This bourbon sweet potato casserole is made with bourbon, maple syrup, and butter and topped with a bourbon pecan crumble. It's a delicious fall side dish!
This post was originally published November 1, 2017. Photos updated October 1, 2019.
Each fall, there is one vegetable that reigns supreme.
A spud that shines above them all-- the earthy, nutritious, delicious sweet potato.
Growing up, my mom would, on occasion, miraculously convert these bright orange potatoes into a fluffy, buttery, and nutty casserole.
Each time it popped out of the oven, I would shamelessly devour as much as humanly possible, while silently wondering if sweet potato casserole was the best food on the planet.
The answer, of course, is obviously yes!
This Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole is even better-- full of buttery sweet potatoes whipped with cream and bourbon, and topped with a bourbon-pecan streusel.
Why Add Bourbon to Sweet Potato Casserole?
The real question is, why not add bourbon?!
Recently, I was pondering sweet potato casserole.
You know, as one does.
My mom always makes her sweet potato casserole with a pecan topping (we were not marshmallow topping people), and something occurred to me.
Bourbon balls are made with pecans-- pecans that have been soaked in bourbon!
It only makes sense that the pecan streusel on sweet potato casserole would be even more amazing with a splash (or three) of bourbon.
So, gather your sweet potatoes, your bourbon, and your pecans-- and get cooking!
Can I Skip the Bourbon?
Of course you can!
If you skip the bourbon, you'll be making my mom's recipe, and as someone who devoured her sweet potato casserole as though I hadn't eaten in years, I can tell you with certainty--
It's delicious with or without the bourbon.
What Brand of Bourbon Should I Use?
I recommend using a bourbon that's delicious but not overly expensive.
I've made this with both Maker's Mark (my favorite for cocktails) and Trader Joe's store-brand bourbon (my favorite for cooking), and both worked perfectly.
How Many Sweet Potatoes Do I Need?
You need about three pounds of sweet potatoes.
Since sweet potato sizes are all over the place, I can't tell you how many sweet potatoes you'll need.
I recommend weighing your potatoes either at the grocery store (using a scale in the produce section) or at home.
The good news is, if you have slightly more or less than three pounds of potatoes, the recipe will be fine. Being a few ounces off won't hurt you in this recipe.
How to Make a Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole
Start by soaking pecans in bourbon.
Meanwhile, boil sweet potatoes until they're tender.
Whisk together some eggs, cream, maple syrup, and salt. Mash in the sweet potatoes.
Strain the bourbon from the pecans, and add the bourbon to the potatoes. Scoop the mixture into a casserole dish.
Mix together the pecan streusel, and spoon it onto the top of the casserole.
Bake until the topping is golden, and pull the sweet potato casserole out of the oven.
Your entire kitchen will smell like bourbon, sweet potato yumminess.
Want more sweet potato ideas? Try these sweet potato fries with chipotle-lime aioli from Striped Spatula.
Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 cup pecans, crushed
- ⅓ cup heavy cream OR milk
- ½ cup maple syrup Or use brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 ounces butter, melted (divided) 1 stick butter
- ⅔ cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bring a large, salted pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes, and boil 12-15 minutes until tender.
- Pour pecans and bourbon into a small bowl together, letting the pecans soak up the bourbon. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs together with cream, maple syrup, and salt. Slowly incorporate 4oz butter, and mix until blended.
- Once potatoes are tender, mash them into the egg mixture.
- Strain pecans out of bourbon, and set aside. Drizzle the leftover bourbon over the potato mixture. Mash more to incorporate. Spoon potato mixture into a large casserole dish (10"x10" or a lasagna dish).
- Make the streusel by mixing remaining butter, pecans, flour, and brown sugar together with a fork. Optionally, for a finely ground streusel, add to a food processor and chop to desired consistency.Make-Ahead: If desired, make the dish to this point and then stop, keeping the potatoes and streusel separate. Store for up to a day before proceeding.
- Spread pecan mixture over the potatoes in the casserole dish.I used a 10"x10" baking dish. If your dish is narrower and deeper than mine, you may have extra streusel topping. Reserve any extra topping for another use.
- Cook casserole for about 45-50 minutes, until the streusel is golden and pulling away from the edges of the dish. Note: The dish takes longer to cook because the pecans are wet from the bourbon. If you skip the bourbon, reduce the cook time by about 10 minutes.Allow casserole to cool slightly before serving.Leftovers: Casserole can be stored in the fridge and used within 3-5 days. Reheat at 350ºF for about 25 minutes, or until warm.