There is something about the crisp texture and salty flavor of bacon that contrasts beautifully with the sweet, creamy flavor of a sweet potato casserole. Even if you don't believe bacon makes everything better, you will when you taste it on your sweet potatoes.
Check out my Crockpot mashed sweet potatoes and creamy vanilla sweet potatoes for recipes that use bacon as a topping.
- Toasted Walnuts
Simple, elegant, and healthy, walnuts add crunch and flavor to sweet potato casseroles. I think they taste best toasted (just spread the nuts in an even layer in a small skillet and toast over a medium-low flame until fragrant). But if you're in a rush, you can skip the toasting.
- Crispy Onions
Why should crispy onions be reserved for green bean casseroles only? They make a fantastic topping for sweet potato casseroles, too. Try the standard French fried onions, or go with something more gourmet. Look for organic and good-quality crispy onions (compare prices) online in your local supermarket.
- Candied Orange Peel You may already put orange juice in your sweet potato casserole. Why not cap it off with a little candied orange peel (compare prices), too?
If you're anything like me, you've never met a cheese you didn't like. And for me, just about every recipe can be made better with cheese (okay, maybe not fish). Try sprinkling a little shredded white cheddar, gruyere or even American cheese on your sweet potato casserole.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs
Mix about 2 Tbsp. of melted butter with 1-1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, and sprinkle over your sweet potato casserole. It will taste like an upside down sweet potato pie!
- Spiced Nuts
Add an extra layer of sweet and spicy flavor to your sweet potato casserole by topping it with spiced pecans, walnuts or almonds. You can make your own homemade spiced pecans, but if you want to save time, feel free to buy them. There are so many wonderful spiced nuts available today. Emerald makes glazed walnuts that are available in most supermarkets. And Sahale Snacks makes honey glazed almonds and glazed cashews with pomegranate (compare prices) that are incredible.
- Toasted Coconut
A sprinkle of toasted coconut makes a wonderful topping for a sweet potato casserole. To make toasted coconut, simply spread sweetened flaked coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 on the center rack for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Be careful! You must watch the coconut carefully, as it burns very easily.
A streusel topping adds texture, sweetness and terrific flavor to sweet potato casseroles, and there are lots of different types of streusel toppings you can make. I'm partial to nuts, brown sugar and butter. But some folks add bread crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips and more to the streusel toppings.
Check out my tropical sweet potato souffle recipe and sweet potato casserole with streusel topping for ideas.
- Sauteed Apples.
Apples and sweet potatoes are great friends. Just peel and slice apples (I like to use a tart apple, like a Granny Smith), and saute in some butter with a bit of cinnamon. Pour over the baked sweet potato casserole. The sauteed apples taste amazing on their own or when paired with graham cracker crumbs and/or toasted coconut, too.
- Caramel Sauce
A drizzle of caramel sauce (compare prices) on a baked sweet potato casserole turns an ordinary dish into something truly extraordinary (and dessert-like). Use it by itself or over sauteed apples or spiced nuts.
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