This vanilla sweet potato casserole is a modern spin on the classic Thanksgiving casserole. Lightly sweet, full of vanilla flavor and ready in just 30 minutes!
I was compensated by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for my time in developing this recipe and post.
When I was a kid I wouldn’t touch sweet potatoes with a ten-foot pole. My parents would claim they were just as delicious as regular potatoes but I could not be fooled. Then my dad tried to bake them, cover them in brown sugar and cinnamon and I still would have none of their tomfooleries. Finally, they gave up and I went back to happily eating my white potatoes. Plus, the sweet potatoes that were always at Thanksgiving were from a can and just covered in marshmallows. I took a bite once and I all tasted was sugar. Listen, I’m all for sugary sweetness but I want flavor too. Sugar is not flavor.
Fast forward to now and I’m pretty much in love with sweet potatoes. I’m not sure what was wrong with my child self but I was insane. Who doesn’t like sweet potatoes? (Especially when they are in the form of chipotle bbq pulled pork stuffed sweet potatoes!) They really are just as delicious as white potatoes. Don’t worry I will never not love regular potatoes because of carbs for life. Am I right?
Usually, when I make sweet potatoes I mash them with a little coconut milk and call it a day. It’s so simple and packs a ton of flavor into any dish you serve it with. However, the one thing I have not been sold on is the whole super-sweet sweet potato nonsense. It just felt they were already sweet enough so how can you add more sweetness and not get overwhelmed?
Well, my friends, I have solved our little problem. That’s right! I have solved our sweet sweet potato problem. Instead of putting sweetness into every aspect of the dish I stuck with mostly added a nice vanilla taste to the potatoes by using Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste. It gives the sweet potatoes a nice flavor without being overpowering. I then topped it with Nielsen-Massey vanilla sugar, granola, and mini marshmallows. The mini marshmallows are mostly for nostalgia. You can’t serve Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole without marshmallows. I’m pretty sure there is a law against that.