Sweet potato casserole is one of those dishes that sits on nearly every Southern Holiday table. It’s a given at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’ll pop up at other times of the year as well, especially if the crowd is going to be a large one. The standard Southern version includes canned sweet potatoes in sweet syrup, a ton of brown sugar or molasses and to top off the show, a whole bag of mini marshmallows, all melted and browned in an oven. It’s more of a dessert than a side dish, and far too sweet for my tastes.
Not that I don’t love sweet potatoes, I do. So when Judy from No Fear Entertaining answered my request for Holiday recipe alternatives with a need for a version of this dish that wasn’t covered in marshmallows, I was all for it.
I thought that it might be difficult to come up with a recipe in this case, but a glance in the latest issue of the Pillsbury Thanksgiving circular gave me just the right direction. This is my take on a recipe posted there. I thought the addition of a few ingredients were called for, and I’m glad my need to wing-it kicked in.
This casserole is sweet, but just by virtue of the natural sugars in the sweet potatoes themselves. it isn’t cloying or overwhelming and it plays nicely with other items on your plate. We had it with roast chicken and green beans, and I would recommend that combination just as much as putting it on the buffet with the rest of your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Trust me, your family will eat this stuff up!
- 6 lbs. Sweet potatoes (9 large or 12 medium)
- 8 oz bacon
- 1/4 cup (Approximate) panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp Butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 6 medium green onions, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, ground
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a half-sheet pan with foil or parchment paper sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray. pierce sweet potatoes well and place on sheet. Bake for approximately 90 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and cool until sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle. Remove skins and remove any eyes or dark spots.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy and crumble. Mix bread crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl and set aside.
- Mash potatoes well in a large bowl with a potato masher. Stir in chopped bacon, sour cream, heavy cream, onions, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir to combine well. Spread mixture in a greased baking dish or, for individual servings, into greased 8 oz ramekins or souffle cups. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the top of potatoes.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and breadcrumbs are just turning golden.
- To Make a day ahead:
- gt casserole ready to bake, cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until you are ready to heat and serve. Simplicity!
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
Actually, I think that the addition of a little chopped nuts might be good, but I’m not sure what type of nuts I would use. Walnuts? Pistachios? Pecans? I just won’t know until I try, and I will because this is insanely good!
Links to other recipes like this:
- Sweet Potato Casserole, from a Veggie Venture
- Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcakes, from the the Cupcake Project
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping, from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen