This Roasted Sweet Potato Tian is the perfect side dish - a little sweet, a little tangy, a little crispy, and soft on the inside. Thinly sliced sweet potatoes are roasted in a pan and topped with zesty Parsley Salsa Verde. Each bite is an amazing combination of sweet, lemony, garlicky, zesty goodness. This sweet potato side dish is loaded with healthy ingredients and pairs well with any protein!
What is a tian?
A tian is a type of earthenware pan used for roasting vegetables, and "tian" is the name of the vegetable dish that is given to vegetables cooked in the pan. More commonly, a "tian" is used to describe any vegetable side dish where the vegetables are thinly sliced and roasted with seasonings, sauce, or cheese on top.
Tians are often made with sliced squash and zucchini, but I really love this sweet potato version of tian. It is heartier, more filling, and quite frankly, more delicious because sweet potatoes do not get mushy fast like other vegetables do.
Want more fun sweet potato recipes? Try this Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup!
Sweet potatoes with zesty parsley sauce
Ever since I saw this sweet potato recipe from Smitten Kitchen, I just couldn't stop thinking about making this dish. I just loved that it is a savory sweet potato dish, and there is a fresh, zesty sauce that goes on top and adds a burst of flavor and color. And the fact that you get crispy edges on top and nice soft baked potatoes on the inside is just PERFECTION.
I had to make my own version and share it with you.
Hungry for more sweet potatoes: Sweet Potato Chicken Nuggets
For the roasted sweet potatoes:
- 3 lb sweet potatoes (about 6 medium ones but get 1-2 extra just in case, try to get ones that are similar thickness), scrubbed really well or peeled (see notes bel0w)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper, to taste (start with ¼ teaspoon each)
- 2 small red onions, very thinly sliced into circles
For the parsley salsa verde:
- 1 cup parsley leaves (remove the large stems, small ones are OK)
- 6-8 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 6-8 capers
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of ½ lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- Salt & pepper, to taste - start with ¼ teaspoon
You'll also need:
- Mandoline slicer (optional but makes slicing sweet potatoes evenly soo much easier! Highly recommended for thin-sliced potatoes)
- Cut-resistant gloves (a MUST when using a mandoline slicer, trust me! It is so easy to get a nasty cut by accident, no matter how careful you're being! The mandoline I linked to comes with gloves)
- Small food processor - this one is perfect for small batches like this salsa verde!
- 8x8 roasting pan, baking dish, or 8-inch cast-iron skillet, or a similar size pan for roasting. I recommend baking this right in the dish that you plan on serving it in, since this sweet potato tian is gorgeous when it is done roasting, and doesn't do so well being transferred to another dish.
- Pastry brush or silicone brush
- Lemon zester and juicer (I love this type of zester and this OXO lemon squeezer)
Related recipe: Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Ingredient notes and substitutions
→ Sweet potatoes: I typically use 6 sweet potatoes, but you should get a couple extra before getting started just in case. The exact number you will need will depend on how thin you slice them, how much off the ends you'll need to cut off, etc. Your choice if you want to peel the sweet potatoes or just scrub them thoroughly. The peel is where a lot of the nutrients are, so I usually leave the peel on if I can find nice-looking organic sweet potatoes. If you don't like the texture of the peel, then peel it off! Try to get sweet potatoes that are the same thickness so they will cook evenly, and make sure to slice them thin and even (that's why a mandoline is highly recommended!)
→ Red onion: You can use shallots instead of red onion.
→ Try adding some freshly grated Parmesan on top of the sweet potatoes before roasting, or grated sharp cheese.
→ Spice it up! Add any combination of cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, ground coriander to the olive oil + butter mixture and use that to brush onto the sweet potatoes.
→ Parsley: Feel free to sub half the parsley for fresh cilantro.
→ Other salsa verde substitutions: You can use lime juice instead of lemon juice, add a pinch of cayenne pepper for spice, skip the capers if you don't love a sharp salty vinegary flavor. If skipping the capers, I recommend using more salt or adding Parmesan cheese to make more of a pesto.
Related recipe: Carrot Soup with Parsley Pistou
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375F. Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes thoroughly, or peel them. I usually scrub them and leave the skin on. Trim off the ends that are narrower than the center of the potatoes. I typically save the small end pieces for another dish, like these sweet potato home fries, and air fry or roast them separately. Use a mandoline to slice the sweet potatoes into thin, even slices. Please wear cut-resistant gloves!!
Thinly slice the red onion.
Step 2: Melt the butter, and combine with the olive oil, garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread about ¼ of the butter/oil mixture on the bottom of an 8x8-inch (or similar size) baking pan. Season the bottom of the pan well with additional salt and pepper.
Step 3: Arrange the sweet potato slices in the baking pan so they're standing up. Do this by grabbing a bunch of the slices at the same time so they stick to each other and you can just place them in the baking pan standing up. You can make any pattern you like - rows of sweet potatoes going across, swirly pattern, or circles.
Step 4: Insert slices of red onion in between every 2-3 potato slices. You don't have to be exact, just start sticking them in there. Brush the tops of the potatoes with the rest of the butter/oil mixture, and season well with salt and pepper.
Step 5: Cover with foil and bake at 375F for 35-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost fully cooked and a fork almost pierces the potatoes. Remove the foil and turn the heat up to 420F. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fully cooked (easily pieced with a fork if you stick the fork in through the center of a few slices).
Related recipe: Sweet Potato Sausage Skillet
Step 6: Prepare the salsa verde: In a small food processor or a personal blender, combine the parsley, grated garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, and ~4 tablespoons of olive oil. Process until all the parsley is finely chopped. Add more olive oil as needed until you reach the desired consistency - it all depends on whether you like saucy or thick sauce! I usually use 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste - start with a dash or two and add more if needed. Remember, capers are salty!
Serve the sweet potatoes warm. You can drizzle the sauce all over the baking dish, or serve it on the side so people can add it on themselves.
Looking for more sweet potato recipes?
- Stuffed sweet potatoes with chipotle black beans
- Cajun shrimp and sweet potato hash
- Sweet potato pulled pork hash
- Sweet potato latkes with leeks
- Sweet potato chili
- Shrimp and sweet potato coconut curry
- See all the sweet potato recipes from Babaganosh!
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!/
Roasted Sweet Potato Tian with Parsley Salsa Verde
- 3-4 lbs sweet potatoes - scrubbed clean (see notes before getting started)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons salted butter - melted
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt -
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper - or to taste
- 2 red onions - thinly sliced into circles (you might only need 1-1½ onions, but have extra just in case)
- 1 cup parsley leaves - from about 1 bunch, large stems removed
- 4-8 tablespoons olive oil - I usually need 5-6 tablespoons
- 1 clove garlic - roughly chopped
- 6-8 capers
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice - (from ½ lemon)
- ¼ teaspoon salt - or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper - or more to taste
- 8x8-inch baking pan or similar size
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Combine the 2 tablespoons melted butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Spread about ¼ of the butter/oil mixture on the bottom of an 8x8 inch (or similar size) baking pan or cast-iron skillet. Season the bottom of the pan well with more salt and pepper.
- Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes thoroughly. Chop off the ends that are too small and use them for another dish. Use a mandoline to slice the sweet potatoes into thin, even slices. Wear cut-resistant gloves to protect your fingers!
- Arrange the sweet potato slices in the baking pan. Do this by grabbing a bunch of the slices at the same time so they stick to each other and you can just place them in the baking pan standing up.
- Insert slices of red onion in between every 2-3 potato slices. You don't have to be exact, just start sticking them in there. Try to really stuff the dish because the potatoes will shrink a little as they bake.
- Brush the tops of the potatoes with the rest of the butter/oil mixture, and season well with salt and pepper.
- Cover with foil and bake at 375F for 35-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost fully cooked and almost pierced with a fork in the center.
- Remove the foil and turn the heat up to 420F. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork.
- Serve warm, topping with salsa verde (see recipe below). You can drizzle the sauce over the whole dish, or serve it on the side.
- In a small food processor or personal blender, combine the parsley, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, and about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Process until all the parsley is finely chopped. Add more olive oil as needed until you reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.