Maple & Sage Sweet Potato Casserole

Alright people, listen up. I know that last week I wrote about a “lower calorie” option for Thanksgiving, but today I’m not messing around. This is a real butter, full-fat, you-only-eat-once-a-year kind of recipe. Skip breakfast, spend an extra hour at the gym, whatever you need to do, cause this one is worth it. I made this casserole for my first Thanksgiving while writing for A Cozy Kitchen, and I’m still in love with it. It has all the comfort of your standard sweet potato casserole, with the added layer of sage that really sings with each and every bite. This is undoubtedly a dish that my kids are going to be eating each year at our holiday meals.

However, I must be honest and admit that every year Chase and I have a debate on one aspect of this recipe. The potato filling is a done deal. Do not tweak, do not second-guess the proportions, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Got it? Now, when it comes to the topping, I prefer a simple mixture of nuts tossed with maple syrup and butter, but Chase is always pushing me for marshmallows. I KNOW, he’s one of those.  I calmly tell him that the person who makes the dish gets to make the final decision, and I refuse to give up control of this dish. Perhaps one year he’ll finally talk me into it, but this year you’ll still be seeing the standard nuts over the creamy potatoes. As for you – as long as you use real butter, I’m good with anything else you want to choose.

I hope you give this recipe a try, and I also hope your holiday is filled with good food, family, friends and magical times. Thanks for reading. xoxo

Maple & Sage Sweet Potato Casserole

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, November 2009

I found another blogger who made this dish with the original recipe but complained that it came out bland. To avoid that, I used all sweet potatoes instead of a mix of both regular and sweet, and I added maple syrup, both to sweeten it and add just a little more flavor. I also made a nut topping instead of one made from bread crumbs as the original had done. I’m beyond satisfied with the result, and it’s going to be a long time before I decide to venture to another version of this dish.

3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 ½ cups milk
1/8 cup maple syrup

For the Topping:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Place sweet potatoes  in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 9 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 1 stick of butter with the chopped sage in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute and remove from heat. Add butter mixture, milk, and maple syrup to the potatoes and beat with a blender until smooth. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish. (mix can be refrigerated for up to 2 days)

In a small saucepan, combine pecans, butter and maple syrup. Heat for 1-2 minutes, or until pecans are well coated in the butter and syrup.  Sprinkle the pecans over the top of the potatoes. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling around the edges and the pecans are beginning to darken, about 30 to 40 minutes.

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