Make this easy sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel topping for your holiday table! It's a silky sweet potato bake with vanilla, bourbon, and sweet spices topped in crunchy brown sugar pecan goodness. Want to learn how to make roasted sweet potato casserole from scratch? Let's get into it!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Classic Southern Flavor - Sweet potato casserole is a sweet baked side dish or dessert typically served at holiday tables, especially in the American south. Depending on where you live and how you make it, it might be called sweet potato pone or soufflé. This recipe uses my late grandmother's teachings, Kentucky bourbon, and Texas pecans for rich and soulful flavor.
Easy to Make - There are essentially three major steps to this recipe. Roast the sweet potatoes, mix up the filling and pecan crumble topping, then bake. Dassit! Even if you're a holiday dinner beginner, you can pull off this impressive dish.
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What You'll Need for this Recipe
This bourbon sweet potato casserole is not easy only to make, it calls for really simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand during the holiday season.
Sweet Potatoes - I recommend using Jewel or Garnet variety sweet potatoes for the best taste and texture.
Bourbon - We aren't using nearly enough alcohol in this recipe to cause intoxication but the quality matters so use a bourbon whiskey you'd enjoy sipping in a cocktail. If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can simply omit it.
Spices - Cinnamon and nutmeg add warming sweetness to the sweet potato casserole filling that play perfectly with the vanilla extract, bourbon, and other flavors that perfectly set everything off.
Check out the recipe card below for full ingredients list, measurements, nutrition facts, and step-by-step instructions!
Substitutions & Variations
Brown Sugar - Use dark or light brown sugar in both the filling and the streusel for caramelized flavor and tender texture. You can also go half and half with granulated sugar or even coconut sugar.
Topping - I love the praline flavor of the dutch crust style topping in this sweet potato casserole recipe but you can totally customize to your taste. Other toppings include marshmallows, bacon, streusel without nuts, and plain old pecans.
How to Make Bourbon Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole
Step One: Prick the sweet potatoes all over and place in the oven to roast until the skin is wrinkled and the flesh is fork tender.
Step Two: Peel and break down the sweet potatoes into a smooth puree. You can use a mixer, blender or food processor for this step.
Pro Tip #1: Place a sheet pan beneath the roasting sweet potatoes to catch any liquid drips.
Pro Tip #2: Can I mash sweet potatoes by hand? Yes, but if you want silky smooth sweet potato casserole with no strings, I recommend using a food processor to get the mashed sweet potato texture just right. I use the same technique to make the best bourbon sweet potato pie!
Step Three: Add the remaining sweet potato filling ingredients to the food processor and pulse until a uniform custard forms.
Step Four: Transfer the filling batter into a baking dish and spread so that the top is even.
Pro Tip #3: You can make the custard filling up to two days ahead of time and store in the fridge.
Step Five: Combine the pecan streusel topping ingredients until a coarse, sandy looking meal forms.
Step Six: Spoon the pecan topping over top of the sweet potato filling and gently press it into the filling to help it stick while baking.
Pro Tip #4: A ceramic oval casserole dish is the perfect vessel for both baking and serving sweet potato pecan casserole because it presents beautifully.
Step Seven: Place into the oven and bake until the middle of the filling is firm and the nut crumble topping is golden brown and crisp.
Pro Tip #5: Let the casserole set for about 45 minutes before serving so that the filling will hold together.
Serve this sweet side dish with your Thanksgiving main dish alongside brown butter mac & cheese and crispy maple sprouts. Don't forget the red velvet layer cake for dessert and I must recommend you start with a Thanksgiving salad so y'all don't wind up "all bound up," as the old folks say!
Frequently Asked Questions
Texture. Sweet potato casserole has a thicker, heavier texture whereas a soufflé is lighter and fluffier on the inside.
You can cut sweet potatoes into smaller pieces to roast them faster. Just note that whole roasted sweet potatoes are generally sweeter since the skin kind of holds in the flavor.
Yes, you can use canned sweet potatoes just don't cook them and be sure to reduce the amount of brown sugar and butter by about half since sweet potatoes from a can are already sweetened and moist.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to five days.
Yes! Double wrap baked sweet potato casserole (at room temperature) then freeze for up to three months.
More Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
I hope you enjoy my southern style sweet potato casserole at home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or really any dinner soon and very soon. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this recipe for later and follow me over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel Topping
- 1 Food Processor
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 mixing spoon
- 1 baking dish Roughly 2.25 qt capacity (like a medium-sized casserole dish or a square baking dish)
Bourbon Spiced Sweet Potato Filling
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons butter melted
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Pecan Streusel Topping
- 1 ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a fork or knife, pierce sweet potatoes several times then place in oven to roast for about 45 minutes or until tender. Carefully remove sweet potatoes from oven and place in fridge until cool enough to handle (about 20 minutes). Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.
- Meanwhile, make pecan streusel topping. Combine chopped pecans, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter in a bowl and stir by hand until a kind of crumbly paste forms. Set aside.
- Remove skin from sweet potatoes and place into bowl of food processor. Add brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla extract, melted butter, heavy cream, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt then process on medium speed until smooth. It may be necessary to pause and scrape down the sides of the bowl to get the mixture completely smooth.
- Spread mixture into baking dish. Use a spoon or rubber spatula to smooth out the top of the sweet potato mixture.
- Spoon pecan streusel over top and gently press it into the sweet potato mixture. Place dish into oven and bake for about 1 hour or until streusel topping is firm and golden brown.
- Allow sweet potato casserole to cool and set for about 45 minutes before serving.