Marie’s Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potatoes

Marie’s Bourbon Pecan Sweet Potatoes
Recipe by Marie Surgi (My Grandmother)

I come from a large family.  My mother had six brothers and sisters, they in turn children of their own.  Thanksgiving gatherings were large affairs with much commotion, noise, running children, and plenty of food.  When it was time to eat, we gathered around the living room area.  There existed a hierarchy of tables we all ate at.  The largest of which was reserved for the eldest in the family, then descending in age were a number of smaller card tables.  It was a rite of passage to graduate from one table to the next.

A plethora of food was laid out along the counters of a horse shoe shaped kitchen.  Everyone would line up, glide along the counters and dollop whatever combination of holiday fare they could smatter together on their plate.  But of all the dishes that were cooked and served, it was my grandmothers Sweet Potato Casserole that I longed for, that I craved, and that I hoped would still be there when my place in the line had arrived.

A Little About Marie, my Grandmother
Born in Louisiana, my Grandmother was proud, independent and inspiring.  She was one of the first women to graduate from Rice Medical School back when that just didn’t happen.  She was a pediatrician all her life, kept her last name to distinguish herself and her career from my Grandfather who was also a doctor, and she could cook like no one’s business.  She passed away having had Alzheimer’s and to this day, remains a positive force in my life.

Let’s Cook
For me, nothing says a holiday meal quite like those Sweet Potatoes.  For sure, they are a cheat meal. My grandmother was not shy about butter, sugar, or the amount of bourbon she used in her recipe. The recipe also calls for bourbon whiskey.  You can substitute with rum, or no alcohol at all.  But oh, how all those ingredients came together… We hope you enjoy them.

The perfect Thanksgiving side dish! An amazing combo of creamy sweet potatoes, and crunchy sweet pecan topping.

Prep Time 10 mins | Cook Time 35 mins | Total Time 45 mins | Servings: 12 Servings


▢ 6 Large Sweet Potatoes
▢ 2 Eggs
▢ 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter Room Temperature
▢ ½ Tsp Salt
▢ 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
▢ ⅓ Cup White Granulated Sugar
▢ 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
▢ 1/4 Cup Bourbon (Optional, or you can use Rum)

Pecan Topping

▢ 2 Cups Chopped Pecans
▢ 1 Cup Brown Sugar
▢ ⅔ Cups All Purpose Flour
▢ 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter Melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven in preheating, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Remove skin then chop sweet potatoes into large chunks and add to pot of boiling water. Cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are very soft and cooked through. About 15 minutes.
  3. Drain cooked sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mash and stir together until smooth. Add to a 13×9 baking dish and prepare pecan topping.
  4. Sprinkle Pecan Topping over the sweet potato mix. Place in oven on the center rack and cook for 20 minutes. Serve Warm and Enjoy!

Pecan Topping

  1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine. Make sure the pecans are thoroughly coated with the brown sugar. Place on top of prepared sweet potato mix.

Make Ahead Instructions: If making this dish ahead of time cook the sweet potatoes and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Then smooth into baking dish and cover in the fridge. You can also make the pecan topping ahead of time. Just store everything together and store in a small airtight container in the fridge. Remove from fridge, add pecan topping and bake for 20 minutes. My grandma makes this dish the night before every year and it comes out perfect.

Leftover Storage: Store leftovers in the fridge covered for up to 4 days.  But that probably won’t happen!

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