Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole is perfect for the holiday season or any time you want to prepare your side dishes ahead of time. To make life easier, you can assemble and bake this casserole over three days. The first day, roast the sweet potatoes storing them in the refrigerator. The second day, make the cream sauce and assemble the casserole. Then the day of your dinner, add the topping, bake and serve! Read on for step by step instructions!
Can I prepare sweet potatoes ahead of time?
The answer is simply yes! We start with roasting the sweet potatoes in their jackets for easier peeling and slicing. Plus roasting them brings out their natural flavors. You can roast the sweet potatoes earlier in the day or even the prior day. Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off their jackets. It should only takes minutes as they pull off in large sections. Or place the roasted sweet potatoes in their jackets in a container storing in the refrigerator.
Assembling the Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
We start with making our cream sauce. In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until incorporated and then add the spices. Stir in the Chicken Broth, orange zest, salt and pepper. Lastly, stir in the heavy cream and remove from the burner.
Spray a baking casserole with a non-stick spray. Next remove the sweet potatoes from their jackets. Slice to desired thickness layering in the prepared casserole pan. Pour the cream sauce over the top of the sweet potatoes. Cover and place in refrigerator. In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs, pistachios, and cover.
Baking Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole
When you are ready to bake the Sweet Potato Casserole, remove from the refrigerator while preheating the oven. Remove saran wrap or any non oven safe material used to store the casserole. Top the casserole with breadcrumbs and pistachios mixture. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the cover and bake until sauce is bubbling. The actual baking time may take longer than 30 minutes if the sweet potatoes are still chilled from the refrigerator.
I forgot to drizzle the olive oil over the top before baking. But it still came out good. An alternative to the breadcrumbs is pankos for more of a crunch.
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Make Ahead Sweet Potato CasserolePin Recipe
- Baking pan
- Non-stick foil
- One large or two small casserole dishes
- Non-stick spray
- Cutting board and knife
- Heavy medium-sized saucepan
- Small bowl
Sweet Potatoes Ingredients
- 3 pounds Sweet Potatoes in their jackets
- ⅛ tsp Nutmeg
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Ginger
- ½ tsp Aleppo Pepper
Cream Sauce Ingredients
- 2 tbsp Butter
- ¼ cup Flour
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 1 tsp Orange Zest
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 ½ cups Heavy Cream
- ¼ cup Seasoned Breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup Pistachios roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Fresh Cilantro
Sweet Potatoes Oven Preparation
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees for baking the sweet potatoes
- Line a baking pan with non-stick foil
- Baking time: Sweet potatoes 1 hour 15 minutes
Casserole Oven Preparation
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees for baking the casserole
- Spray one large or two small casserole dishes with non-stick spray
- Baking time: casserole 30 minutes
Sweet Potatoes Preparation
- Wash, dry, and pierce the sweet potatoes.
- Line a baking pan with foil (non-stick foil if you can).
- Place sweet potatoes on baking pan and place in oven and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes or until bake through. Turn sweet potatoes half way through baking.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Once cooled, remove the jackets and slice thin.
- If roasting sweet potatoes before assembling the casserole, place them in a container, seal and place in the refrigerator.
Cream Sauce Preparation
- Melt butter in a heavy medium-sized saucepan.
- Whisk in flour until incorporated.
- Whisk in spices.
- Whisk in chicken broth.
- Add orange zest, salt and pepper.
- Stir in heavy cream. Remove from the burner.
- Layer the slicked sweet potatoes in the prepared casserole pan.
- Pour the cream sauce over the top of the sweet potatoes.
- Cover and place in refrigerator.
- In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs, pistachios, and cover.
Baking the Casserole
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and take the casserole out of the refrigerator.
- Top the casserole with breadcrumbs and pistachios mixture.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top.
- Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake until sauce is bubbling. The baking time may take longer than 30 minutes if the sweet potatoes are still chilled from the refrigerator.