Friday, March 25, 2011

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

It's raining in Southern California. And unlike transplants from other parts of the country, I'm not complaining. We have seasons here, people. And I like them. So in honor of the gloriously cozy weekend I am about to spend staring out at the stormy San Gabriels, I'm making comfort food.

The worst thing about this sweet potato casserole is that everyone thinks they already know what it's going to taste like. You might be thinking "I don't like sweet potatoes like that," and remembering something your Aunt Susan brings to Thanksgiving that's syrupy and overly sweet. And while it's true that this recipe comes directly from my grandmother's holiday traditions in South Carolina, I'm not exaggerating when I say this will change your mind.

It's a casserole. And beside some roast chicken and vegetables, it totally works as a side. But it's also kind of like pudding, and I like it best in a bowl. For breakfast. Or dessert.

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
  • 6-8 sweet potatoes (or garnet yams*)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 can orange juice concentrate, slightly defrosted
  • package mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Poke a few holes in your potatoes with a fork, place on baking sheet and cook until very tender and oozing slightly, about 2 hours.

When the potatoes have cooled enough to be handled, scoop out the insides and blend with your machine of choice (I like to use an immersion blender, but a food processor of any kind will do). Add butter and orange juice and blend until very smooth, light, and almost fluffy.

Pour into baking dish and reheat in oven (still at 350 degrees) for about 30 minutes, until warmed through.

Cover the top with marshmallows and place dish under broiler for about 10 seconds. Keep your eyes on them the whole time, rotating if needed until tops of marshmallows are just browned.

*There seems to be a lot of confusion for people about what a sweet potato actually is. Basically, there's a white kind and an orange kind. We want the orange ones. US grocery stores tend to label the orange variety "yams" to help you differentiate. Read more here.


  1. eating yams will make keep you young and pretty way past your due date. Full o vits and mins they are as they little suns from the underworld

  2. "Way past your due date," hahahahaha. Beta -carotene forever!