Savory sweet potato casserole is made with mashed sweet potatoes, garlic, herbs, and a crunchy panko parmesan crust. It's the perfect Thanksgiving side dish recipe to pair with turkey or ham.
If you're looking for an alternative to the classic sweet potato casserole, give this recipe a try! No sugar needed for this side dish - savory sweet potato casserole is seasoned with thyme, sage, garlic, and melted butter.
My favorite part? The panko parmesan crust. Panko bread crumbs, fresh grated parmesan cheese, and melted butter make the most irresistible, crunchy crust.
Serve savory sweet potato casserole at your next Thanksgiving or Christmas feast alongside a spiral sliced ham. Or, make a small casserole (this recipe is easy to halve) with your next weeknight meal. Sweet potato casserole pairs well with poultry and pork.
Filling ingredients and substitutions
Sweet potatoes - you'll need four pounds of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes for this recipe.
Unsalted butter and ¼ teaspoon of the salt can be substituted with salted butter if needed.
Large eggs are needed to bind the filling together and add stability without heaviness.
Milk can be any type you have on hand - 1% milk, whole milk, skim milk, and even unsweetened almond milk will work in this recipe.
Minced garlic can be substituted with garlic powder if needed - I prefer the flavor of fresh garlic.
Thyme, sage, salt, and pepper add flavor to your filling. Thyme and sage could be substituted with an Italian seasoning or other herbs you have on hand, like oregano and rosemary.
Topping ingredients and substitutions
Panko bread crumbs can be traditional or gluten-free, or can be substituted with crushed butter crackers (like Ritz brand) or regular bread crumbs. Keep in mind that panko breadcrumbs will give you the crunchiest crust.
Parmesan cheese should be freshly grated. Packaged, pre-shredded cheeses contain anti-clumping powders that prevent them from melting evenly, adding a grainy texture. Freshly grated is best not only for flavor but smooth texture when melted!
Melted butter and salt can be substituted with salted butter.
How to cook sweet potatoes
For this recipe, you'll need four pounds of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes. There are multiple ways to cook your sweet potatoes - I recommend using the method that works best for you.
Baking - Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, give your potatoes a scrub, dry them off, and prick them multiple times with a fork.
Place the potatoes onto a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until cooked through in the center. Allow them to cool slightly before peeling the skins off.
Boiling - Peel and quarter your potatoes, then place in a pot of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes can be pierced through easily with a fork.
Save time on Thanksgiving day by making your sweet potato casserole the day before.
Assemble your casserole as directed. Before baking, cover your casserole and refrigerate overnight. On Thanksgiving day, pull out your casserole to bring to room temperature on the counter top. Meanwhile, preheat your oven, then bake as directed in the recipe card below.
What to serve with sweet potato casserole
Savory sweet potato casserole pairs particularly well with pork and poultry main dishes, like turkey and ham. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to make your Thanksgiving meal complete:
- Marmalade Glazed Ham
- Green Bean Casserole
- Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
- Kale Apple Slaw
- Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Easy Pecan Pie
Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet Potato Filling
- 4 pounds sweet potatoes cooked and mashed*
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup milk
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Sweet Potato Filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, melted butter, milk, minced garlic, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir until evenly incorporated.
- Pour sweet potato filling into prepared 9x13 pan and spread into an even layer.
- In a bowl, add panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, melted butter, and salt. Stir until combined (mixture will be wet and clumpy). Sprinkle topping evenly over sweet potato filling.
- Bake casserole for 35-40 minutes, or until center is set and top is lightly browned.
- Serve warm.
- Baking: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until cooked through. Allow to cool slightly, then peel the skins off and mash.
- Boiling: Peel potatoes, quarter each potato, then place in a pot of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes can be pierced through with a fork. Drain and mash.