Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is renowned for its sizzling prime cuts and upscale dining experience, but one of its unsung heroes is the Sweet Potato Casserole – a side dish that’s become a cult favorite among its patrons. This blog post isn’t just about sharing Ruth’s Chris’ recipe; we’re diving deep into the ingredients, the story behind this delicious dish, and how you can tailor it to your preferences. Whether you’re a dedicated foodie or just someone looking for a special dish for the holidays, get ready to taste the sweet side of Southern comfort with Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole.

Ingredients

  • CRUST
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  • SWEET POTATO MIXTURE
  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs (well beaten)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1/2 cup)

Directions

1. Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly.
4. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.
5. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture.
6. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.

The Origins of the Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole

Before we embark on the culinary journey, it’s essential to understand the roots of this dish. Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole is more than just a sumptuous side item; it’s a legacy that stems from the brand’s philosophy of serving uncompromising excellence. The recipe itself is a guarded secret, but what’s known is that it found its way onto the menu in the 1980s, perfectly timed for the growing trend toward sweet and savory flavor profiles. Since then, it has been an integral part of Ruth’s Chris dining experience, making its way into countless family gatherings and holiday feasts.

Variations and Substitutions

While the original recipe is a staple at the famous steakhouse, there are ways to adapt it to your liking. Here are a few variations and substitutions you can add to personalize your Sweet Potato Casserole:

Adding a Hint of Spice

For those who love a little kick with their sweet, why not add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of spicy paprika? This touch of heat can complement the sweetness of the potatoes and provide a more complex flavor profile.

Nutty About Nuts

Many variations of sweet potato casserole call for a nut topping, typically using pecans. However, you can experiment with different nuts like almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts to bring in a varied texture and taste.

Sweeten the Deal with Marshmallows

One of the most popular options is to add marshmallows to the top of the casserole during the last few minutes of baking. This creates a gooey, sweet layer that’s a surefire crowd-pleaser.

The Vegan Twist

To make this delight more inclusive, consider using plant-based butter, such as coconut oil or a vegan butter substitute. For the topping, you can use vegan marshmallows or a mix of oats and maple syrup for a crunchy, non-dairy alternative.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato Casserole

It’s no secret that sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse, and when prepared right, they can be an incredibly healthy choice. Full of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, the sweet potato is far more than just a delicious root vegetable. Here’s a breakdown of the health benefits and how they are retained in a sweet potato casserole:

Vitamin A: The Vision Vitamin

Sweet potatoes, being orange-fleshed, are a godsend for the eyes. Just a single cup of mashed sweet potatoes meets more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, essential for good vision and a healthy immune system.

High in Fiber

Unlike the usual mashed potato, sweet potatoes contain a good amount of fiber – about 4 grams per cup. This is beneficial for digestion and can help with satiety, keeping you full for longer.

Antioxidants Galore

Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants which can help prevent certain types of cancers and offer protection against heart disease, among other benefits. The casserole retains these antioxidants, especially if you keep the skin on the sweet potatoes during cooking.

Managing Blood Sugar

Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes, meaning they are less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar levels. This can make them a better option for those watching their sugar intake.

Serving and Storage Tips for Sweet Potato Casserole

The best way to enjoy the Sweet Potato Casserole is fresh out of the oven. But, if you have leftovers, fear not, here’s how you can serve and store them:

Reheating Leftovers

To reheat the casserole, preheat your oven to 350°F, cover the casserole dish with foil, and place it in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Avoiding the Microwave

While microwaving is a fast option, the flavors and textures won’t be as good. The oven method allows for slow reheating, maintaining the marshmallow topping’s integrity while warming the sweet potatoes to perfection.

Storage Duration

Leftover casserole can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in a tightly sealed container. For longer storage, freeze the casserole without the marshmallow topping for up to 3 months.

Thawing Frozen Casserole

When ready to eat the frozen casserole, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, reheat according to the directions above, adding the marshmallow topping in the last 5 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sweet Potato Casserole

Can I Prepare Sweet Potato Casserole in Advance?

Certainly! You can prepare the casserole up to two days in advance. Store it in the refrigerator without the marshmallow topping, and add the topping just before baking. This will keep the marshmallows from drying out and maintain their texture.

Do I Need to Add Additional Sugar to the Sweet Potatoes?

The amount of sugar (if any) should be adjusted according to the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes and your personal taste. Taste your mashed sweet potatoes before adding sugar to avoid making the dish overly sweet.

Why Use Whole Milk Over Other Dairy Options?

Whole milk is used in traditional recipes because of its fat content, which adds a rich creaminess to the mashed sweet potatoes. You can use lower-fat milk if you prefer, but it may result in a less creamy consistency.

Should I Use Canned or Fresh Sweet Potatoes?

Fresh sweet potatoes are always the best option for the most flavor and nutritional content. However, if you’re short on time, canned sweet potatoes can be a convenient substitute.

What Can I Serve with Sweet Potato Casserole?

Sweet potato casserole pairs well with a variety of proteins such as turkey, chicken, or ham. It can also be served alongside green beans, a garden salad, or dinner rolls for a complete meal.

Conclusion

The Sweet Potato Casserole from Ruth’s Chris embodies comfort food at its finest. It is a dish that not only satisfies the palate but also brings warmth to any table. Whether you choose to savor the original recipe or customize it to make it your own, the versatility and nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes make this dish a standout addition to any meal.

So, go ahead and indulge in the decadent sweetness of a Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole, knowing that you are not just partaking in a delicious treat, but also reaping the health benefits of this humble root vegetable. Whether you serve it on a special occasion or as a weeknight indulgence, one thing is for sure – this casserole is bound to become a beloved fixture in your culinary repertoire.