Thanksgiving: Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

I’m learning through my adventures in the kitchen that you can’t give up on a dish.  You need to slowly muster up confidence and continue to test out different versions of the same dish.  Yes, it seems repetitive and boring and a big time suck but, when you’re dealing with young kids, sometimes just a slight change in ingredients will create the desired result. In my case, it’s two thumbs up from smiling braced and toothless faces.  And, that’s exactly what happened when I baked another sweet potato recipe.  Admittedly, I knew that anything containing a coating of melted marshmallows would illicit at least one thumb up from my kids – even before any formal tasting.

While my kids claimed they liked the Sweet Potato Casserole from Monday’s meal, it wasn’t until they tried the marshmallow-laden version that my daughter came clean and said it was “hands down better than the first.”

“I was worried I would hurt your feelings because you’re working so hard in the kitchen,” she said to me a bit defensively.  “Plus, the other version was just too sweet.”

I wasn’t about to tell my daughter that a topping consisting of an entire bag of marshmallows is inevitably sweeter than one containing brown sugar but, I kept my mouth closed.  Honestly, I was just happy that we broke into a new food territory: sweet potatoes.  And, now I have leverage to try other recipes with sweet potatoes since I’m assuming my daughter has gotten over her issue with its baby food-like texture.

Mom always baked this sweet dish throughout the fall and winter months, not just around Thanksgiving (and I hope I do the same).  I remember regarding it as a “bonus.”  Remember, sweet potatoes are technically a vegetable.  Therefore, the dinners containing the yummy sweet potato and marshmallow casserole in lieu of the dreaded green vegetables were designated 2-dessert-dinners!  I’m fairly certain my kids feel the same way and don’t want to me to catch on that the sweet potato dish might as well be regarded as dessert.

Sweet Potatoes awaiting their mash up

Part of the fun in the casserole preparation was watching it bake to perfection through the tiny oven window.  My kids were  intrigued with the rising and ballooning and then light browning of the marshmallows as it finished baking.

The sea of marshmallow pre bake

Fresh from the oven – is there really a vegetable in there?

Oh, and watching the marshmallows slowly deflate as the dish sat on our dinner table was cool (for everyone) too.

Mom used orange juice in her recipe to add some tangy zest and to offset some of the incredible sweetness.  And, I’ve learned that other versions use pineapples too.

Either way, the melted marshmallow crust on top creates an easy opportunity for any parent to try pushing a new (vegetable) dish.


Have your kids tried marshmallow and sweet potatoes?  Well, what’s their feedback?  If they haven’t, what are you waiting for?


  1. Shari, I make my mother’s sweet potatoes with mashmallow recipe every year too! Mine’s simpler: bake 3 lbs sweet potatoes until soft. Whip in Kitchen Aid with 1 stick of butter and the zest of half an orange until light and fluffy. Spread potatoes in a square pyrex dish (no need to butter the dish). Top with mini marshmallows and bake in a 350 degree oven until brown. You can make the sweet potatoes a day ahead and heat up with the marshmallows on Thanksgiving day.

    • Eve Yohalem » this sounds amazing and also a bit healthier with the orange zest in lieu of the orange juice. And, no brown sugar? Makes total sense since the marshmallows alone are so darn sweet. thanks for sharing!

  2. I agree to get the “perfect”dish u ought to try around. I always do that, I must have made at leat 100 different mash potatoe versions the last 2 years and my poor husband has to always try it. lol
    At least it teaches u a feeling of dephts for your cooking. new dimensions are always good for your creative mind.

    Do Potatoes and marshmallows fit together?

  3. This was really a fascinating subject, I am very lucky to have the ability to come to your weblog and I will bookmark this page in order that I might come back one other time.
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  4. I agree, sometimes you really do have to stick with it and keep tweaking a dish. Looks like you’ve found the perfect sweet potato recipe for your family, and it sure does look delish! Thank you for sharing your recipe with Let’s Do Brunch

  5. I’ll bet it’s good with chopped paunets sprinkled on it before it cools! Or rice krispies stirred in to cut the fat & calories per bite- or cornflakes. I’ll bet it’s just good

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