Need a scrumptious Thanksgiving side dish that will have your holiday guests scrambling for the biggest helping? This sweet potato casserole with pecan topping, inspired by Jessica Gavin, is not only impressive when it shows up to the dinner table, it will become the most mouthwateringly memorable side dish your family and friends have ever eaten.
This Thanksgiving casserole is more like a dessert than a side dish. It features a rich, silky smooth sweet potato filling that entices the taste buds with cream, butter, pure vanilla extract, and freshly grated nutmeg. By itself, the filling is knee-weakeningly good. But the indulgence doesn’t stop there.
The pecan topping is made with big yummy chunks of pecans, crispy bits of rice cereal, butter, brown sugar, and an irresistible abundance of mini marshmallows that puff into toasty-sweet goodness. Every decadent bite is a sublime contrast of textures.
This sweet potato casserole with pecan topping is comfort food at its finest. The most basic sweet potato casserole recipes are warm and wonderful, but why stop at basic when you can turn sweet potatoes into a sublime holiday dish that you’ll crave all season long. All you need is a carefree attitude about calories and an enthusiastic hand with tasty ingredients.
Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet
Bake the sweet potatoes in their skin — no initial peeling required — until soft. Place whole sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 F for 1 hour. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the sweet potatoes cool slightly.
Make a warm vanilla cream
In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, butter, pure vanilla extract, and freshly grated nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and stir until the butter has melted. Complete this step while the sweet potatoes are cooling.
Peel the sweet potatoes and puree them
Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and place the sweet potatoes in a food processor or blender. Puree for 1 minute or until the sweet potatoes are fairly smooth. With the food processor or blender on low speed, add the cream mixture with the food processor or blender on low speed and puree for 1 to 2 minutes.
Prepare the pecan topping
In a medium-sized bowl, combine pecans, crispy rice cereal, cinnamon, brown sugar, melted butter, and a pinch of salt. Blend well.
Assemble the casserole
Scoop the sweet potato filling into a 9-inch baking dish and spread evenly. Spoon the pecan topping over the sweet potatoes. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet.
Bake the sweet potato casserole
Bake the casserole at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Decorate the casserole with marshmallows
Arrange marshmallows in a circular pattern on top of the casserole, allowing the pecan topping to show through.
Toast the marshmallows
Place the sweet potato casserole back in the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the marshmallows are puffed and toasted.
Serve immediately or at room temperature
This sweet potato casserole is best served right out of the oven, but if needed, can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. Either way, Thanksgiving guests will be deliciously elated.
Pure comfort food!
Creamy sweet potatoes, crunchy pecans and toasty marshmallows make for the perfect bite!