Sweet Potatoes with Sorghum and Benne Seeds

Southern Kitchen
Roasted Sorghum Sweet Potatoes with Benne Seeds.

About the recipe

Roasting sweet potatoes draws out their natural sugars, but coating them in a complex syrup like sorghum adds more depth than just sugar. Rarely found outside of the South, sorghum is a syrup derived from sorghum grass that is thinner and slightly more sour than its closest culinary cousin, molasses. If you can’t find it in the supermarket, try ordering it online. Molasses is also an acceptable substitute. Avoid using any oil or butter during the roasting process, as it inhibits the sorghum from sticking to the sweet potatoes.

Native to the Carolina Low Country, benne seeds are similar in size and color to toasted white sesame seeds, but their flavor is stronger and nuttier. Toasted sesame seeds can be swapped out, but it’s hard to beat the natural flavor and Southern authenticity of benne seeds.

Serves: 8

Hands On Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 0 minutes


4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups sorghum (see note)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup benne seeds (see note)


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 cup of the sorghum and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to drizzle over any sorghum that remains in the bowl. Roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and deeply caramelized, 40 to 50 minutes.

During the last 10 minutes of cooking, spread benne seeds in a single layer in a small skillet or baking dish and roast alongside the sweet potatoes until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

Transfer the roasted potatoes and benne seeds to a large bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sorghum and stir gently to combine. Transfer to a platter and serve.