I had never had sweet potatoes until I met my husband. This was his must have holiday dish, and I only tasted it because it was his favorite. Fast forward a few (ok, more than a few) years and this sweet potato casserole is definitely my favorite! I make triple and quadruple batches at the holidays, I want this sweet potato casserole at every meal! It’s pretty easy to make, and I spread the work out over a few days so I only need to slide it into the oven on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day.
I think sweet potatoes are one of those polarizing traditional dishes that you either love or hate. I admit that the idea of marshmallows on this dish makes me gag. Note, you can add them or substitute them in for sugar/pecan topping if you want. Just don’t tell me about it.
Make It Ahead and Egg Safety
I love to make this dish ahead of time, so when I’m in the middle of cooking on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, I can just pull out the casserole dish and slide it into the oven. It is one less thing to worry about on the day of the holiday.
Note that since it has eggs in it (which are then uncooked), the most you really should keep this uncooked in the refrigerator is 2-4 days per the Food Safety website.
I usually bake the sweet potatoes 2 days in advance, make the recipe the day before and then bake on the day of the meal. That spreads the work out into easily workable chunks of time.
How Many Pounds of Potato?
When you’re buying sweet potatoes for this casserole, note that the recipe calls for cups of sweet potatoes. What on earth does that mean in the grocery store?
It takes a little over a pound of sweet potatoes for 1 cup of cooked sweet potatoes. I bought 9.3 pounds of sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving, and I had a little under 9 cups of cooked sweet potatoes afterwards.
Baking the Potatoes
When prepping the potatoes for this recipe, I wash them and poke them with a fork all over. You need a lot of pokes, they will ooze sugar and without the pokes… it isn’t pretty. I place them on foil for much easier clean up later on. As well, while I put in the recipe to bake the potatoes at 375°, you can bake them at almost any temperature from 350-425°. Just keep an eye on them and bake until they are soft. This makes them easier to bake with other items.
Finally, a note about the pecans in the topping. In the past I’ve purchased full pecans or pecan halves, but then I spend a lot of time chopping them up.
This year I found Pecan Chips in the baking section, they’re just a little smaller than I typically chop up the pecans myself and are a huge time saver! They’re usually less expensive when you look at the price per ounce of nuts as well. So, buy a bag of Pecan Chips and you’re golden!
An easy to make ahead holiday favorite! The brown sugar and pecan topping on this sweet potato makes it a sophisticated alternative to the marshmallow topped classic.
- 3 cups Sweet Potatoes baked
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 stick Butter melted
- 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Pecans
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/2 stick Butter melted
Scrub and bake the sweet potatoes. Bake at 375° for 60-90 minutes until the potatoes are very soft when stabbed with a fork. Allow them to cool. You can refrigerate at this time, or peel to assemble the casserole now.
In a mixer, beat the sweet potatoes until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, salt, melted butter, vanilla and milk. Slowly add in the sweet potatoes, mixing well as you go. Place into a baking dish.
In a separate bowl mix together the topping with brown sugar, flower, melted butter and pecans. You can vary the amount of pecans to taste. Note that your topping mixture should be a dry-wet consistency, if you squeeze it together it sticks together. Similar to a play sand.
Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes until browned. Note if the casserole was made ahead and has been refrigerated it takes an extra 15-20 minutes in the oven.
Because this is cooking at home and not in a factory, there might be some variation between how I prepare this recipe and what you create at home. As such, all nutritional information are estimates and may vary. If you like this recipe or find it useful, you can rate it by clicking on the stars above. A 4 or 5 rating would be greatly appreciated!