Christmas is now LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY. And that means it’s time to get ready for holiday feast round 2. For our family, Christmas Eve dinner is even more momentous than Thanksgiving, and it inevitably features the same classics–think roasted turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, some form of stuffing, sweet potatoes, and green beans. Incorporating these staples is never up for debate (I imagine my family would stage an uprising and boycott the holiday…), but I always try to mix things up as much as I am allowed. Really, the possibilities are endless for traditional yet unique and exciting holiday food.
Take this twist on sweet potato casserole: It’s the ultimate marriage of sweet and savory, classic and daring, healthy and indulgent. Creamy and fluffy sweet potatoes are lightly sweetened and jazzed up with a dash of bourbon, then topped with crisp, salty-sweet candied bacon and pecans and fresh rosemary. A flavor combo made in heaven!
What’s even more amazing, it’s NOT loaded with sugar and butter; it’s GOOD FOR YOU; and it tastes unbelievably indulgent.
Prep is also very simple and can be done ahead of time. All you have to do is toss the dish in the oven just before dinnertime, and you’ll have a beautiful, hot side ready to go. Perfect for holiday feasts!
- 1.5 lb sweet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 Tbsp bourbon
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- dash ground ginger
- dash ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 slices turkey bacon
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 400º. Stab sweet potatoes with a fork, wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking tray. Bake about 1 hour, or until tender.
- When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off skin and transfer flesh to a large mixing bowl. (You should have about 2-1/4 cups.) Mash well with a fork until smooth.
- Add maple syrup, milk, egg, bourbon, spices, salt, and vanilla to sweet potatoes. Beat/whisk thoroughly. Transfer to a medium casserole dish (around 8x8 in).
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat on each side until crisp. Cool.
- In a small bowl, combine pecans, coconut sugar, rosemary, and coconut oil; stir. Tear bacon into small pieces and stir into topping mixture.
- Sprinkle topping evenly over casserole. Bake (uncovered) at 350º about 30 minutes, or until topping begins to brown.
- Makes 4 large servings, or 6 smaller sides.