A classic Sweet Potato Casserole spiced with garam masala and sweetened with jaggery is a delicious addition to a Thanksgiving spread. It's topped with pecans and toasted marshmallows and can be served as a side dish or a dessert!
Continuing on with the Indian-inspired Thanksgiving Day feast theme - introducing a slight spin on the Sweet Potato Casserole! This one is still loaded with marshmallows, an absolute must in my opinion. If the sweet potato casserole doesn't have marshmallows, I don't want it.
The mashed sweet potatoes are mixed with garam masala in addition to nutmeg and cinnamon. The garam masala, a warming blend of spices, gives a touch of savory and warmth to the sweet potato mash. It's also sweetened with jaggery, or gur, an unrefined sugar which gives the potatoes a deep caramel flavor.
Basically, your kitchen is going to smell like heaven. The mashed sweet potatoes is luxuriously smooth and rich with flavor with chopped pecans for a bit of crunch. I also love finishing off the marshmallows with a light torching to char bits and pieces for that additional gooeyness and flavor on top.
Whether you eat this Garam Masala Sweet Potato Casserole as a side dish or a dessert - it's going to be a hit at the dinner table!
Ingredients - Notes and Substitutions
The most important part of the casserole is getting the luxuriously smooth mashed sweet potatoes that are full to the brim with flavor. So lets discuss the ingredients:
- Sweet Potatoes - You'll need about 2 pounds of sweet potatoes! Usually this is four medium sized potatoes for me. Peel and cube them for a faster cook time when steaming.
- Butter - I like to use unsalted butter so I can control how much salt I'm adding. Butter makes the mashed sweet potatoes rich and buttery!
- Jaggery - An unprocessed sugar, otherwise known as gur, is a superfood that is made in India. We mostly use it in desserts for it's deep caramel flavor from the molasses. Substitute with dark brown sugar.
- Whole milk - A bit of milk makes the casserole a bit creamy! You can also use half a can of sweetened condensed milk and reduce the amount of jaggery by half.
- Vanilla extract & spices - The vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and garam masala all enhance the flavor the the mashed sweet potatoes. The garam masala is a warming blend of spices and perfect for fall dishes.
- Pecans - Chopped pecans are a must for adding crunch to an otherwise soft side dish. I like to mix half of them into the casserole and use the other half to top it off right before I bake the casserole.
- Mini marshmallows - The marshmallows are sprinkled on top and the toasted in the oven. They are absolutely mandatory for me, unless the casserole has a crumb topping. Add them right before baking the casserole so they get gooey and slightly browned. Use a kitchen torch to char them a bit.
How to make Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
1. Boil the potatoes.
First, start off by peeling and cubing the sweet potatoes in about 1 inch pieces. Transfer them to a pot with an inch or two of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cover the pot with a lid to allow the potatoes to steam.
Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender - about 10 minutes. Drain the water and transfer the potatoes to a mixing bowl.
Pro Tip: You can also roast the potatoes in the oven, or microwave them for 10 minutes in a bowl with a little water that's covered with cling wrap.
2. Mash the potatoes.
Use a ricer or potato masher to mash up the sweet potatoes. If you're having difficulty mashing them, they may need more time to steam.
3. Add the mix-ins.
Add the eggs, butter, milk, spices, salt, vanilla, and half of the chopped pecans and give everything a good stir until it's completely smooth. If you're having difficult stirring, try using an immersion blender to get a smooth consistency.
Pro Tip: I like to taste a tiny bit of the sweet potato at this point and make adjustments for flavor. Just keep in mind, there are raw eggs.
At this point, the casserole can be assembled and served, covered in plastic and transferred to the fridge to assemble at a later time, or frozen.
4. Assemble and serve.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and prep a baking dish with cooking spray. Once you're ready to serve the sweet potato casserole, top it off with the rest of the chopped pecans. Then sprinkle the mini marshmallows all over the top.
Pro Tip: I like to add a few extra marshmallows after baking the casserole! I love using a kitchen torch to char some parts of the marshmallows. I think it adds so much more flavor since the marshmallows are my favorite part.
Pop the baker into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the marshmallows have browned on top. Remove it from the oven and serve it warm, while the marshmallows are still gooey.
Tips and Tricks
Here's a few of my favorite tips to really impress your guests with this casserole! I promise you won't have any leftovers.
- Roast the sweet potatoes. Roast instead of boil or steam! Roasting takes longer, but it concentrates the flavor a lot more.
- Make a crumb topping. Flour, butter, sugar, salt, and pecans make a great crumb topping! You can top off the casserole with just the crumb or with the crumb and marshmallows. It adds a great contrasting texture to the soft buttery mashed sweet potatoes.
- Switch out the pecans. If you don't like pecans, go with walnuts or hazelnuts for a crunchy topping.
- A splash of bourbon. Yes, a splash of bourbon! Don't worry, the alcohol will burn off for the kids but the bit of bourbon is a delicious layer of flavor!
Storage and Make Ahead Instructions
Sweet Potato Casserole can be prepared well ahead of time. Once the mashed potatoes with the mix-ins is prepared, it can be transferred to the baker and wrapped up in plastic cling wrap. Keep it in the fridge up to two days before to make meal prep a breeze.
Before baking, bring it to room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Then, top it off with the pecans and marshmallows and bake it for 15-20 minutes in the oven at 375°F.
More Thanksgiving Recipes to try
Garam Masala Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray the baking dish with cooking spray.
- Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into cubes. Transfer them into a pot and add about ¼ cup of water, just enough to cover the bottom. Bring the water to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the sweet potatoes to steam for about 10-15 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Drain the water from the sweet potatoes and transfer them into a mixing bowl. Mash them using a potato masher or fork.
- Add the unsalted butter, eggs, jaggery, milk, vanilla extract, salt, garam masala, nutmeg, cinnamon, and half of the pecans into the mixing bowl. Stir together until smooth and combined.
- Pour the sweet potato casserole mixture into the baking dish. Spread it evenly all the way to the edges. Top it with the rest of the chopped pecans and the mini marshmallows.
- Bake the casserole in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the marshmallows have lightly browned. Remove from the oven and enjoy warm!
- (Optional) Use a butane torch on the marshmallows to char them for added flavor.