This is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish. Period.
It 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.
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.
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.