Monday, November 10, 2008

Spicy Crockpot Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Crockpot Sweet PotatoesLots of people like sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, and making them in the crockpot can help with oven congestion on the big day. These spicy crockpot sweet potatoes have the same seasoning as Spicy Sweet Potato Fries, the recipe that turned me into a sweet potato fan last year. I'm adding this recipe to the collection of Thanksgiving Recipes, and this is a sweet potato recipe that anyone can enjoy, even if they're dieting or restricting sugar for health reasons. I suggest doubling or tripling the spice mixture, because you'll want to be making this recipe or Spicy Sweet Potato Fries over and over once you've tried them.

Start by peeling 3 pounds of orange sweet potatoes and cutting them into pieces about 1 inch square. By the way, these are not yams, even though that's probably what your grocery store is calling them! And if you don't believe me, Food Blogga has thoroughly researched the question of Sweet Potatoes Vs. Yams. (I actually got into an argument with a produce guy about this once, and I really could have used Susan to back me up on it.)

Put sweet potatoes into a Ziploc bag and toss with 2 T olive oil and 2 tsp. seasoning mix. (I know you're going to be tempted to use more than 2 tsp. of the seasoning mix, but trust me on this. I tried it two different ways and less is definitely more.)

Put sweet potatoes into a crockpot that's been sprayed with non-stick spray and cook about 3 hours on high. That's it! (By the way, this is a mini-crockpot where I was making a test batch, which is why the sweet potato pieces look rather large in this photo.)

Spicy Crockpot Sweet Potatoes
(Makes about 6 servings, Recipe created by Kalyn using this spice mix for sweet potatoes from

3 lb. orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (3 large or 4 medium sweet potatoes, often called yams in U.S. stores)
2 T olive oil
non-stick spray for crockpot
2 tsp. sweet potato spice mix (see below)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
sea salt to taste (I used a sea salt grinder)

Sweet Potato Spice Mix (grind herbs together with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, then mix in salt)
2 T ground coriander
1 T ground fennel
1 T dried oregano
1 T Aleppo Pepper (or use a smaller amount of cayenne pepper)
2 T kosher salt

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into pieces about 1 inch square. Put sweet potatoes into plastic Ziploc bag, add 2 T olive oil and 2 tsp. spice mix, seal bag and squeeze potatoes around until they're all coated with oil and spice mix is well-distributed.

Spray inside of Crockpot slow cooker with non-stick spray or olive oil. (I used a 3.5 quart crock pot for this recipe.) Put sweet potatoes in crockpot and cook on high, stirring a couple of times so they don't stick or get too browned on the bottom.

Sweet potatoes are done when they're completely softened and fragrant, about 3 hours. Mash slightly if desired, and season to taste with fresh ground black pepper and sea salt. Serve hot.

Make Ahead Tips: Sweet potatoes can be cut and mixed with olive oil and seasoning earlier in the day. Cooked sweet potatoes could be kept in the crockpot on low or warm for a few hours if needed.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Sweet potatoes like this would be a great option for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet or other low-glycemic eating plans.

More Holiday-Worthy Recipes for Sweet Potatoes:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Red Onion, Rosemary, and Parmesan
Olive Oil, Carmelized Onion, and Sage Mashed Sweet Potatoes from Food Blogga
Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
(Find more Sweet Potato Recipes using Food Blog Search.)
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More to Chew On:


  1. And yet there are somethings that more is more but I'll trust you on this one Kalyn!

    Feeling better I hope!

  2. Very clever! Now I have to buy myself a crock pot!!

  3. There is something special about slow-cooked sweet potatoes... I've only ever had them done like this with sweet seasonings. Intrigued by the spicy flavours - thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I should start considering a crockpot: it sounds so useful. Interesting spic mix: thanks for the pointer.

  5. Oh that sounds great! I wish I had known about it before our Thanksgiving... but I'll save it for next year!j

  6. I'm a big fan of using the crockpot on Thanksgiving - one year I bought two bright red crockpots to heat and serve and give me more oven space for an overly large turkey. Great idea to prep sweet potatoes in the crock pot.

  7. Wow! I am impressed, by both the use of the slow cooker, and your spice mix.

  8. I love sweet potatoes!! Never tried them in the crock pot!

  9. Kalyn this sounds soo good! I'm hosting a Thanksgiving party for my coworkers this Sunday and one of my charges is sweet potatoes. I'm now debating between making these and a sweet potato mash with sage and caramelized onions that I picked up from Food Blogga.

    So many choices! :)

  10. Kalyn, could these be done on the stove or in the oven? I'd like to try this tasty sounding recipe, but I no longer have a crockpot.

  11. Marsha, just make the Spicy Sweet Potato Fries (recipe linked in this post) in your oven. I wouldn't do it on the stovetop.

  12. So I use my crockpot occasionaly to cook meat. I'm skeptical about the fact that you don't add liquid. You have me wanting to plug the crock pot in but I only have one sweet potato. I'll do it tomorrow! They look great and the spice mix sounds great.

  13. Ooooh I love sweet potatoes & I love my crockpot! This recipe sounds perfect. And thanks for the advice on not adding too much was like you were talking directly to me!

  14. Where are my manners? This is what happens when I'm at school all day and not feeling that hot. Thanks for the nice comments everyone!

    Heather, I promise I didn't add any liquid at all. I do think the crockpot should be quite full. I stirred them a few times, or they might have stuck on the bottom.

  15. A friend called today to tell me that she's been commanded to bring sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping to a Thanksgiving dinner, because the host's son requested it. When I found out that the son is 25 years old, I laughed -- but honestly, I'd rather have my sweet potatoes done like yours, savory and not so sweet.

  16. sounds like a great combo of spices, and i have been trying to bust out my crockpot more!!

  17. if you don't have that exact spice mixture on hand, anything you suggest in a pinch? spike? a mixture of more common dried herbs?

    happy thanksgiving all!

  18. Those look great ! I'll have to give that spice combination a try I love coriander so I bet I would like those.

  19. Dana, you could definitely cook sweet potatoes in the crockpot with any spices you like the flavor of combined with the sweet potatoes, but this combination is really great. If you have some of these, I'd use the ones you have (especially fennel and coriander.) Spike isn't similar to the flavor of this at all and I haven't tried it on sweet potatoes.

    You might try googling "sweet potato fries" and see what other kinds of seasonings people use on them that you have.

  20. Do you think this could be doubled? I'm cooking for a lot of people and have a large slow cooker.

  21. Lauren, definitely this could be doubled, but it might take a bit longer to cook. Also be sure to stir a few times.

  22. I never would have thought of cooking sweet potatoes in a crockpot but after reading this recipe I sold! What a great way to free up the Thanksgiving day oven. Thanks Kalyn.

  23. I made these today for my cooking class to sample. I didn't think I would care for them that much, but I like the idea of a "sweet" potato alternative. WOW! They are delicious! I wanted to sit down and eat the whole bowl, but I'll save them for the tasting tonight. Outstanding!

  24. Cora, thanks so much for letting me know you liked them!

  25. They sound so yummy! I love sweet potatoes. I normally make them with a pecan-brown sugar topping. This looks like something I should try this year for the holidays!

  26. Try this recipe with NapaStyle's Toasted Spice Rub: Toasted Spice Rub (4.2 oz.) - Fennel, coriander, peppercorns, cinnamon, pepper flakes, and chili powder.

    You'll find you'll use this pre-made rub on so much more. Especially roasted chicken!

  27. THANK YOU about sweet potatoes vs yams. i too have gotten into "arguments" regarding this. i even recall reading something that said it's against USDA (or maybe FDA?) regulations to call sweet potatoes yams.

    this recipe looks AMAZING. i love sweet potatoes, especially a sweet-spicy mix. thanks for sharing!


  28. sounds wonderful. I have an old crockpot that I never use; guess I will have to dig it out to try this on T-day. One question...since I have no aleppo pepper, how much cayenne do you recommend... half? more? unsure about this, and it could make a big difference. Thanks.

  29. Aleppo pepper does have some heat, but I think it's MUCH milder than cayenne. I'd probably use only about 1/2 the amount if you're substituting Cayenne, or even 1/3 as much.

  30. Hee, that wasn't bad as all :)

    considering this was the first time ever I cooked sweet potatoes... so I didn't use a crockpot, but blanched stuff before a quick stir-fry with my chicken

  31. A great recipe. Hope you don't mind that I added it to my list on my blog post for Thanksgiving side dishes.

  32. Debra, thanks for featuring the recipe. So glad you liked it.

  33. Anyone try chopped Vidalia or another type of sweet onion in these?

  34. It sounds like a good idea to me!

  35. Hey Kalyn, love-love-loving your website, thank you so much for sharing these great recipes. Question: Do you think you could use butternut squash with this recipe? I can buy that pre-cut at my grocery store (shhhh cheaters Thanksgiving). :)

  36. Marcia, I can't really say for sure because I haven't cooked butternut squash in a CrockPot like this and this particular spice mix was made specifically for sweet potatoes. But I would guess that it would work. There are also a lot of great recipes for Roasted Butternut squash in the Thanksgiving Recipes if you want a tested recipe for Butternut Squash that I can guarantee will be easy and tasty.

  37. Thanks Kalyn, you are so great about replying to people on your blog. thank you!


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