Slow Cooker Sunday: Bourbon mashed sweet potatoes make an easy holiday side

Nov 1, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. ET
Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

It doesn't get much better than sweet potatoes slow-cooked in bourbon, maple syrup and butter.

Wait a minute — it does get better. Especially when the sweet potatoes are mashed and topped with super-easy, homemade candied cashews. Oh, and of course, served hot and topped with just a bit more butter.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

All the flavors going on in these sweet potatoes taste so good, and the bonus is that the slow cooker does most of the work.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

What a beautiful and appetizing side dish to make for the holidays. Either sweet potatoes or yams can be used for this recipe. I like to add in some yams along with the sweet potatoes to give the dish a brighter color. But no matter which ones are used, these mashed potatoes are sure to please.

Image: Nancy Foster/SheKnows

Slow cooker bourbon and maple mashed sweet potatoes recipe

Serves 5

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 4 hours 8 minutes | Total time: 4 hours 18 minutes


  • 5 medium-size sweet potatoes (or yams), peeled and washed
  • 3 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter (for the slow cooker)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 dashes ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon leftover liquid from the slow cooker
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cashews
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for topping


  1. To the slow cooker, add the sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, butter, maple syrup, bourbon, salt, pepper and cinnamon.
  2. Stir all the ingredients, then set the slow cooker on the 4-hour setting, cover, and let cook.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a small pan on low to medium heat, and add the cashews and brown sugar. Continuously stir until the brown sugar starts to turn sticky and covers the nuts.
  4. Transfer the candied cashews to waxed paper, and let cool. Set aside.
  5. After the sweet potatoes are done cooking, transfer them into a large bowl.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of the leftover liquid from the slow cooker and the half-and-half.
  7. Whisk until creamy. If the potatoes are too thick, add just a bit more half-and-half. Do a taste test to see if more salt is needed.
  8. Serve hot, and top with butter and candied cashews.

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