Pecan Crusted Sweet Potato Balls

Spicy Pecan-Crusted Sweet Potato Balls

  • Author: Paula Rhodes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: oven-baked
  • Cuisine: American


These mashed sweet potatoes are formed into balls, rolled in a spicy egg white mixture, and then rolled in chopped pecans. They are a delicious make-ahead alternative to marshmallow, butter, and sugar-laden sweet potato casseroles.


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

Dipping Mixture

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or my fave sweetener, Swerve)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes in 1/2-inch slices. Place in covered pot with 6 tablespoons water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until potatoes are soft. Usually takes 20-25 minutes.
  2. Mash with a fork or potato masher. (Do not use a mixer, food processor or immersion blender as they will cause sweet potatoes to be too soft.)
  3. Season with salt and cayenne.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a cookie sheet by covering it with parchment paper, a silicone mat or greasing it well.
  5. Mix egg whites, water, and salt with a fork until frothy. Add Worcestershire sauce, paprika and cayenne. Mix well.
  6. Spread chopped pecans on a piece of wax paper or a plate.
  7. Make sweet potato balls using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop. I like balls between 1/8 to 1/4 cup size. (Surgical gloves are really helpful here.) Drop balls one at a time into egg white mixture with a slotted spoon making sure the whole ball gets coated. Then cover ball with finely-chopped pecans.
  8. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nuts become toasty and balls are heated through.


  • If you have any of the egg white mixture left over, here’s an idea. Add a tablespoon of melted butter to the mixture and stir. Add more pecans–maybe 1/2 cup. Pour onto a greased or silicone mat-covered baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until toasty. These are so good crumbled over a salad. Or…. you could just eat them straight up like I do.
  • The nutritional estimates on this recipe may be a little high because you will probably have a little bit of the egg mixture and butter left over after making the balls.


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 315
  • Sugar: 7.1 g
  • Sodium: 299 mg
  • Fat: 22 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 11 mg

Keywords: Thanksgiving, Christmas, sweet potatoes, pecans, celebrations