A sweet potato casserole is a good thing.
The sweet potatoes take on an extra sweetness, complemented by all of those warm fall spices.
Top that goodness with marshmallows, and you have a comforting side that’s always welcome on my Thanksgiving table.
But as much as I like a good sweet potato casserole, they always seem to be missing something.
I've noticed that there's usually no texture--just a lot of mush.
And as much as the sweetness is nice, it gets a little too sweet after a couple bites.
So let’s make a better sweet potato casserole!
One with cinnamon spiced apples to give it a little bite and a slightly sour relief from all that sweet!
Mix that in with the usual suspect and a couple of eggs for a fluffy yet firm dish.
Finally, top it all with a simple (but simply tasty!) cranberry sauce and some crunchy granola and you have a mouthwatering side dish that tastes like your traditional holiday staple--just better!
It's balanced, textured, and so completely addicting.
I like a classic Thanksgiving Day sweet potato casserole as much as the next person, but this sweet potato casserole will make you fall deeply, madly, in LOVE!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Apples + Cranberries
servings: 6 ; makes three cups of cranberry sauce
- One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Zest + juice of 1 orange
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Sweet Potato Casserole:
- 5-6 medium/large sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 apples (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, + diced
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup whole milk
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cups Cranberry Sauce
- 5 marshmallows, halved crosswise
- ⅓ cup granola
- In a medium pot, add the cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and salt. Cover the pot to avoid splattering and cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches a jam-like consistency (keeping in mind that it will thicken as it cools)--about 25 minutes.
Sweet Potato Casserole:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Add the sweet potatoes to a baking sheet, toss them with the oil and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook them until they are fork tender—about 45 minutes. You might also choose to leave the sweet potatoes whole and unpeeled, cooking them until they are fork tender—50-60 minutes.
- While the sweet potatoes cook, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until it is browned—about 5 minutes. Add the apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook this mixture until the apples are tender but not mushy—about 2-3 minutes.
- Once they are done cooking, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and turn it down to 375°F (if you left the sweet potatoes whole and unpeeled, peel them once they are cool enough to handle). Add the sweet potatoes to a large bowl and mash them with a fork or potato masher, then mix in the milk, brown sugar and eggs and stir until well combined. Next, stir in the apple mixture along with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Add the apple and potato mixture to a greased 8½ by 11-inch casserole dish and bake until it is firm and slightly darker in color—about 25-30 minutes. Then remove the casserole from the oven and top it with the Cranberry Sauce, marshmallows, and granola. Return it to the oven and cook it until the marshmallows are brown and crispy and the cranberry sauce is dark red—10 minutes more.
- REHEAT + TOP - To make ahead, prepare the casserole as indicated in the recipe, then bake it for 25-30 minutes at 375°F; however, do not top it with the Cranberry Sauce, marshmallows, and granola. Instead, refrigerate it and on Thanksgiving Day, remove it from the refrigerator and let the casserole sit until it reaches room temperature. Then reheat it in an oven preheated to 375°F for about 10 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and top it with the Cranberry Sauce, marshmallows, and granola. Return it to the oven and cook it until the marshmallows are brown and crispy and the cranberry sauce is dark red—10 minutes more.
- ASSEMBLE + BAKE LATER - Or you can leave it raw, so that you only follow Steps 1 through 3 above; refrigerate it until Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, complete Step 4 to bake and prepare the casserole. You may need to bake it for an extra 5 minutes due to the fact that it will be coming out of the cold fridge.
- TIMELINE - You can make the casserole up to 3 days in advance; you can make the cranberry sauce up to 5 days in advance.