Today, sweet potatoes and marshmallows are an iconic American couple. But if you’re hungry for something different this Thanksgiving, we have a collection of the best sweet potato casserole recipes for every palate.
And yes, that includes a classic mini marshmallow-topped version for traditionalists.
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Have you ever wondered how those fluffy puffs of sugar found their way to the dinner table in the first place? As it turns out, this now common combo may be the result of one of the first native advertising campaigns in American history. A 2011 article in Saveur has the scoop. Apparently, the first documented recipe that combined these two ingredients appeared in a 1917 pamphlet that was financed by—you guessed it—a marshmallow company.
So why let a centuries-old advertising ploy tell you how you make your next sweet potato casserole? Of course it’s undeniably true that marshmallows and pecan streusel (another go-to topping) are traditional and tasty ways to dress up this Thanksgiving staple. But they’re by no means the only foodstuffs that go hand in hand with the starchy treat. Why not try surprising and delighting your guests by adding fruit, using different kinds of nuts, or taking things in a savory direction?
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Mix It Up With Fruits and Roots
From tropical to tart, fruits can bring their own natural sweetness to your next casserole.
All you’ll need is one banana to add a hint of fruitiness. Get the Sweet Potatoes with Banana and Honey recipe.
Not only do the juicy, crunchy, bright red seeds taste great, they look festive to boot. Meanwhile a dash of orange juice and zest lends a citrusy brightness to the flavor profile. Get the Pomegranate Sweet Potato Casserole recipe. (And try a Cranberry Sweet Potato Casserole recipe that also includes pomegranate seeds.)
A whole medium pineapple complements the sweetness of the potatoes in a fresh and flavorful way. Get the Sweet Potato Casserole with Pineapple and Pecans recipe.
Beyond the flavor factor, the coconut topping caramelizes in the oven to create a crunchy golden brown crust over the top of the dish. Get the Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.
Add a tablespoon of crystallized ginger into an otherwise standard pecan streusel for a fun zing! Get the Ginger Maple Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.
Pecans aren’t the only option!
When it comes to a nutty crust, pistachios lend more saltiness than the traditional pecan approach. Get the Sweet Potato Casserole with Pistachio Crust recipe.
A topping of hazelnut and oats with sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and butter delivers an aromatic and autumnal twist on the standard streusel. Get the Sweet Potato Casserole with Hazelnut Streusel recipe.
This sliced sweet potato casserole brings in butter, orange zest, maple syrup, and a bit of cinnamon, plus a double layer of crunchy walnuts and brown sugar. Get our Sweet Potatoes Anna recipe.
This recipe reduces the sugar factor by mashing the sweet potatoes with orange juice instead of milk or cream. Additionally, cashews tossed with Madras curry powder give this variation a spicy twist. Get the Sweet Potato Casserole with Curried Cashews recipe.
Savory Is the New Sweet
It’s no secret that some people find this Thanksgiving essential far too sugary. Here are a few adjustments you can make to cater to palates that prefer savory over sweet.
This chunky sweet potato casserole is inspired by the flavors and textures of Japanese tempura; with a savory glaze of olive oil, mirin, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic and a crisp top layer of panko (plus the allium bite of sliced scallions), this is a delicious change of pace perfect for an international Thanksgiving table. Get our Tempura-Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Panko recipe.
While this recipe technically lives in the salty and sweet borderlands (hello, caramel), we threw it to the savory category thanks to the ¾ cup of crunchy crushed pretzels. Get the Salted Caramel Pretzel Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.
This recipe calls for layering sliced sweet potatoes with cheese, cream, garlic, and thyme, and while we make them in muffin pans for individual serving stacks, you can do it in a casserole dish to serve family style (and make skeptics see sweet potato casserole in a new light). Get our Scalloped Sweet Potatoes recipe.
If bacon, leeks, and two types of cheese can’t get the haters on board, we’re not sure what will! Get the Stuffed Apple and Bacon Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.
For more tips, tricks, hacks, and recipes, see our Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving.