Holiday Brussels Sprouts and Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I have several holiday recipes on the blog that you can find here, here, and here; but what’s wrong with a couple more!  My family and I will be traveling to visit my wonderful in-laws for Thanksgiving, so I thought I would come up with two fun side dishes that I can make and share while we are there.  Both are scrumptious and I’m looking forward to making both again in just a few days!

holiday brussel sprouts

Holiday Brussels Sprouts

3 tablespoons grass fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil

1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced

1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved and then cut into strips

½ cup walnuts, chopped

½ cup dried unsweetened cherries, chopped

2 teaspoons raw organic honey

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet saute the onions in the the butter, ghee or coconut oil until they start to brown and carmelize.  Add the sliced Brussels sprouts and cook until the just become tender.  Add the diced walnuts and cherries and cook for another minute or two and remove from heat.  In a small saucepan melt the honey, add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil and whisk together. Pour the dressing over the Brussels Sprouts and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serves 5-6.

Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

5 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

12 -15 whole cloves of garlic, peeled (cut the bigger ones in half lengthwise)

3 tablespoons coconut oil or bacon grease

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the sweet potatoes and garlic with the oil, cinnamon, thyme, salt and pepper.  Spread the potatoes evenly in a 9×13 baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring half way through the cooking time. Serves 5-6.


  1. K says

    Any suggestions for a substitute for the cherries? I have been craving brussel sprouts (funny how Paleo makes you say things like that!) and have them on hand to make them tonight, but no cherries (and no time in the schedule to run to the store). Would love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  2. says

    Hey Sarah,

    I went back and looked at your Brandy Zabaglione. That looks really GOOD! I just read Robb Wolf’s post on seasonal drinks and your recipe is a great alternative.

    I came up with a my own drink. During Christmas oranges are in season so this is technically a “seasonal drink” or a great alternative to an OrangeJulius while you are shopping on Black Friday.

    Creamy Orange Whip Smoothie
    1/2 cup cold water
    1 chilled orange, peeled, sectioned
    1/2 cup raw pecans
    4 deglet noor dates, pitted
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    3 ice cubes

    Add it to a blender and enjoy! I plan on posting this on my blog soon.

  3. Marcy says

    I made your Holiday Brussels Sprouts for today’s Thanksgiving meal, and they were delicious! What a pleasure to enjoy decadent foods like this and leave the table not feeling like a stuffed turkey. 😉

  4. Heather Sinclair says

    Hi,I have to say I’m impressed with the two tasty and extremely healthy recipes.I experience sore stomach,gas and bloating when I’ve eaten breads and the like.My sister is currently using your recipes from Everyday Plaeo book.
    I will be having our Coles books order a book for me……so I will beable to cook and eat healthier.Thank-you for publishing one super cook book.
    Sincerely Heather Sinclair.

  5. Melissa says

    The best Brussels ever! I was planning on making the recipe with the bacon and brussels till we found out we had a guest with who didnt eat pork. These were a hit, I’m so disappointed we don’t have any leftover! Planning on making another batch this weekend. Thank you this will be a holiday staple for us now!

  6. Suzanne LeMere says

    Hi Sarah,

    Just wanted to let you know I made Mom’s Mashed Yams for Thanksgiving at my Mom’s this year from your recipe book “Everyday Paleo”. I think there’s an error. I used 3 TABLESPOONS of Cinnamon per the book (I’m a pretty “by-the-book” girl). Is that supposed to be 3 TEASPOONS??? They were brown and all we could taste was cinnamon. I was bummed.

    • Sarah says

      Hi Suzanne, the 3 tablespoons is not a typo but I think I know what went wrong. Were I failed with this recipe is I should have given the amount of yams measured by cups after being cut up because when I make these I use 6 giant yams and it’s enough that it really does need all that cinnamon. If your sweet potatoes were on the smallish side it probably was way too much cinnamon. I’m so terribly sorry about that! Next time use more sweet potatoes/yams or way less cinnamon.

  7. Nicole says

    Hi Sarah,
    Your blog is awesome. I wanted to ask your opinion on tubers, as they are controversial in the Paleo world. I am athletic as you are, and it seems as though they are common with Paleos as a post workout food . How often would you say you eat them?

    Also what about cheese, as I noticed you ate some grassfed pepper jack.-which sounds delicious, btw.

    • Sarah says

      Hi Nicole,
      I don’t really keep track of how often I eat tubers to be perfectly honest with you. : ) I eat them sometimes after a workout and I make the often for my kids so I’ll eat them when they sound good. If you are lean and healthy, sweet potatoes can be a good addition to your paleo food options! : ) I LOVE cheese but unfortunately cheese and other dairy products do not love me back, but I’ll eat it now and then if I can find good grass fed raw cheese. I do use butter, Kerrygold is my favorite and least expensive brand I can find that is from grass fed cows. Butter does not seem to bother me like other dairy products do. Too much dairy for me = feeling and looking a bit puffy and acne. Not fun, but honestly, I will still eat it now and then but if it’s too much, I don’t like the end results.

  8. Casey says

    Great Website!

    We tried both of these recipes for Thanksgiving this year, tripling them to account for the number of guests . These two dishes were voted the favorite hands down of the entire dinner. People who hate Brussel Sprouts were asking for 2nds and 3rds. Needless to say there was not any left overs…..we now have found two new family traditional thanksgiving dishes. The brussel sprouts replace the stuffing and the garlic sweet potatoes replace the candy yams.

    Thanks for posting these recipes.


  9. says

    Hmm…I have never eaten a brussel sprout in my 42 years of existence. I’ll give it a try. And, that sweet potato recipe is definitely getting made.

  10. Arlene says

    Hey Sarah,I just wanted to say thanks for all your great recipes! I have been doing Paleo for six months and I know I would not have succeeded without your cookbook! Your recipes are amazing and I recommend your cookbook to everyone! Any chance you might come out with another in the future?!

    • Sarah says

      Thank you so much Arlene! I am actually working on another “family” cookbook that will be released in May 2012!!! : )

  11. Matt says

    Both of these dishes are exceptional! Not being a huge fan of brussel sprouts in the past (I suppose mainly since I never had a good way to prepare them), I’ve made the ‘Holiday Brussels Sprouts’ dish for a second time – in a week – today. The sweet potatoes, I will be making that on Saturday/Sunday and taking it with me to my families house for Christmas! Thanks for the awesome recipes!


  12. Noelle says

    I paired these two sides with a spiral ham. I am in love! It all couldn’t have gone together more perfectly. The potatoes along with the brussels sprouts were beyond delicious. Words can’t express how much I loved them both. Thank you so much. I will definitely be making the two as often as I can. YUM!

  13. Masha says

    I served these with turkey and ham for a New Year’s meal. Both recipes were great, but the sweet potatoes were truly fantastic. (I think I made too much sauce for the Brussels sprouts, so they were a bit too sweet.) Also, next time I will add more garlic to the sweet potatoes – it was a very special treat to get a bite with the roasted garlic. :)

    Thank you for sharing these recipes!

  14. Liz says

    Made both of these last night as sides for honey-orange fish – wow! So good! Instead of butter, I diced up three strips of bacon, cooked them in the skillet, and used the drippings from that to saute the onions, and I subbed raisins for the cherries (which I swore I had in the cabinet and did not – I suspect the kids). I am so excited about my leftover-lunch! I’ve also invited two non-Paleo families to join us for dinner on Saturday to try the same meal!

  15. Audri says

    I made these both of these recipes tonight to accompany a delicious steak. My family doesn’t care for vinegars and we’re doing the Whole30 (so no honey), so I altered the brussel sprouts. I substituted dates for the cherries and left off the honey balsamic olive oil at the end. Talk about delicious! Thanks so much for the great ideas. The potatoes were to die for! Everyone loved them.

  16. Erin says

    I made both of these dishes tonight to go with the kale meatball recipe that you also have posted elsewhere. It was all delicious and my family loved it. This was also my first time cooking with coconut oil; I wasn’t sure how that was going to end up tasting but it was great!

  17. Euray says

    Hello! Loving your website and all the great food ideas…. just getting started with Paleo…. had a question. Many of the other websites with information lists for food had sweet potatoes on the “do not eat list”… your thoughts???? I noticed you use them quite often

    Thank you,

    • Sarah says

      Sweet potatoes can be an excellent addition to eating Paleo dependent on who you are. If you are trying to lose fat you might not want to indulge on lots of sweet potatoes but if you are a kid or otherwise lean and healthy sweet potatoes are a great carb source. I suggest them post workout for recover food. Hope that helps!

  18. Rose says

    I’ve just made the first recipe, but with cabbage instead of brusselsprouts and dried cranberries instead of cherries (since it was what I had), and it was really good! Thank you very much for the inspiration! :)

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