It’s time to try a different sweet potato casserole, one without marshmallows. Instead, add pears and honey and make it light and airy with egg whites. A savory side dish that’s perfect for serving at your holiday table or Sunday supper.
Almost any holiday or special dinner needs a sweet potato side dish. Do you always go to your tried and true recipe? I generally make a sweet potato casserole with bourbon or I might top a sweet potato casserole with pretzels.
This Spring, try branching out and make a sweet potato souffle, sounds fancy but is simple to make and is amazing with ham for Easter dinner or Mother’s Day lunch.
Sweet potato casseroles are known for their natural sweetness and rich creamy texture, which makes them an irresistible side dish for special occasions. The addition of pears and honey in this recipe, adds even more depth of flavor.
Made with similar ingredients as a classic sweet potato casserole, but with a lighter, airier texture everyone will love.
One thing that all sweet potato dishes must have is a sweetness component. You get some from the sweet potatoes themselves. Instead of sugar, this casserole is filled with chopped pears and honey for extra sweetness that’s not too overwhelming. It still tastes great as a side dish without crossing over as a dessert.
Why make a sweet potato casserole
- Crowd-pleaser: Sweet potato casseroles are a classic side dish that are loved by people of all ages. They can easily be made in large quantities so they are great for large gatherings or potlucks.
- Versatile: they can be served as a side dish with a variety of main course dishes, like ham, turkey, or beef and you can dress them up with marshmallows, crumbles, or nuts depending on how sweet or savory you want the dish.
- Easy to prepare: Most sweet potato casserole require minimal hands on preparation, are easy to make and can be prepped in advance and baked when needed.
- Health benefits: Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, so it’s a tasty way to add some veggies to your dinner menu.
What’s the difference between a casserole and a souffle?
While souffles and casseroles are very similar, the main difference is that souffles have a lighter texture due to beaten egg whites. A typical egg souffle will puff up, the sweet potatoes keep that from happening in this dish, but they still add a light and airy texture to the casserole.
Why you’ll love a fluffy sweet potato souffle
- It has a fluffy texture, yet creamy sweet potato base that makes it perfect for special occasions.
- It’s a delicious side dish to ham, pork tenderloin, or ribs.
- The sweetness from the honey combined with the flavors of the pears takes this recipe to the next level.
- You can make this impressive recipe in under an hour.
- Sweet potatoes – You’ll need roughly three medium sweet potatoes or about 1 and ½ pounds.
- Pears – Pears are the secret to this amazing sweet potato casserole recipe. They add so much flavor and sweetness with less sugar than a marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole.
- Honey – honey adds a sweetness to the dish without making it overly sweet.
- Eggs – they are what makes this casserole so light and airy.
- Pantry staples – butter, lemon and bread crumbs. Try some white pepper for a slightly milder pepper taste.
How to make this sweet potato casserole recipe
Step 1: Cook sweet potatoes
You can cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave, or bake them ahead of time. Whatever is easier for you.
Pro tip: To cook sweet potatoes in the microwave, prick with a fork and wrap a damp paper towel around them. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, then turn and depending on how soft they are cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. This could take longer depending on how many you are cooking at the same time.
Step 2: Get everything ready
Sprinkle breadcrumbs at the bottom of a large baking dish. This gives the outside a little texture and keeps it from sticking to the side of the pan. You can leave these out and just butter the casserole dish.
Step 3: Peel pears
Add peeled and chopped pears to a small bowl then coat in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown and to add a punch of flavor.
Step 4: Combine pears and potatoes
Mash the sweet potatoes, and combine with the pears. Throw in seasoning and use an hand mixer to combine.
Step 5: Beat the eggs
Beat in the egg yolks with the sweet potato mixture. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until peaks form. Carefully fold in the egg whites.
Step 6: Bake!
Bake until the top starts to brown.
How to store a sweet potato dish
This sweet potato souffle recipe will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap after it’s cooled completely. You can also freeze this casserole dish in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.
What to serve with this souffle
- Serve this sweet potato souffle with bacon wrapped chicken for a crowd pleasing meal.
- This recipe is the perfect side dish to pork tenderloins or ham at holiday meals.
- You can never go wrong serving the classic potatoes and steak combination.
- My chicken in white wine recipe alongside this sweet potato souffle is another favorite!
Sweet potato casserole questions
Why add eggs to a sweet potato casserole?
Adding an egg to sweet potatoes act as a binder and keeps it from being runny. Adding egg whites, adds a fluffy texture to the casserole.
Can you use canned yams in this recipe?
Since the sweet potatoes are cooked first, you can use canned sweet potatoes. However, most canned sweet potatoes have a light syrup which will add extra sweetness to this recipe. You might want to eliminate the honey if using canned yams.
Why do you poke holes in sweet potatoes before cooking?
Poking holes with a fork in sweet potatoes before cooking allows the moisture to release while cooking so that they don’t explode as the pressure builds up and break the skin open, leaving you with sweet potatoes all over your microwave.
More sweet potato dishes
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
Crowd Pleasing Sweet Potato Souffle with Pears
- 3 medium sweet potatoes 1 ½ pounds
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 3 pears peeled and chopped
- 1 lemon
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 eggs separated
- Cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave (wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for 3 minutes, turn and microwave for 3 more minutes until soft) In the alternative, bake for 50 minutes at 375º.
- Preheat the oven to 425º. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish and coat with bread crumbs.
- Peel, core and chop the pears into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Squeeze the peelings off the sweet potatoes and add the flesh to the bowl with the pears. Season with salt, pepper and honey.
- With a hand mixer, mixer until well combined, it will still be lumpy from the pears. Beat in egg yolks.
- In a separate bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add ⅓ of the egg whites to the sweet potato mixture and combine. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour into the baking dish.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top starts to brown.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can cook the raw sweet potatoes in the microwave or in the oven. Let them cool slightly before making the casserole so the eggs don’t cook when added.
- If you don’t want to add breadcrumbs to the baking dish, just butter it or use a cooking spray.
- For the lightest casserole, gently fold in the egg whites.
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