As a kid, I looked forward to Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house for many reasons, but her sweet potato casserole was a special draw. It was a traditional dish of pureed, sugary-sweet potatoes topped with a generous layer of packaged mini marshmallows — in other words, a sanctioned opportunity to eat dessert for dinner. Followed by more dessert, of course.
It’s been years since I’ve tasted that casserole, but I have loved seeing how contemporary chefs and cookbooks are updating the classic (like Chef James Tracey’s sweet potato puree above). If you’re ready to try a fresh spin on this Thanksgiving side dish, consider these original recipes.
|Sweet Potato Purée with Caramelized Marshmallow|
Chef James Tracey takes traditional sweet potato casserole in a sophisticated direction in this recipe, substituting homemade meringue for the marshmallows. The meringue turns toasty brown on top, complementing the silky sweet potatoes.
|Sweet Potato Mash|
This delicious dish comes from the Williams-Sonoma test kitchen, and it’s packed with autumn flavors. Cinnamon and nutmeg lend a spiced note to sweet potatoes, topped with a maple-pecan drizzle for a sweet crunch.
|Sweet Potato Gratin with Pecans|
Gratins make elegant side dishes for a special occasion, elevating the sweet potatoes to a new level. Prosciutto and crème fraiche combine with sweet potatoes in this dish for a perfect sweet-salty balance.
|Souffléed Sweet Potatoes|
Sweet potatoes take on a light and fluffy consistency in this top-rated recipe. Two kinds of cheeses lend a savory flavor, becoming crispy on top when baked.
|Herbed Sweet Potatoes with Feta|
Keep it simple and skip the puree with this customer favorite — no sweet tooth required. Seasoned sweet potatoes are sliced and layered in a baking dish, then baked with cheese, nuts and herbs.
About the author: Olivia Terenzio grew up in Mississippi, where she cultivated a love of sweet potatoes, crawfish and cloth napkins at a young age. A passion for sharing food with friends and family led her into the kitchen and later to culinary school, where she learned how to roast a chicken and decorate a cake like a pro. As a Williams-Sonoma blog editor, she’s now lucky enough to be talking, writing and thinking about food all day.