Fluffy Brown Butter Miso Mashed Sweet Potatoes

published Nov 2, 2023
Brown Butter Miso Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Mixed with nutty brown butter and deeply savory miso paste, these fluffy potatoes will be the Thanksgiving MVP.


Makes8 cups

Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
A bowl of rich, orange-toned mashed sweet potatoes with a serving spoon on a marble surface.
Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

This recipe is a part of Spudsgiving, featuring the very best mashed, roasted, and casserole’d potato recipes you can make this holiday season.

Mashed sweet potatoes are an absolute must in my Thanksgiving side dish lineup. And my favorite way to serve them is not what you’d expect. While classic sweet potato mash tends to skew to the sweet side, my version gives them an unexpected rich and savory twist. Here, the mashed spuds are mixed with plenty of warm, nutty brown butter (which always makes everything better), deeply savory miso paste, and a small splash of maple syrup. The result is a side that’s guaranteed to be the MVP of your Thanksgiving table.

Ingredients in Brown Butter Miso Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes. You’ll need 4 pounds of sweet potatoes, which is about five to six medium or four large. I recommend sticking with medium-size sweet potatoes, as they typically tend to be less fibrous.
  • Unsalted butter. You’ll use a full stick of butter for the potatoes. It’s helpful to cut it into a few even pieces before browning, so it melts evenly.
  • Miso paste. While I prefer mellow white miso paste here, any variety will work nicely — I’ve tried them all. If you happen to have yellow or red miso on hand already, or have a preference for one of these varieties, go ahead and use it.
  • Half-and-half. Using a higher-fat dairy than milk gives the potatoes a more full, rounded flavor. If you don’t have half-and-half, you can use 1/2 cup whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream as a substitute. 
  • Maple syrup. Yes, there’s maple syrup, but this is not a decidedly sweet side dish (go for a sweet potato casserole, if that’s what you’re after). A little bit of the natural sweetener balances the richness from the dairy and the rich savory flavor of the miso paste.

If You’re Making Brown Butter Miso Mashed Sweet Potatoes, a Few Tips

  • Choose medium-sized potatoes. Those massive sweet potatoes look impressive, but they can be more fibrous, which is why I prefer to stick with medium sweet potatoes when possible. 
  • Stir regularly when browning the butter. This small step ensures that the butter cooks evenly and prevents the milk solids from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. 
  • High-fat dairy is your friend. It’s not that milk doesn’t work here, but half-and-half or a combination of whole milk and heavy cream makes for a better-tasting side with a full flavor.

Brown Butter Miso Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Mixed with nutty brown butter and deeply savory miso paste, these fluffy potatoes will be the Thanksgiving MVP.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Makes 8 cups

Serves 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1 cup

    half-and-half, or 1/2 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 4 pounds

    sweet potatoes (5 to 6 medium or 4 large)

  • 1 tablespoon

    plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons

    miso paste, preferably white

  • 1/4 cup

    maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place 1 cup half-and-half on the counter and let sit at room temperature while you cook the potatoes.

  2. Peel 4 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks, and place in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and add enough cool water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, brown the butter.

  3. Cut 8 tablespoons unsalted butter into 4 pieces and place in a medium saucepan. Melt over medium heat and continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally and scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the butter has a nutty, fragrant aroma and is a toasty-brown color, 2 to 4 minutes.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Carefully and slowly add the half-and-half and 3 tablespoons miso paste (it will bubble up). Whisk until mostly smooth.

  5. When the potatoes are ready, drain and return to the pot. Use a potato masher to mash the sweet potatoes in the pot until mostly smooth. Add the miso mixture, 1/4 cup maple syrup, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.