A few Thanksgiving’s back, my nephew Nathan started to get brave. Our little picky eater who had been known to enjoy a peanut butter sandwich while everyone else shoveled back mounds of delicious food, decided that he wanted to see what all this Thanksgiving fuss was about. So he tried the turkey. Loved it! Then some corn. Mmmm!!! Some mashed potatoes. Fantastic! With all eyes on him, and lots of excitement surrounding this major accomplishment, Nathan shouted out that Thanksgiving was his new favorite holiday. Before he even knew what hit him, Aunt Lisa added some sweet potato casserole to his plate. Now anything orange or green was a real stretch for this kid, but after a little prodding, I had him convinced that he could do it. His eyes lit up after the first mouthful. He turned to me and innocently asked, “Aunt Lisa, is this the first time that you made these???” When he discovered that I had been bringing this sweet potato casserole to Thanksgiving EVERY year and realized he’d been missing out on so much goodness all this time a look of disappoint came over his face. He was completely shocked in the cutest, sweetest, most childlike way. His excitement was contagious though, and even inspired his little sister Ellie to ante up to the table and get in on the action too. I’ll always remember this day as one of my most favorite Thanksgivings. Happy Turkey Day!! Hope it’s filled with food, family and wonderful memories!
Here’s all you’ll need: sweet potatoes, salt, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, white sugar, heavy cream, flour, brown sugar, and pecans.
First we’ll need to prep our sweet potatoes. Peel the potatoes and chop them up into large chunks. I try to stick with small to medium sized potatoes as the large ones tend to be more difficult to cut. Or maybe I’m just wimpy. Who really knows??? (HAHA!!) Five potatoes doesn’t seem like a lot but I promise they’ll fill a whole casserole dish by the time we’re done.
Next place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and boil for about 10 minutes or until soft. You can also bake them instead if you like. Boiling just tends to be a little bit quicker. And I’m all about that!! I love making this recipe for Thanksgiving because sweet potatoes are practically FREE this week. Those Thanksgiving week grocery store sales can be pretty amazing!
Drain the potatoes and add to a large bowl with 1/4 cup of butter. This will help to melt our butter. Cool slightly because in the next step we’re adding in some raw eggs. Piping hot potatoes + raw eggs = cooked eggs in our sweet potatoes and that’s really not the look that we’re going for here. Blend in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract, white sugar, and heavy cream. Mmmm!!! Almost sounds like we’re making a cake! Ok so I get that this dish is a little rich, but that’s why I reserve it for special occasions. This isn’t something you want to eat every night of the week and pretend that you’re being healthy cause you’re eating vegetables. But Thanksgiving splurge…you betcha! Continue the mash until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.
Transfer the potatoes to a lightly greased casserole dish. A 9 X 13 or 3 quart dish works perfectly. I’m all about this 3-quart style by CorningWare because it comes with a glass lid that’s great for serving and special occasions. (Just giving a shout out, this isn’t a corning ware sponsored post)
Now onto the best part!!! This sweet, crunchy, insanely delicious pecan topping. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup of softened butter, flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Mix with a pastry blender, or a fork, or your fingers until all ingredients are well combined. The mixture should be coarse and crumbly like so.
Sprinkle the mixture over top of the sweet potato casserole. Make sure you cover it all. Don’t miss a single spot! You’re gonna want a little of this sweet and nutty mixture in every bite. Trust! This is the gold that got those picky eaters on board. Bake uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned.
And now I present to you Aunt Lisa’s Sweet Potato Casserole! It’s sweet, it’s crunchy, it’s comforting, it’s tradition. Even your pickiest eaters will agree, it’s a Thanksgiving staple. This is one recipe that I know will get passed on for generations in my family and it gives me the warm and fuzzies. Awww!! Pair this with our Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing and you’ll be on your way to an epic Turkey Day!
Aunt Lisa's Sweet Potato Casserole
- 5 sweet potatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Step 1 Peel the potatoes and chop them up into large chunks. Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and boil for about 10 minutes or until soft.
- Step 2 Drain the potatoes and add to a large bowl with 1/4 cup of butter. Cool slightly.
- Step 3 Blend in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract, white sugar, and heavy cream. Continue the mash until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Transfer the potatoes to a lightly greased casserole dish.
- Step 4 In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup of softened butter, flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Mix with a pastry blender, or a fork, or your fingers until all ingredients are well combined. Sprinkle the mixture over top of the sweet potato casserole.
- Step 5 Bake uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. Enjoy
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