Sweet potato pie

traditional side dish in the southern United States

Sweet potato pie is a type of pie. It is common in the southern United States. It is similar to pumpkin pie. It is common at Thanksgiving. It is a side dish or dessert.

A slice of sweet potato pie.

"The most delicate root that may be eaten," as the sixteenth-century English mariner and slave trader John Hawkins called it, suited European taste. Henry VIII ate his sweet potatoes in heavily spiced and sugared pies, a fashion that survived at least until the 1680s."[1]

It is normally made as a large tart. It doesn't have a top crust. The filling has mashed sweet potatoes, milk, sugar, eggs, and flavoring. The filling can be made light or dense. Occasionally marshmallows are added as a topping.


Creamy vegetable pie recipes date back to Medieval Europe.[2] It was a favorite of Henry VIII of England.[3] He was known to eat a great number of sweet potato pies at a time believing they were an aphrodisiac.[3] Sweet potato pie appears in the southern United States from the early colonial days.[2] Like many sweet potato recipes, sweet potato pie was likely developed by the black slaves from traditional African cuisine. It is a staple of Soul food today.[4] Recipes for sweet potato pie first appeared in printed cookbooks in the 18th century. It was included with savory vegetable dishes. By the 19th century, sweet potato pie was considered a dessert.[2]


  1. -The Potato: How the Humble Spud Rescued the Western World, Larry Zuckerman [North Point Press:New York] 1998 (p. 9)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Sweet potato pie". Lynne Olver. 2000. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bill Neal, Bill Neal's Southern Cooking (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989), p. 163
  4. Sheila Ferguson, Soul Food: Classic Cuisine from the Deep South (New York: Grove Press, 1993), p. 110

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