The Best Sweet Potato Casserole

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The best sweet potato casserole is smooth and creamy, sprinkled with a brown sugar pecan mixture. It’s a sweet and savory side dish that is perfect for the holidays!

Get ready for a life-changing moment with this sweet potato casserole recipe. If you love sweet potatoes like us, try honey cinnamon, candied, mashed, or this amazing sweet potato hash.

A sweet potato casserole in a white serving dish.

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Sides are my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I always find myself going back for seconds. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, even cranberry sauce… without them, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving! I could go on and on about my love for these, but for now, let’s talk about this AMAZING sweet potato casserole! It is truly the best I have ever had. It starts with softened sweet potatoes which creates the creamiest, most delicious texture! Then, with a little milk, eggs, vanilla, and brown sugar, it becomes a heavenly sweet treat. Top it with a crumbly brown sugar pecan mixture, and voila! A knockout side!

This sweet potato casserole is honestly so delicious, I will make it outside of the Thanksgiving season. This and corn casserole are some of the most requested sides by my family. I always make sure to make double batches since it goes so quickly! If you are looking for a foolproof recipe for the holidays, this is it. I know that you and yours will love it just as much as my family does! It’s fluffy, nutty, and sweet, with the rich sweetness of brown sugar in each bite. Truly, it is an irresistible side dish that will be loved by all.

Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients

I love that the ingredients for this casserole are so simple. As long as you’ve got the sweet potatoes and pecans, chances are the rest of the ingredients are in your kitchen! This side dish is as easy to put together as it is delicious.

  • Sweet Potatoes: These need to be softened ahead of time for best results. I’ll give you some tips below!
  • Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness to the potatoes.
  • Eggs: Bind all of the ingredients together and add to the creamy texture!
  • Vanilla: Just a dash for extra flavoring.
  • Milk: Makes your casserole perfectly smooth and creamy! I always opt for whole-fat milk here. The fat content makes each bite absolutely dreamy.
  • Butter: Melted and added for a richer flavor.

Pecan Topping

  • Brown Sugar: Gives your topping sweetness and a bit of texture.
  • Flour: Separates and ensures no clumping with the sugar and pecans. It’s also going to add a tasty, crumbly texture.
  • Melted Butter: Holds everything together and helps bake the topping perfectly.
  • Pecans: Chopped and mixed in for a crunchy texture.

How Do I Prepare Sweet Potatoes for a Casserole?

There are a few ways of cooking sweet potatoes for this casserole recipe. The goal is to soften the sweet potatoes enough so they are easy to mash! You can either roast or boil your sweet potatoes. Both ways work great, it comes down to your personal preference! You can also use my mashed sweet potato recipe for more in-depth tips and tricks.

  • Roasting: First, rinse and completely dry your sweet potatoes. Poke them with a fork a few times for ventilation. Next, lay your potatoes on a large baking sheet lined with foil and give them a spritz of cooking spray. Bake them for 1 hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Check with a fork to make sure they are tender. Once they’re done, let them cool. They’re now ready to peel! The skins should be soft enough to remove with your fingers. Give your sweet potatoes a quick chop and then add to a bowl for mashing.
  • Boiling: Prepare your sweet potatoes by peeling and chopping them into 1-inch chunks. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Then, add the potatoes and boil for 20-30 minutes until tender. Strain the water out and add potato chunks to a large bowl for mashing.
Mashing sweet potatoes in a clear bowl.

Mashing Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be mashed using several methods. It ultimately comes down to your preference and the tools you have on hand!

  • Hand Mashing: You can mash with either a fork or a potato masher. These methods will leave you with a rustic-style mash, with a mix of creamy potatoes and sweet chunks.
  • Mashing with Appliances: Using a mixer or a food processor will leave you with equally smooth and creamy mashed sweet potatoes.

How to Make the Best Sweet Potato Casserole

Making this casserole is so easy, be prepared to have it as a regular in your holiday lineup! It’s so creamy and insanely good, you’re going to love it! Even my picky eater kids agree that this is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving.

  1. Prep Casserole Dish: To begin, spray a 1 ½ to 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Mix Casserole Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, and melted butter. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
  3. To Make the Topping: Combine brown sugar, flour, melted butter and chopped pecans. Sprinkle over the top.
  4. Bake: Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until cooked throughout and the top is lightly brown.
Adding sweet potato mixture to casserole dish.

Sweet Potato Casserole Tips and Variations

One of the things I love most about this casserole recipe is that you can easily adjust it to your liking! You can change the mashing method depending on what kind of texture you want, and you can add additional flavors, too! Here are a few tips and tricks to upgrade your casserole this Thanksgiving!

  • Add Different Nuts: If you’re not a fan of pecans, you can swap them out for other nuts with a sweet and savory crunch or just omit them entirely. Walnuts or almonds are always a great choice! I have also loved making this recipe with cinnamon sugar candied almonds.
  • Adding Marshmallows: Marshmallows are so fun to use! They also brown perfectly, leaving the top layer perfectly glazed and golden. Add 1 cup of mini marshmallows on top 5 minutes before baking time is done. They should be nice and golden-brown!
  • Seasonings and Spice: Sometimes I like to add in a pinch of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon to my sweet potato mixture. It gives it a nice warmth and a flavor fit for fall.

More Thanksgiving Favorites

Looking to switch up your recipe lineup this year? These are some of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving recipes, and they’ve never let me down! Just like this sweet potato casserole, they’re easy to make and bursting with flavor! I know they’ll bring joy to your friends and family just like they have with mine. I’ve included recipes both savory and sweet to satisfy each craving!

Brown sugar pecan mixture added to casserole.

Storing Sweet Potato Casserole Leftovers

With the holidays just around the corner, the more prepared you are, the better. This sweet potato casserole recipe can be made in advance! It’s also perfect for leftovers if you want a quick and tasty treat days after Thanksgiving.

  • Preparing Ahead: Assemble your sweet potato casserole in your casserole dish and cover with wrap or foil. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply follow baking instructions once you’re ready to serve! It’s so easy to just pop it in the oven and prepare your other Thanksgiving dishes.
  • Storing in the Refrigerator: Leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving! Make sure your casserole has cooled completely. Then, either transfer to an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. It will stay good for 1 week!
  • Storing in the Freezer: Store your cooled casserole in an airtight container. It will keep for 1 month. Thaw overnight before serving.
  • Reheating: When you’re ready to reheat your sweet potato casserole, place it in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. You can also pop a serving in the microwave for 15-20 second intervals until warm.
Taking a scoop of sweet potato casserole with a wooden spoon.

A Reader’s Review

“I made this for Thanksgiving and it was such a hit I am making it for Christmas!!! When it is cold it is like pie!!”
Kris

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole

5 from 5 votes
The best sweet potato casserole is smooth and creamy, sprinkled with a brown sugar pecan mixture. It's a sweet and savory side dish that is perfect for the holidays!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 12 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions
 

  • Prepare a 1 ½ to 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, and melted butter. Pour into prepared casserole dish.
  • To make the topping: Combine brown sugar, flour, melted butter, and chopped pecans. Sprinkle over the top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until cooked throughout and the top is lightly brown.

Video

Notes

Updated on November 8, 2021
Original Post was on November 6, 2014

Nutrition

Serves: 12

Calories339kcal (17%)Carbohydrates38g (13%)Protein3g (6%)Fat20g (31%)Saturated Fat9g (45%)Cholesterol62mg (21%)Sodium153mg (6%)Potassium213mg (6%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar29g (32%)Vitamin A5172IU (103%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium59mg (6%)Iron1mg (6%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword sweet potato casserole, sweet potato casserole recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe for my companies Friendsgiving Potluck for two years now and it’s always such a hit!!! I send out this recipe multiple times. Thank you!!!

  2. Instead of taking an hour to bake/roast the sweet potatoes in the oven, I can cook them in the instant pot for 15 minutes. The skins peel right off and they’re ready to mash.

  3. 5 stars
    I have made this a bunch of times – with several changes – and people beg me for the recipe.
    I add crushe pineapple – drained, the juice and zest of one navel orange, and make the topping w crushed ginger snaps as one of ours is gluten free. I crush up extra ginger snaps and put in the potatoes while mixing. I have to make a double batch every year. I add the extras by eyeball…
    Try these extras – people will beg you too!! I make a small pan for a 97 year old relative that can’t get enough…. Good luck! It WILL be a hit…

  4. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe for years, mother in law passed on the recipe, although hers included flaked coconut…which we have since omitted as it needs no more sweetness. Have since passed recipe on to multiple family members & it’s a fight over who will make it for the holidays! I typically make it the day before & then cook it the day of & it does take some time to cook as it is so dense! I did make it with canned yams by mistake one time, running out of time & will not do that again! Came out way to sweet! But we salvaged it by throwing it in the freezer & then eating it as a dessert with whipped cream on top…it was actually pretty good – but really sweet! Great recipe!!

  5. I love the enthusiasm you use. I only made a sweet potato casserole once. My husband and kids didn’t even try one bite, but that was okay, it was so delicious, I ate the whole pan. No marshmallows on mine. Roasted my pecan with salt, brown sugar and a small amount of yogurt butter. I use Brumble and Brown yogurt butter on every thing, fewer calories, fat and taste way better than any other butter!! Your missing out if you haven’t tried it! And I do not work for or associated with Brumble and Brown, It’s really that good! I grind up my baked pecans to a flour, meal type mixture, add a little more brown sugar, salt and a tiny amount of flour. No food processor, no problem, just use a can… Layer this over well salted and buttered sweet potatoes. It is simply delicious! No eggs, milk or no fuss. The smell of roasting pecans cooking in the oven is aroma therapy and will have everyone’s taste buds tingling. With roasting ham or turkey to boot, it’s simply the best! : )

  6. Hello Alyssa, this sweet potato casserole sounds scrumptious. Can you tell me approximately how many sweet potatoes for 3 cups mashed. Thank you Alyssa.

  7. I always use this sweet potato recipe .

    it’s so much faster to cook your sweet potatoes in the microwave by scrubbing them , poking them with a fork like you would a baked potato and microwaving them until they are nice and soft .

    They are delicious and this is so much faster it also keeps your kitchen cooler.

    1. 5 stars
      Absolutely fantastic. I also made the best ever Green Bean casserole.
      Definitely roast the sweet potato’s. Wait 10 minutes and then peel with your fingers. Easy and i am 81 years young. Recipe critic is my new favorite recipe website. ❤️

  8. 5 stars
    I always use a sweet potato recipe it’s so much faster to cook your sweet potatoes in the microwave by scrubbing them , poking them with a fork like you would a baked potato and microwaving them until they are nice and soft .

    They are delicious and this is so much faster it also keeps your kitchen cooler.

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