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Putting a new twist on a classic with this Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole. The classic sweet potato casserole filling of bourbon, cinnamon, and a touch of maple. Spread into the layers of buttery phyllo dough, and topped off with savory sage pecans. Together they create a deliciously updated version of a Thanksgiving classic!

overhead photo of Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole

Yesterday I shared our 2018 Thanksgiving menu. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing all the new recipes for this year’s Thanksgiving feast. A while back I asked my HBH Instagram followers what new Thanksgiving recipes they’d like to see this year. I received an overwhelming amount of stuffing, brussels sprouts, and sweet potato casserole recipe requests. Well, I took in all of your suggestions, and will soon be sharing new recipes for all three!

Starting off today, with my updated take on sweet potato casserole.

Sweet potato casserole is one of those dishes that will always have a place on my Thanksgiving table. It’s one of my favorites. But I much prefer the less sweet version, as I’m not much of a fan of the marshmallow topped version. I know, I know, everyone loves the marshmallows on top. But I’m all about a less sweet casserole, and I love replacing the marshmallows with a pecan topping instead.

And this year I’m adding another layer of flavor and texture, with the addition of flaky, buttery, phyllo dough.

Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole before baking

Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole before baking

Yes, phyllo dough.

It’s one of my favorite pastry doughs. And while many tend to think of phyllo as more of a dessert ingredient, it’s equally as great when used in savory recipes (like my spinach pie).

I loved the idea of giving my sweet potato casserole a crust. So the idea of using phyllo dough excited me greatly. I ran it past my mom, who’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish is sweet potato casserole, and she was just as into the idea as me. So, with her approval I got to work testing it out…

side angle photo of Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole

I’ve now made this casserole four times in two days…yes, we’ve been eating a lot of sweet potato casserole!

It. Is. DELICIOUS.

Sweet, but not dessert like sweet. Buttery and cinnamony, with hints of bourbon, crunchy sage pecans, and extra flaky phyllo. The classic flavors, but less sweet, a little more savory, and all things good.

The phyllo dough is really a game changer. It’s layered with cinnamon butter, and when baked up becomes golden, flaky, and pretty much just perfect. Especially when paired with creamy sweet potatoes. You really can’t beat the combo.

close up side angle photo of Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole

Just like with other sweet potato casseroles, this can be prepped in advance and baked before serving. Making this an easy dish for entertaining. My tip? Be sure to cover the casserole well. Phyllo dough can dry out, so it’s important to keep it well buttered, and well covered.

Also, I know phyllo dough can sometimes be a little intimidating. But try not to let is stress you out. Yes, it does tear, but you’ll never notice the tears once it’s baked. I find that the more imperfect it looks going into the oven, the better it looks coming out. It’s kind of like magic that way.

side angle photo of Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole with pice cut out

I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to Thanksgiving I’m all about traditional recipes. I love that this casserole is traditional, but with a fun twist. Hoping it inspires you all to do something a little different this year!

I know it’s scary to branch out, but trust me on this one, it’s worth it. Test it out this week, just so you can be 110% positive it’s Turkey Day good. Which I fully believe it will be. But more importantly, you’ll get to experience these delicious flavors twice this month…which I promise you won’t regret!

overhead close up photo of Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole with piece cut

If you make this sweet potato casserole please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Pecans

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 cup raw pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8-9 inch spring form pan.
    2. Poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes and bake for 1 hour or until soft and tender. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them in half and allow to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
    3. Peel the skins away from the sweet potatoes and mash well in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the maple syrup, bourbon (if using), vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and eggs, mixing until combined. Set aside while you prepare the phyllo dough.
    4. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. 
    5. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a clean counter and brush with the cinnamon butter. Repeat, layering 2 more times, placing the sheets of dough over top of each other. Carefully transfer the buttered phyllo to the prepared pan, gently pressing it to fit inside. Repeat, over lapping each layer 3 more times until you have completely covered the bottom and sides of the pan to create the crust (see above photo) and have used between 12-18 sheets of dough.
    6. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into center of the phyllo dough. Spread in an even layer. 
    7. To make the pecans. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, maple, pecans, and sage. Add the butter and use your fingers to mix the butter into the pecans until a crumble forms. 
    8. Sprinkle the pecans over the sweet potatoes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pecans are toasted and the phyllo is golden brown. Serve warm

Notes

*Inspired by Martha Stewart.
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horizontal photo of Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potato Phyllo Casserole

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Comments

  1. Initially, I thought of this as a unique sweet potato pie upon looking at the picture! When I saw the word phyllo in my inbox, I figured that this would be a sweet potato pecan baklava, haha! But this is definitely a great-looking dessert that would defy all odds of a pie and a casserole. Sweet potatoes are my faves–they are magnificent in sweet treats like these!

  2. I feel step 5 is still unclear. Layering each sheet on top of the other or folding sheets over because they are not the same size as the pan… You still say layering 2 more times, but in comments reiterated to use 12-18 sheets. Thanks. The combination of maple, bourbon and pecans sounds delicious.

  3. Hi!! When you say 12-18 sheets… a normal box of phyllo dough says it comes with 2 sheets… so you need 6 boxes of dough?! I just want to make sure before I buy the ingredients and end up with phyllo out my ears for Friendsgiving next week! Lol.

    1. Hey Justice! A box of phyllo should come with 2 rolls of phyllo dough. Each roll has 18 or so sheets of phyllo dough. You only need 1 box of phyllo dough and within that box you will only use one roll (12-18 sheets). below is the brand of phyllo dough that I use. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

      https://www.walmart.com/ip/Athens-Phyllo-Pastry-Sheets-Fillo-Dough-16-oz-Box/10790896

  4. 5 stars
    This was so easy and so so delicious! I didn’t have sage on hand and it was still fanstastic! Making it for thanksgiving

    1. Hey Jenna! Yes, you can make this 2-3 days ahead. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  5. What kind of bourbon did you use? The liquor store sold me jack Daniels when I asked for bourbon and now I’m worried it will not be right.

    1. Hey Kim! I like to use Woodford or Bullet, but I am sure the Jack Daniels will be just fine. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  6. Looks so beautiful and so tasty! Can this be made ahead of time or would the phyllo get soggy? If so, what step would you stop at before baking the day of? Thank you! 🙂

    1. HI! Yes, you can assemble the casserole, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days, then bake as directed. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Looks so good !! I’m new here and haven’t tried any of your recipes yet but this one is definitively added to my list !! I don’t know why, but I would love to put vanilla bean in the pecans but I’m scared to make this gorgeous pie looks more like a dessert than a casserole. What do you think ?

    1. Hi there! I think vanilla beans will be a delicious addition. Love that idea! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  8. No marshmallows on sweet potato casserole for me. I like the pecans and brown sugar. I also love coconut and pineapple added to my potatoes. Yum!! I actually do eat it by itself as a dessert. I can’t eat anything sweet like this or a congealed salad with a meal.

    I would never have though of phyllo dough like this.

    1. Hi Charlotte! I hope you try this casserole! I think you will love it! Also, coconut and pineapple is something I have never heard but totally need to try! Thank you!

  9. 2 questions: the ingredients list say 12-18 sheets of phyllo but the instructions seem like you’re only using 6??

    Also, bourbon pecans, but no actually bourbon in the recipe?

    Thanks, Tieghan! Can’t wait to make this!

    1. Hey Kim! You’ll need 12-18 sheets, recipe is all fixed. Thanks so much for pointing that out! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    Fabulous. Looking forward to trying this one. I love marshmallows, but just not on the sweet potato dish. It’s just too, too much. Love the pecan topping…my favorite nut.

  11. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe Tieghan! I love the way phyllo shatters when it’s cut. Set against that creamy sweet filling. I can’t imagine a better update on a classic Thanksgiving recipe! This is gorgeous!