Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole

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!

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.

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!

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?

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!

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?

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole LR-1

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.

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!

29 Responses to “Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole”

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    1
    Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures — October 8, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Delicious! I don’t like overly sweet sweet potato casseroles either.

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    Annie — October 13, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Don’t tell anyone…but I am not a big fan of Thanksgiving foods. Except for the sweet potatoes! Every year the only things I get are the sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes and gravy! 🙂 Carbs carbs carbs!

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    3
    Amanda | The Chunky Chef — October 13, 2015 at 8:27 am

    This looks so decadent and delicious!!! 😀

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    4
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan — October 13, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Canned sweet potato is just nasty so my older self wouldn’t even get close to it – much like your younger self. Though, my older self would have a hard time staying away from this decadent fresh, sweet potato and vanilla bean paste pie!

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    5
    Amy @ Accidental Happy Baker — October 13, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Oh I love this updated version. I bet the coconut milk imparts a great flavor on the sweet potatoes.

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    6
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious — October 13, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I could eat that for breakfast, lunch or dinner. That’s not weird, is it?

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    Kacey @ The Cookie Writer — October 13, 2015 at 9:11 am

    My sister recently bought sweet potatoes and my dad mistook them for potatoes (don’t ask.) He prepared them like french fries and when he tried them he said “damn, these are good.” Yes, dad, sweet potatoes are amazing! I wonder if I could convince him to try this awesome meal!

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    8
    Amanda Paa — October 13, 2015 at 9:40 am

    i thought i hated sweet potatoes when i was young too because they were just TOO sweet. But i love them now! and i can’t wait to make them with coconut milk like this, and with vanilla sugar. happy fall!

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    9
    Danae @ Recipe Runner — October 13, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Vanilla and sweet potatoes taste so good together! I know I would be the person scooping that amazing topping off of these!

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    10
    Stephanie — October 13, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I don’t even think I should make this. I would eat it allllll 🙂

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    11
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — October 13, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Sweet potatoes definitely grew on me also throughout the years. I need to make this!

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    12
    Ginny McMeans — October 13, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Man you’re a good cook! Love all of the vanilla in here and the granola addition is so smart. I will absolutely be making this over the holidays!

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    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — October 13, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    I wouldn’t eat sweet potatoes when I was younger either. Once I married thomas though I stared to fall in love with them! Oh my! The vanilla with the sweet potatoes? Heaven!!

  14. #
    14
    Isabelle @ Crumb — October 13, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I’ve always loved sweet potatoes, I just can’t get on the whole marshmallow-topped casserole thing. (Well, maybe if it was a dessert. But marshmallows on savoury dishes weird me out. I blame my grandmother’s weird Jell-O salads consisting of lime gelatin and green peas and corn and olives and mini marshmallows. Ewwwww..)
    Vanilla and pumpkin spice with sweet potatoes, on the other hand? Sign me up!

  15. #
    15
    Lauren @ Healthy Delicious — October 13, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    That vanilla bean paste is everything. It’s so, so, so freaking good! Also, I love that white casserole dish!

  16. #
    16
    Meg @ With Salt and Wit — October 13, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Now I love sweet potato casseroles but adding vanilla bourbon sugar? Genius!

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    17
    Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert — October 14, 2015 at 12:12 am

    One of my kids loves sweet potato but I’m still trying to convince the other one! This just might tip the scales in my favor!

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    18
    Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet — October 14, 2015 at 12:36 am

    This casserole has been an annual tradition in our family since I was a baby! This version looks delicious and I LOVE Nielsen-Massey’s products!

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    19
    Joy @ Joy Love Food — October 14, 2015 at 6:51 am

    I love finding new sweet potato recipes, your version with the vanilla sounds wonderful, I need to try it soon!

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    Renee - Kudos Kitchen — October 14, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I didn’t used to like sweet potatoes when I was a kid either. I’m not sure why, because I don’t think I actually tried them. Thankfully, now that I’m a grown-up, and not so stubborn, I’ve found out how much I really love them. Who knew? I’ll have to try your recipe. It looks wonderfully sweet with the addition of the coconut milk and all that flavorful vanilla!

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    21
    Lana | Never Enough Thyme — October 14, 2015 at 9:30 am

    I’ve always loved sweet potatoes but, like you, don’t want them full of sugar. They just don’t need it. Their natural sweetness is just perfect to me and some vanilla only enhances it. Great recipe! Adding to my list for Thanksgiving dinner.

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    22
    The Food Hunter — October 14, 2015 at 10:50 am

    This would be perfect for Thanksgiving

  23. #
    23
    Jenny B | Honey and Birch — October 14, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving now! Love it

  24. #
    24
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — October 14, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    The only way I ate sweet potatoes until recently was from a can and with lots of brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Haha. Classy. Now I also eat them in fry form. 😀

    But this sounds good! I could definitely do this.

    Are those the Home Depot tiles, by the way? They look great!

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    25
    Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama — October 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    This sweet potato casserole could easily double as dessert! 🙂 I just love your little additions to this classic side dish. And those mini marshmallows?? Essential. 😉

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    Heather | girlichef — October 14, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Yes, yes, and more YES! I felt the same way as a kid, but LOVE them now. I still don’t like them super sweet, but this look and sound like the perfect compromise to the typical ones on a Thanksgiving table. I think this may be one of my contributions to the family potluck this year!

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    Kim Beaulieu — October 15, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Oh man, this looks absolutely perfect. I’ve never been a huge sweet potato fan but this recipe just changed my mind. Plus it’s so darn pretty.

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    28
    Holly @ 3 Yummy Tummies — October 16, 2015 at 1:28 am

    Yummy…I love loaded sweet potato casserole and have never thought of adding granola before. I can’t wait to try it!

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    29
    Annalise @ Completely Delicious — October 16, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Mmm, I love that you can probably get away with eating this for any meal, let alone dessert. Those toasted marshmallows on top look so perfect!

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