Savory Sweet Potato Bake

Story by Natalie
savory sweet potato caserole topped with sharp cheddar cheese and pumpkin seeds
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Sharp cheddar, parmesan, and a warm mixture of spices make for a savory spin on classic sweet potato casserole. A little smoky and lot cheesy, this savory sweet potato bake will become a family tradition in no time. 

A Not So Humble Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

It’s a reliable sight on most any Thanksgiving table—sweet potatoes whipped together with heavy cream and topped with a mess of marshmallows, otherwise known as sweet potato casserole. For some people, it’s just not the holidays without it. Thankfully, we’re not one of those people! This year, we’re going rogue and loading up our sweet potato bake with cheddar and parmesan cheese, smoked paprika, a pour of silky heavy cream.

Are Yam and Sweet Potatoes The Same Thing? And Other Important Questions. 

Yams and sweet potatoes are one of the most commonly confused root vegetables and for good reason. They look exactly the same even if the label says otherwise. So what’s the difference between the two? Absolutely nothing. Most of the so-called yams you see at the grocery store are actually just orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. Real yams are an entirely different root vegetable that is more like yucca in flavor and texture. 

The good news is that most sweet potatoes are interchangeable in a recipe with a few subtle differences in flavor, sweetness, and moisture. 

  • Beauregard Sweet Potato: Brown skin. Deeply sweet. Grown in Louisiana. 
  • Garnet Sweet Potato: Red skin. Pumpkin-like flavor. 
  • Jewel Sweet Potato: Coppery orange skin. Mild sweetness. Grown in California.  

Savory Sweet Potato Bake

How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes into the Best Side Dish of Thanksgiving

Whether you’re in charge of bringing a Thanksgiving side dish to your mother-in-laws or just in search of a comforting side dish this cozy, easy sweet potato soufflé recipe will hit the spot: 

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes!  
  2. Mash the sweet potatoes!  
  3. Smash in all of the good stuff—eggs, heavy cream, spices and cheese.
  4. Pour into a baking dish and top with even more cheese because duh. 
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes or so in a 350 degree F oven. Covered with foil for the first half, then uncovered for maximum crispiness. 
  6. Sprinkle with chives, pumpkin seeds and a dusting of that smoky paprika. 
Savory Sweet Potato Bake

Tools You’ll Need: 

Other Baked Sweet Potato Recipes 

If you love sweet potatoes as much as we do, we have a whole bunch of other recipes that put the orange-colored, ultra-nutritious tuber to use. 

A Sweet Potato Casserole That Turns Tradition on Its Head

Loaded with two kinds of cheese, heavy cream and plenty of spices, this sweet potato casserole will steal a spot in your grandmother’s recipe box in no time. Snap a photo of your savory sweet potato bake and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Savory Sweet Potato Bake

Serves 8

Ingredients

2.5 lbs red sweet potatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided in half
1 cup grated sharp, white cheddar
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped

Method

  1. In a medium stock pot cover sweet potatoes with 1 inch of water. Add bay leaves and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until potatoes are just tender and can be pierced with a fork.
  2. Drain water and return to heat until all moisture is gone from the pot and a film is apparent in the pot. (This shouldn’t take more than a minute or two, you don’t want to burn your potatoes, just extract all excess liquid.) Once dry, remove from heat, remove the bay leaves and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a stand mixer or by hand, smash potatoes until smooth. Careful to not overmix.
  4. Gently stir in eggs, heavy cream, pepper, nutmeg, mustard, paprika, salt, ½ cup of parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese just until combined.
  5. Pour into a small baking dish and smooth out top and layer with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake covered with foil for 30 minutes at 350°, then another 15-20 uncovered until the top is golden brown.
  7. Garnish with chives, pumpkin seeds and a dusting of paprika. Serve hot and enjoy!