Jeanette Chen of Jeanette’s Healthy Living offers this recipe for a decadent sweet potato side dish, taking it a step above the usual marshmallow topping. To avoid a soggy result, she roasts rather than boils the sweet potatoes and to achieve a richer flavor she adds lots of spices and pecans. The sweet potato portion can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight, with the praline topping added just before popping into the oven. This dish also travels well so you can bring this impressive casserole to your next family gathering.

Main Ingredients

4 pounds sweet potatoes

Filling Ingredients

tablespoons coconut oil or organic unsalted butter melted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3/4 cup organic half and half

Praline Topping Ingredients

1/4 cup gluten-free flour mix
1/4 cup organic dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter cut into small pieces and softened
1/2 cup pecans


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a knife to poke holes in the sweet potatoes. Place sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet and roast potatoes until they can be squeezed easily (use a kitchen towel and squeeze gently with your hand), about 1 hour or more depending on the size of the sweet potatoes. Remove from oven and cut lengthwise to let steam escape. Scoop flesh out into food processor and process until almost smooth. Add melted coconut oil or butter, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, pepper, egg yolks and maple syrup; process until combined. With processor running, pour in half and half and process until blended. Transfer to a baking dish and spread into an even layer. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the dish until the next day; otherwise, continue with the Praline Topping.
Praline topping:
Reduce oven to 375 degrees.
Place flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in food processor; pulse until combined. Add butter to food processor and pulse until crumbly, just a few seconds. Sprinkle nuts over mixture and process a few more seconds until combined. Sprinkle praline topping on top of sweet potato mixture. Bake until topping is well browned and sweet potatoes are hot, about 40 minutes.

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