I’ve never been much of a big sweet potato eater, but lately I’m enjoying them more and more. I bought a huge bag of Sweet Potato Kettle Chips from Costco which I’ve been snacking on for over a month now since no one else seems to like them. I think they are pretty tasty. Every so often I will make a sweet potato for myself while my husband and girls have their standard white potato. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the sweet potato to be swimming in butter and if you can sprinkle a little brown sugar on top, it’s even better! One of my favorite sweet potato dishes is a good old sweet potato casserole. This was introduced to our family several years ago by my sister-in-law and since then, it’s become a holiday side dish tradition in their home and in ours’.
I made it for my little family of five on Thanksgiving and it was one leftover that I ate and ate all week long. My youngest loves it and asks for “That orange stuff.” My husband, who isn’t a big sweet potato fan, loves this casserole. Like many sweet potato casseroles, it has a sweet, buttery with a little crunch to it topping that just makes the dish. Sure it would be a heck of a lot healthier without the topping, but I wouldn’t dare do that to this casserole. In fact, I double the topping amount from the original recipe given to me because I love the topping so much. I’ve made a few adjustments through the years and this dish always turns out great. It can also be made in advance if you keep the topping separate until just before baking so that really helps your busy kitchen schedule if you are making a large meal. If you are planning out your holiday menu, or just looking for a side dish to go along with any meal, this Sweet Potato Casserole will bring IT to the table!
Sweet Potato Casserole
3-6 C mashed sweet potatoes (I used just over 6 C because I wanted a nice deep casserole).
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C milk
1/4 C butter – softened
1 – 2 teas vanilla
1 teas salt
1 C light brown sugar – packed
1/2 C flour
4 TBS cold butter cut into small pieces
optional – 1/2 – 1 C chopped pecans.
Rinse your sweet potatoes, pierce each one a couple times with knife and bake them (unpeeled) in a 400°F degree oven on a pan for 45-60 minutes just until tender.
As the sugar escapes out of the baking sweet potatoes onto the pan, it will burn and smell a little bit. Don’t worry, this will not harm the flavor of the casserole. Just watch and check them and remove them when tender all the way through.
Let the potatoes cool. You can slice them in half and scoop out the cooked potato into a bowl or dish and cover and refrigerate if making in advance. This is what I do.
Or, if making right away, go ahead and scoop your cooked potato into a large mixing bowl.
Combine the potatoes with the sugar, milk, softened butter, vanilla, eggs, and salt in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or your muscles and a good whisk and mix this thoroughly until smooth.
Scoop this into a greased 9 x 13 oven safe pan and spread until smooth. At this point, you can either cover and refrigerate if needing to make in advance.
Combine brown sugar, flour, pecans (if using), and cold butter into a bowl and work with hands, pastry cutter, or a fork to combine to make a crumb like topping.
I don’t add the pecans to this because of an allergy in our household. Instead I just sprinkle the pecans on half of the casserole so we can all enjoy the dish and just be careful our little non nut girl gets a scoop from the non nut side.
If making in advance, you can make the topping in advance and store in bag or bowl in fridge, but just do not sprinkle on top of casserole until just before baking. Otherwise some of the goodness settles down into the sweet potato layer and you are jipped out of some of that good topping.
Just before baking, sprinkle the topping over the sweet potato part.
Bake uncovered at 325°F degrees for 45-55 minutes until golden brown.
This stays pretty hot after baking and that yummy crunchy topping helps hold that heat in, as my husband learned again this year after he took a big bite and burnt his mouth! So you can let it rest on the counter for a few minutes as you finish up other dishes before your meal and don’t worry, it will be nice and warm.