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Easy, classic sweet potato casserole with pecan topping will leave your guests asking for seconds

A recipe inspired by Jessica Gavin

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Need a scrumptious Thanksgiving side dish that will have your holiday guests scrambling for the biggest helping? This sweet potato casserole with pecan topping, inspired by Jessica Gavin, is not only impressive when it shows up to the dinner table, it will become the most mouthwateringly memorable side dish your family and friends have ever eaten.

This Thanksgiving casserole is more like a dessert than a side dish. It features a rich, silky smooth sweet potato filling that entices the taste buds with cream, butter, pure vanilla extract, and freshly grated nutmeg. By itself, the filling is knee-weakeningly good. But the indulgence doesn’t stop there.

ALSO TRY: Roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon pecan crunch

The pecan topping is made with big yummy chunks of pecans, crispy bits of rice cereal, butter, brown sugar, and an irresistible abundance of mini marshmallows that puff into toasty-sweet goodness. Every decadent bite is a sublime contrast of textures.

This sweet potato casserole with pecan topping is comfort food at its finest. The most basic sweet potato casserole recipes are warm and wonderful, but why stop at basic when you can turn sweet potatoes into a sublime holiday dish that you’ll crave all season long. All you need is a carefree attitude about calories and an enthusiastic hand with tasty ingredients.


Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet

Bake the sweet potatoes in their skin — no initial peeling required — until soft. Place whole sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 F for 1 hour. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the sweet potatoes cool slightly.

5D4B5547 - Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet


Make a warm vanilla cream

In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, butter, pure vanilla extract, and freshly grated nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and stir until the butter has melted. Complete this step while the sweet potatoes are cooling.

5D4B5565 - Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - Make a warm vanilla cream


Peel the sweet potatoes and puree them

Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and place the sweet potatoes in a food processor or blender. Puree for 1 minute or until the sweet potatoes are fairly smooth. With the food processor or blender on low speed, add the cream mixture with the food processor or blender on low speed and puree for 1 to 2 minutes.

5D4B5732 - Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - Peel the sweet potatoes and puree them


Prepare the pecan topping

In a medium-sized bowl, combine pecans, crispy rice cereal, cinnamon, brown sugar, melted butter, and a pinch of salt. Blend well.

5D4B5600 - Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - Prepare the pecan topping


Assemble the casserole

Scoop the sweet potato filling into a 9-inch baking dish and spread evenly. Spoon the pecan topping over the sweet potatoes. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet.

5D4B5748 - Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - Assemble the casserole


Bake the sweet potato casserole

Bake the casserole at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

5D4B5877 - Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - Bake the sweet potato casserole


Decorate the casserole with marshmallows

Arrange marshmallows in a circular pattern on top of the casserole, allowing the pecan topping to show through.

5D4B5961 - Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping - Decorate the casserole with marshmallows


Toast the marshmallows

Place the sweet potato casserole back in the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the marshmallows are puffed and toasted.

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Serve immediately or at room temperature

This sweet potato casserole is best served right out of the oven, but if needed, can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. Either way, Thanksgiving guests will be deliciously elated.

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Pure comfort food!

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Creamy sweet potatoes, crunchy pecans and toasty marshmallows make for the perfect bite!

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Sweet potato casserole with pecan topping

Yield 10 servings

Ingredients

For casserole:

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, skin intact
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For pecan topping:

  • 1 cup pecans, roasted, one-half whole, one-half chopped
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 F, and line a large baking sheet with foil.
  2. Lay the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the potatoes to cool slightly.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine the cream with butter and vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer and stir until the butter is melted.
  6. Peel the potatoes, then transfer to a food processor or blender. Puree for 1 minute, until fairly smooth.
  7. With the food processor or blender on low speed, carefully pour the vanilla cream into the sweet potatoes and process until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Scoop the whipped sweet potatoes into a 9-inch baking dish and spread evenly. Set aside.
  9. Pecan topping: In a medium-sized bowl, combine pecans, crispy rice cereal, cinnamon, brown sugar, melted butter, and a pinch of salt.
  10. Evenly spoon the pecan topping over the whipped sweet potatoes.
  11. Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet, and transfer to the center rack of the oven.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and bubbling.
  12. Remove from the oven.
  13. Arrange marshmallows on top in a circular pattern allowing the pecan topping to show through.
  14. Return the pan to the top rack of the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the tops of the marshmallows are lightly browned.
  15. Casserole can be served immediately or served at room temperature.

Courses Sides


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