Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Toasted Walnuts | Virtually Homemade: Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Toasted Walnuts

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Toasted Walnuts

I’m starting this blog post with a disclaimer – I really don’t like sweet potatoes that much (gasp!).  I know they are so wonderfully popular and can be used in so many wonderful ways, but I have never taken to them.  It could be due to a bad experience with a yam casserole when I was little (I’ll spare you the gory details).  I can do sweet potato fries on occasion with lots of salt to counteract the sweetness.  Oh yeah, and forget about the sweet potato/yam marshmallow casseroles – not happening in this house.

However, I know lots of people love the sweet potato, so I took it as my personal mission to create a casserole I would like.  That’s how this Savory Sweet Potato Casserole came to be.  I definitely needed to create a sweet and salty effect.  I do love the sweet and salty combo, so I was hoping I could make this dish work.

I also love the combination of fresh thyme and garlic.  My Mom makes a mean white clam sauce and aside from the clams, the thyme, garlic and butter are the stars of this sauce.  I still crave that buttery sauce, so I decided to add it to my sweet potatoes.  I mashed them up and then topped it all with some buttery breadcrumbs and toasted walnuts.  Ooh baby, all the sudden I really like sweet potato casserole!  The crunchy nuttiness of the walnuts really enhances all of the flavors.  And the crunchy crust on top of the creamy potatoes, is superb.

If you already adore sweet potatoes and want a little change from the traditional Thanksgiving version, give this a try.  You won’t regret it.  If you don't like them, this casserole might make you a convert.

One quick note about the recipe – I piped the mashed potatoes into ramekins but you can easily skip the piping and put the potatoes into an 8”casserole.  Just bump up the cooking time by about 5 minutes.

Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Toasted Walnuts

Recipe by Liz Hughes
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
Yield: 4 servings
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, reserve some for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Walnut Crust:
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • fresh thyme for garnish
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork in several places.  Place on a baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes to an hour; should be tender when pierced with fork.
3. In a medium sauce pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on medium.  Add garlic and time and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Do not let garlic brown. Set aside.
4. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice in half horizontally.  Scoop out flesh into a large bowl.  Add garlic/thyme mixture, 2 tablespoons of butter, milk, egg, salt and pepper.  With an electric mixer beat until completely smooth.
5. Place potatoes into a star tipped pastry bag and pipe into 4 individual ramekins.
6. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter on medium.  Add bread crumbs, salt and walnuts.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes until breadcrumbs start to brown.  Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture onto sweet potatoes and bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.  Garnish with fresh thyme.

More Great Thanksgiving sides from FN Dish's Fall Fest and Fellow Bloggers:
Feed Me Phoebe: Swiss Chard Gratin
The Lemon Bowl: Quinoa with Acorn Squash, Apples and Walnuts
Jeanette's Healthy Living: 16 Clean Eating Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Nancy's Vodka Cranberries
Weelicious: Maple Roast Vegetables
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Easy Mushroom-Chile Risotto
Red or Green: Schezwan Green Beans
Domesticate Me: Sweet Potato Gratin with Pancetta, Parmesan and Sage
Virtually Homemade: Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Purple Potato Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
The Sensitive Epicure: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Thyme and Rosemary
The Heritage Cook: Maple-Roasted Root Vegetables
Food For My Family: Honey-Roasted Cauliflower with Pine
Dishin & Dishes: Twice baked Sweet Potatoes
Devour: Top In Season Thanksgiving Sides
FN Dish: 10 Seasonal Thanksgiving Sides

Taste With The Eyes: A Fresh California Twist on Brussels Sprouts



  1. This dish looks so delicious! I love how you baked them in individual little ramekins. So cute.

  2. I already love sweet potatoes so this recipe is so mouth-watering to me! Great post and pics! Have a great Thanksgiving! =D

  3. I love this idea and am always looking for alternative options to the marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving! Great recipe!!

  4. What wonderful flavors! what a wonderful dish! so perfect for breakfast.
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  5. I do love sweet potatoes and this recipe looks really appealing - especially the walnut crispy crust. Thanks for stopping by our Happy Holidays Link Party - be sure to join us again this week (beginning on Saturday at 7 pm ET) and every week through the holidays.


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