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sweet potatoes layered with pecans in a casserole dish

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Spicy Brown Sugar Pecans

  • Author: Maria Do
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer, Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American


A classic reimagined. Bacon, bourbon and cayenne take your regular sweet potato casserole to a new level!


Units Scale

Sweet Potatoes

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp bourbon (optional)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Sweet & Spicy Pecan Topping

  • 1 1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 1/21 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage, chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • kosher salt (to taste)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the sweet potatoes and cut in half, leaving the skin on. Use a fork to poke holes in the potatoes and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour until fork tender. Cool for 15 minutes before handling.
  2. Meanwhile, make the pecan topping. In a bowl, add 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt, 2 tsp cayenne, 6 tbsp melted salted butter, and 2 sprigs of chopped sage. Mix until evenly combined, fold in the toasted pecans and cooked bacon. If the mixture is too dry, add more melted butter, 1 tbsp at a time. Set aside.
  3. Lower the oven temp to 350 degrees F. Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and place in a bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher (it’s okay if it’s a little clumpy). Mix in 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 4 tbsp melted salted butter, 2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 2 tbsp bourbon, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 egg, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Mix until combined. 
  4. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into a casserole dish (9″x9″ pan works well) and level the top with a spoon. Layer the pecan mixture evenly over the top, and garnish with fresh sage leaves (optional). Bake for 30-40 minutes until pecans are golden. Serve warm.


Make-Ahead Instructions: If you’re making this casserole before the big day, bake it for the full length of time (because there’s an egg in the sweet potatoes), and let it cool. Refrigerate the casserole for up to 3 days. To serve, warm the casserole dish in the oven at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until warm. 

Keywords: holidays, side dishes, thanksgiving, thanksgiving sides