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.
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.
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.
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.
- Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Casserole
- More Thanksgiving recipes
- Nutrition of pumpkin
- Detroit News – Breaking out of side dish rut
Other pumpkin holiday recipes:
Pumpkin Curry Soup
Pumpkin & Cranberry Risotto