I haven’t always been a sweet potato fan. Every year at Thanksgiving, my dad (a determined sweet potato enthusiast) would make a few token sweet potatoes to set out on the table. In the parade of fabulous holiday fare, the rest of us were content to let the sweet potatoes pass us by. Imagine my dad’s surprise and delight a few years ago when I presented the family with this fabulous brown sugar sweet potato casserole. It’s been a holiday staple ever since. So what happened to make me a fan? Read on for the scintillating backstory!
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.*** Already know what you’d like to get from Amazon? Here’s a handy way to get to the website, linked to a very cute book about a little sweet potato, perfect for sharing with any little sweet potatoes in your life. Just click on the button below, then browse around and do your shopping.
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Who Wouldn’t Love This Dessert-Like Dish?
All of my life, I’ve been surrounded by fantastic cooks. Each had specialties. My grandmother was famous for her homemade rolls. My mom made delicious comfort food, and my dad was always surprising us with magazine-worthy desserts. I married into a family of talented cooks, and I learned a lot along the way. I’ve shared with you my mother-in-law’s delectable pea-pickin’ cake and my sister-in-law’s strawberry mandarin tossed salad. Now I present to you the dish that changed my view of sweet potatoes forever.
This was first introduced to me by the wife of my eldest brother-in-law, and I’ve been a sweet potato fan ever since. I just could not get enough of this buttery, sweet potato casserole with brown sugar glaze. It opened the door to trying sweet potato fries and sweet potatoes in soups. Best of all, this recipe was easy to make. I now offer you the recipe that transformed my opinion of sweet potatoes. It’s the best way to cook sweet potatoes to entice even reluctant sweet potato fans to sample a bite.
Anticipating the Season
Now, I can’t wait to serve it every year. It makes an appearance at Thanksgiving and again at Christmas. I’m not sure why I don’t serve it year-round. Maybe it’s because it is such a wonderful treat. My mouth is watering as I write this, and I can’t wait to introduce it to you.
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 cups after mashing)
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole dish. ***Bonus tip: Use the wrapper from a stick of butter to grease the baking dish.***
A 2.5-quart or 2.5-liter casserole dish like this one is ideal.
Even though the brown sugar sweet potato casserole is baked uncovered, I like to use a casserole dish with a lid for storing leftovers.
Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into chunks. Place in a stockpot with enough water to nearly cover.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until sweet potato chunks are tender enough for mashing.
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, mix the topping ingredients together. Melt the butter in a mixing bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then add the flour and brown sugar. Stir until combined.
Drain and mash the sweet potatoes. I like to use a round masher like this one.
Mix in the sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla.
Pour the sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish.
Spread the topping over the sweet potato mixture.
Caution: Leave some extra space at the top of the casserole dish, If you fill the dish completely to the top, you may end up with a mess in your oven. The mixture bubbles around the edges as it bakes. If it bubbles over the edge of the dish and onto your hot oven, well, it’s not pretty. Unfortunately, I know this from experience. When I made this for the photo shoot, I put a baking pan under the casserole dish, just in case.
Put in the oven for 30 minutes.
Here it is, fresh and hot from the oven Just look at that buttery goodness oozing from the edges. It was a good thing I put a baking pan underneath!
Timing the Casserole to be Ready for the Meal
If you are making this as part of a holiday dinner, here’s a good strategy to make sure everything is ready at the same time. When the turkey or ham (if that is what you’re having) is ready to come out of the oven, slide the casserole in. Usually, the meat has to sit for a while before slicing, so that’s the perfect time to bake the sweet potatoes and any other casserole you have. In my family, the sweet potato casserole is usually placed in the oven alongside green bean casserole, because they both need to bake at the same temperature for about the same amount of time.
Is This Casserole a Side-Dish or a Dessert?
Okay, after reading through the ingredients, you’ve probably guessed that this delicious recipe is almost like a dessert. Also, it’s definitely not low fat or low calorie. Yes, it has sweet potatoes in it, but the slightly crunchy, buttery topping is definitely dessert-worthy.
Can I Use Yams in This Recipe?
What is the difference anyway? I recently learned, due to my research for this article, that the “yams” we have in the U.S. are really an orange-fleshed sweet potato.
True yams have pale, starchy flesh and are an entirely different vegetable.
In my local supermarket, the difference between a “yam” and a sweet potato is the color. In my family, I’m always asked to buy the darker ones, which I think are usually labeled as yams (but are really sweet potatoes). So now that we have that little secret out in the open, you can use whichever variety you prefer.
How Can I Thicken My Sweet Potato Casserole?
In this recipe, the eggs function as a thickener, and that should take care of any thickness issues. If, for some reason, your sweet potato casserole still needs to be thicker, you can add one or more of the following methods:
Add more sweet potatoes: Increasing the quantity of sweet potatoes can naturally thicken the casserole.
Use less liquid: If your recipe includes ingredients like milk or other liquids, consider reducing the amount to achieve a thicker consistency. As this recipe for sweet potato casserole with brown sugar glaze does not include any liquids, other than melted butter, no need to worry about too much liquid.
Add thickening agents: Incorporate ingredients like cornstarch or flour. Mix a small amount with water to create a slurry before adding it to the casserole. Be sure to cook for a bit longer to eliminate any raw taste of the thickening agent.
Add ground nuts or oats: Ground nuts or oats can absorb excess moisture and contribute to a thicker texture.
Can I Use Canned Sweet Potatoes in This Recipe?
Yes, you certainly may. Buy enough for at least 6 cups, and mash them just as you would the cooked, fresh sweet potatoes. This would be a good option if you are in a hurry.
How About Using a Substitute for Butter?
A large part of the appeal of this recipe is its buttery taste. It’s tough to replicate the buttery flavor with a butter substitute. I would make every effort to use real butter, if possible.
A Nutty Variation
Some people are fond of mixing chopped nuts with the topping. Pecans are a popular choice. If you wanted to, you could chop the nuts in a food processor, then blend the other topping ingredients in the food processor as well.
Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole
- Potato masher
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 stick butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅔ cup butter melted
- ⅔ cup flour
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 2.5 quart casserole dish.
- Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into chunks.
- Place in a stockpot with enough water to nearly cover.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until sweet potato chunks are tender enough for mashing.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, mix the topping ingredients together. Melt the butter in a mixing bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then add the flour and brown sugar. Stir until combined.
- Drain and mash the sweet potatoes.
- Mix in the sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla.
- Pour the sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish.
- Spread the topping over the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Other Holiday Recipes You Might Enjoy
Serve up some other delicious recipes with your special meals. Some that pair well with this brown sugar sweet potato casserole include baked ham, seafood salad, easy curried turkey (great for using up leftover turkey), and make ahead mashed potatoes. For dessert, you could try making easy oatmeal apple crisp or a decadent death by chocolate trifle.
A Handy Tool for Planning
When I have a large function to plan for, I like to use this backwards list. It helps me to make a plan, starting with my end goal and working backward. I wrote a post about how to use this backwards list. Here’s a printable copy for you to use as you wish:
Are You Now Craving Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole?
The sweet, delicious goodness is calling my name. If you decide to try this recipe, I’d love to know what you like to serve it with. Did you take it to a large gathering and receive rave reviews? If you like what you’ve read today, please consider subscribing and becoming part of the Fluxing Well tribe. You will receive fresh ideas every week, plus access to a library of free printable resources, including a free cookbook filled with the best easy recipes from the Fluxing Well website.
If you would like even more recipe ideas, consider following my Easy Recipes board on Pinterest. Have a fabulous day, and enjoy experiencing decadent brown sugar sweet potato casserole.
Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to create and share recipes, often using fresh ingredients from her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. To get more easy recipes, click on over to the Food page.
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