Nikki’s Sweet Potatoes

Nikki’s Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Ten years ago, my friend Nikki shared this recipe with me. She described these sweet potatoes as a sweet potato mash, but with a twist - they get creaminess from a generous splash of coconut milk, crunch from toasted coconut and macadamias, and a kick from freshly grated ginger. For those of you who have been long-time readers, this is the same Nikki who took my site by storm when I posted her Healthy Cookie recipe forever ago. The same Nikki I've been friends with since she showed up in my sixth grade class, fresh from Los Angeles, wearing a Swatch watch and white Reebok hi-tops. Both things I'd never seen before. She won't lead you astray, this sweet potato recipe is legit amazing.Nikki's Sweet Potato Recipe
I know a good number of you love this recipe, so I popped off a few fresh photos the other day. The only (recent) tweaks I made to the recipe - baking the sweet potatoes without foil, and suggesting an (optional) finishing drizzle of lemon olive oil. It's a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Enjoy the sweet potatoes! Miss you Nik!Nikki's Sweet Potato Recipe
I think Nikki hit the nail on the head when she told me she paired it with lots of garlicky, sautéed greens. It's the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, but also an A+ option outside of the holidays as well.

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Nikki's Sweet Potato Recipe

4.8 from 5 votes

If you'd like to prepare part of this recipe in advance you can certainly bake the sweet potatoes a day or two in advance and save the mashed sweet potatoes in the refrigerator until you are ready to move forward with the remaining steps. Also, you can make these vegan by using olive oil and not butter.

  • 2 1/2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw, unsweetened grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
  • to serve (optional): lemon zest, lemon olive oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F degrees, a rack in the upper third. Butter or oil 6 ramekins or a single medium-sized casserole dish.
  2. Scrub each potato, rub with a bit of salt, and place directly in the oven for somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half, until each is baked through. Times vary greatly depending on the size of your sweet potatoes - in the end you should be able to cut through the center flesh as if it were soft butter. Remove the potatoes from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, and cut each sweet potato in half. Scrape the flesh into a medium mixing bowl. You should have about three cups of sweet potatoes. Mash the sweet potatoes with the coconut milk. If your sweet potatoes are on the fibrous side, take a hand blender, puree them for a minute or so (alternately you could use a food processor). Stir in the ginger, maple syrup and salt. Let it sit for a few minutes, stir again and taste - adjust the seasoning if you need to - this is your chance to get the right amount of salt and ginger in the sweet potatoes before they go in the oven.
  3. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into individual baking dishes (or single larger baking dish), sprinkle with coconut, drizzle with olive oil and bake uncovered until warm and the coconut golden roughly 25 - 35 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with the toasted macadamia nuts.
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 5 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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this is my first post on my most favourite website ever! I work as a chef on a yacht, and travelling around the world, I never know what sort of ingredients I am going to be able to get my hands on...with these ingenious recipes, I always manage to produce a dish charged with love and inspiration. Thank you!! Today alone, I have made the awesome frittata recipe, the mega scones and these sweet potato pockets of delight..all delish! x

Liesl van Eeden

I wish I'd seen this sooner! just finished my huge thanksgiving-shopping trip last night. This definitely looks fantastic and will be tried out in my house pretty soon. Your recipes always serve to inspire, and my family has enjoyed many variations of your recipes. (Unfussy Apple Cake has been a favorite, of late!) Thanks for a great resource!


Looks your recipes always do. I love coconut so I know I'll love this. Thanks! p.s. I made a soup with similar ingredients over the weekend. I added some organic tomato paste and organic peanut butter and blended it- like an African peanut soup- it was really yummy.


Wow. If that doesn't sound good, I don't know what does--Thanksgiving or not. I'm wondering if I have yams around. I agree about the description of the sauteed greens putting this over the top. I haven't seen a mashed sweet potato recipe with so many ingredients, but they each are dear to my heart individually--ginger, coconut, yams, garlic. Chances are that if I make this, it will be with toasted, slivered almonds instead of macadamia nuts, but that has to do with the nutritional profile of almonds and the fact that macadamia nuts in bulk aren't in my grocery store. Spectacular-looking recipe, Heidi. I think we're all a little more Thanksgiving-hungry than before.

Erin @ Sprouted in the Kitchen

Great recipe! Tried and it turned out great. Did a couple of Ad Libs: I cut down ginger to 1/2 tsp,, instead of baking in the oven, I scrubbed, and cleaned Sweet potatos, then stuck into my Crock Pot Roaster with a 'tidge" of water for moisture, and steamed for the day on low. Turned out to be melt in the mouth and crunchy with the nuts and coconut. Next time thinking of using brown sugar and maple syrup to see how it turns out. Maybe a few marshmellows at a later time. MMmmmmm... Thanks.


You never cease to amaze me with your magnificent photography, captivating words and mouth-watering and wholesome recipes. Thank you! I am nourished by both your blog and the food - Thank you!!! :)


The photos look amazing in the black cast iron pots. I love that you used coconut milk to give it a nice sweetness.

Culinary Cory

Another excellent sweet potato recipe! I made the mashed with vanilla and that was a hit. Now a new one to try. I'm liking the coconut milk!


My family has traditionally shied away from any sort of sweet potato for Thanksgiving (too healthy probably), but I really think they would dig these.


this looks amazing! I love that there aren't a lot of ingredients either, pretty basic which means that maybe even I can make it taste good. :)

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

This sounds like a dish made in heaven! I can not wait to get my hands on some sweet potatoes (not as easy as going to the local store, I have to make a trip to Vienna's Naschmarkt, an outdoor market, to score some), but let me tell you that I can already smell that casserole baking! I haven't even had my coffee yet this morning and my mouth is already watering.


so exciting! this is much like my recipe, though i add orange juice and cinnamon and use pecans instead of macadamias...yum! but i have to say, i never pierce my sweet potatoes before i bake them--if you cook them at 400 degrees without piercing, the flesh will actually retreat from the skin (which turns into kind of a crispy shell) and start to caramelize itself. the result tastes awesome and couldn't be easier to do---i just cover a baking sheet with foil and set the potatoes on it. hmm, perhaps i'll have this for breakfast, actually.


This dish looks incredible! Like Marci said, I would love to try this as a pie, or maybe as a creme brulee type dish and broil some sugar on top, sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts... Lovely as always, Hayley


this is almost similar to how we eat sweet potatoes here in bangalore - with grated fresh coconut, jaggery(mollases) and warm milk. delicious!


My mouth is watering! The first sentence is glorious!


Super! I just bought 50lbs of sweet potatoes for a free thanksgiving dinner we're putting on... this recipe will be perfect... although I would love the ginger, I should probably go without to please the mases. THanks!

Organic Goodness

Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the perfect recipe to bring to my St. Thomas, Megan's Bay Thanksgiving Pig Roast!


i just bought a crate of sweet potatoes in preparation for a thanksgiving feast but, i've been sneaking into it early b/c i just love them! can't wait to try this recipe tonight. i discovered Lehua honey and think it will be the perfect sweetener here :) p.s. i absolutely love nikki's healthy cookie recipe too! i have a feeling this will be 2 for 2. thanks!

Lick My Spoon

Oh, yum! This is exactly what I was looking for. I had been looking for a good, non marshmallowy sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving. Thanks.


Thank you so much for this recipe -- we just got a huge box (literally) of sweet potatoes -- don't ask, long story -- and I am desperate to find recipes for them. This looks fabulous!


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