Smashed Garlic Butter Sweet Potatoes with Feta
on Nov 24, 2019, Updated Dec 18, 2023
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Tender with crispy edges, and a pop of salty cheese and fresh parsley, these savory sweet potatoes are an easy but festive side dish.
Sweet potato fans never tire of looking for new ways to prepare them. We love them mashed, we love them scalloped, we love them candied, and we love them roasted. I’ve made them into a spoonbread, a gratin, and a pie.
This recipe was inspired by another smashed roasted sweet potato recipe. I liked the concept, but I decided to head in a slightly different direction, and the result was this smashed sweet potato recipe, which is substantial enough that it could qualify as a vegetarian main course (also gluten-free!). And like many people, I am always on the hunt for side dishes that can double as vegetarian mains.
Table of Contents
Smashed Garlic Butter Sweet Potatoes with Feta: Tender with crispy edges, and a melty pop of salty cheese and fresh parsley on top.Tweet This
- Sweet potatoes – Using sweet potatoes instead of regular ones makes this recipe more flavorful, colorful, and healthier.
- Butter – Makes up the base of the garlic butter, which is used to season the potatoes.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic is delicious here, but a double amount of roasted garlic would also work if you have some in the fridge.
- Thyme – Use one tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, or substitute with one teaspoon of dried if that’s all you have.
- Feta – This salty, crumbly cheese adds so much flavor.
- Red pepper flakes – A little bit of heat is a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the potatoes.
- Parsley – Fresh parsley, please. You can also substitute chopped scallions.
How to Make Smashed Sweet Potatoes
- Make the garlic herb butter: Combine the butter, salt, thyme, and garlic.
- Brush the sweet potato with the seasoned butter.
- Bake the potatoes: Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are tender.
- Smash the potatoes: Use a potato masher, a fork, or the bottom of a glass to smush the potatoes slightly.
- Add feta and broil: Sprinkle a bit of feta over the tops of the potatoes and broil for a few minutes until the tops are golden and melty, and the edges are just a teeny bit browned.
5. Serve: Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
- You could also just toss the sweet potatoes with the garlic butter mixture in a bowl and then distribute them in a single layer on the baking sheet. I knew that, but I forgot that I knew that, so here I am, brushing away.
- When you smash the potatoes, the skins holding the slices together will bust open a bit, and the circles will lose their clean edges. That’s not a worry; it adds to their charm.
There are two main reasons why smashed potatoes may be falling apart. First, you may be overcooking the potatoes during the initial cooking stage. This will cause them to fall apart before being smashed. Second, it is important to remember that you want to smash the potatoes rather than mash them. Only a little pressure is necessary to flatten but not crush the potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are ready to smash when they have roasted for about 25 to 30 minutes. At this point, they are tender and a fork can be inserted with no resistance. This means that they will be easy to smash with whichever method you choose, whether it be a fork or the bottom of a glass.
It is better to roast sweet potatoes before smashing. Boiled sweet potatoes tend to get waterlogged, while roasting brings out their natural sweetness and concentrates the flavor.
What to Serve With Smashed Garlic Butter Sweet Potatoes and Feta
More Sweet Potato Recipes
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Garlic
- Mashed Yukon and Sweet Potatoes with Sautéed Leeks
- Bulgur Wheat, Sweet Potato, and Black Bean Gratin
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Sweet Potato Pie with Whipped Cream
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Smashed Garlic Butter Sweet Potatoes with Feta
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (scrubbed)
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (or 3 tablespoons minced scallions)
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- Slice the potatoes into 1-inch thick rounds.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. You can add the potato rounds and toss until they are coated with the butter mixture and then place them on the baking sheet in a single layer, with some space between the slices. Or, place the slices on the baking sheet and brush them on both sides with the garlic butter.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are tender. Remove the potatoes and change the oven setting to the broiler. Use a potato masher, a fork, or the bottom of a glass to gently smush the potatoes so they end up being about ½-inch thick. The potatoes will lose their perfectly round shape as they mush and the skin breaks a bit, but that’s ok.
- Sprinkle the feta evenly over the potatoes. Broil them for 2 to 4 minutes, until the cheese gets melty and slightly browned. Serve hot or warm, with the red pepper flakes and parsley or scallions sprinkled over the top.