That Spicy Chick

Spicy Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole

This Spicy Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole is made with layers of spicy garlicky mash filling, crispy thick cut bacon pieces, and plenty of cheddar and mozzarella cheese! It’s easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and is the perfect savory-sweet potato side for your holiday table!

Close up of left side of dish with baked loaded sweet potato casserole topped with fried bacon pieces and spring onion.

I’ve got a tasty side for your holiday table today – this Spicy Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole! 🎉

I’m super excited about it because it isn’t:

  • outrageously sweet
  • or loaded up with brown sugar
  • and not topped with a plethora of processed marshmallows.

Instead, it’s very much like a loaded baked potato. Except that it’s made with sweet potatoes and in a deconstructed form!

Don’t get me wrong. While I do love a good traditional sweet potato casserole with brown sugar and a marshmallow crust, sometimes I just need things to be savory and healthy (-ish).

As it is, sweet potatoes are very sweet on their own. So, I decided up to jazz up this sweet potato casserole with creamy butter and aromatics like shallots, garlic, and a Bird’s eye red chili. I also added some smoked paprika and ground cayenne for a fiery kick, and fried up some crispy bacon to mix into the filling.

I then layered the delicious savory-sweet mash in a casserole dish with plenty of freshly grated sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Last but not least, I finished it off with a generous sprinkling of spring onion (scallion) and more crispy bacon once out of the oven!

BOOM! The result is this outrageously good, hard-to-stop-eating, sweet and salty, and deliciously CHEESY spicy sweet potato casserole! I think you guys are going to love it! 😋

Slice of cheesy sweet potato mash with crispy bacon and spring onion on a white round plate. Dish with the casserole, spring onion in bowl, and a fork behind.

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s full of savory-sweet and spicy garlicky flavors. This makes it perfect for those that aren’t a fan of the traditional sugar loaded and marshmallow crusted sweet potato casserole.
  • It’s healthier than your traditional holiday sweet potato casserole.
  • You can make it vegetarian by simply omitting the bacon, and vegan if you use vegan butter!
  • It’s a super quick and easy and no fuss side dish to make, and it’s ready to go in just under 40 minutes!

Ingredients

Labeled Spicy Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole ingredients on a wooden board.
  • Sweet Potatoes: I used two large redskin sweet potatoes. I haven’t tried making this casserole with canned sweet potatoes, and do not recommend doing so if you want to have the best flavors.
  • Asian Red Shallots: If unavailable, you can substitute with a small wedge of thinly sliced red onion.
  • Bird’s Eye Red Chili (optional): I used just one chili. But feel free to use more if you would like to make this Spicy Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole even spicier! You’re welcome to use any other hot chili that you can get in your area if Bird’s Eye chilies are not easy to locate.
  • Ground Cayenne: Feel free to tweak the amount of ground cayenne to your liking based on your heat level preference.
  • Smoked Paprika: I used a hot one, but you can use a sweet smoked paprika if you prefer.

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

Fork pulling a bite of cheesy sweet potato mash on a plate.

How to Make Spicy Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep: Grease an 8-inch square ovenproof glass dish or pan with unsalted butter or a bit of olive oil.

1. Cook the sweet potatoes: Peel and cube the potatoes, then boil for 10-12 minutes in a pot of salted water until until the potatoes are tender.

Cubed sweet potatoes in pot with water on stovetop.

Drain and transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Then use a potato masher to mash until smooth.

Sweet potato mash and a potato masher in a large mixing bowl.

2. Cook the bacon: While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Frying bacon pieces in a skillet on the stovetop.


3. Make the spicy sweet potato mash: Discard all but ½ tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan, and sauté the sliced shallot, garlic, and red chili for a minute until fragrant. Then add to the bowl with the mashed sweet potatoes, along with the unsalted butter, kosher salt, smoked paprika, freshly cracked black pepper, and ground cayenne. Mix well to combine, then fold in most of the crispy bacon pieces (reserving some for garnish later).

Adding butter, seasonings, aromatics, and bacon to bowl with sweet potato mash and rubber spatula.

4. Assemble: Spread the sweet potato mash and bacon mixture and cheddar and mozzarella cheese in alternate layers in the prepared pan, finishing with the cheeses.

Assembling sweet potato bacon mash and cheese layers in a 8-inch square glass dish.

5. Bake and serve: Bake in a 200°C/400°F preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then garnish with the chopped spring onion and remaining bacon pieces and serve!

Baked loaded sweet potato casserole in square glass dish topped with fried bacon pieces and spring onion.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

A slice of cheesy sweet potato mash with crispy bacon and spring onion on a white round plate. Dish with the casserole, spring onion in bowl, and a fork behind.

Cook’s Tips

  • Use good quality thick cut bacon for best flavor and texture.
  • Use freshly grated cheese. Buy a block and grate it at home. It’ll melt more evenly and taste better than the pre-shredded cheese sold in bags. Plus, it won’t have any of the anti-caking agents and preservatives that the pre-shredded cheeses do.
Fork holding up a bite of cheesy sweet potato mash and a piece of crispy bacon.

FAQs

Can I make this ahead?

Sure! You can prep and assemble the dish all the way as per the instructions. Then cover with foil and refrigerate up to 3 days before baking. When you’re ready to bake, take the dish out of the fridge 30-60 minutes ahead of when you plan to bake it. Then bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.

How long will the loaded sweet potato casserole keep?

It’ll keep for 3 days in a sealed airtight container. Reheat in the microwave on high for 40-60 seconds, or until hot throughout.

Can I make it vegetarian or vegan?

Omit the bacon if making it vegetarian. Omit the bacon and use a vegan unsalted butter if making it vegan.

Fork pulling a bite of cheesy sweet potato mash on a plate, and top view of casserole in dish. Text overlay "Spicy Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole".

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Print
Close up of left side of dish with baked loaded sweet potato casserole topped with fried bacon pieces and spring onion.

Spicy Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole

This Spicy Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole is made with layers of spicy garlicky mash filling, crispy bacon pieces, and plenty of cheddar and mozzarella cheese! Perfect for your holiday table!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds / 907 grams (2 large) Sweet Potatoes – peeled and cubed
  • 1.5 TSP Kosher Salt
  • 8 slices / 250 grams Thick Cut Bacon – cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 2 Asian Red Shallots – thinly sliced (substitute with 1/8 of a medium red onion if unavailable)
  • 2 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 Bird’s Eye Red Chili (optional – or use any other small hot red chili) – finely chopped
  • 2.5 TBLS Unsalted Butter
  • ½ TSP Smoked Paprika (I used a hot one, but sweet smoked paprika is fine too if you prefer to make this milder)
  • ¾ TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper
  • ½¾ TSP ground Cayenne, to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Spring Onion / Scallion (green parts only) – chopped

Instructions

  1. Prep: Grease an 8-inch square ovenproof glass dish or pan with unsalted butter or a bit of olive oil. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Cook the sweet potatoes: Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a medium sized pot and fill with water until the potatoes are covered. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and boil for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain well and transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to mash until smooth.
  3. Cook the bacon: While the potatoes are cooking, cut the bacon into 1/2-inch wide strips. Transfer to a skillet and cook over medium-high heat until crisp and cooked through. Then transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
    Sauté shallot, garlic, and chili: Discard all but ½ tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the sliced shallot, garlic, and red chili and sauté for a minute until fragrant and the shallot has slightly softened. Then transfer to the bowl with the mashed sweet potatoes.
  4. Make the spicy sweet potato mash: Add the unsalted butter, remaining ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, smoked paprika, freshly cracked black pepper, and ground cayenne to the bowl with the sweet potatoes mash. Mix well to combine, then fold in 2/3 of the crispy bacon pieces. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  5. Assemble: Spread half of the spicy sweet potato and bacon mixture in the prepared pan. Then sprinkle half of the freshly grated cheddar cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese evenly on top. Repeat with the remaining spicy sweet potato mash and bacon mixture and cheeses.
  6. Bake: Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is bubbly.
  7. To Serve: Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then garnish with the chopped spring onion and remaining bacon pieces. Serve immediately!

Notes

Cook’s Tips and FAQS

  1. Use good quality thick cut bacon for best flavor and texture.
  2. Use freshly grated cheese. Buy a block and grate it at home. It’ll melt more evenly and taste better than the pre-shredded cheese sold in bags. Plus, it won’t have any of the anti-caking agents and preservatives that the pre-shredded cheeses do.
  3. Can I make this ahead? Sure! You can prep and assemble the dish all the way as per the instructions. Then cover with foil and refrigerate up to 3 days before baking. When you’re ready to bake, take the dish out of the fridge 30-60 minutes ahead of when you plan to bake it. Then bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
  4. How long will the loaded sweet potato casserole keep? It’ll keep for 3 days in a sealed airtight container. Reheat in the microwave on high for 40-60 seconds, or until hot throughout.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 346
  • Sugar: 6.1g
  • Sodium: 701.1mg
  • Fat: 20.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 10.2g
  • Trans Fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.2g
  • Fiber: 4.1g
  • Protein: 13.8g
  • Cholesterol: 46.7mg

The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.

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