Thanksgiving Side Dish Makeover: Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole Thanksgiving Recipe

This sweet potato casserole is my take on the iconic marshmallow-topped Thanksgiving holiday side dish (like this one from the New York Times). I added pumpkin to boost nutrition and add moisture, thus allowing me to cut down on the amount of butter and eliminate cream/milk. To complete the makeover the top is sprinkled with a crunchy pecan streusel. The streusel might sound close to dessert territory, but it’s not overly sweet.

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole Thanksgiving Recipe

You’ll start with 4 pounds of sweet potatoes or yams – sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing, but they can be used interchangeably in this recipe. Sweet potatoes can be confusing because the flesh can range from white to yellow to orange and even purple. The orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are a tad sweeter and more moist (you can see this in the image at the top). The yellow flesh sweet potatoes are a bit more firm and drier. This time, I’m using the pale yellow so you can see the difference.

Tip: store sweet potatoes in the open, in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, not wrapped up in plastic bags, and not in the refrigerator. They should keep for up to 10 days.

Unless the skin is really thick (which it shouldn’t be if you are using sweet potatoes), there is no need to peel them, just scrub them clean. I keep the peel on to add texture and save a little time, but you can certainly peel. To speed the cooking process, I take advantage of the microwave. Simply cut the sweet potatoes into 2-3 inch pieces and cook on high for 15 minutes or until tender – you might need to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your microwave.

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole Thanksgiving Recipe

Cool the sweet potatoes slightly, then add to large bowl along with 1 15-ounce can of Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 3 tablespoons softened butter, 1 teaspoon kosher salt  and1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. With potato masher, smash until lumpy (cut any large pieces of skin into smaller pieces if needed). Add eggs; smash until incorporated. Spoon into a 13 x 9-inch or 3-quart baking dish.

For the topping, combine 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon melted butter and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle over casserole; top with ½ cup chopped pecans. Bake at 350° F for 25 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven.

So that the nuts are nice and toasted I prefer to finish this casserole in the broiler. It only takes about 1 minute to get the casserole bubbly and the nuts toasted.

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole Thanksgiving Recipe

This recipe makes 18 servings, perfect for a large celebration. Remember that a half-cup is a single serving. Since we all tend to go a little overboard during the holidays (me included!), I’m including an image of the actual serving size above. Check out the color differences too between the top image and this one.


Other pumpkin holiday recipes:

Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe
Pumpkin Curry Soup
Pumpkin and Cranberry Risotto Recipe
Pumpkin & Cranberry Risotto


  1. Posted November 3, 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink | Reply

    Love this recipe. I think I will have to add it to our menu this year.

  2. Posted November 5, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yum! Sweet Potato Casserole has always been one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipe and I never thought of adding pumpkin too. Yum! This sounds delicious and I will have to try this version soon. Already excited!

    • Posted November 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Heather! It is really nice with the addition of pumpkin! Nice boost of nutrition too! Hope you and family are well!

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  1. […] Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Casserole Rate this: Share this:EmailPrintFacebookTwitterStumbleUponDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was written by Chris, posted on December 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm, filed under Entertaining, Holidays, Side Dishes and tagged contest, Hispanic, side dish, spice, thanksgiving, vegetable. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Bachelor in the Kitchen: Stuffed Italian Sandwich […]

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