Food · Sides

Heavenly Sweet Potato Casserole

As I’ve said in previous posts, this has been a fall of sweet potato discovery for me.  The sweet potato is a versatile ingredient for baking and cooking in more ways than I ever knew.  Today I want to share with you the sweet potato dish that first won over my taste buds.

Growing up, we would go to my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving, and there were always canned sweet potatoes baked with marshmallows.

This was not the heavenly dish.

I would eat the marshmallows and maybe half a chunk of sweet potato and never go back for seconds.  It did not spark my love of sweet potatoes.

Then one year, my mom and sister decided to stray from tradition and make a sweet potato casserole.

Sweet Potato Casserole (Glorious Guts) @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

If you have never had this dish before, allow me to enlighten you. It is a smooth and flavorful sweet potato concoction often topped with a rich pecan streusel. Sure, there were a few who missed the traditional yams and marshmallows, but I never looked back.

Sweet potato casserole is now part of our dinner table a couple times a month.  We like ours with less sugar than the original recipe (though we make exceptions for the topping sometimes).  Then the sweet potato flavor really shines through.

I keep the casserole portion about the same every time, but different occasions call for different toppings. 😉

Below the casserole recipe you’ll find simple directions for each topping.  Whether you are cooking for holidays or normal days, simple tastes or fancy tastes, nuts or no nuts, I hope you’ll find a topping that speaks to you.

Sweet Potato Casserole YUM @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Here are the glorious guts of this tasty dish (adapted from THIS RECIPE at allrecipes.com):

Sweet Potato Casserole (makes one 9×9 dish)

Ingredients:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, baked until extremely soft (**see notes below)
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted (or mostly melted)
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. milk (I used 1/2 c. this time, but sometimes I like the filling a little thicker and more stable, so I’ll use less milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Cut baked potatoes open lengthwise to cool slightly.
  2. Place butter in a large bowl. Add in sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla and salt. Whisk together until well combined.
  3. Whisk in the sweet potatoes a half of a potato at a time (to temper the eggs– this is especially important if the potatoes are still steaming hot).
  4. Pour mixture into a greased 9×9 baking dish (or a cast-iron skillet).
  5. Top as desired and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

**Notes: I always bake my sweet potatoes in the oven. I read a review years ago that says it is more flavorful than boiling and mashing or canned, and I’ve never been disappointed.

Baked Sweet Potatoes @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

To bake sweet potatoes in the oven, wash and prick your potatoes all over with a fork or knife. Bake in a 400 degree oven on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray for 1 hour 15 minutes up to 1 hour 45 minutes. Stab them with a knife and make sure there is no resistance (except perhaps the skin). The key to great sweet potato casserole is super soft baked sweet potatoes.

Now onto the toppings…

Topping 1: Nut Streusel

*I believe this to be the most decadent version of topping. Note that an almond streusel is pictured, but I much prefer pecans or walnuts.

Nut Streusel (Sweet Potato Casserole) @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Directions:

  1. Mix together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender.
  3. Stir in chopped nuts.
  4. Sprinkle over the casserole prior to baking.

Topping 2: Oat Streusel

*This is an excellent choice if you like a streusel but do not care for nuts.

Oat Streusel (Sweet Potato Casserole) @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. dry oats

Directions:

  1. Mix together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender.
  3. Stir in oats.
  4. Sprinkle over the casserole prior to baking.

Topping 3: Cinnamon Sugar

*This is my favorite for a regular weeknight. It’s fast, uses no extra dishes, and requires no extra measuring (and it’s healthier than the streusels). 😉

Cinnamon Sugar Topping on Sweet Potato Casserole @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle a light layer of cinnamon over the top of the casserole.
  2. Sprinkle a light layer of sugar on the cinnamon.
  3. Bake as instructed.

Topping 4: Mini Marshmallows

*If you are more traditional, try the marshmallows on this casserole! This is the first time I topped it with marshmallows, and I loved it.

Mini Marshallow Topping on Sweet Potato Casserole @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • mini marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Place a single layer of marshmallows on top of the casserole.
  2. Bake as directed.

This makes an excellent make-ahead casserole.  Prepare the whole casserole ahead of time and store in the fridge up to a day before baking.

Heavenly Sweet Potato Casserole (4 ways) @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Now you are all set to make whatever sweet potato casserole version best suits you!  And if you have multiple topping preferences, you can always cut the recipes down and top it all four ways!  😉

Enjoy!

~Katie

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5 thoughts on “Heavenly Sweet Potato Casserole

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