2 1/2lbssweet potatoespeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (6-8 medium sized sweet potatoes or ~8 cups chopped)
3/4cuplight brown sugarpacked
4tablespoonsunsalted butter (half of one stick or 1/4 cup)softened (sub for vegan butter to make dairy-free)
1teaspoonground cinnamonor more to taste
pinch of salt
1/2cuppecans (or walnuts)chopped, divided (optional, omit if you have a nut allergy or only using marshmallows)
2cupsmini marshmallowsoptional (or sub for vegan marshmallows)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish or deep baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place the sweet potatoes in a pot with the cold water. (I PROMISE 1/2 cup of cold water is enough water to steam sweet potatoes. There is no need to cover all of the sweet potatoes in water. TRUST ME.)
Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat. The sweet potatoes will become tender with the steam. Simmer for 15-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender enough to mash. Drain. Let cool slightly.
Transfer tender sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Add brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 1/4 cup of pecans (save the rest for later). Mix until all is well combined.
Add the sweet potato mixture evenly into the casserole dish. Top with remaining pecans and mini marshmallows.** Bake for 15 minutes or until marshmallows are toasted. Remove from oven. Serve and enjoy!
*I PROMISE 1/2 cup of cold water is enough water. There is no need to cover all of the sweet potatoes in water, they will steam with this amount of water JUST fine. Trust me. :)**Feel free to omit pecans to make nut-free and/or replace regular marshmallows with vegan marshmallows. You can also omit marshmallows entirely and just use pecans or walnuts.MAKE AHEAD TIP You can make the sweet potato mixture 1 day in advance, place it in a baking dish, cover the top with foil then refrigerate until the next day. Before serving, bring sweet potato mixture to room temperature, top with pecans/marshmallows then place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees F.