Sweet potato casserole gets remade with a good dose of bourbon and a little less sugar and butter for a boozy, not-too-sweet holiday side dish!
Sweet potatoes to me are an amazing vegetable. Such deep flavor, such a pretty color and amazingly nutritious. For regular weeknight dinners, I bake and serve them as is; we sometimes add a sprinkle or salt and pepper, but they really don’t need much.
Certainly not marshmallows. Not to knock that classic combination, but I just don’t care for the sickly sweet casseroles.
But for the holidays, we want it to be special.
So I’ve added some bourbon to give it a little depth and a buttery pecan crust that brings a bit of salty and savory to cut the sweetness, plus a great crunch to add some texture.
I’ve reduced the butter and sugar you’d normally see in a sweet potato casserole, but this is plenty rich and plenty sweet. It feels indulgent and fancied up – perfect for holiday fare – but is much more balanced.
And can we talk about the aroma when the butter and brown sugar and bourbon hit the hot mashed sweet potatoes? You’ll feel a little light headed as you stir that delicious mixture. 😉 And then you’re gonna top it with the pecan streusel of sorts, creating the perfect little crust for the sweet potatoes. Holiday happiness in a dish.
Now, we all have heard that most of the alcohol evaporates and cooks off when cooking or baking. But I did a little digging — I’m a health and nutrition editor, after all — and some studies have shown that not ALL of the alcohol evaporates.
Depending on the preparation, cooking method and cooking time, up to half of the alcohol content can remain in the final dish. So if you’re concerned, keep this for just the adults at the table.
A few make-ahead notes on this bourbon sweet potato casserole:
- Make the casserole through step 4 below in the recipe instructions. Cover and refrigerate.
- When ready to continue, remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator to come to room temp while the oven heats up.
- Make the pecan topping and add it to the top of the casserole just before baking.
- Bake for a little bit longer, about 35 minutes.
Cause everyone should enjoy the holidays, cooks included 👍
Cheers to boozy sides — enjoy! And happy Thanksgiving!
** What’s your favorite way to eat sweet potatoes? **