Have you made an impressive sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving or other special occasions, only to scoop out a serving and discover a runny filling?! Whether you’ve been faced with this problem at the outset or after leftovers have been stored, it’s definitely something you want to avoid.
This article walks you through the different ways to avoid making runny sweet potato casserole as well as how to fix a runny sweet potato casserole if you run into this challenge!
- Common Mistakes That Result In Runny Sweet Potato Casserole
- 1. Excess Liquid
- 2. Sweet Potatoes That Are Undercooked
- 3. Overmixing Ingredients
- 4. Lack of Eggs
- 5. Excessive Marshmallow Topping
- 6. Not Using The Correct Pan
- 7. Too Much Time In The Oven
- 8. Not Measuring Ingredients
- 9. Not Draining The Sweet Potatoes
- 10. Using Other Potatoes
- 11. Incorrect Order of Ingredients
- 12. Incorrect Storage And Reheating
- Tips and Tricks To Fix Runny Sweet Potato Casserole
- More Sweet Potato-Inspired Recipes
- More Cooking Tips
Common Mistakes That Result In Runny Sweet Potato Casserole
Prevention is always better than cure, right? Before we dive into the ways you can fix a runny sweet potato casserole, it’s worth understanding the common mistakes people make that can lead to runny sweet potato casserole so that you can avoid this problem completely!
Here are the 12 most common mistakes that can create a runny sweet potato casserole:
1. Excess Liquid
Too much liquid in the recipe is a sure way to create a runny sweet potato casserole. If there is more liquid than what the sweet potatoes can absorb, you will end up with a runny and soggy consistency.
Always measure ingredients such as milk, cream, butter, and cooking liquid accurately to avoid excess of liquid.
2. Sweet Potatoes That Are Undercooked
Starch is released when sweet potatoes are cooked properly, which helps to thicken the consistency of the casserole. Undercooked sweet potatoes mean that the casserole is likely to be thinner in texture with lumps from the undercooked potatoes.
Make sure that your sweet potatoes have been boiled or baked long enough in preparation for making sweet potato casserole. The cooked potatoes should be fork-tender and easy to mash.
3. Overmixing Ingredients
While you want a smooth consistency, overmixing the mashed potatoes with the rest of the ingredients can undo the thickening properties of the mashed sweet potato. Gently fold the mashed sweet potatoes into the rest of the casserole ingredients to combine. A rubber spatula is perfect for this.
4. Lack of Eggs
Eggs act as a binding agent and create a structure for a sweet potato casserole. Without enough eggs, the casserole will remain loose and watery. A good ratio is 2-3 large eggs per 3-4 cups of mashed sweet potato.
5. Excessive Marshmallow Topping
The moisture from too much marshmallow topping can seep into the sweet potato filling and affect the texture. Follow the recipe and don’t get too heavy-handed with this sweet topping.
6. Not Using The Correct Pan
Don’t create a thin sweet potato casserole by spreading the filling in an oversized pan or baking dish. A 9 or 8-inch dish (oval, round, or rectangular) is ideal.
7. Too Much Time In The Oven
While you want the marshmallow topping to sit under the broil for long enough to get that beautiful golden hue, leaving the casserole in the oven for longer than the recommended recipe time can result in drying the casserole out and cause it to turn runny.
8. Not Measuring Ingredients
I’ve touched on this slightly above, but measuring all of the ingredients is key to the perfect sweet potato casserole consistency. Always use measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a food scale when baking.
9. Not Draining The Sweet Potatoes
Always drain the cooked sweet potatoes in a colander for about 15 minutes before mashing them and adding them to other casserole ingredients. The potatoes will naturally release liquid while they cook and you don’t want this excess liquid in your casserole.
10. Using Other Potatoes
Stick to using sweet potatoes when following a recipe for sweet potato casserole and don’t substitute with other varieties, such as Russet potatoes which lack the starch, sugar, and moisture content required for this particular dish.
True sweet potatoes have orange flesh and brown skin. They are sometimes referred to as ‘yams’ in grocery stores although this isn’t technically correct.
11. Incorrect Order of Ingredients
Eggs should be added after the mashed sweet potato is combined with sugar, milk, butter, and spices. This order helps to create a better structure in the casserole. You also want to avoid mixing liquids like milk or cream with the mashed potato first as they can actually wash some of the starch away.
12. Incorrect Storage And Reheating
Incorrect storage and multiple reheating of leftovers can impact the texture of the sweet potato casserole. Only reheat the right amount of portions required at a time.
📋Sweet Potato casserole can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge, covered tightly with plastic wrap. You have the option of adding the marshmallow topping just before serving and heating it in the oven under broil.
Tips and Tricks To Fix Runny Sweet Potato Casserole
Now that you know what not to do when making sweet potato casserole, here are some helpful tips and tricks on how to fix a runny sweet potato casserole if you’re faced with this dilemma:
- Add cornstarch or flour to a small amount of water and slowly mix this into the sweet potato casserole filling. This will thicken the mixture and absorb some of the excess moisture.
- Add extra mashed sweet potatoes to the runny filling to absorb excess liquid in the dish.
- Increase the baking time to help dry out the casserole.
- Mix cream cheese into the filling to help thicken it.
Baking or boiling sweet potatoes is the best way to cook these potatoes for the casserole. Make sure to cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender and can mash easily without any lumps.
Absolutely! This casserole can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge, covered tightly with plastic wrap. You have the option of adding the marshmallow topping just before serving and heating it in the oven under broil.
An even ½ - 1-inch thick topping is perfect. Anything thicker can add excess moisture to the sweet potato filling and turn it slightly runny after some time in storage.
Absolutely. Allow the casserole to cool completely and then store it whole or in single portions in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven for best results.
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