The sweet potato casserole has a mandatory presence on the Thanksgiving table, but that doesn’t mean it has to be overcooked, overspiced, and sickly sweet. This simple version, topped with a traditional layer of browned marshmallows, is lightly sweetened and cooked until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy. It’s also flavored with just a hint of ginger—we prefer the spiciness of candied or crystallized ginger, but ground ginger works just as well.
Game plan: This recipe can be made through step 4 up to 1 day ahead (skip the heating of the oven). Cool the casserole completely, cover it with foil, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat covered in a 350°F oven until warmed through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue with the last step.
If your marshmallows happen to catch fire under the broiler, here’s a CHOW tip on how to save the day (and the casserole).
This recipe was featured as part of our Classic Thanksgiving … Only Cheaper menu.
- 1Heat the oven to broil and arrange a rack in the lower third.
- 2Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the brown sugar, water, salt, and ground ginger (if you’re using candied or crystallized ginger, it will be added later). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil.
- 3Add the sweet potatoes, stir to combine, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer, stirring every few minutes, until the sweet potatoes are knife tender and starting to fall apart at the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- 4Add the candied or crystallized ginger, if using, and stir until evenly combined. Transfer the sweet potatoes and any liquid to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.
- 5Sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the sweet potatoes. Broil until the marshmallows are puffed and golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Place the dish on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.