Secret Ingredient Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Secret Ingredient Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes Recipe

November 09 , 2015 by: Jessica Pinney Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. You know why? Because it’s not about giving gifts or dressing up, it’s just about the foodAnd of course family…but mostly the food!

Like many holidays, Thanksgiving involves a lot of traditional recipes. Almost everybody has a one or two recipes that they make every year. I usually like to switch it up and try something new, especially when it comes to the turkey.

There is, however, one recipe that is so delicious that I have made it every Thanksgiving for about 5 years now. I have honestly never had sweet potatoes that taste quite like this version. It’s incredibly creamy because of a few cups of cream, a stick of butter (hey, it’s the holidays), and a “secret ingredient”.

Wondering just what that secret ingredient is? It’s a banana! A roasted banana to be exact. It may sound crazy, but everyone I’ve ever served these for has raved about them. Give it a try! Don’t tell your guests what the secret ingredient is, see if they can guess. No one has yet.

I hope you enjoy my Secret Ingredient Thanksgiving Sweet Potato recipe as much as I do.

Secret Ingredient Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Secret Ingredient Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes Recipe


Secret Ingredient Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Secret Ingredient Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes Recipe

5 from 4 reviews

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 100 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 mins
  • Yield: 6-8


  • About 5lbs of Sweet Potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons of Kosher Salt
  • 1 Banana (ripe to overly ripe is best)
  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1/4 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. Rinse the potatoes. Poke several holes in each with a fork. Keeping the peel on, rub each down with salt then individually wrap in aluminum foil.
  3. Once your oven is preheated, place potatoes on the bottom rack and cook until very tender (about 60-90 minutes). When potatoes are so tender that a paring knife immediately slices through them, take them out of them oven. Set aside.
  4. Place about a 1/2″ slit in your banana’s peel. Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake until the peel is black, about 15 mintues. Remove from oven and scoop fresh into a small bowl.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 500°. Take a 9×9 or 13×9 baking dish. Place inside the oven and allow to heat up for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Now unwrap your sweet potatoes and slice them in half. Scoop the flesh out into a bowl.
  7. Remove baking dish from oven. Add butter and let melt. Then add the cream, cinnamon stick, brown sugar, banana, and sweet potatoes. Use a potato masher, then stir to combine.
  8. Place in oven and bake 5-10 minutes until desired temperature is reached. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  9. Serve immediately.


Secret Ingredient Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes


Secret Ingredient Sweet Potatoes thanksgiving_secret_ingredient_sweet_potatoes_Recipe_pin


  • This sounds great – really different. Can’t wait to try it, but I have a question first.
    Do you mash the cinnamon stick into the potato mixture? I’ve never done that before. Or can I use ground cinnamon instead, and how much?
    Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • It really is my favorite Sweet Potato recipe!
    You don’t break up the cinnamon stick, it stays whole. You just sort of stir it around in the potato mixture so the flavor gets in there. I imagine you could use ground cinnamon instead, but I’ve never done it so I am not sure how much. A little goes a long way with cinnamon, maybe start with a 1/8 – 1/4 tsp and season to taste? Let me know how it works out for you.
    Hope you enjoy the recipe, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well!

  • I love the banana idea! I am going to try this for the holidays this year. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

  • How fun! I’m intrigued and look forward to trying your recipe. I can just imagine how tasty it is and it must be a surprise when folks find out there is a banana in it!!

  • it looks so fluffy and delicious….

  • Wow! A banana? I bet it adds that little bit of sweetness that your guests can’t put their finger on but can’t stop eating.

  • this looks lovely. Cinnamon with sweet potato is such a great combination. Cant wait to try it.

  • Banana!? I never would have thought of that – this sounds great!

  • I am very intrigued!! I have never heard of banana in sweet potatoes. Love the idea of cinnamon. Can’t wait to try this.

  • Interesting idea! It might be a way to wean people who expect sweet potatoes to be really sweet away from the boring marshmallows… (which I never did like.)

  • I would have never guessed that banana is the secret ingredient but I can totally see it adding a great flavor here. I would love to try this!

  • I rarely bring sweet potatoes home. Looking at your recipe, I’m thinking, I should now.

  • Wow Banana with sweet potatoes? thats a superb addition! wonder how great this would taste!.

  • Being Italian and living in Canada only from a short period of time, Thanksgiving is not a festivity I long for. Being vegetarian is another reason, cannot understand all the turkey galore. But your dish…I love it! I can smell it and taste it!

  • I just recently discovered the awesomeness of roasted banana but never would have thought to add it to sweet potatoes. Super innovative – I’ll have to give it a try!

  • What a fun surprise! It sounds like it adds such a nice depth of flavor to this dish. I’ll need to give it a try!

  • Never thought of adding a banana to sweet potatoes! This really is a secret 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Have to try and let you know if anybody at my home guessed it!


  • Nice change-up on the sweet potato casserole! I can see how bananas and sweet potatoes would pair well together. Will try!

  • Do you think this is something you can make ahead & bake the day of? Trying to get ahead on meal prep 🙂 Thank you!

  • Yes, that would be very easy to do. This recipe reheats well.

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