There are plenty of legitimate reasons you might want to skip the traditional sweet potato casserole topping of caramelized, gooey marshmallows. Maybe you're welcoming a vegan or vegetarian to the table, or you want to eat less sugar during the holidays, or maybe you're one of those folks who just doesn't like marshmallows!
Luckily, sweet potato casserole doesn't hinge on a marshmallow topping. You can get creative and have a sweet potato casserole that is still tasty and stunning. Here are several ideas for sweet potato casserole toppings that don't include a single marshmallow.
This is actually my preferred sweet potato casserole topping not only because it's beautiful (I mean, look at those burnished swirls of pillowy light meringue!) but also because I can control the sugar and use up extra egg whites when I'm making it.
2. Cookie Crumbs
Whole cookies, shingled and baked on top, would definitely work. Vanilla wafers would be pretty, and graham crackers would be delicious too. Chess cookies, pizzelles, and even animal crackers make a case for cookies on sweet potato casserole.
3. Streusel or Crumble Topping
Sweet potato casserole is basically the fruit crisp or crumble of fall and winter. (Think about it: A seasonal ingredient baked and until tender and topped with a contrasting filling. Doesn't that just sound like a crisp?) Anyway, streusel or crumble topping would be an easy addition to your sweet potato casserole and just might become your new favorite.
4. Candied Nuts
Whole or chopped, homemade or store-bought, candied pecans, cashews, or walnuts would be perfectly suited for the top of your sweet potato casserole.
Thinking about cookies as a topping also got me thinking about breakfast cereal. While Cinnamon Toast Crunch would probably be the most fun sweet potato casserole topping ever, granola feels classier and more wholesome. Add it partway through baking the casserole to prevent scorching.
6. Puff Pastry
Cut puff pastry or pie crust into rounds and bake it directly on top of your sweet potato casserole and it could totally double as dessert!
7. Brûléed Sugar
Sometimes it feels like sweet and tender sweet potatoes need no topping at all, but if you want a simple and tasty decorative, finish sprinkle the top with demerara or sanding sugar and brûlée under the broiler (or with a kitchen torch).