Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Ever – 2 ways; the first with gooey marshmallows and the other with crunchy pecans. Both are sweet with different textures and taste absolutely amazing over baked sweet potatoes. This dish is never absent from my holiday table. EVER!
Traditional Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole
Fall signifies change and it’s most apparent in the crispy leaves as they cling to the trees for dear life. Displaying a host of rich colors, they shimmer in the sunlight and as the wind blows, they sound like maracas.
A comforting sound, indeed. What also brings comfort are holiday celebrations and good food. The holidays remind us all to be grateful for family, friends and the meals we share together.
It’s a long standing tradition that the Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Ever – 2 ways accompany all the other goodies displayed on the table during this special time.
This dish was usually the first to disappear as loved ones served themselves to second and third helpings. It was a testament to just how good it was and I would make a mental note to make more next time. Still, it never seemed to be enough.
While the turkey rests, let the oven do it’s work as it heats up this gorgeous easy sweet potato casserole. This is the Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Ever, made 2 different ways.
Well, the base of this easy sweet potato casserole is the same in both versions, just the toppings are different and both are excellent choices if I don’t say so myself.
Sweet Potatoes vs Yams
My trusty neighbor and taste tester, Renate, was an honored guest on more than one happy occasion. Although, meat was mainly her focus, she enjoyed the taste of this candied sweet potato casserole immensely. It was like getting two desserts in one meal.
Originally from central and south America, North Carolina is now the hub for sweet potatoes. Surprisingly they are a distant relative of the regular potato. Not to be confused with the yam, sweet potatoes are firmer and lighter fleshed. Yams are softer with a tougher and deeper orange skin.
Rich in beta carotene, sweet potatoes contain a nutrient called choline which supports movement of muscles, memory and learning. This high fiber vegetable has some protein and it’s sweet subtle flavor makes for many wonderful dishes; one of them being this candied sweet potato casserole, of course!
If you’re apprehensive about trying this easy sweet potato casserole, explaining the history and nutrients of sweet potatoes will not convince you otherwise.
Perhaps the creaminess that contrasts with the crunchiness of the pecan topping will. The sweet and salty components complement each other so well, they’re like honeymooners!
Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Ever – 2 ways
When my son was really little, he hated sweet potatoes. Potatoes are not supposed to be sweet he would declare.
Sweet potatoes aside, I would ask him if he liked the other ingredients listed in this easy sweet potato casserole. Like most parents, I would ask him to give it a try just once.
After some convincing, with that first bite he made a fist pump and gave it a resounding yes! Maybe it was the marshmallows that did it? I’ll never know for sure.
Eventually, however, he preferred the pecan topping and boy was my husband relieved because the pecan topping was his favorite too. I never did find out the definite reasons but at that point, I didn’t care.
From then on, if this easy sweet potato casserole was absent from the holiday table, I would hear about it big time! Given the demand, I began making it more often. Watching my husband and son’s smiles light up made it all worthwhile.
There’s no down side to this easy sweet potato casserole. The color alone stands out like a beacon and the flavor is crazy delicious!
Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients
Sweet Potato Mixture
- 8 medium size sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 1 stick, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup of packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- ½ cup of water
Sweet Potato Casserole Topping
The best part of this easy sweet potato casserole recipe is most definitely the toppings. Sweet potato casserole topping generally consists of either marshmallows or a pecan brown sugar mixture.
Both are delicious and definitely worth a try.
- 2 cups of pecan halves
- ⅔ cup of packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg white lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon of table of salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne or black pepper
- 4 cups of marshmallows
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
For the sweet potatoes: Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and water; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring often, until the sweet potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of the center of the potatoes with very little resistance), 45 to 60 minutes.
When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove the lid and bring the sauce to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer until the sauce has reduced to a glaze, 7 to 10 minutes.
For the Topping: Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the topping together in a medium bowl; set aside.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour the potato mixture into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (or a shallow casserole dish of similar size). Spread the topping of choice over top of the potatoes.
Bake until the marshmallows are toasted or pecans are toasted and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
If you have leftovers they can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.
Other Toppings to consider
Although the pecan topping is the crowning achievement in this delectable dish, consider chopped almonds or walnuts as substitutes. Smother it with shredded coconut if you so desire.
Sprinkle this casserole with the spices of fall like nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Maybe a pinch of cumin. Expand the flavor with a half teaspoon of vanilla or add a touch of cream to give it a little extra smoothness. A little goes a long way.
Other simple recipes to try
Does Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Ever – 2 ways need to be refrigerated?
It does, yes. Try not to leave the casserole sitting out at room temperature for longer than a couple of hours. The good news? Your candied sweet potato casserole can be stored for up to five days.
Can I make this sweet potato casserole ahead of time?
You can! Here’s a simple variation for a make-ahead casserole.
Prepare your candied sweet potato casserole but don’t add the topping or bake it. Wrap in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, add your topping and bake the day before if you want to serve it cold or bake it the day-of if you want to serve it warm.
If you’re making your casserole ahead more than a week in advance then you’ll want to freeze it. For this, prepare the recipe without the topping and spread in a casserole dish. Allow it to cool completely before wrapping it tightly and putting it in the freezer. You can freeze your casserole for up to three months. When you’re ready to bake it, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking. Then make your topping, place on top of the casserole and bake as directed.
Can I prepare my sweet potatoes ahead of time?
Oh, yes. And preparing your sweet potatoes ahead of time will save you time when you’re ready to bake. Prepare your sweet potatoes a day or two ahead of time and store in cold water in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
Sweet Potato Recipes
Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Ever - 2 ways
- 13 x 9 inch cake pan
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 stick, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 5 pounds sweet potatoes about 8 medium, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup water
- 2 ¼ cups pecan halves
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne or black pepper
- 4 - 4 ½ cups mini marshmallows
Sweet Potato Casserole Bottom
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- In a large Dutch oven, over medium high heat, melt butter. Add the sweet potatoes, salt and pepper.
- Add brown sugar and water.
- Stir until blended.
- Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook until sweet potatoes are fork tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Stir regularly.
- When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove the lid and bring the sauce to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer until the sauce has reduced to a glaze, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour the potato mixture into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (or a shallow casserole dish of similar size).
- Sprinkle marshmallows all over the top of your casserole.
- Use as many marshmallows as you want to cover your sweet potato casserole.
- Bake or broil until marshmallows are melted and brown.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
- Sprinkle topping over top of the potatoes. Bake until the pecans are toasted and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
- Enjoy every bite!