Brown Butter Sweet Potatoes With Savory Rosemary Streusel Recipe

While sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed any time of year, they are a particular favorite as the weather gets cooler and we head into fall and winter. Paired with other fall vegetables and hardy herbs, the culinary uses for sweet potatoes are vast. From delicious spicy tacos to creamy rich chowder, sweet potatoes find their way into all kinds of vegetables. Many people look forward to Thanksgiving all year just to get a bite of classic candied sweet yams (there's not much difference between yams and sweet potatoes).

Even if you already have a favorite sweet potato dish, chances are you wouldn't mind shaking things up. Recipe developer Taylor Murray brings us her favorite way to make sweet potatoes around the holidays. "Brown butter and caramelized sweet potatoes are a match made in heaven, especially when paired with a savory rosemary crumble," says Murray.

Gather your ingredients for brown butter sweet potatoes with savory rosemary streusel

The main ingredient in this dish is sweet potatoes. These can range from small to very large and have a bright orange flesh. For this recipe, we used small sweet potatoes, but it will still work with any size as long as you adjust the cooking time. For cooking the sweet potatoes, you'll need a bit of olive oil. Just a few tablespoons should be plenty. The very important brown butter topping is made with plain unsalted butter. The crumble uses some of that brown butter, as well as brown sugar for sweetness, flour, salt, and chopped rosemary to bring that cozy, fall flavor to the mix.

Roast the potatoes

Start by preheating your oven to 400 F. Grab a rimmed baking sheet and place the potatoes on top. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil, ensuring they are well coated. Drizzling the sweet potatoes lightly with olive oil serves a few purposes. Firstly, the oil helps to enhance the natural flavors of the sweet potatoes, imparting a subtle richness. Secondly, the oil aids in the caramelization process, giving the potatoes a beautiful, golden-brown exterior. Lastly, the olive oil acts as a barrier that prevents the sweet potatoes from sticking to the baking sheet, making the post-cooking cleanup easier.

Place the potatoes in the oven. Roast until softened, about 25 minutes. The time may vary based on the size of the potatoes and could take as long as an hour for particularly large ones. Test with a fork or cake tester to determine if the potatoes have reached the right consistency. When done, remove from oven and let cool. 

Make the brown butter

While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, make the brown butter. Find a small sauté pan. The choice of a small pan is deliberate: a smaller surface area means the butter will melt and brown more uniformly, lessening the chance of uneven cooking.

Melt a stick of butter in the pan over low heat. As the butter melts, the water content begins to evaporate, and the milk solids contained within the butter start to cook. This is where the magic of browning butter happens. The continuous cooking of these milk solids, combined with the swirling motion, ensures that they don't stick to the bottom and burn. Instead, they turn a toasty brown, imbuing the butter with a rich and tantalizing color. The nutty aroma is a hallmark of perfectly browned butter. It's an indicator that the butter has transitioned from merely being melted to being transformed into a flavor powerhouse.

Make the crumble

Next, make the streusel. Combine the all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, chopped fresh rosemary, and pinch of salt in a large bowl. Drizzle in some of the brown butter. Use your hands or a spoon to mix everything together until it forms clumpy, coarse crumbs. If the mixture is extremely crumbley, pinch it together to form some larger clumps. Transfer the streusel to a sheet tray and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Slice and brown the potatoes

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and return them to the pan, cut side down. "This step is technically optional, but I like the way the cut side can get a bit of caramelization from the extra sear," says Murray. Place in the oven and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove the potatoes and add them to a serving dish.

Put it together and serve

Once the potatoes are on a serving dish, drizzle with the reserved 1 1/2 tablespoons brown butter. Sprinkle the crumble over the potatoes and serve. If you need to prep this dish ahead of time, keep the three components (the potatoes, the brown butter, and the crumble) separate and put together when ready to eat. Otherwise, the brown butter will soak into the potatoes and the crumble will soften. This dish works as a great side dish for any large fall gathering, from Thanksgiving to Rosh Hashanah. 

Brown Butter Sweet Potatoes With Savory Rosemary Streusel Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
Brown butter and caramelized sweet potatoes make for a match made in heaven in this recipe, especially when paired with a savory rosemary crumble.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Roasted brown butter sweet potatoes
Total time: 1 hour
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, cleaned
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Arrange the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet and drizzle them lightly with olive oil. Make sure each potato is evenly coated.
  2. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the sweet potatoes for about 25 minutes, or until they start are softened. Remove and let cool slightly.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are baking, place the stick of butter in a small pan over medium heat. Let it melt and continue cooking, swirling occasionally, until it becomes a toasty brown color and has a nutty aroma. Once browned, remove from heat. Measure out 1 ½ tablespoons of the browned butter and set it aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, chopped fresh rosemary, and a pinch of salt. Drizzle in the remaining brown butter (excluding the 1 ½ tablespoons you set aside). Use your hands to mix everything together until it forms clumpy, coarse crumbs.
  5. Carefully cut each potato in half lengthwise. Place them cut side down on the same baking sheet and return to the oven. Continue baking for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. While the sweet potatoes are baking, spread the streusel mixture on a separate baking sheet in an even layer. Place it in the oven and bake until it's golden brown, roughly 15 minutes. Watch it carefully to ensure it doesn't burn.
  7. Once everything is ready, transfer the baked sweet potato halves, cut side up, to a serving dish. Drizzle them with the 1 ½ tablespoons of reserved brown butter. Generously sprinkle the crispy streusel topping over the top of each sweet potato half.
Calories per Serving 530
Total Fat 19.7 g
Saturated Fat 10.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 40.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 83.5 g
Dietary Fiber 7.5 g
Total Sugars 27.3 g
Sodium 157.2 mg
Protein 6.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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