How To Take Your Sweet Potato Casserole To The Next Level

Filled to the brim with iron, calcium, and other nutrients (via WebMD), if any food is worthy of its own casserole it's the reliable sweet potato. However, the invention of the sweet potato casserole was less about honoring your favorite orange vegetable and more about trying to find a way to make a profit off of marshmallows (per Vice). In a bid to sell more of their newly created product, the company producing Angelus Marshmallows made a leaflet in 1917 that featured recipes with marshmallows as the key ingredient. One dish highlighted in the pamphlet called for the combination of sweet potato and marshmallows, and the casserole has been a treasured sugary side dish ever since.

105 years later, we can't help but appreciate the creator of Angelus Marshmallows for devising a warming comfort food dish that has become a holiday staple. With baked sweet potatoes as the base and brown sugar, pecans, and butter as the typical primary ingredients for its top layer, a sweet potato casserole shines at Thanksgiving or any social gathering with loved ones.

While traditional recipes for sweet potato casserole have stood the test of time, all things have room for improvement. And there's one distinctive way to put a new twist on this classic that might get the people at your table deliberating over just what makes your version so unique.

Add fruit to your sweet potato casserole to brighten the flavor

Increase your sweet potato casserole's appeal by incorporating fruits into your recipe. According to Eating Well, the addition of pineapples will offer "​​a nice tangy counterbalance with hints of the tropics." One Allrecipes variation likewise recommends putting a 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple — juice included — into your sweet potato base for an extra dose of flavor.

Another fruit that can be used to elevate this beloved dish is oranges. A recipe from Joy Philbin in Rachael Ray In Season magazine suggests that those who want to bring a citrusy flair to their sweet potato casserole will need to add 4 oranges plus fresh orange juice to their ingredient list. Interestingly, Philbin calls for layering slices of orange and potato in a baking dish and dousing them in a spiced mixture of orange juice reduced with maple syrup and cloves. Plenty of sugar but not a marshmallow in sight.

No matter which fruit option you decide to add to your sweet potato casserole, be sure to have fun experimenting. And don't be afraid to add your own personal touches!