Thanksgiving Series: Sweet Potato Casserole

Ahhhh, sweet potato casserole. How do you pair wine with something that is both savory and sweet? Something that is creamy and dreamy, buttery and rich, softly spiced with essence of vanilla and baking spices, and that begs for some zippy acidity to refresh the palate?

Red wine pairings could include a medium bodied sweet and spicy Zinfandel, a light and fruity Beaujolais Nouveau or Pinot Noir, a lighter-bodied berry-laden spicy Merlot, or even a light and medianly tannic Sangiovese. White lovers would enjoy a fruity full-bodied and acidic Riesling, a floral scented, rich and fruity acidic Viognier, a sweet full-bodied fruity Gewurztraminer, a round and fruit forward Chardonnay, or even sweet and fruity Muscat or a Sweet(er) White to mimic flavors. Just be careful to not go “dessert level” sweet! A Sparkling would also stand up to spicy savory and sweet potato casserole.

The world seems to be divided on the inclusion of marshmallows atop their sweet potatoes. I am definitely in the “no-marshmallow” camp. This probably stems from the mishap when I made homemade marshmallows for my boys once. They wanted a peppermint flavored treat. I MISTAKENLY thought I could just swap out the 1 teaspoon of vanilla for 1 teaspoon of peppermint. Don’t ever do that, just don’t. Although maybe if you used 1/8-1/4 of a teaspoon it would work? I don’t know. I’m never trying that again. Anyways, go ahead and add marshmallows to your sweets if you wish, I’ll try to not throw shade your way. And most importantly, if you MUST have marshmallows, a heavy and tannic Cabernet Sauvignon can help cut down on that sweetness.

AND….Back to the Sweet Potato Casserole. This is the recipe I have used in the past. I like it with pecans and a streusel topping.

Sweet Potato Casserole

A sweet and savory southern holiday staple!
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: casserole, marshmallows, pecans, sweet potato
Servings: 12


sweet potatoes

  • 5-6 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 tbsp butter cubed and softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten

streusel topping

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows OPTIONAL


  • Preheat oven to 375F. Place prepared sweet potatoes in large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain well and return sweets to pot.
  • Add butter to sweets and start mashing. Add sugar and continue mashing. Add spices and vanilla; keep mashing. Stir in milk and incorporate eggs. Once everthing has become smooth and lump free, scrape sweets into a prepared 9×13 casserole dish.
  • Make struesel by mixing together sugar, flour, butter, and spices. Fold in pecans. Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until browned. Add mini-marshmallows for last 10 minutes. Serve!


Adapted from 
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