Healthy Recipes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Candied Pecans

Roasting the sweet potatoes and onions separately, and in a single layer, maximizes the browning effect.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Candied Pecans
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½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon each white pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice
1½ cups pecan halves
1½ tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup dark maple syrup
¼ cup breadcrumbs

4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into ½-inch-thick moons
2 medium-sized yellow onions, peeled and cut into ½-inch wedges
¼ cup, plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon, plus ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon, plus ⅛ teaspoon black pepper


1. Heat oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, toss together the dry seasonings. Toss in the pecans. Drizzle the canola oil over the pecans and mix well. Spread on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Drizzle the maple syrup over the nuts, stir to combine, and return to oven. Bake an additional 10 minutes, until slightly dark.

2. Once pecans are completely cooled, chop half of them roughly and set aside. Place the unchopped pecans in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, along with the breadcrumbs; pulverize to a fine meal and set aside.

3. Increase oven temperature to 400ºF. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with ¼ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Arrange on baking sheet in a single layer. Set aside.

4. Using the same bowl, toss the onions with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer.

5. Bake the sweet potatoes and the onions for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender and the onions begin to brown around the edges. Cool to room temperature.

6. Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. In 8 ramekins, arrange a single layer of sweet potatoes. Follow this with a layer of onions, then a layer of the roughly chopped pecans. Repeat the layering process one more time, ending with a final layer of sweet potatoes.

7. Press the top down lightly to compress. Sprinkle the pecan-breadcrumb mixture over each ramekin in a thick layer. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the tops and bake for 20 minutes, until slightly browned.

Nutritional facts: 

Per serving: 453 calories, 29 g fat (3 g saturated), 46 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 7 g fiber, 660 mg sodium (29% Daily Value).