Nov 11, 2015

Candied Sweet Potato Casserole

Naturally sweetened with honey and orange juice then studded with pecans flavored with cinnamon this delicious Candied Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday. | manilaspoon.com

My family and I are getting excited about Thanksgiving and it's just around the corner. Since my parents and siblings  are in the Philippines and hubby's parents are in England, when Thanksgiving comes we really don't have our family to celebrate with us - it's just the four of us, hubby, me and our two little Americans. We do miss them especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas as it's not often that we get to see them because the fares are astronomically high to travel abroad during holiday season.

Thankfully, despite missing our blood relatives during special occasions, we have never really felt alone as our family has always been adopted by some very kind families from our church during Thanksgiving. The past 12 years we have been in the US, we never had to celebrate Thanksgiving on our own and by God's grace we have another new family to join this time. It just feels wonderful that way. This is why I decided for this post to make a classic Thanksgiving side dish - sweet potato casserole and perhaps share it with our host family this year. I usually bring Lumpia (Filipino Spring Rolls) as appetizers as that is often requested but I thought why not add another dish to the list and so here it is.

Flavored with honey and orange juice then studded with pecans this tasty Candied Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving. | manilaspoon.com

This Candied Sweet Potato Casserole gets its flavor from a combination of honey, orange juice and orange zest. It's easy to prep and I like that it's practically naturally sweetened but not overly sweet. Chopped pecans flavored with cinnamon and a little sugar is sprinkled over on top to add extra crunch and yum.

Flavored with honey and orange juice then studded with pecans this tasty Candied Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving. | manilaspoon.com

I simply peel the sweet potatoes and then slice them thinly (1/4 inch or less) and then arrange them on a baking dish with overlapping layers.

Flavored with honey and orange juice then studded with pecans this tasty Candied Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving. | manilaspoon.com

Then I pour over the potatoes a combination of honey, orange juice and zest, butter and a little salt and bake it covered for 20 minutes.

Flavored with honey and orange juice then studded with pecans this tasty Candied Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving. | manilaspoon.com

Thereafter, I sprinkle the chopped pecans mixed with a little sugar and cinnamon on top, baste it quickly and then bake it until the potatoes have softened. The result is a tasty sweet potato casserole with bright flavors of honey and orange that looks nicely caramelized, too thanks to the cinnamon and sugar on top. It's not super-sweet (like dessert) but the amount of honey (or other sweetener you prefer) can be adjusted to your taste. It's certainly a perfect complement to roast Turkey (or chicken and pork) for Thanksgiving and beyond. Hope you like it.

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Candied Sweet Potato Casserole




Naturally sweetened with honey and orange juice then studded with pecans flavored with cinnamon this delicious Candied Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday. | manilaspoon.com

Naturally sweetened with honey and orange juice then studded with pecans flavored with cinnamon this delicious Candied Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sweet Potatoes (about 5 cups), peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup Orange juice
  • 1/3 cup Honey (or Maple syrup)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted
  • Zest of 2 Oranges
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons brown Sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a baking dish (about 2 quartz capacity -  8 or 9 x 11"), arrange the sliced sweet potatoes in overlapping layers. In a bowl combine the orange juice, orange zest, honey, butter and salt. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes ensuring that all slices are coated (to ensure better absorption of the sauce).
  3. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. In the meantime, mix the pecans, cinnamon and sugar. After 20 minutes, uncover the dish, sprinkle with the chopped pecan mixture and baste well. Bake for another 30-40 minutes or until the sweet potatoes have softened.
  4. Place under the broiler for a couple of minutes, if desired. Enjoy!

  5. Note: As this dish is mostly naturally sweetened, it's not overly sweet like the regular sweet potato casseroles with sugar and marshmallow. Feel free to adjust the amount of honey to your liking and for an even better flavor absorption, make it a day ahead and then simply reheat fully covered in the oven the next day for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are fully heated through.
Yield: 6-8 Servings
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes



Naturally sweetened with honey and orange juice then studded with pecans flavored with cinnamon this delicious Candied Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday. | manilaspoon.com

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49 comments

  1. orange juice and zest?? I am VERY excited to try this recipe - sounds SO good!

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  2. No once can turn down the sweet potato casserole! Love the orange juice and honey! So perfectly balanced!

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  3. What an amazing holiday dish. I've got some sweet potatoes just begging to be made into this!

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  4. Dear Abigail, I absolutely love this for the holidays! Such a perfect winter side dish and so beautiful too! xo, Catherine

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  5. You can put pecans and maple syrup on anything and I would be happy, but even more so when it is combined with sweet potatoes. Yum!

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  6. This sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving dish! I love sweet potatoes and this recipe sounds amazing!!!

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  7. I am an orange vegetable fanatic so I looooooooooove this.

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  8. What a glorious Thanksgiving side dish! This sounds the BEST way to make sweet potatoes! So glad you have an "extended" family with whom to celebrate the holidays, Abby!

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  9. Now this is a dish I'd love on my holiday table. Looks delicious

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  10. What a beautiful dish - all the right flavors and all that sweet deliciousness!

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  11. I love sweet potato casseroles, your version with the sweet potato slices and orange juice sounds wonderful, I will have to try it soon!

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  12. I love the simplicity of putting this together. I can only imagine how heavenly it tastes!

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  13. Dear Abby, what a gorgeous dish...mmmm. Love those layered sweet potatoes. I'm so glad you have a special family to spend Thanksgiving with. (And they have a special family too!) I know you'll have a wonderful time. (And I would really love to taste those spring rolls.) We are especially thankful this year as my brother had a terrible fall from a ladder several months ago. He broke many bones, had many surgeries and will be in a wheelchair at least through the New Year. It could have been so much worse and we're so thankful he'll BE at the Thanksgiving table this year. Have a blessed time with your family. xo

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    1. Oh, I am so terribly sorry to hear about your brother Allie! Praying for a speedy recovery. Glad he could join you for Thanksgiving and wishing you and your family a blessed and enjoyable gathering. Thanks, Allie!

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  14. My mouth was full on watering by the time I got to the end of the recipe. Looks fantastic!

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  15. This si SO going to be on my table this year for Thanksgiving! Much easier way to enjoy sweet potatoes :D

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    1. Hope you enjoy it Chrisy and thanks for stopping by! :)

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  16. It is hard not to be able to meet with your family during holidays but it is so nice to be surrounded by people who feel kind enough to spend these days with you. I studied in the US and I still remember with great love the family that adopted me. Those potatoes are perfect and I am sure everyone will be happy!

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  17. I love your presentation with this dish! It looks beautiful!

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  18. I love that this casserole is sliced (as opposed to mashed)—looks just stunning!

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  19. This looks so good! And, I'll be honest, I'm really excited that it doesn't have marshmallows on it. Looks great like this!

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    1. Thanks, Debi! Love it the way it is, too. :)

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  20. Yummy recipe! I love the flavors and low sugar. I make a sweet potato casserole that we all love that is similar to this one. So good and not too sweet! Sweet potatoes don't need sticky, gluey marshmallows to be good!

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    1. So true Diane! I love that this is not overly sweet, too and mostly naturally sweetened. Thanks!

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  21. All of those pecans and honey make this dish look so tempting. Can't wait to try it.

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  22. This seems to be so easy to put together and looks so delicious. Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

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    1. Quick and easy to prep for sure Divya, thanks!

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  23. Just one quick question about the basting... are we to use a small spoon and jam it down in the dish to retrieve the liquid or tip up the hot pan?? I'm sure this is super simple, I'm just missing it. Is there more liquid in the pan than I am imagining?

    Celena

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    1. I just used a tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop out the juice especially after it's been in the oven and then drizzle the juice all over. I push the potatoes a little to get the juice - it's quite easy to do that and then just push it back. You want a little liquid to drizzle over the potatoes when serving too. :)

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    2. Thank you! I figured as much but I wasnt sure if I was supposed to move the potatoes around. I am trying it next weekend!!

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  24. This looks declicious! Sweet potatoes are my favorite Thanksgiving dish! I love how you added honey and pecans!

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  25. hello! This looks like a delicious dish and I plan to make it for Thanksgiving. Does this dish travel well? I know you said we can make it in advance and reheat. So should I bake the whole thing through and then just reheat when I get to my in-laws' house? Thanks!

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    1. I have never travelled with this but if you are traveling long distance keep it in a chilled container or ice box and then reheat when you get to the place. If you have time, you can make it at your MIL's place so it depends on how much time you have really.

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  26. Question regarding reheating. If I make it the day before do I bake it the full hour and then another 20 minutes the next day? Thank you .... Looks great!

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    1. Bake it covered for 30 minutes or just until the potatoes are heated through. Oven temps vary so please check after 20 minutes to see if it's already bubbly and hot.

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  27. This is great I think adding a little bourbon would be great bourbon goes great with sweet potatoes

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  28. I'm so excited to make this! Have you ever tried making it the day before and then warming it the next day?

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    1. Yes, just make sure you cover it when reheating. I think it's more flavorful.

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  29. Hi Abby - I was volunteered to bring the sweet potatoes for our Thanksgiving meal this year. I searched the web and looked at the search results using only images. Your dish was the most beautiful presentation I had ever seen! I used your recipe - loved the addition of honey (I used to be a beekeeper). Everyone loved them! Thanks so much, I love your photos and how each finished dish looks amazingly delicious!

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    1. Thank you so much for your very kind feedback Robin! You totally made my day!!! Always appreciate it when people come back and let us know how the cooking and eating went. :)

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  30. Simple and delish without all the added sugar and marshmallows. I did forget to add the cinnamon, but it was still yummy. I do want to try to replace the butter with coconut oil to make it a bit healthier. Easy.

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    1. So happy to know you liked it Tracy! Thanks for letting us know and I may have to try the coconut oil, too! Glad you stopped by!

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  31. Lovely combination of flavors here.Beautiful recipe – Perfect for the start of Spring. I look forward to making this.

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  32. Do you think you could use Apple juice instead of orange? Looks beautiful!

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    1. Am sure you can though the taste would be slightly different but worth a try! Let us know how it goes if you get to try it Tracy. Thanks!

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