This Sweet Potato Souffle is velvety smooth, creamy, and topped with a crunchy, buttery pecan crust. Elevate your holiday gatherings with this side dish, guaranteed to leave your guests in awe. Simply irresistible!
This truly amazing sweet potato souffle features creamy, fluffy sweet potatoes topped with a crunchy, nutty, buttery topping. This almost dessert-like side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas but simple enough to serve for Sunday too!
What is sweet potato souffle? It is a popular casserole style side dish that is a dessert-like and praticulaly popular during Thanksgiving and other Holidays, like the instant pot mashed potatoes. It is made of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes combined with sugar, butter, milk or heavy cream, vanilla and eggs to create a smooth and flavorful mixture.
It is then transferred to a baking dish, topped with the nut and sugar mixture, and baked until it's set and the topping is golden brown and crispy. It results in a creamy, sweet and savory side dish that's both comforting and indulgent.
What is the difference between a casserole and a souffle? While both feature sweet potatoes as their primary ingredient and are subsequently baked with toppings, few distinct variations set them apart.
The casserole has a denser and more solid texture, and typically does not rise during baking. Whereas the soufle has a lighter, fluffier texture and rises significantly during baking due to the incorporation of beaten eggs. This results in a sweet potato souffle with a soft and delicate interior.
You can find many varieties of sweet potatoes in the super markets and they can differ quite a bit in color, texture and flavor. Beaureguard is one of the most commonly found and it has a dusky skin and is sweet moist and buttery. It is especially great made into sweet potato biscuits. Jewel also is great variety with a copper skin and a moist orange flesh.
Why you'll love this?
I begin by sauteeing cubed sweet potatoes in butter, which infuses them with its rich, nutty flavor and adds a complex flavor. The heavy cream, in combination with butter, adds additional fat and a luxurious mouth feel.
The cooked sweet potatoes yield a silky yet light-textured puree that maintains enough structure to hold its shape when placed on a fork, which is complimented with a crunchy topping that offers a beautiful contrast in texture.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Sweet potatoes - This recipe uses 2 pounds of sweet potatoes which is about 4 medium sized ones. This can vary a bit depending on the size.
- Eggs - Provides structure, leavening, and richness to create a light and airy texture.
- Butter - Adds flavor and richness.
- Cream - Use heavy whipping cream, which which makes the filling luxurious.
- Brown sugar - Light or dark brown sugar works in this recipe. I prefer light brown sugar, which lets the flavor of potatoes shine through.
- Cinnamon - A must have fall spice!
- Pecans - We love pecans paired with sweet potatoes, like in air fryer baked sweet potato. Feel free to swap them for walnuts.
- Baking powder - A dash guarentees a rise when baking.
Variations and Substitutions
- Make it dairy-free - Replace milk with your favorite dairy-free milk, such as oat milk, almond, or coconut. Use melted coconut oil for butter like in healthy mashed sweet potatoes.
- Nut free - Skip pecans and use rolled oats instead like in air fryer apple crisp.
- Gluten free option - Use gluten free flour, almond flour or ground gluten free rolled oats instead of all purpose flour.
- Add vanilla extract - Add vanilla along with a ground cinnamon for a dessert worthy sweet potato souffle.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1.Peel and chop sweet potatoes into about ¾-inch chunks.
2. Place a medium to large saucepan over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter and let melt.
3. Add the cut sweet potato and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add ½ cup water and salt, give a good stir. Cover saucepan with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or potatoes are very tender and begins to break down.
Tip: Ensure to check occasionally and add a splash of water if needed if there's no water left behind before the sweet potatoes are cooked.
5. Make pecan crumble while the sweet potatoes are cooking. Add chopped pecans, brown sugar, and all purpose flour into a small bowl and stir to combine.
6 to 8. Add melted butter and stir well, until evenly combined.
9. Uncover and increase heat to evaporate any remaining traces of liquid. Remove pan from heat and let cool completely.
Pro tip: Ensure there is absolutely no trace of liquid remaining. This step is crucial to guarantee that the filling maintains its desired consistency and doesn't become runny during baking.
10. Add eggs, brown sugar, heavy cream, cinnamon, and baking powder into the cooled sweet potatoes.
11. Beat using an electric beater, on high, until very smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
12. Transfer into a square baking dish, spread evenly, and sprinkle pecan topping on the top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or the souffle has puffed slightly and the topping is golden brown.
How to serve?
I prefer serving it at room temperature, which allows the butter fat to solidify and the soufflé to set. This makes it an excellent option for advance preparation, particularly when you're caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday entertaining.
Make ahead instructions
This sweet potato souffle makes a great make-ahead side dish for those special meals since you can easily prep it ahead and either freeze or refrigerate it. Then it can easily be baked on the day of serving or baked ahead of time to simply serve at room temperature.
To make 2 to 3 days ahead - Prepare sweet potato mixture and spread into casserole dish. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Prepare pecan crumble topping and store it in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, spread pecan crumble on top of the casserole and bake as directed. It might take a few addional minutes of baking time.
To make about a month ahead and freeze - Prepare sweet potato mixture and spread into casserole dish. Wrap tightly and store in the freezer for upto a month. Make sure that the casserole dish is freezer safe. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge before baking.
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers of the sweet potato souffle, simply cover well with wrap or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve cold, room temperature, or reheat and serve.
- Skip pecans and use walnuts instead.
- Double the recipe and bake in a 9x13 baking dish.
Excessive moisture is a frequent culprit for a runny filling. It's imperative to dry any liquid during the sweet potato cooking process. Additionally, take care to thoroughly beat the mixture for approximately 2 minutes; this not only helps in mashing the vegetable but also incorporates air into the puree.
Unfortunately no! Although canned variety might be a convenient option, when making a sweet potato casserole, it might not work well for the souffle. It not only affects the texture and flavor but also might be impossible to achieve a light and airy texture.
As a general guideline, a typical serving size is about ½ to ¾ cup per person, which is a standard portion for side dishes during a meal, especially when served as part of a holiday feast. Keep in mind that the actual serving size can be adjusted based on factors like the number of side dishes, the overall menu, and the number of guests.
More holiday side dishes
Sweet Potato Souffle
- ¾ cup toasted pecans, chopped
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
Cook sweet potato
- Place a medium to large saucepan over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter and let melt. Add the cut sweet potato and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add ½ cup water and salt, give a good stir. Cover saucepan with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or potatoes are very tender. Tip: Ensure to check occasionally and add a splash of water if needed if there's no water left behind before the sweet potatoes are cooked.
- Uncover and increase heat to evaporate any remaining traces of liquid. Remove pan from heat and let cool completely. Pro tip: Sweet potatoes can be cooked until this stage, cooled, and refrigerated for up to a day or two.
Assemble and Bake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and have an 8X8 square baking pan ready.
- Add eggs, brown sugar, heavy cream, cinnamon, and baking powder into the cooled sweet potatoes and beat using an electric beater, on high, until very smooth and creamy.
- Transfer into the prepared baking dish, spread evenly, and sprinkle pecan topping on the top.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or the souffle has puffed slightly and the topping is golden brown.
- Place casserole on a wire rack and let cool completely. Pro tip: For the ultimate creamy and luxurious texture, serve this dish at room temperature, allowing the soufflé ample time to settle.
- Add chopped pecans, brown sugar, and all purpose flour into a small bowl and stir to combine. Add melted butter and stir well, until evenly combined.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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