Sweet potatoes love warm weather. Because of this they grow in abundance here in the South and are a staple item at every large get-together, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas! But they aren’t limited to just those holidays, you can eat them year-round like I do. While I love to roast, bake, or fry sweet potatoes my first experience and probably my favorite is in the casserole form. The combination of a sweetness from the potatoes and savory flavors from butter and pecans make it the perfect side dish for any meal.
I grew up eating my sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. It’s not awful that way, but it just isn’t my favorite. I always felt like the marshmallows were too sweet and overpowered the other flavors. I decided to switch the marshmallows for pecans instead. They add a crunch to the top and an extra layer of flavor to offset the sweetness.
For the sweet potatoes you want to use fresh potatoes. Don’t buy the canned ones. I know they say it’s sweet potato, but all too often it could be a combination of different varieties of potato and squash. They taste similar but aren’t the same. Plus, fresh is just better! There are various ways to cook the potatoes as well. The best is to roast them first. This will cause the sugars in the potato to naturally taste sweeter and make the peel easier to remove. But you don’t have to roast them. You can peel and boil the potato in a pot with the milk and butter. So, if you don’t have the ability to roast them first just peel and throw them in the pot. Either way works. I hope y’all enjoy this as much as I do.
Sweet Potato Casserole
- 1 9x 13 baking dish
- 1 cookie sheet or roasting pan
- 1 hand mixer or blender
- 5-10 each sweet potatoes roughly 5 1/2 cups mashed
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Clean outsides of sweet potatoes and stab with fork tines randomly all over. Place on a cookie sheet or roasting pan and cook potatoes in 375’F oven until soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Remove skins and place potato flesh in a medium pot. Add the heavy cream, 1 stick butter, cinnamon, vanilla, and 1 ½ cup brown sugar to pot with potato. On medium high heat, cook while mashing and stirring with potato masher or hand mixer. Remove from heat and pour into a 9×13 baking dish.
- Make topping by melting butter and mixing with pecans and sugar. Sprinkle casserole with topping and bake at 375’F until potatoes begin to bubble slightly and topping is browned. This will take about 10 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!