Be it Thanksgiving or Christmas; no holiday is complete without this Paula Deen sweet potato casserole! Make it once, and you’ll never look back.
After all, she’s the queen of southern cuisine, so her recipes are always brimming with flavor.
And with this tasty dish, it’s hard to decide which layer to love the most.
Is it the sweet and silky mashed sweet potatoes or the crunchy pecans?
Or perhaps it’s the toasted on the outside and fluffy on the inside marshmallow topping?
Fortunately, there’s no need to pick a favorite. Instead, just enjoy all the mouthwatering components in one bite.
Paula Deen Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole is always a hit, but if you want the best, it has to be this Paula Deen copycat recipe.
This sweet-savory dessert-side is a show-stopper. So much so you’ll have to remind your friends and family that they need to share!
I mean, how can anyone resist the cozy combination of mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, cinnamon, toasted pecans, and marshmallows?
Besides the delectable flavors and textures, it also requires simple ingredients and is a breeze to make. And aren’t those exactly the things we want in a recipe?
Tips & Tricks
- I like to use fresh sweet potatoes here, but canned yams will do as well. Naturally, if you use the latter, there’s no need to cook them beforehand.
- Paula Deen’s recipe requires “cooking” the sweet potatoes, which means you can either boil or roast them. It’s totally up to you, but I find that roasting gives the spuds more flavor. Just one hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit is all it takes.
- Toast the pecans to bring out their flavor. It only takes 10 minutes and you won’t believe the difference it makes!
- Slice the sweet potatoes into cubes for faster cooking. You’ll know they’re done when they’re fork-tender. Don’t overcook them or they’ll be too mushy.
- You don’t need to peel the potatoes before cooking. The skins will peel off more easily once cooked.
- Mash the sweet potatoes with a food processor or an electric mixer to make a smooth and silky puree. If you want more texture, mash them with either a potato masher or a pair of forks.
- In this recipe, you’ll flavor the sweet potatoes with brown sugar, cream, and cinnamon. You can give them more oomph by adding a splash of orange juice. You can also add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice for an extra layer of autumn flavors.
- If you’re trying to cut back on the calories, skip the marshmallows and top the casserole with cereal or granola, instead. It will add a wonderful crunch.
- For a tropical twist, cover the casserole with coconut. You shouldn’t need to toast it before as it will turn golden in the oven.
- Let the casserole rest for 10 to 20 minutes post-baking before you slice. The layers need this time to set, otherwise, it’ll be too runny.
Can You Make Sweet Potato Casserole Ahead of Time?
Sweet potato casserole can be made ahead of time, up to two days before you intend to serve it. Either prep everything and store it separately (including pre-cooking and mashing the potatoes) or make and bake the dish – without the marshmallows – then cover and refrigerate once cooled.
Busy holidays call for simple yet party-worthy recipes that can be made in advance!
So, if there’s not enough time to make this casserole on the day of your celebrations, just prepare it up to two days ahead of time.
That’s one more item you can check off your to-do list.
One option is to prep everything and then build the casserole on the day. This will help to prevent it from becoming weepy.
However, you can make and bake the casserole, then cool and reheat on the day.
In that case, I recommend leaving the marshmallows off until the day you intend to eat it. This is because they will toast and turn golden during the baking, so if you bake them a second time, they may burn.
When you’re ready to eat, let the casserole thaw to room temperature and warm in the oven, covered with foil.
Sweet potato casserole will keep well for up to three to five days in the fridge. Just cover it with plastic wrap, so it doesn’t absorb the flavors and odors of the other items in the fridge.
You can also freeze the casserole for a much longer shelf-life. In the freezer, it’ll last for as long as three months.
Double wrap it in plastic wrap and foil and pop it in the freezer.
Let it defrost in the fridge overnight, or set it on the counter to thaw for 30 minutes.
Reheat the casserole in the microwave until warm.
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