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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

A pizza sitting on top of a table
Sweet potato casseroles are a necessity for any big family gathering -- from Thanksgiving to Christmas to Easter -- including mine.
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Table of Contents
  1. Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans
  2. Sweet Potatoes and Yams: What's the Difference?
  3. Ingredients Needed for this Sweet Potato Casserole
  4. How to Bake Sweet Potatoes for Sweet Potato Casserole
  5. How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
  6. More Recipes You'll Love
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

Sweet potato casseroles are a necessity for any big family gathering — from Thanksgiving to Christmas to Easter — including mine. 

This sweet potato casserole recipe comes with nuts for some added texture and some bacon for a fun saltiness that will give your casserole an extra “umph”. The cayenne added into the topping gives it a bit of a kick, too. The caramelized brown sugar bacon topping is sure to wow your guests or hosts at the dinner table.

If you want another take on this classic side dish, check our sweet potato casserole with marshmallows recipe as well. I love either dish paired with ham. Green bean casserole, vegetable casserole and corn pudding also make great sides!

A bowl of food, with Casserole and Potato

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

Our sweet potato casserole is sweet, salty, and spicy. The creamy sweet potato base is matched with a wonderfully spiced, nutty topping for maximum flavor and texture.

For the base, you’ll need some medium sweet potatoes, flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon, heavy whipping cream, melted butter, eggs, and salt.

The topping is what brings this dish to life. It needs some cooked chopped bacon, brown sugar, pecan pieces, melted butter, cayenne, salt, and some chopped fresh sage for aroma.

Sweet Potatoes and Yams: What’s the Difference?

A lot of people get sweet potatoes and yams mixed up. What’s the difference? Sweet potatoes are long and have a tapered shape. They are usually smooth-skinned with a variety of different flesh colors, from yellow to red to beige. They’re fluffy and sweet when cooked.

The ones we traditionally use for casseroles are brown skinned with orange flesh. There are so many ways to cook sweet potato. It can be baked, mashed, fried, and even made into soups and desserts. They’re a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber.

Yams, on the other hand, have much rougher skin. They are also cylindrical in shape. The taste of a yam is much less sweet and more starchy. Cooked yams have also a drier texture.

Their color range is usually more on the white to purple range rather than orange. They’re often eaten roasted, baked or fried. Yams are much more popular in Asian and African cuisine.

For this recipe, make sure you’re buying sweet potatoes!

A bowl of food on a plate, with Potato and Casserole

Ingredients Needed for this Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 5 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 slices chopped cooked bacon
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup pecan pieces
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • salt

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes for Sweet Potato Casserole

Before the sweet potatoes can be made into your amazing casserole, they must be baked. Baking it concentrates its flavor while cooking, compared to boiling it first. The sweet potato loses flavor quickly in the boiling water, and your dish won’t be as sweet.

Poke your sweet potatoes with a fork a few times to let steam out while it cooks. Bake on a sheet pan at 400. They will need about an hour and a half to cook fully.

Once cooked, let them cool before continuing the process, or they’ll be too hot to handle when you’re trying to skin them.

A close up of a plate of food, with Potato and Casserole

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

After cooling, remove and discard the sweet potato skins. Now, bring on the kids, this will be the fun step. Combine the skinned, baked sweet potatoes, maple syrup, cinnamon, whipped cream, butter, eggs, and some salt.

My grandma used to let the kids mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher. You can also mix with a hand mixer until smooth.

Next comes the topping. Combine the bacon, brown sugar, pecans, butter, cayenne, and salt in a bowl. Grease up a casserole dish, and put in the sweet potato mixture. Top with your pecan sugar topping and sprinkle on your sage as a finishing touch.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbling. The kitchen will smell of spices and brown sugar by now. It’s better than any candle I can find in stores. Let it rest for about 10 minutes so the casserole can set before serving.

A plate of food on a table, with Potato and Casserole

Get ready to receive many praises at the dinner table for this sweet potato casserole recipe!

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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

5 from 2 votes
Sweet potato casseroles are a necessity for any big family gathering -- from Thanksgiving to Christmas to Easter -- including mine.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 5 medium sweet potatoes about 3 lbs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 slices chopped cooked bacon
  • cup brown sugar
  • cup pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • salt

Instructions
 

  • Poke your sweet potatoes with a fork a few times to let steam out while it cooks. Bake on a sheet pan at 400. They will need about an hour and a half to cook fully.
  • Once cooked, let them cool before continuing the process, or they’ll be too hot to handle when you’re trying to skin them
  • After cooling, remove and discard the sweet potato skins.
  • Combine the skinned, baked sweet potatoes, maple syrup, cinnamon, whipped cream, butter, eggs, and some salt.
  • My grandma used to let the kids mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher. You can also mix with a hand mixer until smooth.
  • Next comes the topping. Combine the bacon, brown sugar, pecans, butter, cayenne, and salt in a bowl. Grease up a casserole dish, and put in the sweet potato mixture. Top with your pecan sugar topping and sprinkle on your sage as a finishing touch.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbling. Let it rest for about 10 minutes so the casserole can set before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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  1. Treena Hilchie says

    5 stars
    This recipe is a wonderful change from my boring mashed potatoes and goes great with our holiday turkey!

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