sweet potato casserole

Amys Gluten Free Pantry

There is no other meal I can think of, where we hold tighter to our sacro­sanct tra­di­tions than Thanks­giv­ing. For every per­son who par­takes, I find there are one or two dishes that must be on the table for the meal to feel and taste like this uniquely Amer­i­can hol­i­day. And it doesn’t stop there, but extends to tech­nique. Stuff­ing inside the bird or out. Jel­lied cran­berry rel­ish or cran­berry sauce. Sweet pota­toes or yams. But maybe the one that is most impor­tant to palates large and small is marsh­mal­low vs. streusel. As a top­per for Sweet Potato Casse­role, that is. For my friend San­dra who moved to this coun­try as a 9 year old child, Thanks­giv­ing isn’t Thanks­giv­ing if not for ooz­ing, gooey marshmallows.

I, on the other hand, am a devo­tee of streusel. I’ve tested both for this recipe and for me, the hands down win­ner was streusel. Hap­pily, this recipe can be adopted for either. I find the streusel has more depth of fla­vor and less fluff. I have a hard time with marsh­mal­lows, the food prod­uct that brightly boasts “Nat­u­rally Fat-Free” on its pack­age. I can’t seem to qual­ify them into any par­tic­u­lar food group, which leaves me won­der­ing if they really ARE part of any food group. But Thanks­giv­ing is once a year, and typ­i­cally, so are cook­outs where you can press one onto a skewer and sand­wich it between gra­ham crack­ers and choco­late. I am not about mak­ing my kids resent­ful sneak­ers of food, so I choose my bat­tles and every so often, this infre­quent vis­i­tor to my pantry wins a round.

A note about using marsh­mal­lows. I tested this recipe using the mini marsh­mal­lows, but San­dra swears by the stan­dard sized ones, load­ing her casse­role pan full so that there is no hint of actual yam below. She also wisely bakes the casse­role on a foil lined cookie sheet to catch the goo.

You can use either yams or sweet pota­toes for this quin­tes­sen­tially Thanks­giv­ing dish. But whether it’s marsh­mal­lows or streusel, remem­ber that a bit of dessert mas­querad­ing as a side dish is always a good idea.

Prep time: 20 min­utes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 8–10 serv­ings
Spe­cial equip­ment: 8×8 or 9×9 casse­role dish

8 c. skinned yams or sweet pota­toes (3–4 large), cut into 1″ cubes
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 T but­ter or but­ter sub­sti­tute
3 T agave or pure maple syrup or brown sugar - all three work great
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. rice flour

1/3 c. melted but­ter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 


about 2 c. mini or stan­dard sized marshmallows*

  1. Set oven to 350.
  2. Skin yams, cut­ting out any dark spots. Cut into 1″ cubes and add to salted water, set to boil. Reduce and sim­mer until fork ten­der, about 15 minutes.
  3. Mash (by hand) or with the whisk attach­ment of a stand mixer, mix yams with eggs, but­ter, agave, salt, vanilla and 1/2 tsp. cin­na­mon for about 45 sec­onds, until smooth. Don’t worry about a few lumps.
  4. Spread mix­ture into the casse­role pan, smooth­ing the top. Mix pecans, brown sugar, rice flour and melted but­ter together until thor­oughly com­bined. Sprin­kle evenly on top of yams (or sub­sti­tute marsh­mal­lows or a com­bi­na­tion of both) and bake for 15–20 min­utes. If using a 9×9 casse­role pan, bake a few min­utes less.

Posted in holidays + special events, sides + vegetables | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

3 Responses to sweet potato casserole

  1. Carrie yo sister says:

    Hi Am!
    I am SO mak­ing this casse­role for Thanks­giv­ing. Sue and T are com­ing so I plan to make quinoa salad of Leigh’s and some hum­mus. Also will cook Sue some apples sep­a­rate from the pie crust. Love you!

  2. Carrie Moore says:

    This casse­role will now be a STAPLE in our home for Thanks­giv­ing.
    It was by far the best sweet potato casse­role I have yet to make, and I’ve made many. The addi­tion of the egg in the casse­role gives it a light tex­ture. The fla­vor was amaz­ing!!! A total hit for every­one.
    Thank you!!!!

  3. Pingback: Gluten Free Thanksgiving Part 2: Simple Switches to Transform Those Gluten-Filled Favs | Udi’s® Gluten Free Bread

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