Sweet Potato Casserole with Spiced Pecans
This Sweet Potato Casserole is just like the traditional version but with a twist. Mashed with plenty of butter and brown sugar, topped with crunchy spiced pecans to balance the flavors, and broiled mini marshmallows makes this casserole more more than just sweet on sweet.
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One of the first things I ever made for my husband was candied pecans. Okay maybe not one of the first things exactly, but one of my first “designed by me” style recipes. Regardless, it was one of the first cast iron recipes I ever did at our old house. It was delicious and not at all what I was expecting.
When thinking about Sweet Potato Casserole – which is one of my all time favorites, I knew I needed to jazz it up. My husband doesn’t care for sweet potato casserole because most of the time it’s served as a side dish when it tastes like a dessert. He’s not super into desserts as it is so I think he’s always felt a little betrayed by a dessert disguised as a vegetable.
So in order to cut through the sweetness of any recipe you have three options: acid, salt, or heat. Since we already have plenty of recipes that use Cranberry Sauce as an acid, and the Mashed Potatoes have salt, I decided a welcome to the pallet would be a bit of heat. Enter the Spiced Pecans.
Tips & Tricks
- When cooking the sweet potatoes, you can bake them in the oven as you would a baked potato to save on stovetop space that’s precious at the holidays. Or if you need the oven space, go ahead and peel and boil them on the stovetop.
- You do not need to oil or season the potato skins prior to cooking. So save yourself the extra ingredients and work, and just poke them with a fork and wrap in tinfoil.
- While the potatoes are baking, make the pecans in a 12-inch skillet. Then, don’t bother cleaning it. The whole casserole will go right back into that skillet to bake. Again, saving on some dishes and infusing that spiced pecan flavor.
Spiced Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients
How to Make Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole
Start by washing, drying, and prinking 4-1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes with a fork. Wrap the potatoes individually with tinfoil and bake in a 425F oven for about 1 hour. After an hour, allow to cool still wrapped, about 20 minutes. Cut the potatoes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the inside or peel the outer skin off. Add the sweet potato “meat” to a large bowl with 1 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar, beating using a hand mixer until smooth.
While the sweet potatoes are baking you can make the spiced pecans in a 12-inch skillet on the stovetop. Combine all the spiced pecan ingredients into the skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often with a rubber spatula. They will get glossy and thicken as they are done. Set them aside on a piece of parchment paper or in a bowl to cool.
When ready, add the mashed sweet potato to the skillet. Top with the spiced candied pecans, and again with mini marshmallows. Place bake into the oven, temperature doesn’t really matter, and allow the marshmallows to puff and brown a bit. Serve to a happy crowd.
Common Questions About Sweet Potato Casserole
Dishes to impress your family no matter the occasion, but especially good during the holiday season.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Spiced Pecans Recipe
- large mixing bowl
- rubber spatula
- tin foil
- hand held mixer
- 4-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1-1/2 cups butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 pound pecan halves
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Wash, dry, and prick the sweet potatoes with a fork. Wrap individually in tin foil. Bake for 1 hour. After baking, allow to cool about 20 minutes before unwrapping and handling. Cut in half and remove the inside of the sweet potato to a bowl with 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Mix with a hand held mixer until smooth.
- While the sweet potatoes are baking, combine the remaining butter, sugar, maple syrup, pecans, and spices in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Use a rubber spatula to toss and coat for about 5 minutes until pecans are glossy and semi-thick. Remove to a piece of parchment paper or to a bowl to cool.
- Add the mashed sweet potatoes to the skillet and spread evenly. Add the spiced candied pecans on top of the sweet potatoes, and top again with mini marshmallows. Return to the oven for about 8 minutes until marshmallows are puffy and start to brown.
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