This is a slightly less sweet version of a family favorite in my childhood home, and one of the first foods I was allowed to help cook. It's naturally free from all "big eight" allergens, although you'll need to check labels if you use canned sweet potatoes and the optional marshmallow topping. To make this corn-free, roast the potatoes yourself (you can do this up to 10 days ahead and refrigerate the potatoes until you make the casserole) and omit the marshmallow topping. Note that the preparation time quoted assumes the use of canned sweet potatoes; roasting will add another 90 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 3 16-oz. cans plain sweet potatoes (or yams), or 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 c orange juice
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2/3 c brown sugar, plus more for topping if not using marshmallows
- allergen-free marshmallows for topping (optional)
- If using whole sweet potatoes, oil skins, pierce in several places, and roast at 400 F until the potatoes are tender and you see liquid caramelizing where you pierced the potatoes. (I find this usually takes about 1 1/2 hours.) When potatoes are fully cooked, either refrigerate until ready to use, or let them cool until they're easy to handle and scoop out all the flesh into a casserole dish. If using canned potatoes, simply pour into a casserole dish. Preheat (or reduce oven heat, if you just finished roasting the potatoes) to 325 F.
- Add orange juice, allspice, nutmeg, a small pinch of salt, and brown sugar. Stir all ingredients thoroughly to combine, mashing large chunks of sweet potato with a fork, and smooth mixture evenly throughout casserole dish. Top entire surface with one layer of brown sugar, if not using marshmallows. Cover.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover. Increase heat to 350 F. If using marshmallows, add one layer to the top of the casserole at this time. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until marshmallows are golden-brown and beginning to melt, or brown sugar is darker and crumbly.
Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish with a large meal. I suggest making two casseroles if you're feeding a larger group rather than doubling the recipe, since a thicker casserole takes longer to heat through.
Make-ahead instructions: The topping will taste best and have the best texture the day it's cooked, so I don't recommend making this casserole early and microwaving it. However, to save time and energy on Thanksgiving morning, you can complete the recipe through step 2 the night before cooking with one change: Don't add brown sugar to the top of the casserole until just before heating. Store the mixture in the refrigerator overnight and add an extra 5 minutes to the cooking time when you bake the casserole.