Chef John's Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe -
Chef John's Sweet Potato Casserole  Recipe
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Chef John's Sweet Potato Casserole
See how to make not-too-sweet sweet potato casserole with a pistachio crust. See more
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Chef John's Sweet Potato Casserole

Recipe by  

"Unlike many sweet potato casseroles, this one is not too sweet. It smells so amazing, with subtly sweet potatoes accentuated with maple syrup and a pistachio topping. It's a wonderful combination of taste and textures."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 -2 1/2 quart dish Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    35 mins

    1 hr


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish with butter.
  2. Place sweet potato cubes into a large pot, cover with water, and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until a knife is easily inserted into a sweet potato cube, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Return to the pot and mash 2 tablespoons butter into sweet potatoes.
  3. Whisk eggs, maple syrup, buttermilk, milk, vanilla extract, cayenne pepper, allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually mash sweet potatoes into egg mixture, starting with 2 tablespoons of sweet potato mixture, until all sweet potatoes are incorporated. Transfer sweet potatoes into prepared baking dish.
  4. Mix pistachios, brown sugar, flour, and 1/4 cup melted butter together until completely mixed. Crumble topping evenly over top of sweet potatoes. Use the back of a fork to gently press pistachio mixture down onto sweet potatoes.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until topping is browned and casserole is set, 25 to 30 minutes. If desired, place under oven's broiler for 5 minutes to give topping a little more brown color. Let rest to cool slightly before serving, about 10 minutes.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • The sweet potatoes I used may be called yams at the store, but the fact is that all "yams" sold in American supermarkets are really varieties of sweet potatoes. My recommendation is for using Garnet yams if you can find them. If you can't, literally any other variety will do.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 27, 2013

Absolutely the talk of our Thanksgiving dinner! Out with boring sweet potatoes and the sticky sweet marshmallow topping...this recipe is going to be a family tradition. The only thing I changed was the preparation of the potatoes: Bake those bad boys for 1.25 hours on a baking sheet at 325 degrees. Then follow the recipe exactly...perfection. I did use pecans instead of pistachios but to each his own on that.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 13, 2014

I tried this recipe because it was a healthier version of this casserole. I thought it lacked depth of flavor. It was good, just not great.


31 Ratings

Nov 29, 2013

I made this for Thanksgiving, and it was a winner! Here are a few comments that might help other people: I substituted a lemon juice & milk mix for buttermilk (just google "buttermilk substitute" and you'll easily find that simple recipe). I used dark brown sugar instead of light brown, and whole wheat flour. I used a casserole dish with an 8" radius (smaller than the baking dish shown in the video) and I needed only about half the pistachio-nut mixture to cover the top, so I'm freezing the other half to use when I make the dish the next time. And one final word, perhaps mainly for novice cooks like me: The raw sweet potatoes were HARD to cut! Don't cut them the long ways first, as shown in the video -- my knife got stuck when I did that. Better to cut the short way through first so you can get some leverage with the knife. They were so hard to cut that I actually nicked my fingers twice -- so use caution when cutting them. But anyway the dish got raves from folks at our Thanksgiving table.

Jan 24, 2015

The topping is genius - so good. Husband is allergic to pecans so works out well for us. The potato mixture is not overly sweet, very tasty but could use more butter to make it a little richer tasting. I will save this for sure.

Nov 13, 2014

Good recipe, liked it a lot as others last thanksgiving (2013).... easier for me to bake the sweet potatoes, then scoop out the flesh ... my opinion is that the sweets are tastier and easier to handle. You'll see it is the way to go.

Nov 09, 2014

I have made this for our holiday meals for two years now. It has been specifically been requested for our family get together for Thanksgiving again this year. I make it exactly as written except that I use a little more vanilla extract and I have to use a gluten-free all-purpose flour. I use King Arthur's multipurpose flour and it comes out great. I usually use the pistachios, but have also used pecans and both are delicious. We love it. The pinch of cayenne may sound weird to some, especially if you're new to Chef John's recipes, but don't question it, just do it.

Dec 28, 2013

Everyone raved about this dish. I did not have buttermilk, so I used one-fourth of a cup Greek yogurt instead. I also used pecans on top. It was such a nice change from the marshmallows. Great recipe!

Dec 22, 2013

I did half pistachio and half pecan for the topping!


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  • Calories
  • 368 kcal
  • 18%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 55.9 g
  • 18%
  • Cholesterol
  • 71 mg
  • 24%
  • Fat
  • 14 g
  • 21%
  • Fiber
  • 5.3 g
  • 21%
  • Protein
  • 6.7 g
  • 13%
  • Sodium
  • 353 mg
  • 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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