Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole

From by Brandy O'Neill
Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole Photo

I was compensated by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for my time in developing this recipe and post. All opinions are my own.

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole Picture

When I was a kid I wouldn’t touch sweet potatoes with a ten-foot pole. My parents would claim they were just as delicious as regular potatoes but I could not be fooled. Then my dad tried to bake them, cover them in brown sugar and cinnamon and I still would have none of their tomfoolery. Finally they gave up and I went back to happily eating my white potatoes. Plus, the sweet potatoes that were always at Thanksgiving were from a can and just covered in marshmallows. I took a bite once and I all tasted was sugar. Listen, I’m all for sugary sweetness but I want flavor too. Sugar is not flavor.

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole Image

Fast forward to now and I’m pretty much in love with sweet potatoes. I’m not sure what was wrong with my child self but I was insane. Who doesn’t like sweet potatoes? (Especially when they are in the form of chipotle bbq pulled pork stuffed sweet potatoes!) They really are just as delicious as white potatoes. Don’t worry I will never not love regular potatoes because carbs for life. Am I right?

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole

Usually when I make sweet potatoes I mash them with a little coconut milk and call it a day. It’s so simple and packs a ton of flavor into any dish you serve it with. However, the one thing I have not been sold on is the whole super-sweet sweet potato nonsense. It just felt they were already sweet enough so how can you add more sweetness and not get overwhelmed?

Vanilla Sweet Potato Casserole Pic

Well my friends I have solved our little problem. That’s right! I have solved our sweet sweet potato problem. Instead of putting sweetness into every aspect of the dish I stuck with mostly added a nice vanilla taste to the potatoes by using Nielsen Massey vanilla bean paste. It’s gives the sweet potatoes a nice flavor without being overpowering. I then topped it with Nielsen Massey vanilla sugar, granola and mini marshmallows. The mini marshmallows are mostly for nostalgia. You can’t serve Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole without marshmallows. I’m pretty sure there is a law against that. 




  • 5 cups mashed sweet potato
  • 1/4-1/2 cup coconut milk, the stuff from the carton
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons nielsen-massey madagascar bourbon pure vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons nielsen-massey madagascar bourbon pure vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and set out a 8x8 casserole dish.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl add mashed sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup coconut milk, butter, vanilla bean paste, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. If the mixture is not smooth add a little more coconut milk until desired consistency is met. Also taste the mixture and add kosher salt if desired.
  3. Spoon mixture into the 8x8 casserole dish and top with 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, granola, marshmallows and remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar.
  4. Add to the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until the mixture is warmed throughout and the marshmallows are toasted. 


Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar

Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

Le Creuset Heritage 3 Quart Square Dish

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

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