Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet potato dish with pretzels and cranberries.

So I’ve been holding onto a recipe for weeks now, just waiting for Thanksgiving to roll around and provide the perfect opportunity to make a new sweet potato casserole. I found original recipe here on the Taste of Home website, and I only tweaked it slightly {less sugar & butter} to make it a little less guilt-filled. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this recipe was SO good!


I even ate the leftovers for two extra days & loved it each time. The pretzels add a great salty contrast to the sweet potatoes, and the cranberries {on my word, the cranberries!} were the perfect ingredient to put this dish over the top. I used fresh cranberries, and I recommend using fresh. It was the first time I’ve cooked with fresh cranberries & it was a breeze {plus the whole bag was only $0.99 at Aldi…score!} I love this dish & it will definitely become an annual must at Thanksgiving for me.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pretzel & Cranberry Topping

  • 2 cups chopped pretzel rods {about 13}
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries {I think I’ll add more next year because I loved them so much!}
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar for the topping {and a small handful for the potatoes}
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted, {1/2 cup for topping, 1/4 cup for potatoes}
  • 2 1/2 lbs fresh sweet potatoes {recipe says you can use 1 can  sweet potatoes, drained, but fresh’s much better in my opinion}
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, since I used fresh potatoes, we had to peel, dice & boil them until they were soft {fell off a fork inserted into the middle of them}. Thanks to my brother-in-law, Dale {aka BUD}, for chopping them for me!



Then, I enlisted my hubby to crush my pretzel rods. {I was in a delegating mood apparently.}


Just placed them in a zip lock baggie & used a rolling pin to smash them into small chunks.


Meanwhile, I diced the pecans & rinsed the cranberries.


Then, in a large bowl, I combined the pretzel pieces, brown sugar, cranberries, pecans & 1/2 cup of melted butter.



Stir until it’s mixed well.


Shortly after this, your potatoes should be soft, so you’ll want to drain them & mash them. {I prefer the ol’ fashioned method.}


Into my sweet potato pan, I added the evaporated milk, vanilla, and a small handful of brown sugar. {I didn’t do as much sugar as the original recipe called for because I prefer my sweet potatoes to taste more like a side, rather than a dessert….just my preference.}



See, just a bit of brown sugar to sweeten them…


Then you add your 1/4 cup of butter, and honestly, I bet you could skip this step and it’d still taste just as good.


Once you’ve whipped/smashed the mixture together, add it to your greased 2 quart baking dish, and smooth the top.


Now’s time to add the topping {if you can get your sister to stop picking out the brown sugar-covered cranberries…it was a challenge for me!}


Here’s a close-up of the topping. YUMMM.


Pop it in the oven at 350 uncovered, & bake it for 30 minutes {the edges will be bubbly when it’s done.}


The recipe says it makes 10-12 servings – perfect for a holiday dinner! 


Oh so delish!



  1. I'm stuck on the idea of using sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pecans in a dish. Yours was recommended to me by a friend, and I've also seen more "layered" dishes with a cranberry sauce.
    So... I wonder, what's the texture of the cranberries in this dish? I'm leaning towards something with a (fresh-made) sauce because I'd like the tangy sauce to be a main feature of the dish.
    Would it be crazy to add a cranberry sauce layer to this dish, maybe 1/3 of the way from the bottom? Again, fresh homemade made sauce - not the canned jelly stuff.

    1. Nicki, The cranberries are stilll somewhat crisp, but not hard at all. I LOVE the cranberries in this - my favorite part! You could certainly try the cranberry sauce, I'm sure it'd be good; however, like I said, the whole cranberries are my favorite part. :) Good luck!

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