When you walked in the door, the warm smell of dinner rolls and crisp, buttered turkey roasting in the oven met you with a warm embrace almost as welcoming as the loving hug from my grandma. Sweet Potato Casserole, or any of the smells associated with the holidays for that matter, brings back such nostalgia of the time spent at my grandparents house. And I miss it, terribly.
I am an old soul who’s young at heart. A friend told me that recently and I totally agree. I desire the ability to spend more time at home. More time with my daughter and more time on the farm. Forty seems like such a far off and distant place, yet I’m here, trying to enjoy it. Is it wrong that it makes me NOT want to leave the house?
As we approach the holiday season, I find myself longing for the days of sitting around my grandma’s dining room table, squished elbow-to-elbow, everyone loosening the top button on their pants, trying to figure out who’s going to get up so someone can get out from behind the table to the bathroom. I have no idea how we fit 12 people in such a tiny space. The table was always so full, there was barely any room to pass dishes from right to left. But it was how we spent every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner and I loved it!
I mentioned to my daughter that Thanksgiving was coming up and she would get to see two of her cousins. Her eyes lit up and she asked if we would be going to Grandma and Papa’s for Thanksgiving. She’s only three, but she’s so in love with her family and I cherish that. I hope she always feels that excitement of visiting family.
One of my favorite dishes that I remember devouring at my grandma’s house was sweet potato casserole. This is a different version, but scrumptious all the same. It’s extremely easy to make and a total crowd pleaser. And if you’re trying to create a signature dish to highlight your visit to family’s this Thanksgiving, give this a try. You won’t be disappointed. You can even make the filling ahead of time!
It starts by baking a few sweet potatoes. Bake the same way you would a regular potato, but I suggest double-wrapping with foil. Sweet potatoes tend to be pretty juicy and if you only use a single layer of foil, you mind you have a mess to clean up in the oven, and nobody wants that around the holidays!
Once the sweet potatoes are baked, peel the skins off and mash them up. They mash very easily and if you have an immersion blender, it will make the job go that much faster. This is the one I have and I LOVE it! It’s actually starting to object being used and makes a screeching sound whenever I use it. I have had mine a LONG time. Perhaps that needs to be added to my Christmas wish list. 😉
Once the potatoes are mashed or pureed, add the remaining ingredients to a bowl and mix gently with a rubber scraper.
Spoon into a 9×13 baking dish, top with pecans and marshmallows and bake. It really is that easy. If you decide to make this ahead of time, just wait to add the marshmallows until ready to bake. It will take a little longer, so reduce the heat by 25°, but otherwise, it’s good to go.
This is one of those recipes that could make its way onto the dinner table on multiple occasions. If you are looking for quick and easy way to provide a delicious side dish to your Thanksgiving table, this recipe is for you!
Cherish your time with family and friends and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
- 3 lb sweet potatoes (4-5 medium), baked and mashed
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup toasted pecans, divided
- 3 cup miniature marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 400°. Wash and prick your potatoes, then wrap in foil. Bake for 45 min. to 1 hour or until soft when pressed with an oven mitt.
- Remove from oven and unwrap foil. Allow sweet potatoes to cool slightly. Peel skin off potatoes and mash with a potato masher or puree with immersion blender.
- While sweet potatoes are baking, toast the pecans. Place in large skillet and cook over medium to medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes or until they start to smell toasted. (They will smell more "nutty" when they are ready.) Watch carefully and stir every so often. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine the mashed sweet potato, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and ½ cup of the toasted pecans. Spoon sweet potato mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of toasted pecans and top with miniature marshmallows.
- Bake casserole in 375° oven for 20 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown.
- This recipe actually makes enough for 12-15 servings. Enjoy!