Sweet Potato, Pecan, Chipotle and Crema Puree


Sweet Potato, Pecan, Chipotle and Crema Puree

It is the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I am hurrying like a mad woman. For a week, I have been testing recipes to give you something new for your Thanksgiving table.

I tested a sweet potato cheesy casserole, a sweet potato hash, a sweet potato soup and a sweet potato torte. I even tried a mash and a soufflé.  Yet, the only one that truly blew my mind and I find worthy of this celebration is this Sweet Potato, Pecan, Chipotle and Crema Puree.

Not only is it so very fabulous, but it can be made in a snap, too. The sweet potatoes are cooked until completely soft, then pureed with nutty pecans that have had the chance to gently simmer with milk, thyme and nutmeg. A dash of chipotle in adobo gives it a smoky and barely spicy backdrop. It is finished with a splash of Mexican style cream, or crema, to make it even more creamy, with a slight tang, and irresistible.

I may be making it again on Thursday in New York City. We have some very close Mexican friends who live there and every year we take turns hosting. This year, we are packing up and taking the regional train to the city, and if my friend Viviana agrees, I will whip this up in her kitchen.

Here you go. Will you please, please, please, give it a try? I promise it will be worth your time.

Wishing you all a warm, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Sweet Potato Puree

Sweet Potato, Pecan and Chipotle Puree

Puré de camote con nueces y chipotle
8 servings
Pati Jinich
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chipotles in adobo, mexican crema, nutmeg, pati's mexican table, pecans, sweet potato
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
It is the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I am hurrying like a mad woman. For a week, I have been testing recipes to give you something new for your Thanksgiving table. I tested a sweet potato cheesy casserole, a sweet potato hash, a sweet potato soup and a sweet potato torte. I even tried a mash and a soufflé.  Yet, the only one that truly blew my mind and I find worthy of this celebration is this Sweet Potato, Pecan, Chipotle and Crema Puree.


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more for salting water
  • 1/4 cup FUD Mexican style cream

To Prepare

  • Place pecans, nutmeg and thyme in a small saucepan and cover with the milk. Set over low heat, once it comes to a gentle simmer, turn off heat and cover. Let it sit while the sweet potatoes cook.
  • Bring salted water to a rolling boil over high heat in a large saucepan. Add the sweet potatoes, making sure the water covers them and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook at a medium simmer until the sweet potatoes are completely cooked through, soft, and the tip of a paring knife can easily go through any piece, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and reserve.
  • Place half of the sweet potatoes and half of the pecan and milk mixture in a food processor. Puree until completely smooth, then scrape into a bowl. Repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes and pecan and milk mixture, but this time add the adobo sauce and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Puree until completely smooth and scrape onto same bowl.
  • Set the same large saucepan you used to cook the sweet potatoes over medium heat. Add the butter, once it melts and bubbles, add the sweet potato mix. Stirring with a spatula, pour in the cream and cook for a couple minutes more, until completely heated through. Serve.

105 comments on “Sweet Potato, Pecan, Chipotle and Crema Puree

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  1. Oh Pati Thank you for these recipes. I’ve been wanting to recreate my mothers holiday recipes. But now I’ve been browsing Talvera Pottery and Fiesta ware to match. What a wonderful way to celebrate with your recipes!

  2. This is a terrific recipe. Made ahead up to crema stage. Don’t skip the toasting back in the pan stage. I halved the adobo the first time cause we had some uninitiated. I have never, EVER had people ask to take sweet potatoes home until now.
    Smiling, thank you Pati.

  3. Culinary Family Traditions: A little girl watched her mom prepare the Easter Ham. When her mom cut off the bone from the end of the ham, the little girl asked her why she did that. Mom replied, “That’s how my Mom always did it.” So the little girl called her Grandmother & asked her why she cut the bone off the end of the ham. Grandma replied, “That’s how my mom always did it.” The little girl called Great-grandma! “Nana, why did you cut the bone off the end of the Easter Ham?”… “My pan was too small!”

  4. Hey Pati! I want to make your sweet potato and chorizo stuffing recipes for a friend’s Thanksgiving but one of my friends has a pecan & walnut allergy. Any substitute suggestions?

  5. Pati, why do you do the potatoes in two batches? And why the butter separately? Once the potatoes are done can you blend it all together with melted butter and crema folded in at the end.
    Thank you, Patti

      1. Pati, thanks for answering. I made this after I posted the question. Duh. My bad. My processor isn’t big enough either! LOL Anyway, thanks for the recipe. It is delicious and very unique.
        Patti Zacek

  6. Same meal I’m cooking for Monks & Nouns; just add orange zest and dried cranberries at the top and I baked 350 x 15 minutes

  7. Hi Pati,
    I have been so excited to make this. I saw the episode earlier this year and have had it bookmarked ever since. I am wondering if this dish must be served immediately or can I make it in the thanksgiving morning and keep it warm in a crockpot until it’s dinner time? Thanks for your help.

  8. I made Cowboy Beans, Carnitas and these Sweet Potatoes last weekend. All were DELICIOUS! My son couldn’t stop telling me how good everything was. Thanks, Pati, for such foolproof recipes that make me look like a pro in the kitchen. Feliz Navidad to you and your family!

  9. Hello Pati, I feel like you are a friend of mine. I watch your shows when ever I get the chance. I do not have regular tv. I have Roku. The other day you made a mole type sauce to add to the veg. beef soup that looked delicious!!
    you described the Ancho and Passilla chiles flavors. I was very interested. I like the bitterness of one of them. I like to make my enchilada sauce from scratch by soaking the chiles, pureeing, adding garlic and chicken broth and a thickner. I cant remember which chiles I used, maybe both??? again I do like the bitterness of which ever one it is. I love your show and I have your book and have made several of your delicious recipes. Love Bonny

  10. I made this today and it is different, but YUMMY! I used slightly less chipotle sauce, it had just enough smokey flavor. The chipotle paired well with the thyme. I don’t have a food processor, used a hand blender instead. It worked out fine, maybe not “puréed”. I’ll definitely make this again! Thanks Pati!!

  11. Helen, McCormick makes a chipotle powder that I have found in the spice section of most grocery stores. It is also sold by Penzeys at their stores and on line

  12. Hi! Pati I would like to know if I made some chicken tamales and I freeze it with out cooking, Do you know if my tamales are going to lost the flavor after a while when i decide to cook it..
    please I really appreciate if you have any suggestions

  13. Hi! Paty I would like to know if I made some chicken tamales and freeze it with out cooking, Do you think that my tamales are going to lost the flavor after a few days when I decide to cook it or will have the same flavor.

    1. Hola Maria, they will have the same flavor. Actually, you can freeze them once they have already been cooked (I prefer that), letthem cool and freeze them. Then just reheat in the steamer over low heat; they stay divine.

  14. Badia Spices has it – I’ve found all of their products to be very good, fresh and reasonably priced; in the ‘ethnic’ section or Hispanic section of your grocery – not sure where you are though – maybe you can order on-line – Pendery’s has bulk dried spices as well and I’ve found them to be prompt and quite pleasant to deal with. Good luck — hope you can find the Chipolte powder – it’s also great in scrambled eggs!

  15. Happy Thanksgiving Pati!!!
    Love this holiday. As you know I open my home to anyone this holiday. I’m happy to say I will be having 10 people this year. ?
    I just made this recipe, with canned & rinsed with water yams. Yum Pati, thanks 4 sharing your recipe.
    Love you

  16. Hi Pati. Well, you’ve done it again — another awesome recipe! I’m looking forward to trying this one. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  17. I remember my uncle making “tepache”. It was made with pineapple peelings. Could you give me the recipe. It has a bit of a kick. Love your stuff, have your book and tried some of the recipes.


  18. Hola Pati,
    Ay Chihuahua! I am so bummed! Pati’s Mexican Table is no longer carried on my local Seattle PBS station! It was my favorite thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. I always looked forward to spending a fun half hour with you Pati. I’ll miss that. I’ve petitioned KCTS to bring you back! I have your book but it’s not the same as getting to watch you cook with your boys. Que lastima!

    1. Thanks Jan, we are working on Season 5 now! Maybe they will repeat Seasons 3 & 4 in the upcoming months, while Season 5 comes out 🙂

  19. Helen: IF I’m not mistaken, Sam’s Clubs sells a Chipolte Powder, or one which mostly consists of Chipolte…manfactured by Tone’s. But I’m not absolutely certain…could double-check Sam’s website. HOPE this helps you out. CimarrronShopper

  20. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!! I also liked your presentations on Public TV – KERA here in Texas. Loved seeing how dishes that I was not familiar with were prepared. Really inspired me to try different dishes rather then weekly tacos 🙂
    Warmest regards…Pati

  21. Hi! Patty , how are you ? I love your show , your recipes and your teaching ! Can I add a habanero chili to the adobe recipe for a little more heat ? I really love spicy food ! Thank you so much ! God bless you !

    1. We are working on Season 5 at this time (yay!) but you can definitely reach out to your local station and ask them to replay episodes from previously aired seasons! =)

  22. Can you please provide me with the recipe on how to make

    champurado. You made it in one of your receipt PBS shows.

    thank you.

  23. So happy to see you on email. I am making the sweet potato recipe. Will let you know
    how they like it. Mi family grigos. They like like mi case mexican con todos los clorses.
    WE will see. Will send you a photo.
    HAPPY THANKS GIVING to your and your family. Tell JUJU he is so adorable.


  24. Hello Pati, I copied the Sweet Potato Pecan recipe. I have to say that it sound very good. I love “Sweet and Hot” I am just not sure how to serve it. would it go in a pastry crust? or just a spoon on the side with dinner?
    I love all of the recipes of yours I have tried, and I have tried many.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Bonny

  25. Hi Pati, I can’t wait to make this new recipe. On my way to the store….I’m sure it will be delicious, thanks for sharing!

  26. You went and did it. Now I have to go out and purchase all these ingredients. Gee, I thought I was all set for Thanks. I have always wondered about sweet potatoes. Well me Americana friend, I will try it and let you know. I will let you know is FUD cream is readily available on the West coast. Happy Thanksgiving and may we live to see the day when Black Friday is a thing of the greedy past. Family and food, that is what Thanksgiving is and should always be—Cheers.

  27. What is a serving size? Do you serve it with whipped cream or any other toppings like roasted pecans or walnuts? Looking forward to trying it out.

    1. I like to serve it just like this, Grace, as a side! But you can garnish it with some chopped chives, or chopped toasted pecans. It would be lovely too.

  28. Hi Pati!

    We’ve only recently been able to get the Food Network via Fetch TV here in Australia. On that, they have been showing one of your shows on the Asian Food Channel (which we cannot get). Can you advise if your programmes are either being planned for (or have been on) the Food Network; or if there has been any discussion about getting your programmes on our new free-to-air Food Channel on SBS-3 in Oz? Many thanks!


  29. Hi Patti,

    My mother in law used to make the most delicious pork tamales with black olives. She also used chicken broth instead of lard to make the masa dough. Do you have a recipe for this?

  30. Hi Pati,

    Wondering what you would recommend as a way to make the sweet potato, pecan, chipotle dish without the milk, butter or FUD and still achieve roughly the same result. Also do you ever think you could make the sweet potatoes like this but without pureeing them?

    Thanks so much!!!

    1. Hi Tim,
      Yes, you can make it without the milk, butter or cream. You need to substitute for some other liquid, the same goes for butter. Is there any other milk that you like? Almond? Coconut? How about coconut oil instead of the butter? And yes, you can mash it all with your masher or a large spoon and just finely chop the pecans before adding them in the mix. Let me know how that goes!

  31. Me encanta las recetas pero me gustaría que tu página tuviera el idioma español ya que soy mexicana y apenas estoy aprendiendo algo de inglés ….y tus recetas me hacen la vida más fácil en este país en cuestión de como comprar los alimentos y que cosinar

  32. Hello Pati!

    Where can I buy one of those metal tortilla makers? The ones where you put the ball of masa in it, and then press down.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Ernie & Mary Frances

  33. Pati, a new friend gave me a Scotch Bonnet pepper from her garden. It’s so beautiful but I understand it’s very, very hot. She didn’t know I don’t eat spicy foods, alas. Is there a recipe I could use it in that would include a way to really tone down its heat? I was thinking of drying it but wondered if that would make it even hotter. Yikes!

    Thank you.

    Warmly (but too warm…),

    Cyndy Redifer

    1. You can broil or char it to turn down the heat a bit… Use it in recipes as you would use a jalapeno but be mindful it’s very hot so start by adding a small amount at a time! Enjoy!

  34. Hola Pati,

    Nana Jose’s cake is a hit, even at our church! We have several “gluten-free” members, and they just love it.

    My question: Is it OK to line the Springform pan with crushed pecans, or will they burn when baking? Same with the top: Can I add some crushed pecans, either before or after baking?

    Muchas gracias siempre, Amy

    1. Hi Amy! Yes, I am afraid they may brown too much if you use them for lining, but you can add some to the top before putting it in the oven for sure. So happy it has been a hit! You can also serve it with whipped cream or ice cream, and berries or more pecans on top…

  35. A pumpkin pie recipe I saw on CREATE calls for chipotle powder and I can’t find any in my grocery stores, Mexican or WASP. Are there any substitutes you recommend? It’s for a regular pumpkin pie with added ginger and chipotle powder.

    1. Chipotle powder will be with the regular spices in the spice aisle in any grocery. You don’t need to look in the specialty section unless you need bulk.