Sweet Potato Casserole with Meringue
This Sweet Potato Casserole with Italian meringue and maple peans is a modern spin on the classic Thanksgiving side dish that typically comes topped with marshmallows. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free and kid-friendly making it the perfect addition to your holiday table!
Disclaimer: I originally published this recipe on November 9th, 2012. I have updated the text to reshare it with you today.
Table of contents
- Why We Love This Recipe For Sweet Potato Casserole with Meringue
- Ingredients For Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans and Meringue
- How To Make Meringue Topped Sweet Potato Casserole
- FAQs and Expert Tips
- More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Additional Recipes To Try
Why We Love This Recipe For Sweet Potato Casserole with Meringue
This sweet potato casserole is going to knock your socks off. Atop the orange-infused sweet potato mash is a gooey layer of maple pecans, which is then covered in an ultra-light and airy swath of whipped meringue.
- Only 166 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat per serving
- Candied pecans and meringue give this a grown up feel compared to the classic
- Gluten-free and vegetarian
- Orange juice adds a tangy-sweet punch
Ingredients For Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans and Meringue
- Sweet Potatoes: Peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- Seasonings: Salt, cinnamon, chipotle powder
- Orange juice: Preferably freshly squeezed
- Egg whites: Room temperature. See our tip here.
- Kitchen Staples: Unsalted butter, sugar, water
- Maple Syrup
- Chopped Pecans
How To Make Meringue Topped Sweet Potato Casserole
Step 1: Make Sweet Potato Mash
Place the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the contents to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork – about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the water and then return the potatoes to the pot.
Add butter, salt, cinnamon, and chipotle powder. Mash the mixture with a potato masher until no large lumps remain, and then add orange juice and mash until smooth. Cover and keep warm.
Step 2: Prepare the Oven
Position the oven rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the broiler. Coat a broiler-safe 2 ½ quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
Step 3: Make the Meringue
Beat the room temperature egg whites and salt in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Mix sugar and water in a small saucepan, and then place it over medium-high heat and bring it to a simmer. Swirl the pan gently to dissolve the sugar. Do not slosh the sugar solution on the sides of the pan.
Boil undisturbed until a candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees F. Immediately drizzle the sugar syrup into the egg white mixture while the mixer is still beating continually. Continue beating until the bottom of the bowl is only slightly warm, which should take about 2 minutes longer.
Scoop the meringue into a large resealable bag and set it aside.
Step 4: Make Maple Pecans
In a small saucepan, mix the maple syrup, butter, and pinch of salt. Heat over medium heat until the mixture boils, and then add the pecans and cook while stirring constantly until the nuts are coated. This should take between 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 5: Compile Casserole and Broil
Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared casserole dish and then top evenly with the pecans. Cut the corner of the resealable bag off and pipe the meringue decoratively over the sweet potato mixture. Broil, rotating as necessary until the top is browned. This should only take 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Essentially, making the boiled sugar syrup is the same technique you would use to make caramel but you’ll just remove it from the heat before it starts to darken.
Be sure you cut your sweet potatoes into evenly sized chunks so that they’ll cook at the same rate.
Tips for Making Fluffy Meringue Topping
Start with Room Temperature Eggs
Room-temperature eggs are much easier to whip than cold eggs. But you shouldn’t leave your eggs out of the fridge, so there’s a trick to bring the eggs up to room temperature quickly and safely. Simply submerge uncracked eggs into a bowl of hot tap water for several minutes. I do this while I am mise en placing the rest of the ingredients.
How to Beat the Egg Whites
Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer with the whip attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer until they have formed soft peaks. If you have both a hand mixer and a stand mixer, I recommend the stand mixer because you’ll have an easier time with the next step.
Since the whipped whites don’t have sugar in them (yet) they will not be glossy or stiff, you just want to get them to the soft peak stage. To test if they are soft peaks, remove the beater and dip it into the whites. Hold it upside down and if the whites curl to the side, then you have a nice soft peak. If the peak stands upright it is stiff already.
How to Cook The Egg Whites With Hot Sugar Syrup
- As the mixer is running, or as you’re beating (if you have a hand mixer, try to grab a helper for this part) drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the whites. Go slowly, so you don’t deflate the whites.
- You’ll see the whites will become less dry looking and start to get glossy and stiff. The sugar is actually cooking the whites as it is drizzled in. This will stabilize it and make it safe to eat.
- Continue beating until the bottom of the bowl is only slightly warm, about 2 minutes longer.
More Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- I love having this Vegetarian Thanksgiving Pilaf with Pumpkin on the table as a Thanksgiving side dish because it is hearty and filling and meat eaters and vegetarians both love it!
- My Green Bean Casserole is a great Make-ahead option your guests will rave about.
- Try my Cranberry Sauce with Orange. It too can be made ahead, and the flavor of allspice is a little different!
- These Brussels Sprouts with Sage and Hazelnuts are so good, even the kids will eat them!
- Stove Top Cheesy Butternut Squash is one less thing to get into the oven, and it is so good, it’s on the Best Of Healthy Seasonal Recipes list.
- Make sure to check out our Thanksgiving Planner too, to make the whole meal so much easier!
Additional Recipes To Try
Here are some recipes from some Blogging Friends to Consider for your Thanksgiving Meal.
- Mom’s Thanksgiving Turkey from Simply Recipes, you can’t get more classic than this!
- Apple Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash from Joyful Healthy Eats, these beauties are calling my name!
- Instant Pot Apple Crisp from Confessions of a Fit Foodie, because warm desserts are greater than room temp desserts.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Sweet Potato Casserole with Meringue
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 16 servings 1x
This Sweet Potato Casserole with Italian meringue and maple peans is a makeover of the classic Thanksgiving side dish. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, and kid-friendly making it the perfect addition to your holiday table!
- 4 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch, divided
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch chipotle powder
- 1 cup orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature, see *tip
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover generously with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and return to the pot. Add 3 tablespoons butter, 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, cinnamon and chipotle powder. Mash with a potato masher until no large lumps remain. Add orange juice and mash until smooth. Cover and keep warm.
- Position oven rack in upper third of the oven. Heat broiler. Coat a broiler-safe 2 ½ quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Beat egg whites and ¼ teaspoon salt in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Mix sugar and water in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, swirling pan gently to dissolve sugar. Do not slosh sugar solution on the sides of the pan. Boil undisturbed, until a candy thermometer just reaches 238 degrees F. Immediately drizzle sugar syrup into the egg white mixture while the mixer is beating continually. Continue beating until the bottom of the bowl is only slightly warm, about 2 minutes longer. Scoop the meringue into a large resealable bag and set aside.
- Mix maple syrup, the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the remaining pinch of salt in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until the mixture boils. Add pecans and cook, stirring constantly until the nuts are coated, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared casserole dish. Top with the pecans. Cut the corner of the re-sealable bag off and pipe the meringue decoratively over the sweet potato mixture. Broil, rotating as necessary, until the top is browned, 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
To warm egg whites to room temperature quickly and safely, place whole uncracked eggs in a small bowl. Cover with very warm water and let sit for several minutes. Drain and separate eggs as usual.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stove Top/Broiler
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 2/3 cup
- Calories: 166
- Sodium: 241 g
- Fat: 6 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 3 g
Keywords: Sweet Potato Casserole, meringue, maple pecans
Such a great alternative to what I grew up eating!! What a pretty casserole too!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed my recipe! Thank you so much, Megan!
Now, this is something nobody can say no to. Love the idea.
Loving the meringue topping! This looks like such a great hearty dish, perfect for feeding a crowd!
As a Canadian who grew up knowing nothing about sweet potato casserole, I was shocked when I was introduced to it. I appreciate the service you’re doing for humanity by providing this recipe! I still had to catch myself from Pinning it to my dessert board! 🙂
So delicious and comforting! Love that it’s easy to make! This is a great addition to the Thanksgiving dinner table or any time of year!
Love the sneaky chipotle in there! Such a yummy addition. 🙂
I love that you made a healthier version, and the orange juice and chipotle sound like the perfect addition!