Sweet Potato Souffle with Brown Sugared Pecans is the ultimate holiday side dish!
Silky smooth and creamy, the sweet potatoes are flavored with just a hint of orange to accentuate their natural sweetness and give a bright flavor. Brown Sugared Pecans make a delicious, crunchy topping as the nuts become caramelized while they bake.
Sometimes called a Sweet Potato Soufflé and sometimes called a Sweet Potato Casserole, either way, it’s always delicious!
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The BEST Sweet Potato Souffle Recipe – Why you’ll love it!
- Silky smooth, perfectly sweetened sweet potatoes
- Crunchy, brown sugar pecan topping that’s not overly sweet
- Easy to make
- Perfect for holiday dinners - Can be made in advance and baked while the turkey rests
- Classic side dish that perfectly complements a traditional holiday dinner
- Guests always rave about it!
What is Southern Sweet Potato Souffle?
Fluffy, Sweet Potato Soufflé with pecans is a traditional Southern side dish that’s essential on the Thanksgiving and holiday table. It’s also enjoyed year round.
Sweet potatoes are roasted until tender, then whipped ultra-smooth and creamy with eggs, butter, sugar, and cream. It’s topped with a sweet, crunchy butter pecan topping or sometimes a streusel.
Side dish or dessert?
While this Sweet Potato Souffle recipe is sweet enough to be considered a dessert, it’s most often served as a side dish on the Thanksgiving and holiday table. You can easily adjust the sweetness if you prefer it sweeter or less sweet.
What’s the difference between sweet potato souffle and casserole?
They’re pretty much the same thing. For the most part, the terms are used interchangeably. If I had to pinpoint a slight difference, in a sweet potato soufflé, the mixture contains eggs and is pureed until velvety smooth. When it bakes, it becomes light and fluffy. A sweet potato soufflé is a sweet potato casserole. However, some sweet potato casseroles might not be as smooth and fluffy as a sweet potato souffle.
Sweet Potato Souffle ingredients
- Sweet potatoes – I find that baking the sweet potatoes deepens and sweetens the flavor, whereas boiling them makes them watery and bland. I wrap them in foil so they don’t dry out and bake them for about an hour. In a hurry, they can also be cooked in the microwave.
- Eggs – to lighten and bind the mixture as well as giving lift.
- Orange rind and juice – a touch of orange adds a wonderful flavor to the sweet potatoes. For a more traditional flavor, omit the orange and use vanilla.
- Sugar – white sugar brings out the sweetness of the potatoes without overpowering their delicate flavor
- Butter and cream – adds richness and moisture
- A few gratings of fresh nutmeg
- Pecan halves – you can also use chopped pecans. It saves time on decorating and is more economical.
- Brown sugar – sprinkled on top of the pecans caramelizes and candies them.
Topping for Sweet Potato Soufflé
This Sweet Potato Souffle is topped with a simple brown sugar, buttered pecan topping using halved or chopped pecans. For an amazing streusel topping, check out my Sweet Potato Casserole.
How to make Sweet Potato Souffle
Put all sweet potato puree ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Spread into a 2 quart baking dish
Put pecan pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and mix in 1 tablespoon butter. Spread nuts on top of sweet potato puree. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of pecans.
Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes.
Make ahead instructions
Sweet Potato Souffle makes the perfect holiday side dish because it can be made up to a day in advance. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Take it out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before baking.
How to freeze before baking:
Prepare the recipe. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, then wrap in several layers of aluminum foil. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
How to freeze after baking:
Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, then wrap in several layers of aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before warming in the oven or microwave.
You can also freeze individual sized portions.
Sweet Potato Souffle variations:
Sweet Potato Souffle with canned yams – you can substitute canned yams for the sweet potatoes in this recipe. Drain the canned yams well and add them to the processor (you will need 30oz of drained yams). Canned yams are often packed in syrup, which will make them sweeter. Reduce the sugar in the sweet potatoes by half or to taste.
Sweet Potato Souffle with marshmallows – sprinkle 10 ounces of mini marshmallows on top of the pecans before baking. You can omit half of the brown sugar.
Vegan Sweet Potato Souffle – Substitute vegan butter, coconut milk or cashew cream for the cream, and ½ cup silken tofu for the eggs.
Sweet Potato Souffle with coconut – chop the pecans, toss with brown sugar, melted butter, and ½ cup shredded coconut. Sprinkle on top of the sweet potato puree.
Sweet Potato Souffle FAQs
Can I make this without pecans?
- Yes. You can omit the pecans and top with mini marshmallows. Or use a streusel topping and omit the nuts. Check out my Sweet Potato Casserole.
Can I use chopped pecans?
- Yes. Instead of arranging whole pecan halves, you can use chopped pecans, toss them with the brown sugar and melted butter, and sprinkle on top of the sweet potato puree.
More favorite Thanksgiving side dishes and mains:
- Buttermilk Brined Spatchcock Turkey with Gravy
- Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Classic Amish Stuffing
- Homemade Poultry Seasoning
- From Scratch Green Bean Casserole
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
- Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls
- Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells
- The BEST Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- Pumpkin Crunch Cake
- Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
Sweet Potato Souffle with Brown Sugared Pecans is the ultimate holiday side dish! A Thanksgiving favorite that’s easy to make in advance.
For the sweet potato puree:
- 3 cups cooked sweet potatoes (see note) (30 oz, 850g)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teasponns finely grated orange rind
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2.2oz, 62g)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (5.25 oz, 149g)
- ¼ cup butter, melted (2oz, 57g)
- ¼ cup heavy cream (2oz, 57g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- few gratings of fresh nutmeg
For the topping
- 2 cups pecan halves or pieces (8oz, 226g)
- 1 tablespoon butter (½ oz, 14g)
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar (1.9oz, 53g)
- pinch salt
For the sweet potato puree:
- Put all sweet potato puree ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
- Spread into a 2 quart baking dish
For the topping:
- Put pecan pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and mix in 1 tablespoon butter.
- Spread nuts on top of sweet potato puree.
- Sprinkle brown sugar on top of pecans.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.
- The brown sugar should be melted . If there are any spots of sugar that are not melted, brush with a little more melted butter and return to the oven for a few more minutes.
To bake sweet potatoes: Wash sweet potatoes and prick with a fork. Wrap each in foil and bake at 350F until very tender, about 1 hour.
To microwave potatoes: Place on a dish and microwave until soft. When the middle is squeezed, it should be very soft. Smaller sweet potatoes take about 8 minutes, large sweet potatoes will take a little longer.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: sweet potatoes, casserole, Thanksgiving, holiday, pecans, side dish,