Pretty Sweet Potato Casserole with Peppery Pecan Topping
Pretty sweet potato casserole is an impressive, easy, and healthy side recipe that's ideal for your Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday dinners. The sweet potatoes are shingled (sliced thin) then stacked in a casserole dish with a little maple syrup poured over the top. Once they're soft and a little crispy at their edges, you sprinkle some peppery pecans over top and it's ready to serve.
We're calling it … it's holiday season! It's time for cookies, turkey dinners, and all our favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas side dishes. We're starting this season off strong with a sweet potato casserole that is pretty, delicious, healthy, and surprisingly simple to make.
Why you want to make this pretty sweet potato casserole
- Your guests will swoon and shower you in compliments when you set this down on the table.
- It'll be our secret that it was easy to make.
- Sweet potatoes that are nice and soft after a good, long roast in the oven.
- A touch of sweetness from some maple syrup, a few crisp edges, and bites of peppery pecans = magic.
- It can be assembled ahead of time.
- Made with all good for you ingredients. You won't find any sickly sweet marshmallows here!
How to make this pretty sweet potato casserole recipe
Even though this casserole looks impressive, it's quite simple to make. The one tool that will really help you here is a mandolin. It makes quick work of slicing the sweet potatoes and ensures that each slice is uniform. This is the mandolin that we have. While there are better quality ones available, this one is inexpensive and does the trick.
We leave the skin on the sweet potatoes. It's less work that way. If your sweet potatoes are looking a little rough or you know you don't like the skin, you can always peel it.
- Slice the sweet potatoes using a mandoline.
- Toss the slices with some oil, salt, and a little cayenne then arrange them in a casserole dish and pour some maple syrup over the top.
- Cover the casserole and pop it into your oven. After a half-hour, uncover it and keep on baking.
- Now stovetop toast some pecans in a little butter then add lots of pepper.
- Broil the casserole briefly so it gets a little crispy then sprinkle the pecans over the top.
Done! If needed, you can arrange the casserole and make the pecans ahead of time.
Do you love sweet potato recipes?
So do we! Here are our favorites:
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Miso Tahini Butter
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate and Walnuts
- Herb and Garlic Butter Smashed Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Hummus
- Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Brown Butter Vinaigrette
And we have a list of all the best sweet potato recipes both from here and around the web.
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Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- The Best Stuffing Recipe Ever
- Sausage Stuffing Baked in Onions
- Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy
- Pomegranate Salad with Spinach, Hazelnuts, and Mint
- Whole Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic
Pretty sweet potato casserole is an impressive, easy, and healthy side dish recipe that's ideal for your Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday dinners. The sweet potatoes are shingled (sliced thin) then stacked in a casserole dish with a little maple syrup poured over the top. Once they're soft and a little crispy at their edges, you sprinkle some peppery pecans over top and it's ready to serve.
- 4 lbs sweet potatoes, sliced 1/8th inch thick
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon butter (vegan, if needed)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the sweet potatoes, preferrably with a mandolin and place them in a large bowl.
- Add the avocado oil, salt, and cayenne to the bowl and carefully mix the sweet potatoes.
- Add the sweet potatoes to your casserole dish so that they stand on end – see picture. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Take the casserole out of the oven and remove the foil or lid. Pour the maple syrup over the top and put it back into your oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
- While the casserole is baking, make the peppery pecans. Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pecans and let them toast until they begin to smell fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Remove them from the heat and stir in the pepper.
- Turn your oven to broil (see notes) and broil the casserole for 5-10 minutes, or until the top starts to brown. Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle the pecans over the top.
If you can't control the temperature your oven broils at, keep an extra close eye to make sure it doesn't burn. A few very dark spots are ok but you don't want too many.