These Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Cranberries make the best classic Thanksgiving side dish for holiday dinners. Lightly seasoned with maple syrup and a hint of cinnamon, this is an easy recipe you can make a day or two in advance. Ready in 30 minutes! Vegan, paleo and gluten-free.
❤️ Why this recipe works
- Roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes are two favourite vegetables for fall dinners. They're traditional sought-after side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. This recipe combines the two!
- These two veggies make a pretty side dish! Rich fall colours and always popular warm autumn flavours set the tone for a cozy fall dinner.
- If you've been asked to bring a dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, this is the one for you! You can make it ahead and reheat it before serving time.
- Roasting Brussels sprouts is an easy way to cook them. One pan with easy clean-up!
- A 30-minute recipe!
- Expect requests for seconds.
- This sweet potato side dish checks the boxes for those on special diets! It's vegan, vegetarian, paleo and gluten-free.
Love sweet potato sides? You'll love this Roasted Sweet Potato Spinach Salad with Maple Walnuts and Bacon!
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are a few details about the ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfectly every time.
Brussels sprouts: look for those that look full and fresh with lots of green leaves. If you can buy them on the stalk, they'll be even fresher!
sweet potatoes: choose those without blemishes or soft spots. Look for those that are tubular rather than rounded, as they're easier to cut.
pecan halves: you'll be toasting these, either in the oven at 350°F. or in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.
dried cranberries: I like the unsweetened ones, but you can use whatever kind you have on hand. If they look overly dry, you can plump them up by rinsing them with hot water, then squeezing out the excess.
maple syrup: you'll toss the cubes of sweet potato with a little maple syrup. I avoid tossing the sprouts with syrup before roasting as the outer leaves tend to char and burn.
olive oil: to toss the veggies in before roasting to prevent them from drying out.
cinnamon: (optional) to sprinkle on the sweet potatoes before roasting
🔪 Step-by-step Instructions
- Trim the sprouts, removing any damaged or yellow leaves. Use a sharp paring knife to remove the tough stems. If the sprouts are medium or large in size, slice them in half lengthwise. If they're tiny, leave them whole. Toss with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and place on one end of a lined baking sheet.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into cubes about ¾ inch thick. Toss the cubes with olive oil,maple syrup and cinnamon and space them apart at the opposite end of the baking sheet.
- Roast at 400°F. for about 20 minutes or until veggies are fork tender, flipping them over after 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toast the pecans. Place them in a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Toast just until they are fragrant and beginning to darken. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Add the roasted vegetables, toasted pecans and dried cranberries to a serving bowl and toss with an additional tablespoon or so of maple syrup. Serve hot.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
- Be sure to line your sheet pan with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. The maple syrup bubble ups and will stick to the pan if you don't.
- Don't overcrowd the pan. If the veggies are too close together, they will cook in their own steam and they won't become caramelized. Use two pans if you need to.
- Before storing leftovers, cool them completely. They'll last in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To reheat leftovers, spread them out on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F. for 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through and crispy.
- This recipe is written for 4 servings. You can easily double the recipe. In the recipe card below, click on the number 4 beside Servings. A little slider will appear. You can drag it along to the number of servings you'd like.
🔁 Possible Variations
Adding cinnamon to the maple-glazed sweet potatoes brings warm Autumn flavours to this dish! If you like spicy foods, you could substitute dried red pepper flakes for cinnamon. You could also add a sprinkle of cumin to the sweet potatoes.
⏰ Make ahead Instructions
You can make most of this side dish of roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes ahead of time!
Option 1: Prepare the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes and cover and refrigerate them. Toast the pecans. Then on the day you want to serve them, toss and roast the veggies and combine with the remaining ingredients.
Option 2: Roast the sprouts and sweet potatoes, cover and refrigerate. When you're ready to serve, reheat them in the oven, then combine them with the pecans and cranberries.
❓Questions about this classic Thanksgiving side dish
The confusion over these two root vegetables results from the fact that in North America these two terms are often used interchangeably. However, they are two different vegetables!
Real yams, commonly found in the Caribbean or West Africa, have rough, bark-like skin and are dry and starchy.
Sweet potatoes have a smooth orange thin skin, orange, white or purple flesh and a naturally sweet flavour.
So while you may see these orange tubers labelled as yams in your grocery store, they are most likely sweet potatoes!
You can read more about the differences between the two in this article, Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes: What's the Difference?
Like broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts contain hydrogen sulphide gas. When you cook them, these smelly gases escape. If you want to avoid this on Thanksgiving day, cook them a day or two in advance, then reheat them either in the oven or in a skillet on the stovetop. Problem solved!
🍽 Serving suggestions
🗒More recipes for side dishes
When you make these roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing how my recipes turned out for you, or what adaptations you made. Thanks in advance!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Cranberries
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, extra virgin
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ cup pecan halves
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup for drizzling on finished dish
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Trim Brussels sprouts, removing any damaged or yellow leaves and cut back the tough stem. If sprouts are medium or large, slice in half lengthwise. In a medium bowl, toss the sprouts with olive oil and sea salt.
- Place the sprouts cut side down on one end of the baking sheet.
- Peel and cube sweet potatoes. In the same bowl, toss the cubes with olive oil and maple syrup.
- Place the sweet potatoes on the opposite end of the baking sheet with the Brussels sprouts. Roast at 400°F. for about 20 minutes, turning the veggies over after 15 minutes. If the sweet potatoes cook faster than the sprouts, remove them from the oven and let the sprouts cook a little longer.
- Meanwhile, toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat for about 4 - 5 minutes or just until they become fragrant and are beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Add roasted vegetables, toasted pecans and dried cranberries to a serving bowl. Toss together with an additional tablespoon of maple syrup and serve hot.