Sweet Potato Crunch Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole is a cherished dish that brings back memories of family gatherings and the delicious scents of home-cooked holiday meals.
This Amish Sweet Potato Casserole with a Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel Topping features the deep, earthy flavors of sweet potatoes combined with the lovely crunch of a perfectly executed streusel, all without the extra sweetness of marshmallows.
Few side dishes embody the essence of fall quite like a sweet potato casserole crowned with a buttery pecan crumble topping. And, in my opinion, a Thanksgiving feast is never quite complete without this classic side dish.
Each ingredient in this Amish sweet potato casserole plays a specific role in creating the overall flavor, texture, and consistency of the dish.
- Sweet Potatoes (sometimes also known as yams) are the star of the dish providing the base flavor and texture. They bring a naturally sweet, earthy taste and a creamy consistency, giving the casserole its signature essence. They are also a great source of vitamins and fiber.
- Butter contributes richness and a luscious, creamy texture to the casserole. It enhances the flavor of the sweet potatoes and adds a wonderful, buttery richness that makes the dish truly indulgent.
- Sugar sweetens the casserole, complementing the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes. If preferred, you can omit this ingredient for a less sweet dish or substitute it with a bit of maple syrup.
- Eggs act as a binding agent. They help hold the ingredients together and provide structure. Additionally, they contribute to the casserole's moist and custard-like consistency.
- Milk adds moisture to the casserole, creating a creamy and slightly silky texture. It also helps the casserole set as it bakes. The fat in the milk contributes to the overall richness.
- Vanilla Extract infuses the dish with a warm and aromatic flavor. It complements the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and adds a pleasant depth of taste. It's a subtle flavor enhancer.
- Salt brings out the flavor and natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes while also preventing the dish from becoming overly sweet. It adds depth and complexity to the flavor profile.
These ingredients work together harmoniously to create a sweet potato casserole with a well-balanced, rich, and comforting taste. The combination of sweet, creamy, and slightly savory elements makes it a beloved side dish, especially for the holidays and special occasions.
Brown Sugar Topping for Sweet Potato Casserole
The streusel topping for sweet potato casserole adds a delightful layer of flavor and texture to the dish.
- Butter in the streusel serves as the primary source of fat and moisture. As it melts during baking, it creates a rich, buttery flavor and a crumbly, slightly crispy texture. It also aids in browning and caramelization, enhancing the visual appeal of the topping.
- Brown Sugar is a key sweetener in the streusel. It provides a deep, caramel-like sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the sweet potatoes. As the casserole bakes, the brown sugar melts and forms a slightly crunchy, sweet crust on the top. You can cut back on the amount of sugar if preferred.
- Pecans contribute a nutty, buttery flavor and a pleasant crunch to the streusel. They add a contrasting texture to the creamy sweet potato base, creating a delightful combination of smooth and crunchy. Pecans also bring a hint of earthiness and richness to the topping. (In case of allergies: For a nut-free sweet potato casserole, consider substituting the pecans with cornflakes or broken pretzels.)
- Flour is the binding agent in the streusel. It combines with the melted butter and brown sugar to create small, crumbly pieces. This texture adds a delightful contrast to the smooth sweet potato filling, creating a satisfying bite. The flour also helps the streusel maintain its structure as it bakes.
These streusel ingredients come together to form a delightful mix of sweetness, nuttiness, and buttery richness that enhances the overall flavor and texture of the sweet potato casserole. The crispy streusel topping perfectly matches the creamy and sweet sweet potato filling, resulting in a satisfying and enjoyable dish.
Cooking the Sweet Potatoes
There are at least three options for preparing your sweet potatoes.
- Cook whole potatoes on the stovetop - Rinse the sweet potatoes and place them into a large cooking pot. Add water to almost cover the potatoes and cover with the lid. Bring it to a boil and cook until the sweet potatoes are soft (easily poked through with a fork). Depending on the size of the potatoes, it may take at least 30 minutes. Once the potatoes are soft, drain the water and cool enough to handle. Then using a knife, easily remove the peels and mash.
- Cook peeled and cut potatoes on the stovetop - Peel and cube the sweet potatoes. Add them to a large cooking pot, almost covered with water, and cook until soft. Drain the water and mash.
- Roast in the oven - Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the sweet potatoes on the foil and pierce the tops with a fork or knife. Gently cover them with another piece of foil. Roast until they become very tender, which may take about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the top foil, and allow them to cool until they are manageable. Peel the sweet potatoes and mash.
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Could I Prepare This Dish in Advance?
Absolutely, sweet potato soufflé is an excellent option for a make-ahead side dish, whether you're planning for a casual weeknight dinner or a festive holiday feast. Here are a few tips for preparing it in advance:
- Prepare the mashed sweet potato mixture and pour it into your baking dish.
- Allow the dish to cool completely, then wrap it securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.
- Prepare the brown sugar topping and place it into an airtight container or bag.
- When you're ready to bake it, remove the baking dish from the fridge, and evenly distribute the streusel topping over the filling.
- Follow the cooking instructions, adding a few extra minutes to ensure the dish is fully baked through.
Can I Use Canned Sweet Potatoes (Yams)?
You could use canned sweet potatoes for a quick and easy dish. However, for the best flavor, I recommend using fresh sweet potatoes.
Growing and Storing Sweet Potatoes
Growing sweet potatoes is simple! You can buy a plant at your local greenhouse, plant it in the soil, and watch it spread all over your garden with vines.
Or, try this: Put the bottom half of a sweet potato in a jar of water, wait for plants to sprout, cut them, place the cuttings in water, and watch roots grow. Then, plant them in your garden. (If choosing this option, you'll need to get it started early - at least by March.)
Lastly, you can just bury a sweet potato in your garden. It takes some time for plants to appear, but it's an easy way to grow them.
In the fall, dig the sweet potatoes with a garden shovel, preferably when the soil is dry. Individually wrap each dry sweet potato in a piece of newspaper, place them into a cardboard box, and store them in a cool, dry place.
Sweet potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to keep over winter. In fact, the sweet potatoes I used for making this casserole today were still from the crop I harvested last year. They were the last remaining ones and were starting to sprout a bit, but they were still perfectly fine to use a year later.
Sweet Potato Side Dish for Thanksgiving Dinner
Amish wedding season is from October to December in many communities. So some of the Amish will be attending a wedding on Thanksgiving Day, but many of them will also be enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with family.
I know there are many different traditions in Amish homes, as well as the rest of American homes.
Although, I believe it's safe to say that turkey and stuffing are probably found at the majority of family dinner tables across our nation on Thanksgiving Day. Growing up Amish in Lancaster County, we always had what we called "Roasht" -turkey and stuffing mixed together.
There may be a lot of variation in side dishes, although mashed potatoes and cranberry salad are common ones for many of us. And at our house, Amish sweet potato casserole is another must-have side dish with our family Thanksgiving dinner.
I hope you enjoy this great recipe for easy sweet potato casserole with streusel topping. It's the best sweet potato casserole recipe ever and a family favorite. If you get to try it, I would love it if you left a comment and star rating below.
Amish Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe With Pecan Streusel (No Marshmallows)
- 3 - 4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
- 2 Tablespoons butter (softened)
- 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 - 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Place sweet potatoes into a large cooking pot (3-5 potatoes - depending on their size). Cover with water and cook until the potatoes are soft. Peel and mash. (If preferred, the sweet potatoes can be placed on a baking sheet and baked in the oven until soft.)3 - 4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
- Add the butter to the mashed potatoes and mix. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy.2 Tablespoons butter (softened), 1/4 cup sugar (optional), 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, 1/2 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pour the potato mixture into a greased 9" baking dish. Evenly spread the streusel mixture over the top.
- Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until heated through and the topping is golden brown.
- Mix the brown sugar, flour, and pecans. Stir in the melted butter and mix well.3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 - 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 3 Tablespoons butter, melted