Whipped Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole – crunchy pecan topped sweet potatoes made deliciously light by sweetening with bananas. Make ahead and freezer friendly too!
Sweet Potato Casserole is one of those traditional dishes that most people love, but have lots of opinions about how it’s made. Whatever the recipe, the key is that the sweet potato and topping flavors can really shine through.
Growing up, my Dad started his southern recipe sweet potato casserole from canned yams, and served it with melted mini-marshmallows on top. Honestly, it was one my favorite parts of the meal. Who needs turkey when you can have dessert on your dinner plate, right?
Now that I’m a little older (hmm….) and after living in the South for years, I discovered that roasted sweet potatoes and bananas, with a pecan topping, are my favorite way to make this classic holiday dish. I admit, no one I know uses bananas in their casserole…they really don’t know what they’re missing!
HOW TO MAKE SWEET POTATO PECAN CASSEROLE
This casserole is totally simple to make. You should a hand or stand mixer to get the sweet potato mixture as light and fluffy as possible, but if you want a work out, use a wooden spoon!
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. After washing and drying, prick the potatoes all over with a fork, place on a foil covered rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 40 – 55 minutes. Test the potatoes by squeezing them gently with your hand. If they are starting to soften move on to the bananas.
- Add the bananas to the pan with the potatoes and continue to roast both, until the bananas are brown, about 10 – 15 minutes. They may begin to “leak” juice. This is normal and the bananas are done at this point. Remove from oven but leave the oven on.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, the skin should peel right off. If not, cut open the potatoes and scoop the flesh out into a large bowl. Peel the bananas over the bowl and let the flesh and juice drop in. Mix with a spoon.
- Add half the butter, honey and salt to the bowl and beat until light and fluffy and the butter is melted.
- Scrape into a baking dish and smooth the top. Be sure the dish is deep enough that there is about an inch at the top for the topping
- In a medium bowl, add the pecans, flour, brown sugar and remaining butter. Mix up with your fingers, working the butter into the flour and sugar until it resembles cookie dough. Drop by spoon or fingerfuls onto the sweet potato mixture, covering the top as much as possible.
- Bake in 400 degree oven, on a foil covered baking sheet, for about 20 minutes, until the topping has spread and golden brown.
ARE SWEET POTATOES GOOD FOR YOU?
This root veggies gets two thumbs up from most nutritionists. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins C and A, are anti-inflammatory and are anti-oxidant powerhouses!
Talk about good for you…one cup of sweet potatoes provides almost half of our vitamin C needs, and 400% of what we need for vitamin A! Sweet potatoes are also a basic food if you are following an anti-inflammatory diet. Sweet potatoes contain natural compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammation at the cellular level. As for their anti-oxidant properties, both vitamin A and C are natural anti-oxidants, while the pigment that gives sweet potatoes their glorious color is also a potent anti-oxidant.
Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Prick the potatoes with a fork several times, and place on roasting pan. Roast for 40 – 55 minutes or until starting to soften.
- Place the bananas on the pan with the potatoes and continue roasting 10 – 15 minutes, until the bananas are dark brown and the potatoes are very soft. Remove the pan from the oven, but leave the oven turned on.
- When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Peel the bananas over the bowl and add them to the sweet potatoes. Bananas will be very soft and juicy inside the peel.
- Add 1 stick of butter to the bowl, as well as the honey and salt. Beat with a spoon until the mixture is combined and fluffy. Spoon into an oven-proof dish and smooth the top.
- In another bowl, add the remaining butter, brown sugar, flour and pecans. Rub ingredients together with fingers until combined. Mixture will have consistency of cookie dough. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time if the topping mixture is too sticky. Drop spoonfuls evenly onto the sweet potato mixture, covering the top. The butter/sugar mixture will spread as it bakes.
- Place dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the topping is golden.
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