This savory sweet potato casserole recipe is made with a creamy garlicky mashed filling, and sprinkled with the most irresistible maple rosemary walnut topping. See notes above for possible ingredient variations.
Savory Sweet Potato Filling Ingredients:
- 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into evenly-sized chunks, an inch or so thick
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- chopped fresh chives or green onions, for garnish
Maple Rosemary Walnut Topping:
- 1 heaping cup chopped raw walnuts
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of cayenne (optional)
- Boil the sweet potatoes. Place the sweet potatoes in a large stockpot. Fill the pot with cold water, enough that the water line sits about 1 inch above the potatoes. Stir the garlic and 1 tablespoon sea salt into the water. Turn the heat to high and cook until the water comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high (or whatever temperature is needed to maintain the boil) and continue cooking the potatoes for about 10-12 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a potato goes in easily with almost no resistance. Carefully drain out all of the water.
- Prepare the melted butter mixture. Meanwhile, as the sweet potatoes are boiling, heat the butter, milk, smoked paprika, and an additional 1.5 teaspoons of sea salt together either in a small saucepan or in the microwave until the butter is just melted and warm. (You want to avoid boiling the milk.) Set aside until ready to use.
- Pan-dry the potatoes. After draining the water, immediately return the sweet potatoes to the hot stockpot, place it back on the hot burner, and turn the heat down to low. Using two oven mitts, carefully hold the handles on the stockpot and shake it gently on the burner for about 1 minute to help cook off some of the remaining steam within the potatoes. Remove the stockpot entirely from the heat and set it on a flat, heatproof surface.
- Mash the potatoes. Using your preferred kind of potato masher (I recommend this one in general, or this one for extra-smooth), mash the sweet potatoes to your desired consistency. Pour the melted butter mixture over the potatoes, and fold it in with a wooden spoon or spatula until potatoes have soaked up the liquid. Give the mixture a taste, and season with extra salt, pepper, and/or smoked paprika as needed, to taste. Set aside.
- Prepare the walnut topping. In a separate small bowl, stir together the maple rosemary walnut topping ingredients until evenly combined.
- Assemble and bake. Heat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch pan with baking spray. Spread the mashed sweet potatoes in an even layer in the pan, and sprinkle evenly with the walnut topping. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the walnuts are toasted and fragrant (but not burnt) and the potatoes are warmed through. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack.
- Serve warm. Then serve warm, garnished with fresh chives, extra black pepper, or any extra toppings that sound good!
Source: Recipe adapted from my more traditional Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.