Quick & Easy, No-Fuss Sweet Potato Casserole with a Toasted Pecan Topping is both savory and sweet! The best of both worlds and the perfect side dish for pleasing everyone! Including those that don't even care for sweet potato casserole, like me!
It's true. I'm not a huge fan of sweet potato casserole. It's always too sweet or just kind of boring. So, when I was asked to do a recipe for sweet potato casserole, I was determined to come up with a version that would appeal to almost everyone and have tons of flavor.
I was so happy with the outcome of this sweet potato casserole and I bet you will be too!
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Even my husband enjoyed it and he likes sweet potatoes less than I do. We both absolutely love the creamy mashed sweet potato, sweetened with honey and spiced up with red pepper flakes. The candied pecan topping is the perfect balance of crunch and sweetness and adds that special something to this casserole!
One of the best things about a recipe like this one is you can customize it exactly how you like it and here are just a few ways to do that.
Variations of Sweet Potato Casserole
Sliced sweet potatoes instead of mashed
You may prefer your sweet potato casserole to have sliced sweet potatoes instead of mashed. Easy Peasy. If you are using whole sweet potatoes, follow the recipe as written until you get to the second part where the instructions say to PC on high for 10 minutes. Drop that time back to 5 minutes, so, your sweet potatoes aren't too soft.
Then transfer your sliced sweet potatoes (with the liquid they were cooked in)to a casserole dish or pan that fits in the Foodi (a shorter wider pan will allow the sweet potatoes to get coated better with the honey/butter mixture). Mix the butter (melted), honey, red pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar together in a bowl.
Pour over the sweet potatoes, stir and proceed with the recipe. You may even want to double the honey/butter mixture so all your sweet potatoes are covered.
I MUST have marshmallows on my Sweet Potato Casserole
You aren't alone! I know tons and tons of people that just can't have a sweet potato casserole without marshmallows! So, why didn't I add them in this recipe? Because I like to be different.
You can either replace the pecan topping with marshmallows and broil until the marshmallows are done to your liking or you can even mix the marshmallows into the pecan topping and bake until golden brown. I think this sounds pretty good, but I would skip the brown sugar so it isn't too sweet and also skip the extra butter that I put on towards the end of baking. It won't need it.
If you try it this way, please snap a picture and tag me in it because I think this will be gorgeous and delicious!
I like my Sweet Potato Casserole sweet not savory
No problem! Skip the balsamic vinegar and the red pepper flakes. You can increase the honey or use a combination of honey and brown sugar or skip the honey and use all brown sugar. Just mash your sweet potatoes with whatever combination of ingredients you like and proceed with the recipe.
There tons and tons of other variations that you can make, so get creative and make whatever changes you want. Make it delicious & make it yours!
What type of pan do I use?
The great thing about this recipe is you can use any oven safe dish you want. Guess what? It doesn't even have to fit in the Foodi because you can bake the topping in the oven if you need to use a bigger serving dish.
I used a casserole dish that is about 7" in diameter and 4-5" in height. You can certainly use the all purpose pan that is made by Ninja and comes in the baking kit or can be purchased separately. Here is a link to the pan, so you can see which one I'm talking about: Ninja Foodi All Purpose pan.
If you plan on using a 9 x 13 pan (to bake in the oven), you may need to make up a little more topping. Of course that depends on how thick you want the topping. Mine was about 1/2" thick, but I think as long as it covers the top with a depth of about 1/4", you will be fine.
You do not need to make any changes in cooking times when using a different dish.
Can I make this ahead and reheat before serving?
Yes! In fact that is what I love about this recipe and my recipe for Scalloped Potatoes in the Foodi. They both can be made ahead of time and reheated.
To make this casserole ahead of time, follow the instructions up to the time where you would add the topping. Then cover it and put it in the refrigerator until about 30-60 minutes before you want to reheat it. This will take the chill off of the potatoes.
It is usually very difficult to reheat things like mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes, but using the Ninja Foodi as a steam oven does a great job! Make sure the casserole dish is tightly covered. You don't want moisture getting in there.
Pour 2 cups of water in the inner pot and set the casserole dish on the rack in the low position. Put the pressure lid on, but move the valve to vent. Select the steam function and set the time for 20 -30 minutes depending the depth of your casserole dish. For dishes 2-3" in height, 20 minutes should be plenty. For dishes over 3", I'd go the full 30 minutes.
The beauty of steaming is you will not dry out the sweet potato casserole and you can check on it at any time by removing the lid. If it is not hot enough, replace the lid and keep going.
You can also make the topping ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until just before assembling your casserole for the final bake.
After it is heated up, put your topping on and bake as directed.
How to make Sweet Potato Casserole in the Ninja Foodi
Put 1 cup of water in the inner pot. Put the rack in the inner pot. Place the sweet potatoes on the rack. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the Ninja Foodi to high pressure for 2 minutes. When the time is up, immediately release the pressure.
Remove the rack and let the sweet potatoes cool just until you can handle them. The easiest way I find to peel sweet potatoes after pressure cooking for a few minutes is with a spoon. You can use a vegetable peeler, but personally, I think the peels get all caught up in the peeler and makes a mess. Here is a short video showing how I use a spoon to peel my sweet potatoes for this recipe.
Once peeled, slice the ends off of the sweet potatoes and slice them in 1/2"-1" slices.
Pour ½ cup of chicken bone broth or stock and ½ cup of orange juice into the inner pot. Put the sliced sweet potatoes in the inner pot directly in the liquid. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Immediately release the pressure.
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, make up your pecan topping. You can use a blender, food processor, or you can even make it by hand. I used my Ninja Foodi Hot Cold Blender and it was done in seconds! I love this blender!
Blender or Food processor instructions: Place pecans in the pitcher of the blender or bowl of the food processor and pulse 2-3 times to break them up. Add brown sugar, flour, and cold butter slices. Pulse 3-5 times until the butter breaks up and the mixture resembles little pebbles.
By hand: Place the pecans into a zip lock baggy and use something heavy to crush up the nuts until they are in very small pieces. Add the flour and sugar and mix to combine. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or for until the mixture resembles little pebbles.
If you have mashing tool, like this Mix 'N Mash, you can add the ingredients for mashing your sweet potatoes right into the inner pot. If you plan on using a hand mixer, transfer the potatoes and liquid to a mixing bowl.
Add in the salt, red pepper flakes, honey, balsamic vinegar, and butter. Mash your sweet potatoes to the consistency you like. Taste and season to your liking.
Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes into your casserole dish. Preheat the Ninja Foodi on bake/roast at 350° F for 10 minutes.
Spread the topping over the top of the sweet potatoes. Place your casserole dish on the rack or use a silicone sling and put it into the Ninja Foodi. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. Check on the sweet potatoes at 10 minutes and brush on ¼ cup of melted butter if desired. Continue to bake for the remaining 10 minutes. The top should be nice and brown, but not burnt. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Serve & Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Casserole w/ Pecan Topping
- 1 cup pecans
- ¼ tsp sea salt fine grind
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup butter sliced and cold
- ¼ cup butter melted *optional for brushing on topping
- Place 1 cup pecans into NF Hot Cold Blender or food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to chop up the pecans.
- Add in the salt, brown sugar, flour, and sliced cold butter. Pulse 4-5 times until the the mixture is combined and the butter is in little pebbles. Set aside for later.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Add 1 cup of water to the inner pot of the Ninja Foodi. Place the sweet potatoes on the rack in the low position. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes. Immediately release the pressure. Remove the rack and let the potatoes cool so you can handle them.
- Peel the skin off of the sweet potatoes using a spoon or a vegetable peeler and cut the ends off.
- Slice the sweet potatoes into ½-1" slices.
- Pour ½ cup of chicken bone broth or stock and ½ cup of orange juice into the inner pot. Put the sliced sweet potatoes in the inner pot directly in the liquid. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Immediately release the pressure.
- Add in the salt, red pepper flakes, honey, balsamic vinegar, and butter. Mash them in the pot with a utensil that is safe for non-stick. Or you can transfer to a bowl, then add in your ingredients for mashing and mash with a hand mixture. I use the Mix 'N Mash from Pampered Chef and it works great. Mash your sweet potatoes to the consistency you like. Taste and season to your liking.
- Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes into your casserole dish. Preheat the Ninja Foodi on bake/roast at 350° F for 10 minutes.
- Spread the topping over the top of the sweet potatoes. Place your casserole dish on the rack or use a silicone sling and put it into the Ninja Foodi. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. Check on the sweet potatoes at 10 minutes and brush on ¼ cup of melted butter if desired. Continue to bake for the remaining 10 minutes. The top should be nice and brown, but not burnt. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Serve & Enjoy
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.