Warm, hearty and covered in a crispy, sugary crumble topping, this mashed sweet potato casserole doesn’t need any marshmallows to make it better. It’s a true classic all on its own.
Is it a sweet potato or a yam? I think there may actually be some kind of difference between the two but who cares what it is…these babies are good and good for you.
Unless you cover them in a buttery brown sugar and nut topping. We might have knocked this mashed sweet potato casserole down a rung on the healthy scale but not on the flavor meter.
As I was developing this recipe I realized that mashed sweet potato casseroles have gotten a little pretentious over the years. Like fancy. Marshmallows (totally optional and welcome here if you need them) or cream cheese or layers of brown sugar between the potatoes.
When you mix it up it’s all gonna go to the same place anyway.
Why should we take all that time to layer things when we can do all the flavor mastery we need to right on top? I’m not playing around. I keep the sugar in the sweet potatoes dialed down a bit. After all, it’s about balance and I don’t want a toothache trying to eat my vegetables.
You can overdo the sugar in stuff, but this one is just right. And once the sugar and butter meet up for their little love dance in the oven the top is sort of delicately crunchy and the nuts add a bit of depth to the dish and some texture.
Make these in individual pans or double the recipe for one standard 9×13. No matter what, it’s worth having on your table very soon.
Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole
For the mashed sweet potatoes
- 8 medium sweet potatoes unpeeled (about 3 cups after mashing)
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- pinch salt
- 4 tablespoons milk or half and half enough to thin the potatoes just a bit
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar packed
For the topping
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter cold
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Place the unpeeled sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until soft all the way through--about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool until you can handle them but still warm--about 5 or 6 minutes.
- When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off and transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, salt, half and half and brown sugar. Blend with a hand mixer or mash by hand until smooth--about 3 minutes.
- Transfer the potatoes to your 8x8 dish. Set aside. In the same bowl, add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt and cold butter. Using two forks or your hands, break the butter up until it is about the size of peas. Add the nuts and toss to mix.
- Sprinkle the topping over the potatoes and bake until the topping is crispy: 25 to 30 minutes.