This Savory Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe is a comforting Thanksgiving side, blending sweet potatoes with savory ham and melted cheese. Infused with aromatic thyme and marjoram, this casserole is not only a highlight at the Thanksgiving table but a warm, festive addition to your holiday spread.
The holiday buzz begins with Thanksgiving prep, which can be stressful without a plan. I ease this by planning ahead, from grocery shopping to menu setting.
I have many ideas to get inspired from, so check out my collection of Thanksgiving recipes. If you like what you see, dive into my other recipes for the holiday table, like this Thanksgiving Sausage And Cranberry Stuffing or this Easy No-Boil Mac And Cheese. My collection of 25 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes is a great way to start planning your Thanksgiving dinner.
Check out my 30 Cooking and Baking Tools For The Holidays(affiliate links), and see if you have everything you need.
👏Why do I love this casserole version?
- Healthier Choice: This savory twist on the traditional sweet potato casserole cuts down on sugar, aligning with health-conscious eating during Thanksgiving meals.
- Versatile: This recipe invites experimentation with herbs and toppings, letting you tweak the flavor profile to suit your Thanksgiving theme or personal taste preferences.
- Fresh Ingredient Focus: Utilizes fresh sweet potatoes for a wholesome taste.
- Leftover-Friendly: A practical choice post-holidays, turn leftover mashed potatoes into your next best sweet potato casserole.
Check out my article: Cold Turkey: Freezing Your Way Through Thanksgiving Leftovers.
📝 Savory Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients:
Sweet Potatoes: The star of the dish, sweet potatoes bring a unique blend of savory sweetness. Opt for large ones, and you can either bake or boil them based on your preference.
Ham: Chopped small, the ham adds a savory, smoky touch. You could swap it with bacon for a crispier texture.
Oil: The recipe requires a tablespoon of oil for sautéing ham and onion. Sunflower or olive oil are good options, but any mild-flavored cooking oil works.
Onion: A thinly sliced large onion provides a subtly sweet, aromatic base. Green onions work well for adding more color to the dish.
Herbs: Dried thyme and marjoram provide an earthy, aromatic flavor complementing the sweet potatoes. Fresh herbs can be used; triple the amount when substituting for dried.
Butter: Melted unsalted butter lends richness and helps to meld the flavors together.
Cheese: A shredded Swiss and Gruyere mix offers a mild, nutty flavor with a nice melt. You can also try other melty cheeses like mozzarella or fontina.
Heavy Whipping Cream: This ingredient contributes to the creamy, luxurious casserole texture.
Egg: A large egg helps to bind the ingredients together, ensuring the casserole holds its shape.
Seasoning: Salt and ground black pepper are essential for enhancing the flavors and adding that finishing touch.
🔄Variations of the recipe:
Herb Variations: Swap out the marjoram for sage, or rosemary for a different aromatic profile.
Seasoning Variations: Add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon to bring a warm, spiced undertone to the casserole.
Other Variations: For a crunchier texture, consider adding a topping of chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts before baking.
🧑🍳 How to make this Savory Sweet Potato Casserole:
Step 1. Preheat the oven and butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and set it aside for later.
Step 2. Peel and cook potatoes: If boiling, chop into large cubes and cook in salted water until soft, or microwave on high per your microwave's baked potato instructions.
Step 3. Transfer the cooked potatoes to a large bowl. Employ a potato masher to mash them up thoroughly before setting them aside.
Step 4. In a large skillet, heat oil, add chopped ham, cook for 4-5 minutes, add onion and cook, stirring often, until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Stir in thyme and marjoram, then remove from heat.
Step 5. In the large bowl with mashed sweet potatoes, add the ham and onion mixture, melted butter, 1 cup cheese, heavy cream, beaten egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.
Step 6. Transfer the potato mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until it melts and slightly bubbles.
Serve this savory casserole dish warm as a comforting side to your Thanksgiving table.
🙋♀️ Recipe faqs:
Yes, it is a great side dish to bake a day before the Thanksgiving meal. You could skip the last step of adding the cheese on top of the dish until the day you are actually going to serve it.
Cover the casserole dish or place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven for the best texture.
I recommend freezing the mashed potatoes without cheese. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then add the remaining ingredients before baking. Properly stored mashed potatoes can last in the freezer for 10-12 months.
🍽️ What to serve next to this dish:
These are some of the dishes l make for the holidays:
Have a wonderful holiday season!
Thanksgiving Desserts To Enjoy:
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Savory Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
- 4 large sweet potatoes uncooked or 6 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
- 4-5 slices of ham chopped small
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheese mixture of Swiss and Gruyere works well
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- To cook the potatoes: either peel and cube them, then boil in salted water until soft; or peel, place in the microwave, and cook on high per your microwave's baked potato instructions.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them and transfer to a large bowl.
- In a large skillet, warm the oil and toss in the chopped ham, cooking for 4-5 minutes. Add the onion, continuing to cook. Stir often until they turn golden brown, which should take around 10 minutes. Mix in the thyme and marjoram, then take the skillet off the heat.
- Add the cooked ham and onion mixture, melted butter, 1 cup of cheese, heavy cream, beaten egg, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the potatoes. Stir all the ingredients together well.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake until heated through, for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese and bake until melted, approximately 5 minutes or more.
- Serve warm as a side dish.
- Potato Preparation: Ensure the potatoes are cooked thoroughly before mashing. They should be easily pierced with a fork.
- Cheese Selection: Swiss and Gruyere are recommended for a nutty flavor, but feel free to substitute with other melty cheeses like mozzarella or fontina.
- Herb Alternatives: If marjoram is unavailable, oregano is a good substitute.
- Mixing: Ensure all ingredients are well combined in the large bowl before transferring to the baking dish.
- Serving: This casserole pairs well with various meats and makes a hearty side for any holiday meal.
- Storage: Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven for the best texture.
- Make-Ahead: Prepare the potato mixture a day in advance, refrigerate, and bake the next day, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time if needed.