Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries & Pecans

Although we are currently living in Germany, we still make sure to celebrate the American holidays the best we can. We of course didn't get the typical Thursday-Friday off of work here in Germany, so we end up celebrating on a Saturday to make sure there is plenty of time to whip up all the Turkey fixins'. 

We are lucky enough to have some amazing American friends who also live & work here - so this was our second annual americans-in-germany Thanksgiving. Although its hard to be away from family, especially during the holidays, having a great group of people like this makes it feel like a piece of home. 

We of course didn't want to show up empty handed, so we brought with us some of our favorites: Kale Salad, homemade cranberry sauce, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and this recipe... sweet potato mash with cranberries & pecans. 

This is one of our favorite sides to make during the wintertime, its 'kinda healthy', and almost tastes like dessert. By kinda healthy I mean - it has the potential to be paleo as long as you skip the brown sugar. (honestly with the sweet potatoes & dried cranberries, its already quite sweet). AND, its super easy to make!  It's one of those recipes that you can quickly set up, and then it does all the work while you prepare the rest of the dinner. (if it sits in the boiling water for a while and you forget about it - it is still delicious in the end)



INGREDIENTS:  (serves 6)

  • 6 large sweet potatoes (not peeled)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pecans (or walnuts)


  1. Scrub sweet potatoes clean with water.
  2. Chop off the ends of the sweet potato.
  3. Cut sweet potatoes into large chunks and place the chunks in a large pot. No need to peel - you want the skin on (how easy is that?)
  4. Fill pot about 3/4 full with water and put on stovetop. 
  5. Put the heat to high to get the water boiling.
  6. Once it starts to boil, put the heat on medium low and let it continue to boil for another 15 minutes. 
  7. You can tell if its done by sticking a fork into the sweet potatoes, if its soft and goes through easily - they're ready!
  8. Drain the water out of the sweet potatoes, and leave them in the big pot.

9. This is the part where you add your sweetener (if you'd like) - brown sugar, agave, honey, etc. This part is up to you! If you want to be really bad you can also add in some butter. :)

10. Now to the 'smashing' - you can either use a potato masher or take the easy way out and blend with a hand mixer until smoothish.

11. Add your dried cranberries & pecans and mix with a spoon. 

12. This is where Andrew comes in with a big spoon to make sure 'its safe for others to eat' - if he tries to go in for another bite i know its perfect!

You can easily make this recipe the night before, or earlier in the day and just reheat right before dinner. 

I hope everyone enjoys!