Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner – Recipe No. 2 – Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy

Prepare ‘Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy’ TWO days ahead.

Brandy or bourbon can be used.  Your choice !!

Sweet Potatoes can be heated before serving in the oven   OR   in a slow cooker.

Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Bourbon is the 2nd in a series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier!  By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is roast the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans!

Everything was very casual the night I invited my friends to a ‘taste testing’.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow

My Yellow - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner


  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

  •  Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon
  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onion

  • Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges  & + Savory Turkey Gravy

  • Bonus Recipe – Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

– – – – – –

I based my Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy on a family favorite featured every Thanksgiving in my daughter-in-law’s family.  My son M. is now ‘in charge’ of preparing the sweet potatoes every year and he does an excellent job. (‘Gum Gum’ – this post is dedicated to you with lots of love!)

The splash of brandy or bourbon isn’t truly necessary but it does lend a lovely balance to the sweetness of the dark Karo syrup and brown sugar.

Ingredients and Method

  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, scrubbed & rinsed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups DARK Karo Syrup
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs. butter  ++  Feel free to add more butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt – or to taste
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. brandy or bourbon
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans  ++ Sprinkle on top right before reheating 

Cut off small ends of sweet potatoes, cut potatoes in half and peel.

Place sweet potato halves into a large saucepan filled with enough cold water to cover potatoes. Add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Sweet potatoes will NOT be fully cooked.  They’ll finish cooking in the oven.


Drain and allow to cool, then cut into 1/3″ slices.

While potatoes are cooling, prepare sauce. In a medium saucepan place Karo Syrup, brown sugar,  butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and 1 – 2 Tbs. brandy or bourbon.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Make Ahead Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Bourbon - My Yellow

Place sweet potatoes slices in a casserole.  Pour the sauce over the potatoes and mix to cover well with sauce.  Cover casserole with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate.


I have a small refrigerator in my cellar, so I was able to place all the ‘made-ahead’ dishes there.  You can always use a large cooler or two – just be sure to keep the temperature good and cold.

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow

About 40 minutes before you’re ready to reheat the potatoes, take the casserole out of the refrigerator to take the chill off.   With a large serving spoon, bring the potatoes on the bottom up to the top so they’ve all had ‘their time’ to sit in all that sugary/bourbony goodness.  Sprinkle with 1/3 cup roughly chopped pecans.

Bake at 360 for about 40 minutes, without a cover, during which time you can allow your turkey to ‘rest’.

++Allowing cooked meat to ‘rest’ makes the meat juicer. Plus it’s often easier to carve – which means … no shredded turkey!

Happy Holidays to All – Enjoy!

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow

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My Yellow Farmhouse - Cooking with Love!

Sure, it's necessary to eat to survive - but that's not any fun!! The fun comes from cooking, serving and eating with lots of love, I began this blog to share some of the delicious recipes I've gathered over the years. Thanks for dropping by & sharing the love!

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