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Savory Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Bacon — If you thought sweet potato casserole couldn’t get any better, wait until you taste it topped with candied bacon and pecans! The sweet potatoes are smooth and creamy and the candied bacon topping is the perfect texture and flavor contrast! A WONDERFUL family-favorite side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties and events that’s easy to prepare with make-ahead directions!
I’m a huge sweet potato fan and am game for just about any sweet potato recipe. My family loves bacon so I figured this sweet potato casserole with bacon would be a hit.
And not just any bacon, this bacon is candied with maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and more! The sweet potato base of the casserole is creamy, sweet, and the perfect compliment to the saltier candied bacon and pecan topping.
Texture fans will appreciate the texture contrast between the smooth sweet potatoes and the more chewy and crunchy topping.
You can even make part of it ahead of time to save time and energy if you’re cooking it for the holidays or a party. More on that below!
6 – 7 medium-ish sweet potatoes (about 12 cups cubed)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the pans
salt and pepper
½ pound bacon, diced
1 cup chopped pecans
⅓ cup minced red onion
1 + ½ cups maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch or two of cayenne or red pepper flakes
a couple pinches/grates of nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
2 snipped green onions, to serve
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes, about 1-inch in size.
Grease 2 medium non-stick baking sheets with olive oil. Divide the sweet potatoes among them and drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over each. Toss or use your hands to coat the cubes with the oil. Spread them out in one layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake until tender 25 – 30 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat a 10-inch frying pan over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crispy, stirring often. Add the pecans and onions. Cook 2 – 3 minutes, stirring often.
Add the remaining sauce ingredients except the butter and green onions. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 – 15 minutes, stirring often, until it thickens and reduces down some. Cool a spoon full off and taste. Season with more salt, if needed.
Whisk in the butter. Turn the heat off.
Add the cooked sweet potatoes and gently toss with a wooden spoon until they are well coated. Garnish with chopped green onion to serve.