It isn’t Thanksgiving in my house without Sweet Potato Casserole. Sweet potatoes are whipped with just enough brown sugar and cream, then finished with a pecan praline topping. This dish is delicious, simple to prepare, and can be made ahead of time.
Meet the grown up, sophisticated version of the marshmallow sweet potato casserole. This spinoff on the classic is sweetened and spiced just enough to bring out the natural flavor of the sweet potato, and is coupled with an incredible crunchy topping that will make your eyes roll back. This could actually double as a dessert but don’t tell anyone.
The key to making this recipe is
to go by the weight of the sweet potatoes rather than the number of potatoes. In this photo I show two sweet potatoes, one is 9 ounces and the other 15 ounces. If a recipe calls for 5 potatoes and you use small ones and the recipe was made using large ones, the recipe won’t come out right.
This recipe uses 5 pounds but you could easily halve it. The trick is to bake the sweet potatoes until they’re very soft – an hour is just about right if your sweet potatoes are on the larger side. They should be blistered with dark spots which are a result of the sugar that oozed out while baking. You can bake the potatoes the day before to get it out of the way. I cook them in my toaster oven where they come out perfectly.
I find sweet potatoes to be stringy at times and stringy isn’t desirable. To create a smooth puree, use a food processor. You may need to do this in batches. To make sure yours comes out with the same texture you see in the pictures, you need to puree it or it will most likely be coarser and a little stringy.
Transfer the puree into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients and whisk it until combined. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish.
Now for the incredible topping…
To make the topping, whisk the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved. Continue to whisk until it starts to foam – about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cream and a pinch of salt until it starts to bubble. Be careful because it can come to a boil quickly and bowl over. Add in the pecans and stir to coat. Carefully pour on top of casserole covering the top. Bake for about 45 minutes until golden brown and slightly puffed.
This Sweet Potato Casserole is decadent, rich, and just sweet enough to still be considered a side dish. It’s like a little piece of heaven on your plate. Impress your guests this Thanksgiving or any day you want your meal to be special.
This can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to cook. Take it out and bring to room temperature before baking. It should be puffed and golden after 40 – 45 minutes, but since ovens vary, you may need to add a few more minutes.
Try some of my other delicious sides:
- Rich creamy garlic mashed potatoes
- Silky smooth carrot puree
- Roasted asparagus with mozzarella
- Roasted brussels sprouts with bacon
- Perfect rice pilaf
- Curry roasted cauliflower
- Perfect mashed potatoes
- Maple butternut squash
- Roasted spiced acorn squash
Life is too short for mediocre food.
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Sweet Potato CasserolePrint Recipe Pin Recipe
About 1 hour to bake sweet potatoes if they're on the larger side and 20 - 30 minutes to scoop, mix, and make topping. Baking time is 40 - 45 minutes until puffed and golden.
Velvety sweet potatoes with a delicious pecan praline topping, this dish will be a holiday favorite. Simple ingredients, simple to prepare, and can be made ahead.Recipe can easily be halved.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup pecans roughly chopped*
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Bake sweet potatoes until very tender - 60 to 70 minutes if they are on the larger side, otherwise check after 40 - 50 minutes. They should be a little charred and very soft. The charred spots are the sugars seeping out. See pictures above. Let cool until you can handle them to peel off skins.
- Scoop out flesh and transfer into bowl of food processor. Process until smooth. Processing them pulverizes any stringy fibers. Alternatively, mash the sweet potatoes very well until smooth.
- Scoop sweet potato puree into a large bowl and add in half and half, butter, brown sugar, eggs, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk together until combined.
- Pour into a 2 quart baking dish.
- Lower oven to 350°.
- Whisk the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved.
- Continue to cook until it starts to foam - about 2 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in the cream and a pinch of salt and continue whisking until it starts to bubble. Be careful because it can come to a boil quickly and bowl over.
- Stir in the pecans to coat.
- Carefully pour on top of casserole covering the top.
- Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until golden brown and slightly puffed.