Brown Butter Sweet Potato Casserole

with crunchy pecan streusel

Only a week and a half until Thanksgiving, fools! I’m so excited. I’ve got my spreadsheet ready to go, and now I just have to decide where I am buying all of my final ingredients. I might mix it up this year. Daring, right? I’ve been slammed at work finishing up our Thanksgiving Guide, which is awesome and something you should all check out – I took most of the photos, so I hope you’ll at least peruse a few recipes before sticking with your tried and true favorites. I won’t be mad – I get it. But I promise we’ve got some pretty delicious things going on over there, like Roasted Carrots with Pistachios and Apple Cider Gastrique and Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Mash. Expand your horizons, folks. Speaking of sweet potatoes, what do we have here? It looks like I went all 1950s on you for this one, and honestly, I’m really happy about it. Sweet potato casserole was never something we had on Thanksgiving when I was a kid, and I get it. It’s got brown sugar and marshmallows in it – it’s purely indulgent, not something that you generally think of as a vegetable side dish. But guess what? It’s fun! It’s really, really fun. Everyone loves marshmallows, and while they probably shouldn’t be added to sweet potatoes, in this instance, it just works. I upped the ante just a bit here by browning my butter before adding it to my sweet potatoes, for just a bit of depth of flavor, and you can tell…but then I went and added a crunchy pecan streusel and lots of marshmallows on top, solidifying my place at the head of the don’t-eat-this-every-day table. But it’s Thanksgiving, it’s a special occasion, so I say go for it. It’s beyond delicious and it belongs on your holiday table. Oh, and side note: feel free to take the pecans out entirely if you’re worried about any allergies. This casserole is just as good with or without them.

brown butter sweet potato casseroleA variety of pies, all made by me except for the pepperoni pie, which was made by Mission Chinese.

Other than readying myself for Thanksgiving, work has been busy, on top of whatever else I find myself committed to. Kramer and I are struggling to push through these last few weeks before the holidays, when things will hopefully slow down a bit as everyone goes on vacation or closes up shop for the year. I can’t wait. I feel as though I have been working 24/7 for weeks now, either for actual work or on the blog. I’m ready for a breather, though I guess sometimes, when I do get a break, I find myself trying to start a new project or something. What’s wrong with me? I did a good job of just chilling on Saturday, watching reruns of New Girl and just relaxing, but then on Sunday, I cooked and photographed three things, did a few chores, and stayed up too late watching The Leftovers. The cycle continues. How do you guys manage stress? Teach me your secrets. Until then, I’ll be over here, shoveling sweet potato casserole into my face.

brown butter sweet potato casserolebrown butter sweet potato casseroleGet ready to get real 1955 up in here.

brown butter sweet potato casseroleBoil your sweet potatoes until tender.

brown butter sweet potato casseroleThen brown your butter. See how browned that stuff is? That’s what you want – but not burned! It will smell nutty, almost caramel-y, when ready.

brown butter sweet potato casseroleAdd your browned butter to your sweet potatoes, along with salt and cinnamon, and add to your 8×10-inch dish. Thanks, Matt, for forgetting your dish at my house, because I got to use it again. I promise, I will wash it.

brown butter sweet potato casseroleMake your streusel.

brown butter sweet potato casseroleAdd your streusel and your marshmallows to your casserole and bake until the marshmallows are nice and golden.

brown butter sweet potato casseroleThis is some seriously rich deliciousness.

brown butter sweet potato casserolebrown butter sweet potato casserole

Brown Butter Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel and Marshmallows
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12 servings
A super classic sweet potato casserole made with brown butter, crunchy pecan streusel and, of course, gooey marshmallows
For the Sweet Potatoes:
  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Crunchy Streusel Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 14-ounce bag mini-marshmallows
  1. Cube your sweet potatoes and add them to a large pot. Fill with cold water, then place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Drain the water from the pot and transfer the sweet potatoes to a mixer, if you have one, and use the whisk attachment to beat until smooth. If you do not have a mixer, you can simply use a potato masher or some good old fashioned elbow grease to mash the sweet potatoes until smooth.
  2. While the sweet potatoes cook, brown your butter. Place your butter in a small pot and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter turns an amber color and smells aromatic and nutty, about 10 minutes or so. Again, be careful and watch your butter so it doesn't burn - the difference between browned butter and burned butter can be only a few minutes (I have learned this the hard way). Once browned, add the butter to the pureed sweet potatoes, along with the1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Mix to combine until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Spread your sweet potatoes into a small casserole dish - I used an 8x10-inch dish, so anything a bit smaller than a 9x13-inch dish would work - a deep pie dish, for example, would also work well. Set aside and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. To make your topping, melt your butter in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, then add in your brown sugar and flour. Use a fork to mix everything together, then add in the pecans, salt, and cinnamon, and use your hands to scrunch everything together until a streusel forms. Set aside.
  5. To assemble, add your sweet potatoes to your dish, then top with about half of your streusel, followed by as many marshmallows as will fix in your dish (I used almost the whole bag), then the rest of your streusel. Pat everything down well into your dish, then bake for 20-30 minutes, until the marshmallows are nice and golden, but not burned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so before serving, though this is great piping hot or at room temperature.


6 Responses

  1. My aunt always made sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving, and it was a family favorite! I also love “The Leftovers” – this last episode has me soooo eager for next week’s!

  2. […] might be switching up my usual side this week to make some brown butter sweet potato casserole. oh my […]

  3. Kris says:

    think you could make this on Wednesday to serve on Thursday? Just put the marshmallows on on Thursday and warm/toast marshmallows?

  4. […] says Amurrica like Sweet Potato Casserole – I made this one with brown […]

  5. Melanie Ferguson says:

    These were the best sweet potatoes ever!!

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