This savory sweet potato casserole is the savory version of a classic sweet potato casserole. It features creamy sweet potatoes, browned butter, and fresh herbs, topped with crunchy pecans and crispy sourdough breadcrumbs. Decadent and filling, it's the perfect side dish for your holiday gatherings.
Looking for another Thanksgiving side dish? Try hasselback sweet potatoes, acorn squash casserole, or cauliflower gratin next.
Be sure to check out more of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes to get you started on this year's menu. Our goal this holiday season is to offer new recipes that put a spin on the holiday table classics. If you're looking for more sweet potato recipes, Hasselback sweet potatoes give another twist on the classic side dish.
Need a vegan option? Our vegan sweet potato casserole is made with coconut milk, maple syrup and topped with oats and pecans.
Why this Savory Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Works
Before you go making the same traditional sweet potato casserole again this year, you have to try this savory casserole. The herbs go so well with all the flavors of Thanksgiving dinner.
- Holiday season must-have: Perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving meal or Christmas dinner. (It's also a great side dish for casual weeknight dinners at home in those winter months.)
- Crowd pleaser: This easy recipe is a classic dish the whole family will love.
- Savory and sweet: This delicious side dish is the perfect balance between sweet and savory flavors.
Grab These Ingredients or Ingredients You Need
Here are the simple ingredients for this sweet potato casserole recipe. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find in grocery stores. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Sweet potatoes: The main attraction here and the ingredient behind the sweetness.
- Olive oil: Substitute with avocado oil.
- Kosher salt: Kosher salt is the best salt for cooking.
- Unsalted butter: Use vegan butter if needed. Using a quality vegan butter (we like Miyokos) will give you all the flavor, without the dairy.
- Fresh herbs: Fresh sage and fresh rosemary leaves
- Sourdough bread: Make homemade sourdough a few days in advance with your sourdough starter or purchase fresh bread from the store or local bakery.
- Pecans: The pecan topping adds a nutty flavor and crunch to this dish. Make sure they're unsalted so we can control the amount of salt in the dish. Make your life easier and buy pre-chopped pecans.
- Light brown sugar: Substitute with coconut sugar.
- Bourbon: This is optional for extra flavoring.
- Heavy cream: Makes the casserole rich and creamy.
- Eggs: This is the binder in the recipe that holds it all together.
- Parmesan cheese: Adds a sharpness to the dish.
How to Make Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This ‘recipe’ is really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time.
Roast potatoes. Coat the sweet potatoes in olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake them in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, until fork-tender.
Make the brown butter. Melt the butter and add the chopped sage and rosemary when it starts to bubble. Cook for 3-4 minutes more until it froths. Remove it from the heat when you start to see the brown bits form at the bottom of the pan and smell a distinct nutty flavor—spoon half of the brown butter into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Make the breadcrumbs. Place sourdough bread and pecans in a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to break them up slightly. Add the breadcrumbs and pecans to the saucepan with the remaining brown butter, salt, and some parmesan, tossing to coat.
Make the sweet potato mixture. When the sweet potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Peel away the flesh and discard the skin. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a large bowl with the brown butter and herbs and mash well. Mix the remaining ingredients into the mashed sweet potatoes.
Bake. Transfer the sweet potato filling to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with brown butter breadcrumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until top is golden brown. Serve warm with crispy sage or flaky sea salt.
Are sweet potatoes healthy?
Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly high in vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and several B vitamins. They also provide dietary fiber and antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and other phytonutrients. They're also part of the paleo diet. You can enjoy sweet potatoes while following a whole30 or paleo meal plan.
What is the difference between yam and sweet potato?
Though they're both root vegetables, sweet potatoes tend to be more reddish and brown and yams look more like tree bark. Yams have more of a bumpy brown skin and are more starchy. Sweet potatoes are just that, a little sweeter! Fun fact, the majority of what you'll find in the grocery store are actually yams.
How to peel sweet potatoes?
In this recipe, we're cooking the sweet potatoes first and then once cooled, peeling the skin away carefully. When peeling raw sweet potatoes, use a sharp potato peeler and make long, even strokes from the root to the tip of the sweet potato to remove the peel. Turn as you go until the entire potato is peeled. It's best to do this over a trash can for easy clean up.
- Season with black pepper for a little spice.
- Add pumpkin pie spice, allspice, or fresh ginger.
- Top with a gluten-free breadcrumb instead of sourdough.
- Mix candied bacon into the savory breadcrumbs.
- Add mini marshmallows to balance out the savory ingredients.
- Instead of pecans, top with walnuts or hazelnuts.
What to Serve with Sweet Potato Casserole
- It's perfect with a Thanksgiving main dish like cheesecloth turkey with herb butter.
- Serve it with more holiday sides like maple glazed carrots, delicata squash salad, easy broccoli casserole, or acorn squash casserole.
- Dietary needs? with gluten-free stuffing and dairy-free mashed potatoes.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Favorite Thanksgiving Table Side Dishes
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
- 5 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- ¾ cup (12 Tablespoons; 180g) unsalted butter cubed
- 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves
- 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped sage leaves
- 2 ½ cups cubed sourdough bread
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese divided
- ¼ cup (25g) light brown sugar packed
- 3 Tablespoons bourbon optional
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 9x13-inch (or 3-quart) casserole dish
- Sheet Pan for roasting potatoes
- Large bowl
- Medium Saucepan
- Roast the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat the sweet potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Make the brown butter. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble add the chopped sage and rosemary. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until it froths. The froth will subside and you should start to see small brown bits form on the bottom of the pan. Remove it from the heat when you start to see the brown bits and smell a distinct nutty flavor. Spoon approximately half of the brown butter into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Make the breadcrumbs. Place the sourdough bread and pecans in a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to break them up slightly. Add the breadcrumbs and pecans to the saucepan with the remaining brown butter. Add ½ cup of the grated parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and toss to coat.
- When the sweet potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch (3qt) casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Mix the sweet potatoes. Carefully pull the skin away from the flesh of the sweet potatoes and discard the skin. Transfer the sweet potatoes to the bowl with the brown butter and herbs. Mash well with a potato masher or even a handheld mixer. Mix in the brown sugar, bourbon, heavy cream, eggs, and remaining parmesan cheese.
- Bake. Transfer the sweet potato filling to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the brown butter breadcrumbs evenly over top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the sides are bubbling and the top is golden brown. Cover with foil with the nuts are becoming too brown too quickly. Serve warm with crispy sage or flaky sea salt.