Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Sweet Potato Casserole – A Beautiful Mess


Sweet potato casserole, possibly the most controversial of all the holiday side dishes. Lol. Do you like a brown sugar and pecan topping? Or are you in the marshmallow topping group? Is this recipe a side dish to be served along with the meal? Or do you serve sweet potato casserole as a dessert?

While these are, obviously, deeply personal questions you’ll have to answer for yourself, here are my takes. I am a marshmallow topping gal, although I have family members who very much prefer brown sugar pecan topping. So, I going to share both topping options in the recipe card below. And our family tends to serve sweet potato casserole as a side dish during the meal, not as a dessert.

Related: Love sweet potatoes? Try Air Fryer Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Sweet Potato Pie next!

Ingredients

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Egg
  • Brown sugar
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Cayenne – trust me, it doesn’t make this spicy just adds more depth of flavor
  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon

I will also share in the printable recipe card below the ingredients for the brown sugar pecan topping vs. marshmallow topping.

Directions

Wash and cut up the sweet potatoes. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook until soft enough to mash—about 12-15 minutes. Drain well and then mash in a large bowl.

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To the bowl add the egg, 1/4 cup brown sugar, milk, 1/4 cup butter (softened), salt, cayenne, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Mash together.

In a greased 9×13 pan, spread the sweet potato mixture in an even layer.

To make the brown sugar pecan topping, in a medium size bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup brown sugar, all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup butter (softened) and chopped pecans. This mixture should be crumbly. Spread evenly over the casserole before baking.

If you are using mini marshmallows for the topping, wait to add them until the last 5-8 minutes of baking.

Bake the casserole at 350°F (177°C) for 25-30 minutes.

Tips for Making

  • To get the marshmallow topping that extra crispy, caramelized top, you can pop the finished casserole under the broiler for a minute or two (keep a close eye!) or use a kitchen torch to brulee the tops of the marshmallows.
  • If your family is divided on toppings and you want to do a half and half casserole similar to the one I have pictured, keep in mind the measurements for the toppings in the recipe card are to cover the entire casserole. So, you want to divide them in half.
  • You can easily make sweet potato casserole ahead of time; simply keep the topping items separate and cover the refrigerate the casserole until you’re ready to bake.

More Casserole Side Dish Recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are sweet potatoes the same as yams?

No, yams and sweet potatoes are different. They have different skins and they taste different when cooked.

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Is sweet potato casserole a side dish or a dessert?

It is more commonly served as a side dish with the meal, but it’s certainly sweet enough that it could also be served as a rustic dessert.


Print

get the recipe
Get the Recipe

a sweet and savory side dish with brown sugar pecan topping OR marshmallows

Yield 10

Prep 20 minutes

Cook 25 minutes

Total 45 minutes

Instructions

  • Wash and cut up the sweet potatoes. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook until soft enough to mash—about 12-15 minutes.

  • Drain well and then mash in a large bowl.

  • To the bowl add the egg, 1/4 cup brown sugar, milk, 1/4 cup butter (softened), salt, cayenne, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Mash together.

  • In a greased 9×13 pan, spread the sweet potato mixture in an even layer.

  • To make the brown sugar pecan topping, in a medium size bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup brown sugar, all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup butter (softened) and chopped pecans. This mixture should be crumbly. Spread evenly over the casserole before baking.

  • If you are using mini marshmallows for the topping, wait to add them until the last 5-8 minutes of baking.

  • Bake the casserole at 350°F (177°C) for 25-30 minutes.

Notes

The get the marshmallow topping that extra crispy, caramelized top, you can pop the finished casserole under the broiler for a minute or two (keep a close eye!) or use a kitchen torch to brulee the tops of the marshmallows.
If your family is divided on toppings and you want to do a half and half casserole similar to the one I have pictured, keep in mind the measurements for the toppings in the recipe card are to cover the entire casserole. So, you want to divide them in half.
You can easily make sweet potato casserole ahead of time; simply keep the topping items separate and cover the refrigerate the casserole until you’re ready to bake.
The nutrition facts on this recipe card include both toppings, as both ingredients are listed. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Sweet Potato Casserole

Amount per Serving

% Daily Value*

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.



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