Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups

I have a wonderful Thanksgiving side dish recipe to share with you all. Sweet potatoes in orange cups. Originally I saw this done by Chef Sara Moulton on TV and I have seen it in several other websites these days too. This is my adaptation of the recipe.

The best thing is that you can make this ahead of time – like the day before Thanksgiving even! Plus, it is always a huge hit with my family and I’ve been asked to bring it several times.

I wish I had step by step photos for you today, but I will not be making it until next week and I wanted to get the recipe out to you now so you could plan this in your menu and have time to get the ingredients. I specify medium oranges in the recipe which is usually good when you cut in half and fill to serve one person per half. You can use smaller oranges if you like for smaller portions though. Just adjust the amount of sweet potatoes up or down as needed for the amount you want to make.

Let me know if you try it and how you and your family liked it!



Sweet Potato in Orange Cups

Serves 12
Occasion Thanksgiving
Website Robyns.World


  • 4-5 Medium sweet potatoes
  • 6 Medium oranges
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (from the oranges)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • OPTIONAL: chopped pecans or mini marshmallows, for garnish


Peel your sweet potatoes. Cut into cubes, just like when you are making regular mashed potatoes, cover with cold water. Boil until fork tender, about 30 minutes or so. Drain well and return to pot or large bowl.

While the sweet potatoes are boiling you can wash the oranges off and dry. Cut each orange in half and gently squeeze to reserve juice. Do not squeeze hard because you are going to use the orange "cups". You need about 1/4 cup of the juice reserved. The rest use for something else (it's great if you are making homemade cranberry sauce). Use a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works well here) to scoop out the rest of the flesh from inside the orange. Again, use that flesh for another purpose. Set the orange cups aside for now.

Now add to your boiled sweet potatoes the reserved orange juice, butter, brown sugar, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Mash well. Be sure to taste and adjust as needed by adding more of any of the added ingredients if you need them.

Fill the orange cups with the mashed sweet potato mixture. You can use a regular spoon, a measured scoop, or a pastry bag with wide opening. Whatever method you prefer.

At this point you can either refrigerate them for up to a day. If you make ahead, you will need to remove them from the refrigerator while oven preheats and add another 10-15 minutes onto baking time to heat them through.

Preheat oven to 350° F. OPTIONAL: You can top the sweet potatoes in the orange cups with some chopped pecans or a few mini marshmallows if you like. Or do some of both. Place all the filled cups on a baking dish. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Serve.