A Lighter Spin on Sweet Potato Casserole

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Marshmallows with dinner is definitely an idea we can get behind. But when it comes to Thanksgiving, a little moderation makes sense. After all, we have save room for pie.

This lightened-up take on a classic sweet potato casserole is a slightly healthier, and still just as delicious as you want it to be. Since I dialed down the sugar, the natural flavor of the sweet potatoes really shines.

What you need to know

  • My method calls for boiling the sweet potatoes, but you can steam or even microwave 'em instead if you like. Just make sure they're tender (and peeled!) before you proceed with the recipe.
  • If you want to use canned sweet potatoes (or yams), go for it. Just pick the ones packed in the lightest syrup you can find and drain, rinse and pat dry before proceeding.
  • If you're really lucky, you might find canned sweet potato purée, in which case you can shortcut right into the middle of the recipe.
  • What's up with the egg? It gives the casserole a slightly firmer texture. But tastes vary on this... you can skip it with no serious consequences if you like.
  • The marshmallows and nuts are totally up to you. If you really want to ease up on sugar, double up on nuts and skip the mallows entirely. If you want to heap on a thick, gooey layer of marshmallow goodness, by all means indulge.

Lighter sweet potato casserole

Yield: Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2½ lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of pepper
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup mini marshmallows (optional)

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Place the sweet potatoes a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.

Step 2

Mash sweet potatoes with a potato masher. In a separate small bowl, whisk together sugar, molasses, salt, spices, milk and egg. Add to mashed sweet potato and stir to combine.

Step 3

Transfer mixture to a casserole dish or pie plate and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top.

Step 4

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the casserole is very hot throughout and the outer edges are beginning to color. Sprinkle on marshmallows if desired and cook for another few minutes until the marshmallows are softened and slightly browned.

Cool slightly before serving. 

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