This simple maple bacon sweet potato appetizer is a deliciously decadent treat to serve on holidays, date nights, and special occasions.Jump to Recipe
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Do you ever wish you could eat all the sweets or candy that you want without it being unhealthy? We sure do. So we came up with a treat that almost fits the bill: this scrumptious Maple Bacon Sweet Potato appetizer. We admit, the maple syrup and bourbon aren’t exactly healthy, but the sweet potato is absolutely packed with beneficial nutrients. That’s what makes it one of our favorite ingredients – sweet and delicious, yet still good for you!
Our maple bacon sweet potato appetizer is exactly what it sounds like: wedges of maple glazed sweet potatoes, topped with crumbled bacon and chives. It’s a decadent, dessert-like twist on a restaurant style appetizer that plays up the natural sweetness of the potatoes while leaning into fall flavors of maple and bourbon. This sweet potato dish feels like a gourmet treat, which makes it the perfect appetizer (or dessert, if we’re being honest) for special occasions like Thanksgiving, date nights at home, and dinner parties with friends!
Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Appetizer Ingredients
This seasonal sweet potato appetizer is pretty straightforward – it’s simply a dish of sweet potato with maple syrup, maple bourbon, crumbled bacon and chives. However, you’ll need a few additional ingredients to caramelize the sweet potatoes and really take this dish over the top. Here’s a full list of ingredients to help get you started:
- Sweet potato – Select a sweet potato that’s very symmetrical and either round or oval in shape. This will make it easier to slice wedges of equal size, shape, and thickness so that they cook evenly and present well on a plate.
- Vegetable oil & butter – A combination of oil and butter caramelizes the sweet potato wedges beautifully while infusing them with delicious buttery flavor.
- Salt – A few pinches of salt help to bring out the natural flavor of the potato wedges while they caramelize.
- Maple bourbon – We recommend cooking with spirits you would actually drink, as the flavor definitely comes through in this dish. Substitute with unflavored bourbon if you want this dish to be a little less sweet.
- Maple syrup – Similarly, cook with a high quality maple syrup (you’ll notice the difference!). We recommend using a dark variety, rather than amber, for a more robust flavor.
- Bacon – Crispy, savory bacon pairs well with the sweet maple syrup and potatoes in this dish. Make this recipe easier by preparing the bacon ahead of time, then crumbling and reheating before using.
- Chives – A garnish of minced chives adds a pop of color and freshness to this decadent appetizer, which helps balance the overall flavor.
How To Make Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes
To make this gourmet sweet potato dish, caramelize the potatoes first, then glaze them in the bourbon and maple syrup. Save the crumbled bacon and chives for plating – sprinkling these two ingredients on top of the potatoes ensures an even distribution of toppings and flavor. This recipe is a great opportunity to practice your plating skills!
Here’s how to caramelize, glaze, and plate this sweet potato appetizer:
- Slice a round or oval sweet potato into wedges of equal size and thickness. To do this, start by cutting the potato in half lengthwise. Lay the two halves down flat on your cutting board, and then carefully slice each one lengthwise again into quarter-inch thick wedges, angling the knife as needed towards the center of the potato.
- Heat vegetable oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Then add the sweet potato wedges, laying them down flat in a single layer, and season with a pinch of salt. Cook until the bottoms are lightly golden and the potatoes smell sweet, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Carefully flip the potatoes and season with another pinch of salt. Cook until the bottoms are golden and lightly caramelized, about 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Next, add the maple bourbon and maple syrup. Lower heat to medium-low and stir carefully to coat the potatoes, taking care not to dent the potato wedges as they begin to soften.
- Cover the pan and let cook until the potatoes are tender, stirring once or twice so that the glaze doesn’t stick to the pan and burn, about 7 to 9 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Use a slotted spatula to plate the potato wedges so that you avoid scooping up any excess glaze in the pan. You want to serve the potatoes coated in a nice, even layer of glaze – not swimming in a pool of glaze on the plate.
- Season the potatoes with a light pinch of salt, then top with crumbled bacon and minced chives. Serve immediately.
If you have already prepared the bacon ahead of time, we recommend crumbling it and then reheating it for a few minutes in a small frying pan over medium-heat. It’ll heat through quickly, so do this at the very end of cooking just before plating the sweet potatoes.
Plating Suggestions For Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Wedges
There are so many different ways you can plate this fancy sweet potato appetizer, so get creative and have fun with it! Here are a few suggestions for presenting maple bacon sweet potato wedges:
- Lay the wedges flat on one side in a straight line, side-by-side, on a long plate
- Balance the wedges on their curved side with the points facing up
- Fan the wedges out from the center of a round dish in an arc or a circle
- Layer the wedges side-by-side, overlapping them slightly (like we did!)
- Plate individual servings of just a few wedges on small appetizer dishes, layering or stacking them to create visual interest
One thing to consider when plating a dish like this one is the shape of your plate. You can mimic the form of the plate with the way you display the potato wedges, whether it’s a standard round dish or a long, rectangular serving platter, to create visual appeal. For more tips on plating and food presentation, check out our detailed blog post here.
We highly recommend taking the time and care for proper plating as it elevates a delicious sweet potato appetizer into a gourmet, photo-worthy sweet potato dish! Try our Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Appetizer recipe below and share your photos with us on Instagram by tagging @candidcooksblog and #thecandidcooks. We can’t wait to see your take on this recipe!
Love this recipe? You may enjoy these recipes, too:
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Rice Bowl
- Sweet Potato White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Maple Bourbon Burger
- Tomato Bruschetta with Crostini and Garlic & Herb Cheese
Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Appetizer
- Large sauté pan
- 1 medium sweet potato round or oval
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 pinches salt
- ¼ cup maple bourbon substitute unflavored bourbon
- 1 tbsp dark maple syrup
- 2 pieces bacon cooked and crumbled
- Chives minced, for garnish
- First, wash the sweet potato thoroughly as you will leave the skin on. Then slice it into quarter-inch thick wedges of equal shape and size. Start by cutting the potato in half lengthwise, then place each half down flat on the cutting board. Start from one end and slice lengthwise again into wedges, angling the knife towards the center of the potato as needed.
- Heat vegetable oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until the butter is fully melted. Swirl it around to mix, then add the sweet potato wedges in a single layer, laying them down flat on one side. Season with a pinch of salt and cook until bottoms are lightly golden and potatoes begin to smell sweet, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Carefully flip the potato wedges, then season with a pinch of salt and cook again until the bottoms are golden and lightly caramelized, about 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Next, add the maple bourbon and maple syrup. Lower heat to medium-low to avoid burning the syrup. Stir to coat the potatoes well, being careful not to dent the potatoes with your spatula, then cover the pan and cook until potatoes are tender, about 7 to 9 minutes. Turn the potatoes over once or twice during cooking so the glaze doesn't stick to the pan and burn.
- Remove from heat. Use a slotted spatula to plate the potato wedges so that any excess glaze is left behind and doesn't get transferred onto the plate – you want just a thin coating of glaze on the potato wedges when you serve them. Season the potatoes with a light pinch of salt, then top with crumbled bacon and minced chives. Serve immediately.