Call dibs now—you want to bring this Sweet Potato Souffle to Thanksgiving this year! Velvety roasted sweet potatoes beaten into a fluffy frenzy with butter, sugar, and eggs, then showered with a crunchy pecan topping and baked until golden, it has the distinct habit of stealing the side dish show.
Plus, you are going to sound ultra-impressive when you casually mention that you are bringing a souffle.
Though the word “souffle” suggests a dish that’s fussy (and you can allow your friends to assume as much), sweet potato souffle is EASY (even easier than Cornbread Stuffing!).
Souffle vs. Casserole
Unlike a classic French souffle, southern sweet potato souffle requires zero meticulous whipping and folding of egg whites or hovering by the oven as it bakes, praying to the food gods that it won’t fall.
- The process to make sweet potato souffle is more like making a casserole: prepare filling, add delicious topping, then bake.
- The primary difference between a casserole and souffle is the texture of the sweet potatoes. Because eggs are beaten with the sweet potatoes in a sweet potato souffle, they become fluffy and light, just like a classic souffle.
5 Star Review
“This sweet potato souffle is absolutely delicious! The BEST sweet potato side dish ever! It’s also great as a healthy dessert. I’ve made it twice and will certainly make it again and again.”— Angela —
The Sweet Potato Bake Debate
One of the great battles of our time (not to be dramatic or anything) is whether or not Thanksgiving sweet potatoes should include mini marshmallows.
- I am a hard NO, preferring instead a more savory take like these Glazed Sweet Potatoes.
- My sister Elizabeth? She loves the marshmallow version so much, she could practically eat it for breakfast.
This recipe for sweet potato souffle is the ideal middle ground.
How to Make Sweet Potato Souffle
Fluffy sweet potato souffle is Southern by origin and remains popular at Thanksgiving throughout the South.
Traditionally it is VERY sweet; most of the recipes I found contain more sugar than Sweet Potato Pie.
- While most recipes require that you boil, drain, and mash the potatoes first, I found I could cut down on the sugar significantly if I roasted the sweet potatoes.
- Roasting concentrates the sweet potatoes’ natural sugars, making the souffle taste sweeter (if you’ve made Roasted Sweet Potatoes you know what I’m talking about).
Roasting works with what this delicious, healthy vegetable gives us naturally, instead of covering it up with more sugar than a dessert.
- Sweet Potatoes. My fave holiday side! Sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
- Eggs. The key to the fluffy sweet potato souffle’s airy texture.
- Pecans. I love the texture, crunch, and nutty flavor pecans lend to this not-too-sweet topping. (They are also an excellent excuse to bake Pecan Pie Bars.)
- Butter. Butter adds rich, necessary holiday flavor to both the sweet potatoes and the pecan topping. You can either use room temperature or melted butter.
- Milk. Helps make the sweet potato mixture extra creamy. I used 1% milk, but you can use any milk you have on hand.
- Sugar + Maple Syrup. I tried to keep this sweet potato souffle healthy relative to most by cutting down on the amount of sugar used compared to many traditional recipes. Instead of using only refined sugar, I opted to add a little maple syrup for natural sweetness. It’s also a divine pairing with sweet potatoes and pecans.
- Vanilla. Adds warmth and coziness. Vanilla is surprisingly wonderful in sweet potato bakes.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon and sweet potatoes are a dream team. (Hello, Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes.)
- Flaked Coconut. While optional, I love the touch of extra nuttiness it adds to the topping. The flavor is not strong, so even if you are not typically a coconut fan, you will likely enjoy it here.
- Roast the sweet potatoes.
- Scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining filling ingredients.
- Beat until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a baking dish.
- Prepare the pecan streusel, then sprinkle it over the sweet potatoes.
- Bake the sweet potato souffle in a preheated oven for 40 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover souffle in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or gently in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze souffle in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the filling and place it in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to add the topping and finish the recipe.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Mixing Bowl. I love this space-saving glass mixing bowl set.
- Casserole Dish. This beauty is not only functional but will look gorgeous on your holiday table.
- Baking Sheet. Perfect for roasting and baking sweet and savory recipes alike.
The marshmallow casserole fanatics, the nay-sayers, and even those who in other circumstances are sweet potato averse will all find something to love in this spiced, sweet, and savory sweet potato side dish.
Depending upon your family’s selection of topics, I can’t promise the same peace for your dinner table discussions, but at least we can all agree on sweet potato souffle!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, but do so with caution. Because canned yams (or canned sweet potatoes) come pre-sweetened, I recommend leaving out most of the sugar and maple syrup from the filling to start. Once it’s mixed, you can taste it and adjust if you’d like your filling sweeter (remember, the topping is sweet too).
Don’t be tempted to add extra sugar to this recipe, and measure carefully too. Since roasting sweet potatoes releases their natural sugars, adding additional sugar (on purpose or accidentally) can cause the souffle to be runny once baked.
Baking the sweet potatoes adds wonderful, important flavor to this dish, so I highly recommend taking the time to do this step. However, if you’re crunched for time, you can microwave the sweet potatoes. Pierce each potato 3 to 4 times with a fork, then microwave them for about 5 minutes.
(For a quick sweet potato Thanksgiving side, don’t miss my Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes.)
Sweet Potato Souffle
FOR THE SOUFFLE:
- 5 large sweet potatoes (about 7 cups once mashed)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted or at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon increase to 1 teaspoon if you LOVE cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
FOR THE TOPPING:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups pecans finely chopped
- 1/4 cup flaked coconut optional (I used unsweetened; sweetened will work too)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. With a fork, poke holes in the outsides of the sweet potatoes. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes (timing will depend upon the size of your sweet potatoes), until very tender when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 casserole dish or similar 2 ½ quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the peels. Scoop out the sweet potato flesh and place it in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also use an electric hand mixer.)
- Add the butter, eggs, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and milk.
- Beat until smoothly combined.
- Scoop into the prepared baking dish.
- Next, prepare the topping. In a medium mixing bowl, melt the butter. Sprinkle the chopped pecans, coconut, brown sugar, flour, and salt over the top. Stir until evenly moistened and combined. Scatter the streusel topping over the sweet potatoes in an even layer.
- Bake the sweet potato souffle until the topping is lightly browned and your kitchen smells amazing, about 40 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, then enjoy warm.
- TO STORE: Sweet potato soufflé may be kept in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze souffle in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the filling and place it in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to add the topping and finish the recipe.
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