Purple Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

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Purple Sweet Potatoes with Praline Topping

Purple sweet potatoes – who knew?! I thought it would be fun to use them in my version of my friend Jan’s sweet potato casserole with praline topping. Of course, “regular” sweet potatoes or yams work well here.

Jan’s recipe was adapted from one she found in Cooking Light over fifteen years ago. I put my spin on her recipe, adding more pecans and spice to the topping. The original recipe called for one egg white, but I threw in a whole egg, added a bit more butter and then some cream instead of the evaporated milk. The folks at CL probably would not approve…

Many thanks to Frieda’s Produce for sending me a generous bag of these purple beauties. Although the potatoes were provided at no cost to me, I received no compensation for this post.

TIP: This entire dish can be assembled a day ahead of serving, an ideal Thanksgiving “side”. Refrigerate overnight, then allow the casserole to come to room temperature – an hour or so – before baking.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Purple Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Purple sweet potatoes are the base for this Thanksgiving "side".
  • Topping:
  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
  • ¾ cup all purpose unbleached flour
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • Potatoes:
  • 3 pounds purple sweet potatoes
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the topping, combine all the ingredients and set aside.
  3. Cook the potatoes, peeled and quartered, in boiling water until tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Drain well.
  5. Using either a standing or handheld mixer, mash the potatoes with the sugar.
  6. Combine the cream, egg, vanilla and salt. Stir into the mashed potatoes.
  7. Add 1 cup of the topping to the potatoes and mix together.
  8. Butter a 2 quart casserole or soufflé dish. Spoon in potatoes and spread crumbles of the topping over the potatoes.
  9. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until the topping has browned.



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34 Responses to Purple Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

  1. Beth (OMG! Yummy) November 22, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Beautiful dish Liz and I am all about make-ahead dishes for the holidays! Hope u have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year.

    • Liz November 23, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      Best wishes to you and your family, Beth – Happy TG!

  2. Jayne November 23, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    Wow what a color! I’m so impressed that the sweet potatoes retained their color after cooking, I’ve used purple carrots, cauliflower, sprouts, beans and potatoes before and all disappointingly turned a shade of green after cooking!

    • Liz November 23, 2013 at 8:36 am #

      To tell the truth, I’m not sure that the bright purple is that appealing to me when I think of eating the dish…

  3. Suzanne November 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Those are the most vivid purple yams I have ever seen, how beautiful and delicious, I love the praline topping and I think adding the whole egg, butter and cream will make it even better, I’m sure it’s great the other way also but it’s the holidays where we can enjoy a little excess. Just beautiful!

    • Liz November 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      Thanks, Suzanne – Happy Turkey Day-

  4. Lynda - TasteFood November 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    I just discovered purple sweet potatoes. Their color is fantastic!

    • Liz November 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Yes, it blew me away when I started peeling them for my dish.

      • Shawn November 28, 2013 at 11:43 am #

        Eat these all the time out in Hawaii, they are incredibly tasty and healthy. A superfood really, you could literally live off of them. The purple color is the same antioxidant that is found in blueberries.

        Ive been making this dish for a few years now. For a tropical twist, use coconut cream or milk in lieu of the dairy. Adds just a hint of coconutty richness.

  5. Oui, Chef November 29, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    I’ve only had sweet potatoes when in Hawaii, never knew you could get them State-side….so pretty, AND tasty!

    • Liz November 29, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      The color is pretty wild but I liked the flavor, Steve.

  6. Adri November 30, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    Beautiful! I bet this is wonderful.

  7. The Wimpy Vegetarian December 1, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    These are gorgeous! I’ve seen them but haven’t bought them , so thanks for this great recipe for them. i can’t do the nuts, but pine nuts should work fine i would think!

    • Liz December 1, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      Sure, pine nuts would be delicious here.

  8. SallyBR December 6, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Beautiful! The color of those potatoes is so amazing, I don’t buy them often enough, and love this idea of using them in a puree type dish


    • Liz December 6, 2013 at 8:24 am #

      Thanks – the color is super intense, even after cooking the dish –

  9. Angel Mamma Bear January 19, 2014 at 5:10 am #

    Wish they sold them year round. They are hard to find. I love the flavor n color.

  10. Lynda November 24, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    The color of the potatoes is stunning. I love their flavor too. This is a beautiful and festive dish perfect for the holiday table.

    • Liz November 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      Thanks, Lynda, the color certainly is startling, isn’t it?

  11. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious November 24, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Wow, the color! I have some of those on the counter and I thought of something like this, but I am like you…not sure about wanting to eat them. I sure want to look at them, though!

    • Liz November 24, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

      Agree with you, Dorothy – happy Thanksgiving!

  12. suzanne November 24, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Wow, what amazing color, I’ve never had purple sweet potatoes before. I love how they look, and the praline topping sounds amazing. Happy Thanksgiving Liz!

    • Liz November 24, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

      Of course, Suzanne, the topping is the best part – Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. Priscilla - She's Cookin' November 24, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    I’m all about the praline topping! I’ve tried the purple fingerlings, but not the purple sweet potatoes – they are definitely a vivid purple, but I know my family would prefer the traditional orange 🙂 I’ll have to try them in some other dish. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Larry, Liz!

    • Liz November 24, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

      Happy Thanksgiving, Priscilla – I’m wondering if you are celebrating in New England with your family or back home. Yep, orange will be on my table – but the praline topping rocks.

  14. Sippitysup November 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    …and they stay purple! GREG

    • Liz November 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

      Indeed they do…

  15. Wendy Read November 25, 2014 at 5:39 am #

    The color is fabulous Liz, this recipe is another keeper, I love your choices of ingredients. I am wishing you a wonderful happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

    • Liz November 25, 2014 at 8:04 am #

      Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Wendy – thanks, as always, for your support.

  16. Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver December 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Looks like a very colorful Thanksgiving! What a beautiful color, I’ll look for these at the farmer’s market on Saturday.

  17. Marsha December 18, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

    I made purple sweet potatoe casserole with brown sugar, self rising flour, butter & pecan topping for our church Christmas meal Sunday night. They loved it and not much was left over. Got these from W Columbia SC farmers market. Marsha

    • Liz December 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm #

      So glad it was a success. I have a dear friend in Greer, SC – visited several times. Happy holidays!

  18. memo29 November 23, 2019 at 9:19 pm #

    This recipe sounds amazing! I can’t wait to try it. I just discovered purple sweet potatoes and omg they really are so sweet. With the praline topping I bet this is so delicious! One quick question though (I am a newbie cook) when you say cream I am assuming you mean heavy cream right?

    • Liz November 25, 2019 at 1:44 pm #

      Yes, heavy cream –

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