Monday, November 9, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole. My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish.

This is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish.

But, I don't just make it at Thanksgiving. I make this dish to serve next to all kinds of main dishes all fall and winter long: chicken, beef, fish - it goes with just about any meat dish. It's sweet and savory and everyone I make it for raves about it.

This is a staple on our Thanksgiving table every year, whether I'm with my family or at my in-laws. My mother-in-law makes a similar version to this, and it's the first thing I reach for.

If you're taking a dessert to a Thanksgiving get-together this year, you can't go wrong with Streusel-Filled Pumpkin Roll.

If you need to take a side dish, this Sweet Potato Casserole is a great choice. It's so simple, completely homemade, and absolutely divine. And, you can make it ahead and freeze it. I'll include the directions for freezing in the recipe!

Also, if you don't like nuts, I've included a nut-free version as well!

Here's how I make it. (full recipe below)

First, you'll need 4 large (or 6 medium) sweet potatoes.

Peel and cut them into small cubes.

Place in a medium pot and cover with water. Boil for 20 minutes, or until soft.

While the sweet potatoes are boiling, make the topping.

Combine butter, brown sugar, flour, and chopped pecans (or oatmeal - for a nut-free version or if you don't like nuts.) Crumble together with your hands or a fork. Set aside.

When potatoes are finished, drain and place them in a mixing bowl. Add butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer (a hand mixer is fine) until fluffy.

Add 1/3 cup of heavy cream (You can use half-and-half if you prefer.) Beat on low speed until combined.

Place sweet potato mixture into a buttered pie plate or medium-sized baking dish.

Smooth to edges.

Place topping evenly over sweet potato mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

It comes out looking about the same as it did going in - except that it's heated all the way through, the pecans are toasted, and the topping has formed into a delicious "crust".

I immediately served some up into a small bowl for myself and dug in. It's an awesome snack. But, for dinner, I serve it right on our dinner plates next to a main dish.

Man, I love this stuff.

So, if you've never made a dish with sweet potatoes, this is a delicious and simple one to try!

And, again, it is a perfect dish to take to a Thanksgiving or other holiday dinner this year!


Sweet Potato Casserole

4 large (or 6 medium) sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup heavy cream


1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (OR 1/2 cup quick oats)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Place in medium pot and fill with water to cover sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, covered, and cook until soft - about 20 minutes.

While sweet potatoes are cooking, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, and butter. Combine with fork until crumbly. Add pecans (or oatmeal). Stir to combine.

When potatoes are finished, drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Beat sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add heavy cream. Beat until smooth.

Pour sweet potato mixture into a lightly greased pie plate or medium baking dish. Top with brown sugar topping.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

*Double if using a 9" x 13" for a large gathering.

*To freeze ahead, make casserole, but do not bake. Cover with plastic wrap then cover with foil. When ready to bake, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Increase baking time to 45 minutes - 1 hour.


  1. Thanks, again, for putting all the work into posting this. You are my cooking guru for-evah.

  2. Mmm... sweet potatoes, one of the best foods in the world! Your method is very similar to making a sweet potato pie, minus the bottom crust. I plan to post a recipe for a pie on my page this season.

  3. copied, pasted, printed, added to the menu. Thanks Sarah!

  4. sure have me excited for Thanksgiving. And thanks for all the wonderful recipes. I sure love looking at your beautiful pics. I might even attempt to make the pumpkin roll (I've wanted to do one for close to 10 years, and have been too intimadated).

  5. thanks for this sarah! i love sweet potatoes and do actually make a sweet potatoe souffle every year, but was looking for something slightly different which this is! so i will be doing this one instead! =)

  6. I'm picky about my sweet potato dishes. As much as I love all things sweet, I despise the traditional marshmallow, overly sweet version of this recipe. This one looks like it's worth trying. Yum!

  7. OH. My. Goodness.

    I am definitely trying this.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    - Julia at MidwestMoms

  8. Thank you for posting this. I just harvested 5 lbs of sweet potatoes and was hoping to find a recipe i could make and freeze for thanksgiving! !

  9. Thank you !! This is my favorite dish, but our family is now nut free, I would never have thought to put in oatmeal for the nuts !! I can't wait to try it today !!

  10. Is the only way to make ahead this dish to freeze or can I make it (and not bake) a day or 2 in advance and keep in fridge?

    1. You can make it a day or two in advance and keep it in the fridge.

  11. I learned from my Mom that the best way to cook the sweet potatoes is to bake them in a foil lined pan in a 400 degree oven. Bake until they are very soft and you see a little liquid oozing out. Remove from oven and let cool until you can peel them. The skin comes off easily and the potatoes retain their natural sweetness. No sticky pan to wash either.

  12. I googled a freezable sweet potato casserole and this recipe came up! Looks like a great one! Thanks for the post and a happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! :)

  13. If I need to make this at my house, then transport 45 minutes across town, do you think the topping will get soggy? I can pop in the oven to reheat for a few minutes before serving, but I'm just worried about the topping if I bake it at home first....ideas? Looks SO delicious! Thanks for posting!

  14. Someone told me to cook it first then freeze it and warm it up the day you use it. Is that OK to do?
    Why would you not cook it before freezing it? Carole

  15. This will be the 6th year I've made this! I've made it several ways to accommodate for allergies...this year I'll be trying out canned coconut milk, coconut oil, and coconut flour with the oats. My now 11 year old requests this dish on non-holidays too. It's the first (and only) sweet potato casserole I like.