This is my most requested recipe around Thanksgiving time, and one of my all time favorites. It is my sweet, salty, and oh so delicious sweet potato casserole that we serve on Thanksgiving and often times at Christmas as well.
Whichever side of the family we are spending Thanksgiving with always requests that we bring the sweet potatoes! Now, there is something that we all argue about when it comes to these sweet potatoes, and that is how to top it. Austin prefers marshmallows, whereas I can’t have it without brown sugar and pecans!
Each family is split on who likes what and you can’t possibly have the sweet potatoes on your end of the table that you don‘t like as much! I mean, this is Thanksgiving RIGHT!? I have started making multiple dishes of sweet potatoes that are half marshmallow, and half brown sugar and pecan.
The fighting has stopped, peace has returned, and everyone seems to be happy with the solution. ;)
No matter which way you prefer them, you really can’t go wrong with this recipe. It is also one that you can prepare and freeze ahead of time, making it perfect for if you are traveling to see family or friends. You just need to warm it and throw the marshmallows on to brown for a second in the oven before serving.
Without further ado, here is my all time favorite sweet potato casserole recipe:
2-3 lbs of sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into big chunks
1 T salt (added to the pot of water)
1/4 c evaporated milk
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c butter
1-2 t vanilla
3/4 c chopped pecans
1/3 c brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start a large pot of water boiling on the stove with 1 T of salt added to the water. Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes into big chucks. Add the sweet potatoes to the water and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. You should just be able to stick a fork all the way through without having to push hard.
Drain the potatoes and mash lightly, Add in the milk, sugar, vanilla and butter stirring until the butter is melted and combined. Lightly beat eggs in a cup and add to sweet potatoes when they have cooled slightly. Stir to combine. You don’t want to add the eggs when the potatoes are piping hot, this will result in chunks of cooked egg in your casserole. Not very appetizing.
Dish the potato mixture into an oven safe baking dish about 8x8 or equivalent. You want at least 1/3“ space from the top so that you can add the topping later without it spilling over.
if you are using the pecan topping and are NOT freezing it for travel. Sprinkle the nuts and brown sugar on top of the sweet potato mixture now. If you are using a marshmallow topping or are freezing it for later, WAIT!!! Leave the casserole naked while you cook it.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees and remove from the oven. For marshmallow topping, add those mini marshmallows now. Take into account that those marshmallows will grow. . . like a lot! So save yourself my adding less than you think you should and making sure that the oven rack above is at least 2-3 inches about the baking dish! Crank the heat up to a low broil and keep a close eye on the marshmallows. You can go from perfectly toasted, to a burn mess in literal seconds! Remove from the oven and serve.
To freeze, leave the toppings off for now, bake for 30 minutes and cover with plastic wrap and foil after it has cooled. Pack the topping seperately. Thaw the casserole before baking. Bring up to temp in the oven and top as you would if this was the first time around. Don’t leave in the oven too long as it can dry out.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as me and my family do! What is one item of food, besides the turkey that you just cant live without on Thanksgiving? Do you have any family traditional food that may be a little weird to other people? I would love to hear all about your Thanksgiving!! Have a great Thanksgiving filled with love and family and GREAT food!