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.
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.
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
By: Manila Spoon
November 11, 2015
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.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- 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).
- 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.
- Place under the broiler for a couple of minutes, if desired. Enjoy!
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