Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

A creamy sweet potato, maple, and yogurt filling topped with toasted pecans makes the ideal Thanksgiving pie.

This pie is everything I ever wanted out of pumpkin pie, only without the pumpkin. I’m not going to say that this sweet potato pie trumps all pumpkin pies, but since good baking pumpkins are increasingly difficult to find, I will say that it’s better than “most” pumpkin pies.

This recipe first appeared in Season 7 of Good Eats.

Sweet Potato Pie

  • 20 ounces (567 grams) peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, from approximately 3 whole
  • 1 1/4 cups plain yogurt, not Greek-style
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 (9-inch) pie shell, frozen or fresh
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped and lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  1. Put the sweet potatoes in a steamer basket and put the steamer basket in a large pot of simmering water that is 1 inch from the bottom of the basket. Cover and steam over medium-high heat until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the steamer basket and dump the sweet potatoes into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mash with a potato masher.
  3. Heat oven to 350ºF.
  4. Beat the sweet potatoes in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the yogurt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, egg yolks, and salt, and beat until well combined.
  5. Set the pie shell (still in its pie tin) on a half-sheet pan, fill with the sweet potato mixture, and smooth the top. Sprinkle the pecans on top and drizzle with the maple syrup.
  6. Bake until the pie reaches an internal temperature of 165 to 175ºF — the middle should still wiggle slightly — 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Slice and serve. Stash leftovers in the refrigerator.

Hardware: Steamer basket, digital instant-read thermometer

Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie, about 8 servings

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Alton Brown's Sweet Potato Pie Recipe


Add yours
  1. 1
    Carol Niemann

    I’ve used Greek yogurt in the past and then just added sweetener, like Splenda. I’ve used prepared crust and pie was better than with roll out crust. I’ve used honey when I didnt have maple syrup and it was delicious. I triple the recipe each time and experiment with each of the pies. This time I roasted the pecans with butter and salt. Will see how it turns out with Greek yogurt, the filling doesnt take so long to set. Also be careful not to overmix the ingredients. I found mixing slowly only until ingredients are blended, worked best. If you whip it, it wont set. At least not in this area/altitude & lack of humidity here in Las Vegas, NV.

  2. 4
    Owen Marshall

    I made this for my girlfriend last weekend, but I drizzled a little maple syrup and bourbon over the pecans just before baking. Yumtastic!

  3. 5
    Morgan Feeney

    I made this for Thanksgiving this year but with a crushed gingersnap crust instead of a traditional pastry pie crust – so delicious! The combination of ginger with this sweet potato filling was perfect… Don’t think I’ll go back to shortcrust pastry again!

  4. 6

    Made the pie last night and saved the egg whites for breakfast this morning… realized that I have not seen a recipe or heard anyone talk about the technicalities of cooking egg whites in a skillet (and not making an omelet). Any tips?

  5. 7

    Sounds delicious! Would it be okay to substitute the yogurt with a dairy-free option such as coconut or soy? I ask this because my infant has a milk allergy so I must eat a dairy-free diet. Thanks!

    • 13

      Yes!!! In fact you want to make this pie in advance because I needs time to fully chill.

      I made this pie last year and it is definitely better after the second day.

      Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

    • 15

      Gloria-my daughter is allergic to pecans, so we used walnuts and it was just as yummy. This leads me to believe that the crunch factor combined with the maple syrup flavor is really what matters. Why don’t you try a traditional oat crumble topping without any nuts and drizzle the maple syrup on top? If you like the taste of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, you could include some for additional crunch.

  6. 16

    Made a sweet potato pie filling for thanksgiving buffet at culinary school last week, added about an ounce and a half of bourbon per pie. Best pie ever. Even with cheap bourbon.

  7. 18

    My friend made this from your recipe before and it was amazing!! I want to make it but I don’t have a stand mixer. I have an immersion blender but it’s my only mixing appliance. Can I use that our should I mix by hand?

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