Here’s some Thanksgiving heresy: I have never been a fan of sweet potato pie. Don’t ask me why. Don’t know. But sweet potato casserole is a different story. This dish just seems a distillation of all things Thanksgiving. Sweet potato casserole is a special treat reserved just for the one holiday. You don’t eat it the rest of the year. Some people may try to sneak it onto the Christmas table, but that’s stretching it.
The root vegetable is completely satisfying just baked and buttered for everyday dining. But mashed, spiced, dashed with a splash of vanilla and topped with a scattering of pecan streusel, the sweet potato soars to another festive level.
I like this recipe because there’s just enough brown sugar to balance the earthiness of the sweet potatoes without rendering the dish sticky sweet. Maybe that’s why I favor the casserole over sweet potato pie. Some people like to blend sweet potatoes into a smooth consistency in the mixer; I prefer mine mashed with some texture remaining.
When we were growing up, did we have a clue that sweet potatoes are officially one of the best carbs you can eat? They are total nutrition powerhouses, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and health-promoting phytonutrients. They promote healthy vision, better immunity, a stronger heart and sharper mind as well as lower LDL cholesterol.
So, here’s to the sweet potato casserole. The Thanksgiving table is forlorn without one. We give thanks to The Food Network for this version.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Level: Easy. Total: 45 min. Active: 15 min. Yield: 6 to 8 servings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for buttering the baking dish
3 cups baked mashed sweet potatoes (3 to 4 large potatoes; about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans
For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 2-quart baking dish.
Whisk together the butter, mashed sweet potatoes, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and the eggs in a large bowl. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
For the topping: Combine the flour, brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium bowl until moist and the mixture clumps together. Stir in the pecans and spread over the top of the sweet potatoes in an even layer. Bake until mostly set in the center and golden on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.