Skip to content

The BEST Sweet Potato Casserole

Mashed sweet potatoes topped with toasted pecans and a delicious brown sugar crumble. Add in marshmallows to make this sweet potato casserole the ultimate holiday side dish. 

Sweet potato casserole with pecans on top.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read disclosure policy.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans

We always make this delicious dish for our Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving menu. It’s a holiday staple and one that family requests every year, along with my cheesy green bean casserolecorn casserole, easy cheesy potatoes, and cranberry sauce.

My husband and I have never been huge fans of sweet potato casserole. I always filled my plate up with all of the other Thanksgiving side dishes instead (and of course a big slice of pumpkin pie). But once we tried this recipe, we have NEVER gone back. This is the BEST sweet potato casserole recipe. Hands down!

My #1 tip when making this dish is to pre-bake the sweet potatoes. It brings out all the best flavors and really takes this casserole up a notch. If you’re in a hurry, you could always boil them or use canned, but I promise it’s super easy to bake them. I usually bake them the night before Thanksgiving and then mix together the casserole in the morning. Then I’ll add the topping right before baking.

Recipe Ingredients

You will love this sweet and savory casserole that is a popular side dish! Sweet potatoes are always a family favorite in our home. There is a lot of smashing in this recipe. Every holiday meal is in need of a delicious casserole and this is the one!

Mixing crumb topping in bowl.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Sweet potato filling: The key to this casserole is using pre-baked sweet potatoes, which add another level of sweetness. Mashed and mixed together with sugar, eggs, melted butter, evaporated milk, salt, and vanilla, the filling becomes rich and delightfully flavorful all on its own.
  • Brown sugar and pecan crumble: The nuttiness of pecans is paired with the depth of sweet brown sugar and a little bit of cinnamon for spice. Softened butter and flour bring it all together to create an irresistible crumble.

Toppings

Add a crunchy, salty, and sweet topping to this delicious sweet casserole. The layers of the casserole all blend together from the top to the bottom. Each layer is filled with sweetness but also has the savory flavor from the sweet potatoes.

  • Pecan crumble: The crumble topping on this casserole is seriously the BEST part, so don’t skip out on it! It pretty much tastes like candied pecans on top of the sweet potatoes and will become your new favorite after just one bite. It’s made with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, butter and pecans. Just mix it up into crumbles, then sprinkle the mixture on top before baking.
  • Marshmallows: If you want to take the dish up a notch, try adding some mini marshmallows. You can add them during the last few minutes of cooking. All you need to do is sprinkle 1 1/2 cups over the top and broil for 2 minutes, or until golden. Sometimes I’ll even just add them to half of the pan, for those who like them. YUM!

How to Bake Sweet Potatoes

Baking your sweet potatoes is the key for making the best sweet potato casserole. It brings out such amazing flavor and makes them tender and caramelized. It’s super easy and my favorite way to cook them.

You could also make them in the pressure cooker similar to how I prepared them in my Instant Pot mashed sweet potatoes recipe. Both ways will work!

Baked sweet potato in foil.
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce with a fork. You can wrap them with foil if you prefer.
  3. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender.

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole recipe is a classic side dish everyone loves! Use either sweet potatoes or candied yams for the filling. You will love how easy this is to make!

The process of making sweet potato casserole in a four step photo collage.
  • Mix. Scoop cooked potatoes into a bowl and mash. Add white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix together until smooth. Pour into a 9×13″ baking dish (or 11×8″ dish if you’d like your casserole a little thicker).
  • Topping. In separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter with a fork or pastry cutter. You may need to use your hands to create the crumble. Then stir in the pecans.
  • Bake. Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potatoes and then bake at 325°F for 25-30 minutes.

Tip: For an easier version, try these baked candied yams. They have similar flavors as the casserole, but instead of using mashed sweet potatoes, all you have to do is dice the potatoes into slices and then bake. You can even add a crumble or marshmallow topping to this version too.

A baking dish with sweet potato casserole.

Recipe FAQs

Should I add marshmallows to this sweet potato casserole recipe?

That, my friend, is completely up to you. There are differing opinions of if marshmallows belong on sweet potato casseroles, and it all comes down to what you want to do. I have added instructions into the recipe if you would like to go the route of a sweeter side dish.

Can I make this sweet potato casserole ahead of time and freeze it?

You absolutely can! It can be made and frozen up to 3 months in advance. Cover the unbaked casserole with a double layer of aluminum foil. The day before serving, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature 30 minutes before baking.

Do I have to pre-bake the sweet potatoes?

Not at all. You can always opt to use canned or boil them instead. I prefer the flavor you get from baking, as it adds an extra element of sweetness, but do whatever works best for you.

5 star review

I love this recipe! We topped with marshmallows and the nutty brown sugary layer was a fun little surprise! I made it the sweet potato layer the day before and then right before cooking I added the brown sugar layer. It worked perfectly!

– Tennille
Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows.

Do you love holiday dinners?! This sweet potato casserole dish deserves a main event like this oven roasted turkey or smoked turkey.

More holiday Side Dishes

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the newest recipes!

sweet potato casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

5 from 29 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Mashed sweet potatoes topped with toasted pecans and a delicious brown sugar crumble. Add in marshmallows to make this sweet potato casserole the ultimate holiday side dish. 
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 5 sweet potatoes , pre-baked (see notes)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter , slightly melted
  • cup evaporated milk (can use milk or cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brown Sugar Topping

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup butter , softened
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Optional: 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Scoop flesh from pre-baked potatoes into a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. It should be about 3 cups.
    • Add sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk, and vanilla. Stir together until smooth. Spread evenly in a 9×13-inch baking dish, or an 11×8-inch baking dish if you'd like it a little thicker. 
    • In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter with a fork or pastry cutter. You may need to use your hands to create the crumble. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the sweet potatoes. 
    • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned and caramelized. 
    • If adding marshmallows, sprinkle over the top and broil 2 minutes, or until golden brown. 

    Notes

    Bake Sweet Potatoes: Follow these easy instructions to bake your sweet potatoes.
    You could also make them in the pressure cooker similar to how I prepared them in my Instant Pot mashed sweet potatoes recipe. Both ways will work!
    1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
    2. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce with a fork. You can wrap them with foil if you prefer.
    3. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until fork tender.
    Make ahead: This recipe can be made 1 to 2 days in advance. Simply pour the sweet potato mixture into your pan and cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. You can make and store the topping separately. Wait to add the topping until ready to bake.
    Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container up in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
    Note: Marshmallows are not included in the nutritional value. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 389mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 13661IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    Sweet potato casserole in baking dish.

    Let’s connect

    Join our community of over 5 million!

    Featured on

    • Taste of Home
    • Martha Stewart
    • Country Living
    • BuzzFeed
    • Yahoo
    • Food Network
    • Today