Recipe: Sour Cream Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

updated Nov 15, 2019
Sour Cream Balsamic Sweet Potatoes
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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

This is how the cooking goes when I’m back at my parents’ house: My mom shares the stockpile of recipes she’s been saving over the last however-many months, and casually slides them across the table with a request for me to make them. I accept the offer and decide which to make and which to kindly ignore. This whole performance plays out like a scene from movie, except it’s recipes for roasted broccoli and banana bread we’re dealing in, not stolen gold bricks and the codes to a secret vault.

This recipe for sour cream balsamic sweet potatoes began with one of those situations. The original recipe — likely ripped out of a magazine — disappeared long ago, but the dish we first made has stuck around ever since. Today, it’s one of the must-have recipes on our Thanksgiving.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

This is one of those taste-as-you-go recipes since it’s so easily adapted to your own preferences. With brown sugar, balsamic, and sweet potatoes, it certainly errs on the sweeter side, but the tang of balsamic and sour cream give it a rich balance.

Aside from the short, pantry-friendly ingredient list, this dish wins extra points for its versatility. Serve it warm or at room temperature, and if you’re really looking to buy back some time this Thanksgiving, make it ahead. Either way, it’s a breeze to whip up, so if you have a little extra room on the Thanksgiving table, give this recipe a try.

Tester’s Notes

Thanks to Hali (or rather, Hali’s mother), I will never see mashed sweet potatoes the same way again. Try this recipe just once, and I think you’ll agree with me.

This version swaps the cream and butter from the traditional version you’re already familiar with for a hearty spoonful of sour cream and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It’s a powerful coupling that delivers the creamy richness you crave with this side dish (all thanks to the sour cream), with an added tang that balances the sweetness and makes it simply irresistible.

Consider the amounts of sour cream and vinegar our best-tested suggestions. This is the kind of recipe that’s so very easily adapted to your taste. Want it extra creamy and tangy (that’s me!)? Go ahead and stir in some extra sour cream. Or consider swapping in white balsamic vinegar for a slightly more mellow acidic tang.

Kelli, November 2016

Sour Cream Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 3 to 4 pounds

    sweet potatoes (4 to 5 medium potatoes), baked and peeled

  • 1/4 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons

    balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt


  1. Mash the still-warm sweet potatoes until smooth in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, sour cream, vinegar, and salt. Stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The sweet potatoes can be baked up to 5 days in advance and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Peel and mash the potatoes, then reheat over medium-low heat on the stovetop when ready to finish and serve.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.