Food & Drink

Sweet Potato Casserole with Sorghum

Nashville chef Tandy Wilson shares his family recipe for a fall favorite


“In a Southern family, there’s always someone who makes one dish, one thing they’re truly great at,” says Tandy Wilson of City House, in Nashville, Tennessee. “These recipes tend to be ‘talked,’ passed down from cook to cook.” That’s the case with the chef’s favorite sweet potato casserole, a dish inherited from his grandmother. Instead of the standard marshmallow topping, the recipe uses sorghum syrup for a rich, deep sweetness, and chopped roasted peanuts for a pleasing crunchy contrast. “Now every Thanksgiving,” Wilson says, “it’s my job to make Nana’s sweet potato casserole.”


  • For the Sweet Potatoes

    • 7 pounds sweet potatoes (about 12 potatoes)

    • 1/4 cup sorghum syrup

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces while cold, then slightly softened at room temperature, plus 1 tablespoon for buttering the baking dish

    • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • For the Topping

    • 1/2 cup sugar

    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

    • 2 cups peanuts, coarsely chopped

    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

    • 2/3 cup sorghum syrup


  1. FOR THE SWEET POTATOES: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until tender throughout, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and put the pulp in a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, blend the sweet potato pulp together with the syrup, butter, and salt until smooth. Lightly butter a large (9-by-12-by-2 1/2 inch) 3-quart baking dish and transfer the sweet potato mixture to a dish.

  2. FOR THE TOPPING: Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, using your hands, mix together the sugar, flour, butter, peanuts, and salt until the butter chunks are pea size. (You are looking for a streusel-like topping here.) Evenly distribute over the top of the sweet potato mixture. Bake until the topping is crisp and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

  3. Transfer the baking dish to a cooling rack, and drizzle the casserole with the syrup, using a crosshatch pattern. Let the syrup sink into the topping for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe from Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Cookbook