit of fresh herbs.

  6. Hi Suzy, I have been staying on a Greek Island for the past 2 months, I would like to invite a couple over to share a Thanksgiving dinner with. My question, do you think honey could be substituted in the sweet potatoes an if so how much? -I'm not sure I would be able to find them and even so would not be able to use before I leave next month.

    Thanks, Margo Z

    1. Hi Margo! Awesome...I'll bet you're enjoying the Greek islands! So generally speaking, you can substitute honey for molasses at a 1 to 1 ratio. The taste will be different as molasses has a deeper, brown sugar type taste. But it should still be tasty. There are so many great honey varieties in Greece, from what I remember. If you find a deeper honey, that would be awesome! Enjoy!

  7. I appreciate that you don't like to bury those sweet potatoes under marshmallow like it's a flavor you need to hide. Sweet potatoes are wonderful. I definitely like your version!

  8. Our family always had candied yams of some sort. I had sweet potatoes with pork for dinner tonight. I should have read this post first! Yum.