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Sunny Anderson, co-host of Food Network's "The Kitchen," shares two easy, crowd-pleasing potato dishes that are perfect for Thanksgiving: sweet potato casserole with sage, pecans and mini marshmallows and au gratin potatoes with sage, cream and Manchego cheese. Make one or both for your holiday table! 


For the Topping:
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into teeny-weeny bits
  • 1 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Kosher salt
For the Filling:
  • 2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 medium), skin on
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, plus more if needed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows, more if desired
  • 2 eggs


Serves: 8 to 10


For the topping, in a medium bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, butter, pecans, sage, orange zest and a pinch of salt. Mix with your hands until it feels like you could make a ball that would just slightly hold together and everything is crumbly. Take a tiny bite. It should be slightly sweet with a hint of salt (like a good chocolate chip cookie!). Add a tiny pinch of salt, as needed. Cover the bowl and place in the freezer while finishing the recipe. Remove from the freezer 5 minutes before using and break apart with a fork as if you were flaking rice. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the center. 

For the filling, poke the sweet potatoes about 6 to 8 times, about ¼ inch deep, using a fork. Rub with the oil and set the potatoes on a baking sheet. Roast on the middle rack until fork tender and the skins are darkened, 40 to 50 minutes. Set aside to cool. By the time the potatoes are cool enough to handle, the skins will loosen from the flesh. With your hands, gently remove the skins and discard. Place the sweet potato flesh in a large bowl along with the cream, flour, brown sugar, butter and pumpkin pie spice. Mash until smooth. 

Shift the oven rack one level down and turn on the broiler. Spread out the marshmallows in a single layer on a baking sheet, transfer to the oven and broil, watching the entire time. When the tops of the marshmallows char to a black color and begin smoking (be strong: brown looks good, but black tastes better!), quickly remove from the oven.

Lower the oven to 375°F. With a rubber spatula, fold the marshmallows into the mashed sweet potatoes until combined. Taste and add a bit more brown sugar, if needed, a tablespoon at a time. This should be just on the edge of sweet; the topping does the rest. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and fold them into the sweet potatoes until combined. 

Spread the sweet potato mixture into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, leveling the top. Sprinkle the prepared topping evenly over the potatoes. Bake until the topping is shiny and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.