We love creamy mashed sweet potatoes just by themselves. But when you go up one notch by adding a layer of crunchy, buttery, sweet and a little salty, nutty pecans… that’s the crowning glory for our sweet sweet potato casserole!!
Wow… Holidays are just around the corner. It’s that time of the year again!! I absolutely love this time of the year. Our holiday season and festivities start right around the end of October with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights… That’s followed by Halloween… Then comes our wedding anniversary in mid-November… Thanksgiving and then Jason’s birthday by November end… and then comes December and it’s time to put up lights and decorations! So it’s a fun, yet very busy, time with shopping, cleaning, decorating, cooking and feasting. Diets and clean eating go for a toss until New Year’s resolution. There is one feast and celebration after another. But who cares, IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR!!
Thanksgiving and Christmas came into my life when I met Jason. All these new traditions and family rituals were part of a new beginning for me seven years back. And I learned and enjoyed so many new foods! Those huge Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts with a huge turkey or ham and a table full of unending sides and deserts. Like so many of you I look forward to these feasts, and like so many of you I crash on the sofa when that food coma hits me at the end of the day.
What is sweet potato casserole?
Now with this being GypsyPlate’s first year, I am so excited to share some of our favorite holiday dishes that we’ve tried over the years. I want to start with something I absolutely love and consider a must for your holiday spread, my favorite sweet potato casserole. It’s pretty classic and is very seldom absent from people’s holiday spread. When I tried it the first time, it was pretty simple. Then I remember trying it with marshmallow, which was too gooey and sticky and sweet for my palate. Sorry, I’m sure some of you think this casserole is incomplete without that white gooeyness!
But a couple of years back I decided to try something different on top and came across this amazing crunchy pecan streusel idea!! Pecans guys! Just the idea of buttery, caramelized sugar along with crunchy pecans sealed the deal for me. From that year onward, this is the only way I make sweet potato casserole!!
Its super easy to make. You can make it on the feast day, but you know how busy that gets, with hundreds of things to cook. This one is your friend. You can pre-assemble your sweet potatoes and make your streusel a few days in advance and freeze or refrigerate separately. If you freeze it, just thaw overnight in the fridge.
For the Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes – The star.
- Butter – Mandatory in all holiday side dishes!
- Eggs – To hold the casserole together.
- Brown Sugar – For more sweetness.
- Salt – To intensify the flavors.
- Nutmeg – Just a pinch.
For the Streusel
- Pecans – Such great flavor!
- More Butter – Remember, your diet doesn’t start till New Years!
- Brown Sugar – This is going to crisp up nicely.
- Flour – To help bind the streusel together.
- Cinnamon – More holiday flavor.
First, prepare your sweet potatoes and start your casserole
First you need to cook your sweet potatoes.The old standard method is to boil them. Naah, that strips too much flavor. For a faster dish, you can microwave them as I do for my Lazy Sweet Potato Mash. For this dish, we prefer baking it to get some yummy caramelizing to add sweetness and flavor to that mash. It takes more time, but it sure is worth it. Remember to prick them with a fork before putting them in your oven, or you may have a mess on your hands. They should be nicely baked within an hour, I normally check after the 50 minute mark.
When they are cooked (and a bit cooled) just peel the skin off and mash them nice. We just use a hand masher, it works. Add eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, salt and nutmeg. Mix it very well to make a smooth textured mash. Arrange it nicely in your casserole and bake it for about 25 minutes at 375° F.
Time to make that streusel that makes its so MMmSpeciaL…
In a bowl melt the butter and mix in sugar, flour and cinnamon. Combine well, but leave it a little crumbly. Fold in roughly chopped pecans. I keep a few whole pieces to add on top..
And that’s about it. After 25 minutes take out your casserole and sprinkle your streusel generously and evenly over your mashed potatoes and bake another 20-25 minutes until your streusel is nicely caramelized and crunchy.
People often ask
How well do the leftovers store? You can refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 4 days. It actually freezes beautifully. Wrap well in cling wrap, then place in a ziploc bag and squeeze out all air before sealing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. In either case, to reheat place in baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and place in preheated oven (325°F) for 15 minutes.
Can I make this ahead of time? Absolutely! Preparing holiday feasts can be pretty hectic, so it’s nice to make some things ahead of time. I recommend refrigerating the sweet potato mixture and streusel separately and assembling your casserole prior to baking. Take everything out of the fridge an hour in advance so it comes to room temperature, otherwise you will have to adjust the baking time.
Can I use other nuts? Truthfully, I have never tried. I can see walnuts working, but that is probably the only other nut I would try.
But I miss my marshmallows… How about pecan streusel and marshmallows together! Win win!
Can I use canned yams? Yes, but as they are a bit sweeter omit the sugar in the mixture.
You keep mentioning holidays, can I eat this other times of year? Of course! 🙂
You are going to love this nutty buttery flavor with your mash that compliments so well with your turkey or ham. Give it a try this Thanksgiving and you might be a new convert from the old marshmallow casserole!!
I started out my holiday series with one of my favorites. I keep going back for seconds or thirds for my sweet potatoes. But stay tuned for many, many more of my holiday specials.
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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel, on my Gypsy Plate… Enjoy!!!
Try some of our other great holiday side dishes!
Lazy Sweet Potato Mash
Fruity Nutty Crispy Brussels Sprouts
Butternut Squash Blossom
Southern Squash Casserole
Thanksgiving Kale Salad
Green Rice Casserole
Cherry Tomato Gratin
Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- 3 lbs sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Pierce sweet potato skins several times with fork, bake on foil lined baking dish for 1 hour.
- Scoop cooked sweet potato flesh into large pan and add eggs, 1/4 cup brown sugar salt and nutmeg. Blend until smooth with mixer or potato masher. Add to baking dish.
- Set oven to 375°F, add sweet potatoes to pre-heated oven, cook 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make streusel, melt butter in sauce pan, add flour, 1 cup brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix. Add pecans, mix well.
- After cooking 25 minutes, remove sweet potatoes and evenly spread streusel mixture on top. Return to oven and cook an additional 20-25 minutes, or until streusel is nicely crispy,
You can whip this up much quicker by boiling your potatoes or even microwaving them ( as I love to do when making my Lazy Sweet Potato Mash ). But I just love the extra layer of umami flavor I get when roasting my sweet potatoes.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 505Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 77mgSodium 324mgCarbohydrates 71gFiber 7gSugar 39gProtein 7g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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