18 Unexpected Recipes for Sweet Potatoes

©. Various

From fondue and latkes to waffles and cheesecake, it's time to escape the sweet potato slump.

Every year as the temperature starts to sink and leaves begin to change, we seem to be overcome by the inexplicable need to smother sweet potatoes with marshmallows, a bizarre tradition that appears to have been introduced by a five-year old chef. Or perhaps aliens.

But hey, if you fall into the camp that prefers their sweet spuds drowned in a flood of fluffy, processed corn-syrup-gelatin confection, then more power to you. We understand that many people are attached to them in that goopy guise, and we mean not to judge. But if you're looking for an alternative, we've got the goods here, including main dishes, side dishes, baked items, and desserts.

1. Sweet potato hummus

Sweet potatoes

Flckr/ilovemypit/CC BY 2.0

This clever sweet potato hummus swaps out the chick peas and replaces them with sweet potato puree.

2. Sweet potato crepes with cilantro-tamarind sauce

sweet potatoes

Flickr/Cowomally/CC BY 2.0

There are a number of steps in this vegan recipe for sweet potato crepes with cilantro and tamarind sauce, but the delectable result is worth the time.

3. Chipotle sweet potato fondue

sweet potatoes

Flickr/foodiesathome.com/CC BY 2.0

Chipotle sweet potato fondue, it's true. Not the (delicious, but still) gloppy cheese kind, but a smooth, smoky, spicy, sweetish (not Swedish) version. So good.

4. Sweet potato and spinach puffs

Sweet potatoes

Flick/penguincakes/CC BY 2.0

These easy sweet potato puffs rely simply on mashed sweet potatoes and a few other ingredients, folded into squares of puff pastry.

5. Vegan sweet potato latkes

weet potatoes

Flickr/sweetbeetandgreenbean/CC BY 2.0

Replacing potatoes with sweet potatoes is a simple concept, but these sweet potato latkes take it up a notch, aaaand they're vegan.

6. Sweet potatoes stuffed with roasted grapes and goat cheese

sweet potatoes

Flickr/in2thedigital/CC BY 2.0

Twice-baked sweet potatoes are another logical place to swap sweet potatoes for their plain Jane cousins, but this recipe for sweet potatoes stuffed with roasted grapes and goat cheese just tosses that whole notion on its head. They have roasted grapes and goat cheese! When was the last time you had roasted grapes?

7. Sweet potato gnocchi with maple sage brown butter

sweet potato

Flickr/joyosity/CC BY 2.0

Sweet potato gnocchi with maple sage brown butter are kind of like pumpkin ravioli meets basic gnocchi, and incredibly charming.

8. Sweet potato risotto

sweet potato risotto

Amy Ross / Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Butternut risotto made a big splash in recipe-land when risotto became the next big thing all those years ago. And it's so good, but maybe a little predictable at this point ... which is why sweet potato risotto will steal your heart and win you friends.

9. Sweet potato rosti with cinnamon-bourbon maple syrup

sweet potatoes

Flickr/SaucyGlo/CC BY 2.0

Like the latkes above, but different. The rosti is a Swiss dish that's like the love child of a latke on steroids and a pancake. This recipe for a sweet potato rosti comes with instructions for a cinnamon-bourbon maple sauce, but you could top it with something spicy and savory to take it in another direction.

10. Sweet potato biscuits

sweet potatoes

Flickr/Rex Roof/CC BY 2.0

For the biscuit lover, adding sweet potatoes to the dough results in a savory biscuit with a bit of sweetness and a load of depth.

11. Sweet potato buttermilk dinner rolls

sweet potatoes

Flickr/- luz -/CC BY 2.0

Another twist on a delicious but ultimately plain-tasting baked good, like the biscuits above, sweet potato buttermilk dinner rolls add a little something-something to an otherwise quotidian bread plate.

12. Sweet potato corn bread

sweet potato cornbread photo

© Jaymi Heimbuch

This sweet potato corn bread has "the crunch of stone-ground corn, the sweetness of sweet potato, and a fluffy lightness in the center that can't be beat." Plus, that color!

13. Sweet potato butter

sweet potatoes

Flickr/thehealthyirishman/CC BY 2.0

Like pumpkin butter or apple butter -- the butter that's not really butter! This sweet potato (un) butter is especially special for its concentrated flavor and inclusion of garam marsala, honey, ginger, and cloves. And it would love to meet up with any of the three previous recipes.

14. Sweet potato brioche cinnamon rolls with maple butter

sweet potatoes

Flickr/djwtwo/CC BY 2.0

All that can be said of sweet potato brioche cinnamon rolls with maple butter, is sayonara Cinnabon.

15. Cinnamon swirl sweet potato bread

sweet potatoes

Flickr/djwtwo/CC BY 2.0

Simple, sweet cinnamon swirl sweet potato bread is a step (or two or three) less decadent than its sassy sister above, but it's like the girl next door you end up falling in love with.

16. Sweet potato waffles

sweet potatoes

Flickr/gomattolson/CC BY 2.0

When waffles just aren't enough, kapow, make sweet potato waffles! And although these are shown served with a scoop of ice cream (everyone's favorite breakfast condiment), this recipe uses whole grains and you can skip the ice cream for a tamer version.

17. Sweet potato cheesecake

credit: tomatoes and friends

tomatoes and friends/CC BY 2.0

Sweet potato cheesecake takes the best things about cheesecake and creative food swaps, and tosses them together to make one of the best-tasting desserts known to mankind. It's really that simple.

18. Sweet potato bread pudding

bread pudding

Flickr/DeathByBokeh/CC BY 2.0

This sweet potato bread pudding is one of those things that came about when the someone around here who is obsessively compelled to put any and everything in bread pudding ended up with leftover sweet potatoes and from there, things just took on a life of their own.

So ... what do you think, will sweet potatoes be the new pumpkin? They're easier to prepare from scratch, offer much of the same flavor and are just as versatile. That said, sweet potato lattes may be a tough sell.