I always used to help my grandma make sweet potato casserole when I was a kid. There were like a kajillion steps involved in her recipe.
Peeling the sweet potatoes, cooking the sweet potatoes, chopping them up, topping them with things, cooking the sweet potato casserole again for some reason that I never totally understood. How? Why?
I swear, I think chefs used to have a notion that recipes were somehow more appealing and fancy-like if they added frivolous steps. I will have none of that with MY Thanksgiving experiences, which I've already turned on their head by opting instead for Friendsgiving – and lightening up this classic recipe with our sponsor Truvia sweetener.
That's right, Thanksgiving has been totally modernized in more ways than one. Nowadays, a lot of people live further from family and decide to save their travel time up for the Christmas season. Or they just don't want to deal with all that sweet potato casserole hubub, and “limited vacation time” is a handy excuse.
In any case, I'm not here to judge – only to provide helpful cooking tips that are totally friend-friendly for however you prefer to celebrate the season. Translation: easily sharable bites with fewer dishes for everyone involved.
That's one of the big selling points of this awesomely simply sweet potato casserole, which tosses the big glass dish full of scoopable mash in favor of neat little piles of potatoes.
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, ends trimmed off, sliced thin Array
- 2/3 cup butter, softened Array
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract Array
- 1/8 tsp salt Array
- 4 tsp Truvia Brown Sugar Blend Array
- 3 Tbsp pecans, chopped Array
- Use 1 Tbsp of butter to grease the pockets of the muffin tin.
- Combine remaining butter with vanilla, salt, Truvia Brown Sugar Blend and pecans.
- Layer sliced sweet potatoes in muffin tin, spreading a small amount of butter mixture between each layer.
- Top each sweet potato mound with a generous amount of butter mixture.
- If your sweet potato mounds are too tall for your cup and/or are spilling over, skewer them with toothpicks to keep them in place while cooking.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Serve warm.
I went ahead and cut the sugar in this recipe by using Truvia, just like I did with our chia pudding. For this recipe I used the Truvia Brown Sugar Blend instead of traditional brown sugar. It’s a blend of stevia sweetener and brown sugar with 75% fewer calories per serving than regular brown sugar.
I don't melt the butter all the way – just get it nice and soft – so that it smooshes together into the pecans, vanilla and Truvia. Yes, smoosh. It's a very technical term. Slather it in between each potato slice layer like you're making garlic bread. When you cook this up, that butter oozes through the sweet potatoes as they soften, percolating all the tasty tasty flavor on through the potato. When you take a bite, I swear it tastes exactly like sweet potato casserole. Better, even, since the crunchy nuts are dispersed throughout so you don't get that big impactful bit of nut followed by that disappointing mushy bite at the bottom that's nothing but potato. Better sweet potato casserole flavor, less work. That's what it's all about.
This does take a bit more time in the initial compilation than traditional sweet potato casserole, but I like to pass off the construction to the kiddos. Get the sweet potatoes sliced as thin as you can, but don't go nuts about it. Mine are always totally uneven and my sweet potato casserole stacks still turn out fantastic no matter how lumpy and misshapen my little mounds wind up being. Get them sliced, mix up the butter concoction and pass it off to the kids to put together. It's a great way to keep them busy, along with Thanksgiving printables and our handprint turkey craft.
I've made this recipe without the use of toothpicks, but the sweet potatoes I got this time were larger than usual and they were kind of spilling over. Toothpicks stuck straight down the middle of the sweet potato casserole stacks during cooking helped keep them upright, and actually made them easier to remove from the pan in one piece.
Have you ever made sweet potato casserole? How do you feel about making it a little lighter with Truvia?