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Switching things up this Thanksgiving with this Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Sweet ‘n’ Savory Bacon Pecans. The classic sweet potato casserole we know and love, but topped with sweet and savory bacon pecans. These sweet potatoes are buttery, hinted with cinnamon, and lightly sweetened. The pecan topping is just a touch spicy, perfectly sweet, herby, and a little salty too. When baked together the potatoes and topping create the perfect balance and make for the BEST sweet potato casserole. Make these ahead of time for an easy holiday side that everyone will love.

overhead photo of Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Sweet n Savory Bacon Pecans

It’s the second week of November and I very much have Thanksgiving on my mind. Anyone else?

It’s been a little tricky to get my menu fully planned, photographed, and written up in between traveling for HBH Super Simple. But I’m excited to finally say that I will be sharing my full menu this week! Are you guys in planning mode? Hoping so, because I have some good recipes coming, and it all starts with this casserole.

I’m sure I have said this before, but when it comes to Thanksgiving I really love a traditional menu. Herby roasted turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, popovers, vegetable sides, and of course, sweet potato casserole. Some of you may be surprised to hear this, since I love to share all kinds of different recipes, but when it comes to both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m all about tradition. And the older and more traditional the better.

The classics keep things simple and perfect every time. It’s why we look forward to the holidays so much. All the traditions!

That said, every year I try to create a few new dishes that are spins on the classics. They still feel like the classics, just updated a bit. My brothers only care about the turkey, mashed potatoes, and rolls, so I keep those basic (but good). But when it comes to the vegetables? I have some room to play with, and have a little fun.

Enter this sweet potato casserole. It’s just like my grandma’s sweet potatoes, but with a sweet, savory, and salty topping…that everyone loves.

raw sweet potato with steam

Let’s talk about the sweet potatoes…

Like most sweet potato casseroles, this bourbon sweet potato casserole is so simple and easy to make. The longest part of the process is roasting the potatoes. But nothing is hard and you might even have all the ingredients on hand right now.

So…start with the sweet potatoes. Yes, you can buy canned sweet potatoes, but I highly recommend roasting fresh potatoes for best flavor and color. If you have an instant pot, you can cook the potatoes quickly in there. If not, go the oven route. It’s my preferred method.

Once the potatoes are soft, peel away the skins (then use them to make these sweet potato skin chips) and then mash. Then add in a touch of brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, butter, and a splash of bourbon, and that’s it. This is my grandma’s base recipe and it never fails. Simple, but so delicious, and not overly sweet, which I think is really nice.

Question: are you a sweet or savory, sweet potato casserole person? I prefer a savory casserole…with just a touch of sweetness!

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole before adding the pecans

Now about those bacon pecans…

While the potatoes are roasting, start working on the bacon pecans.

Oh, these bacon pecans. Basically, this is a topping of candied bacon with pecans, and it’s incredibly delicious. Sweet and savory with a little crunch from the pecans, and saltiness from the bacon. I added sage and a little rosemary to bring in some savory flavors and balance out the sweetness. These herbs may sound like an odd addition but go with me on this because it’s so GOOD.

Also, if rosemary isn’t your thing, or you’re worried it may overpower the other flavors, then simply leave it out. My dad’s not the biggest rosemary fan. He sometimes complains that it’s overpowering. Use your best judgment here and go with your own personal taste.

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Sweet n Savory Bacon Pecans before baking

Put it all together…

Last up, layer the topping over the sweet potatoes and bake. It’s simple, nothing too fancy, and so EASY. While this bakes, your house will smell incredible, just like Thanksgiving should. You’ll soon find out that every bite is just as delicious as it smells.

These potatoes are sweet and buttery and the topping is crunchy. It’s the sweet potato casserole your Thanksgiving table needs. Promise.

And finally, you can easily prepare this ahead of time, and yes, it travels well too. If you’re on sidedish duty this Thanksgiving, this is your dish!

overhead photo of Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Sweet n Savory Bacon Pecans with spoonful removed from casserole

If you make this bourbon sweet potato casserole with sweet ‘n’ savory bacon pecans, 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 tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Sweet ‘n’ Savory Bacon Pecans.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 426 kcal

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


Sweet ‘n’ Savory Bacon Pecans


  • 1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. 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.
    2. Meanwhile, make the bacon pecans. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain onto a paper towel. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, pecans, butter, cayenne, sage, and rosemary (if using). Stir in the bacon.
    3. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Peel the skins away from the flesh of the sweet potato. Add the sweet potatoes to a mixing bowl. Mash well. Mix in the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, milk, butter, eggs, and bourbon until combined. Season with salt.
    4. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over top.
    5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the pecans are golden. Serve warm topped with flaky sea salt.


To Make Ahead: Prepare the casserole through step 4. Cover and store the assembled casserole in the fridge for up to 2 days. To bake, remove the casserole from the fridge while the oven preheats, then bake as directed. 
To Make Gluten Free: Use an equal amount of your favorite gluten free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour. I recommend Cup4Cup gluten free flour
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  1. 5 stars
    Have made this since 2017–always a huge hit! Easy to make ahead except topping and then finish up day of.

    We use black pepper bacon and PURPLE sweet potatoes–people lose their minds.
    We like the sage, don’t skimp just b/c of the other reviews.

    I’m making it this year for Friendsgiving by request–it’s become the go to!

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe so often, I love to hear that it is always enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

  2. 5 stars
    This is my second year making this for my family and it is hands down our favorite dish. I cannot thank you enough for posting this!!!! SUCH a game changer for our thanksgiving.

  3. Made this today for a Friendsgiving, I just want to eat spoonfuls of the pecan topping out the bowl. 😂 So yummy.

  4. I want to make this dish, but feel like we don’t have big fans of sweet potatoes, so am thinking of cutting the recipe in half. Therefore would I bake it in a 8×8 dish instead?

    1. Hi Kate,
      You bet, that will work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  5. I made this last year without the eggs and substituted the milk for almond milk. Came out great and everyone raved about it. Will be making it again this year! One of my favorite sweet potato casserole dishes.

    1. Hey Kasey,
      Happy Sunday!🌾🌽 I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback! xx

      1. 5 stars
        So excited to make this again this year. Brought this to Thanksgiving last year, and it was the first time that my own dish was my favorite thing on the table🤗 Thank you!!!

        1. Hey Tommy,
          Wonderful!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃

  6. 5 stars
    I made this a couple months ago and guests raved! Now I’ve been asked to bring a squash dish for Thanksgiving. Can I simply substitute mashed acorn squash for the potatoes without changing anything else?

    1. Hey Judy,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it! Sure, I don’t see why not! Have the best weekend!❄️

  7. Tried prepping this tonight ahead of a Friendsgiving tomorrow. The pecan topping came out pretty thick/hard, and I had to spoonful bits of it over the potatoes. Granted I have not baked the dish yet, is that normal?

    1. Hey Zach,
      The pecans are going to be pretty sticky and thick. I hope it turns out well for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  8. I’m planning on making this for Thanksgiving can you give me an idea of how many ounces or cups of the mashed potatoes you use?

    1. Like Gail’s previous question, wondering approximately how many pounds of sweet potatoes? Size varies so much and I do better with precision😊 thank you and have a blessed thanksgiving!

  9. I’m planning to make this for Thanksgiving this year. Do you believe this could be a “make-ahead” recipe 1-2 days prior? If so is there any part of the recipe you would leave off completing until the day of? Thank you!!!!

    1. Hey Haley,
      Totally, just make through step 4 and then bake when you are ready to serve. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

    2. Hi Tieghan!

      I’m making this for thanksgiving but wondering if it can be frozen? Thinking about separating it into 2 smaller portions and freezing one. Thanks!

  10. 5 stars
    I made this last year and it was gobbled up completely!! Going to make 2 batches this year for the people… DIVINE! Also, we are Cajun so we kicked up the spice just a notch… Trés trés bien!!!!

  11. 5 stars
    I made this last thanksgiving and it was a hit! I’m making it again this year per my family’s request. Love the little bit of heat to out to balance out the sweetness. Grey job Tieghan per usual!

    1. Hey Katie,
      Happy Tuesday!! Thanks a lot for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it turned out tasty for you! xT

  12. This looks amazing! I tried looking through the comments so I wouldn’t have to bother, but didn’t see anything & gave up after 4 or 5 pages worth. ha So, I’m curious – for a nut-free version, what would you recommend? Could I use toasted steel cut oats, maybe? I wish I could use the nuts b/c I know it’s delicious & I could eat it by the spoonful lol, but sadly, I will need to figure out a nut-free alternative that still works with the bacon. TIA! 🙂

    1. Hey Shana,
      I would use old fashioned oats, those should work well for you! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope it’s delish! xT

  13. My daughter is allergic to eggs, what would the best alternative be for this dish? I’d hate for her to miss out on it!

    1. Hey Allyson,
      I’ve not tried this, but you could try just skipping the eggs:) Let me know how the recipe turns out, I hope it’s delish! xT

  14. Would it be possible to make the topping without bacon, but keep everything else? We have pork free friends coming over but I am dying to try this!

    1. Hey Lindsey,
      You bet, that would be just fine for you to do, you could also use turkey bacon:) I hope you love this dish! xT

  15. Has anyone tried making this with lactose free milk or almond milk? If so, how did it taste? I have a lactose intolerant daughter in law and will need to modify the recipe.

    1. Hey Joan,
      That should be just fine for you to do:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

    2. I made this dish last year with Almond Milk and it was fine! No one could tell I used anything other than regular milk.