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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
Calories Per Serving: 955 kcal

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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Comments

    1. Hey Nancee,
      So sorry I have not tested this recipe without the eggs. Please let me know how it turns out! xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    I’m the designated sweet potato maker every year at Thanksgiving. Last year I made this recipe instead of my usual favorite, and I don’t think my old recipe will get much use anymore. I don’t know if it was the sage-cinnamon combo or what, but I swear it’s the best thing I’ve been ever smelled! The texture combo is genius too. Excited to make it again. Thanks for being awesome!

  2. there is a greek dessert my mom used to make often when i was a kid — bougatsa — with phyllo and a sweet farina cereal filling. i imagine the textures of this recipe might be a thanksgiving-reminiscent version of that dessert. i’m totally going to try it out this year and see how it goes!

  3. thank you for your answer! i will! im doing several of your thanksgiving recipes for my canada thanksgiving this year (this coming monday) ill tag you on instagram and show you the results!

  4. also for layering the phyllo pastry. do we layer 3 layer then put it in the pan. then another 3 layers to cover the place that is not covered, then another 3… sorry if im not making any sense i just really want to do this right please let me know about layering the phyllo pastry. really appreciate it.

  5. Hi! just a quick question. every layer of phyllo needs to be brushed with butter right? all 12-18 layers? not just the first few.
    thank you! im looking forward to making one

    1. Hi Maggie! Yes, ideally every layer should be brushed, but brushing every other layer works fine too. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  6. Oh my goodness. This looks and sounds amazing. Do you think this would work if you put the ingredients in individual ramikens or muffin tins? BTW I’m new here and binge reading your wonderful site!

    1. Hey Kimberly! So nice to have you as a new reader! Yes, I think muffin tins will be great and so cute! What a fun idea! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it, from sweet potato lovers to sweet potato haters! It was beautiful and a huge hit, thank you.

    1. One box is plenty, you will only need one roll form the box. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much and happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  8. Oh my goodness, THIS WAS SO GOOD! Everyone needs to make this! Even though I was cursing at the phyllo sheets when trying to assemble them, the phyllo-stress was worth it.

    1. Hey thank you for all of these amazing recipes… Wondering if this recipe can be made ahead of time? Can you let me know what you would do?

      1. Hi Holland,
        I would make through step 7, cover and pop in the fridge, then bake when ready to serve. I hope you love the recipe. Happy Thanksgiving! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    I made this today for my work’s Thanksgiving potluck, and it was a huge success! I made a couple tweaks, by adding a little nutmeg and clove into the mixture, adding a little brown sugar in the pecan topping, as well as folding in some toasted mini marshmallows that I toasted on a cookie sheet under the broiler (I love toasted marshmallows and sweet potato). The phyllo dough was a little messy, and it took more than 4 Tbs butter to brush all the sheets, but I like a little challenge. Everyone was amazed by both how good it looked as well as tasted, and a few even asked me to share the recipe. Will definitely make again!

  10. 5 stars
    Ooops! Typo!! The English & Writing major/master in me insists on correcting it- casserole!???Can’t wait to try it, beyond words anyway looks so good!❤️❤️❤️

  11. 5 stars
    I’m with Mom❤️as far as sweet potato caserrole being my absolute favorite?but love the look of this amazing alternative treat! I’m trying not to overwhelm myself doing everything same day so am wondering how I can prep this ahead of time. Can I assemble and refrigerate? And would I need to bring to room temp before baking? Can’t wait to try this! Xoxo

    1. Hey Gia! Yes, you can assemble and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Let the casserole site on the counter while the oven preheats. Works really well this way! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan