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Posted on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 6:32 a.m.

Sweet potato hash the perfect meal for snowy weekend mornings

By Jessica Webster


The best thing about this sweet potato hash, other than how delicious it tastes, is that you can do all the work up to 5 days in advance.

Jessica Webster |

Brunch is a meal that seems custom-made for snowy weekend mornings — paging through the newspaper or a novel with a mug of coffee and a plate of scones, or lingering over a Bloody Mary and a savory meal with friends. Heaven.

The conundrum is always that a good brunch involves a significant amount of time invested in the kitchen in the morning. And when it's so cold outside, and so warm and cozy in bed, I'm usually pretty reluctant to get moving with any speed.

This is why recipes like this one, which allow the bulk of the work to be done the night — or several days — before, are perfect.

I've made this recipe a few times now, and it's always a big hit. The sausage and the sweet potatoes play perfectly off each other, and the rosemary adds just enough interest.

Serve it with some fruit and maybe a little bit of crusty bread.

Sweet Potato Hash with Caramelized Onions, Sausage & Eggs adapted from


  • 2 large onions
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Table salt
  • 1 pound loose breakfast sausage (or vegetarian substitute)
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 4 long stalks rosemary, about 1/4 cup of leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste if necessary
  • Freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
  • Large eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

To make the hash:

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel the onions and cut them in half lengthwise, then cut them into thin half-moons. Cut the half-moons in half. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it foams up add the onions and sprinkle lightly with salt. (Don't worry if they are crammed into the pan; they will rapidly cook down.) Lower the heat slightly and cook the onions for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and lower the heat further if they start to burn. Cook them until they are soft and brown. Do not let the onions burn.

Meanwhile, put the sausage (or vegetarian sausage) in another skillet and brown over medium-high heat, chopping it up into fine crumbles with a spatula. Cook the sausage for about 10 minutes, or until it is browned and beginning to crisp. Drain away any excess fat.

While the onions and sausage are cooking, peel and then chop the sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Finely mince the garlic and rosemary leaves, and toss them in a large bowl with the sweet potatoes. Toss with the olive oil, kosher salt, and a generous helping of black pepper.

When the onions are dark brown and the sausage is crispy, stir these into the sweet potatoes as well. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and spread out the sweet potatoes evenly. Roast the sweet potatoes for 30 to 45 minutes (roasting time depends on the size and uniformity of the sweet potato chunks, as well as the variety of sweet potato you buy) or until they are soft and browned.

Refrigerate the cooled hash for up to 5 days.

To serve:

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Spread a relatively thin layer of the (already cooked) sweet potato hash in a baking dish, such as a cast iron skillet or a 9x13-inch baking dish. You can also bake in individual ramekins. Make small wells in the sweet potatoes and crack in large eggs. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and scatter the goat cheese over the hash.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are hot and the eggs are baked through. (Test the eggs by prodding them with a fork to check the firmness of the white and the yolk; baked eggs are deceptive in that the white often looks much less cooked than it really is.)

Serve immediately.

Serves 8

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

If you want good caramelized onions, Vidala or red onion, large and sliced into medium slices, all pieces removed from each other and skin discarded. Onions are like puzzles, easy to pull apart. I do this with a stick of unsalted butter. I use no salt in any cooking unless it absolutely needs it. This recipe will probably not need it. I use sweet potatoes all the time. Over medium heat add the onions to melted butter. I stir every 5 minutes. Then once almost done? Cook sausage to the onions. I use turkey sausage for a lot of my meat additives. Unless we go meatless one day. As for the eggs? Not to over ride any one here, but you can cook this in a dutch oven without the eggs and cook the eggs in the same pan as the onions and sausage. Ours prefer scrambled over open or sunny side down. Egg preferences rule here. Otherwise, I have made my list, got the dutch oven out and ready for a nice easy Sunday meal. Thanks for the recipe.

Jessica Webster

Mon, Jan 7, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

Because I am a geek, I have spent far too much time obsessing over which onions work better for caramelizing. I go with yellow onions every time. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at the Serious Eats food lab says it better than I can: You'd think that sweet onions are the way to go, offering you more sugars to caramelize, but upon cooking all four onion varieties side by side, the differences were less pronounced than I expected. All of them developed rich, caramelized flavor in about the same amount of time, but the red turned an off-putting muddy greenish-brown color. Ick. The sweet ones were marginally sweeter, but not enough that they were worth the premium price. They also lacked complexity. Of all of them, the yellow boasted the most flavor. Turns out that although sweet onions have about 25% more sugar in them, their flavor difference when raw has more to do with the amount of tear-inducing lachrymators they contain. Yellow onions have more pungent irritants than sweet, giving sweet onions the impression of actually being even sweeter than they really are. When you cook the onions down, these pungent compounds mellow out into more complex flavors, giving yellow onions a distinct edge over the sweet.

Jessica Webster

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

Lizzy - skip the goat cheese or feta and just sprinkle some parmesan on it once you take it out of the oven. Should work great!

Jessica Webster

Mon, Jan 7, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

The original recipe as posted on the calls for parmesan instead of goat cheese, so I imagine it works well in this context, though I haven't tried it that way myself.


Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

Parmesan is a strong cheese and could over ride the flavors to an otherwise, what I call delicate flavor of the sweet potato. Mild cheeses work best. But taste rules and I keep the parm for tomato dishes.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

This looks amazing - with veggie sausage for me. I don't like goat cheese, would it be weird with feta?

Jessica Webster

Mon, Jan 7, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

Veggie sausage is one of the only "fake meats" I like to use. It would work well in this recipe.


Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 4:48 p.m.

Goat cheese and Feta come from the same family. Either can be used. We use both for fondues. I think I have some Feta in the freezer. Need to go check. Both of these cheeses will compliment anything with a sweet flavor.


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 7:49 p.m.

Veggie sausage?? What sense does that make? Sausage is to be made with pork, swine, or hog.