This Easy Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is a classic side dish that is made with creamy sweet potatoes and a crunchy pecan topping. The perfect addition to the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.
Sweet and delicious side dish
There are a few casserole dishes that are timeless for the holidays, like hash brown casserole, corn casserole, and green bean casserole. These comforting foods are the perfect complement to a sweet ham or savory turkey. Pair with cranberry sauce and the meal is complete!
Sweet Potato Casserole is a holiday classic dish that is enjoyed by so many during the season. It is easy to make with a creamy sweet potato base and topped with a sugary pecan topping. And the best part of this side dish is that it is easy to make ahead so there’s more time to enjoy family and friends.
- Sweet potatoes– the main ingredient that tastes so delicious when cooked. They come in all shapes and sizes. Try to find 3-4 large ones. You will want to have around 4-5 cups total once cut and cubed.
- White granulated sugar– this lighter sugar brings out the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes, making them so good and tasty.
- Brown sugar– rich brown sugar coated on the pecans will give them a delicious crunch.
- Pecans– halved or chopped both taste and look good in the topping. If you only have whole ones, give them a good chop to break them up.
- Cinnamon– optional but adds a nice flavor to the pecan topping.
- Milk– any type will work for this dish. Whole or evaporated milk will make it extra creamy.
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
This casserole is easy to make. All you have to do is:
- Cook potatoes- there are a few ways you can cook the sweet potatoes. You can roast in the oven or cook in the air fryer. Once fully cooked on the inside, allow to cool and remove the contents of sweet potatoes from the skin. You can also peel and boil potatoes in a large pot on the stove until tender, then drain the liquid.
- Make the sweet potato mixture– in a large bowl, add cooked sweet potatoes and mash until creamy. You can hand mash for a thicker mixture or blend with a hand mixer for a creamier mixture. Then add the eggs, milk, white sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir it all together until it is combined. Spread this in a large casserole dish or 9×13″ pan.
- Make the pecan topping– in a medium bowl, add pecans, flour, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir it well and the consistency will be similar to wet sand. Evenly crumble on top of the sweet potato mixture so that the entire surface is covered.
- Bake and enjoy– bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes.
- Store– cover and place any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
The biggest debate with sweet potato casserole is whether to have a pecan or marshmallow topping. This recipe is for the traditional pecan topping. But if you prefer the gooey marshmallow topping, simply remove the pecan topping and cover the sweet potato mixture with mini marshmallows and bake as directed. You can also have both toppings by baking for 30 minutes with the pecan topping, adding a few marshmallows, and continuing baking until the marshmallows have toasted and started to melt.
Make ahead options
Sweet potato casserole can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days in advance. To do this, prepare the sweet potato mixture as normal, spread it in the baking dish, then cover it tightly. Assemble the pecan topping and place it in an air-tight container. Place both in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, remove and add the topping to the sweet potato mixture. Bake as directed.
To freeze, prepare sweet potato mixture and then place in a baking dish then wrap, tightly covering the top, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove from freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Make the topping and spread it over top of the sweet potato mixture and bake as directed.
Frequently asked questions
Eggs help bind the casserole together. Without the eggs, the potatoes may separate or the casserole may become runny.
Sweet potato casserole is typically served as a side dish. However, it is sweet enough that it can be enjoyed as a dessert too!
Sweet potatoes and yams are very different in taste and appearance. Sweet potatoes are typically sweeter in flavor and have a smoother texture. Yams are starchier with a consistency more similar to a russet potato.
Tips and tricks
* Be sure to use sweet potatoes and not yams for this recipe.
* For a creamier texture, blend sweet potatoes with a hand mixer.
* Try making ahead by refrigerating or freezing before the holidays.
More delicious side dishes
- Easy Hash Brown Casserole Recipe with Corn Flakes– the ultimate comfort food made with frozen hash brown, extra cheddar cheese, and a crunchy corn flake topping!
- Brown Sugar Honey Glazed Carrots– tender baby carrots sweetened with butter, brown sugar, and honey to form the most delicious and irresistible glaze.
- Classic Corn Casserole– made with only 5 ingredients and is filled with sweet corn, butter, and a cornbread mixture
Easy Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Casserole
- 5 cups sweet potatoes- cooked, peeled, and cubed around 3-4 large raw sweet potatoes
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped or halved pecans
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, add cooked sweet potatoes and mash until creamy. For a thicker texture, mash by hand with a potato masher. For a creamier texture, mix with a hand mixer. Then add the eggs, milk, white sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir it all together until well combined. Spread in a large casserole dish or 9×13" pan.
- In a medium bowl, add pecans, flour, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir it all together until the consistency becomes similar to wet sand. Evenly crumble on top of the sweet potato mixture so that the entire surface is covered.
- Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked and the topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- For a marshmallow topping, replace the pecan topping with a layer of mini marshmallows and bake as directed.
- To cook sweet potatoes: boil, bake, or air fry. To boil: peel potatoes, place in a large pot, and add water to cover. Boil on medium-high until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain. To bake: cook whole in the oven or air fryer until potatoes are fork-tender. Allow to cool. Cut open and remove the insides from the peel.
- To make ahead, prepare the sweet potato mixture as normal and spread it in the baking dish then cover. Assemble the pecan topping and place it in an air-tight container. Place both in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, remove and add the topping to the sweet potato mixture. Bake as directed.
- To freeze, prepare sweet potato mixture and then place in a baking dish then wrap, tightly covering the top, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove from freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Make the topping and spread it over top of the sweet potato mixture and bake as directed.