MAPLE!!! BACON!!!! Sweet potatoes??? Oh yes, indeed. Move over, marshmallows. We will eat our sweet potatoes with maple syrup, ALL the spices, and bacon. We’ll also add a little bacon fat for ridiculously good measure (just like we did with Texas-Stye Maple Bacon Muffins!). These Maple Bacon Sweet Potatoes are ready just in time for fall and Thanksgiving. They’re here for us at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and basically all the snack times in between.
I looked up what a sweet potato actually is, and according to Wikipedia (only the best source for scientific information ever), sweet potatoes are “a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae.” I have absolutely no idea what any of those words mean or how to say them, and never mind that while I don’t let my students cite Wikipedia for class homework or research papers, I’m totally citing it here. But, what I DO know is this recipe is ON LOCK. With just the right amount of spices, crispy-crunchy bacon, and drizzles of maple syrup and bacon fat, this side dish just went mainstream.
As I prepared Maple Bacon Sweet Potatoes, I made sure to freak out about striking the right crispy-syrupy balance. Because, at least in my world, maple syrup is a delicate ingredient. Too much and you ruin the meal. Just right and you’ll have a masterpiece. I’m absolutely biased here, but I do think Maple Bacon Sweet Potatoes are on par with “masterpiece,” and I don’t usually gravitate to this particular vegetable. K-Hubs and Twinkle are all about the sweet potato while Toodle and I are less enthusiastic. But in this mixture of goodness, I will eat them all. I was sneaking bites every chance I got. Toodle, for her part, was willing to try one piece of diced sweet potato. You can take that to the bank, Spiriteds.
K-Hubs also snuck bites because I kept shouting to him from the kitchen, “I have a delicious situation here!” That was his cue to taste test the progress. Unfortunately, my attempt at flipping the jackal switch and going into stealth mode went awry. Twinkle caught on to the delicious situation, too, and came running each time. This turned out to be a good thing, however, because four-year-olds have no dambs to give. If she didn’t like Maple Bacon Sweet Potatoes, then you KNOW she would have said so straight to my face. However, she kept coming back for more, thus I felt confident this recipe was moving in the right direction.
Speaking of which, Maple Bacon Sweet Potatoes are paleo-friendly and ideal for the masses. If you eat a specialized diet but want something everyone in the family can enjoy, then this is your holiday side dish recipe. Maple Bacon Sweet Potatoes are also gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and soy-free while still remaining big on taste! This recipe is comfort food in a bowl, vegetables done right.
So let’s dive into exactly what you’re going to be doing to make your own batch. First, combine some coconut oil and sweet potatoes in a skillet, cover, and sauté on a low heat. In a separate skillet, crispy-fry the bacon strips and when done, put them on paper towels or napkins to absorb the excess grease. When the bacon strips cool, crumble them by hand. I was surprised the bacon cooked faster than the sweet potatoes did. Bacon always seems to take FOREVER. But, as luck would have it, not this time.
For this recipe we are definitely controlling the balance of flavor, and to prevent mushy vegetables, the amount of liquids and when they’re added or removed. So, once the sweet potatoes are done, use a slotted spoon to scoop the potatoes out of the skillet, removing any excess coconut oil in the process, and transfer them to a mixing bowl where you’ll add the crumbled bacon, maple syrup, bacon fat, and spices. It’s possible I fry another pound of bacon because I had it, and then used that bacon as a crispy-crumbly topping.
And that’s pretty much all there is to it. Sweet, savory, smoky, delicious, and amazing, these Maple Bacon Sweet Potatoes are perfect for the holidays!
- 3 cups sweet potatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 pound bacon, crispy-fried and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- Pinch of sea salt
- Coarse black pepper, if desired
- Combine sweet potatoes and coconut oil in skillet and sauté covered on a low heat until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork but aren't mushy.
- In a separate skillet, fry bacon to a crispy consistency, set aside on paper towels or napkins, and when cooled, crumble by hand. Set aside.
- When sweet potatoes are done, using a slotted spoon, scoop them out of the skillet and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Add the crumbled bacon, bacon fat, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and sea salt. Stir until well mixed.
- Serve with additional bacon pieces and a little black pepper, if desired.