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Our Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping is the casserole of your dreams! Creamy whipped sweet potatoes with cinnamon and nutmeg, all topped off with crunchy pecans and sweet brown sugar instead of marshmallows. This is the best sweet potato recipe ever!
🥘 What ingredients are in sweet potato casserole?
Our easy recipe requires just a handful of simple, fresh ingredients.
The best part is that you can make a delicious southern sweet potato casserole recipe using fresh sweet potatoes just as easily as if you were cracking open a can.
For the Casserole
- Large sweet potatoes
- Butter, melted
- Evaporated milk
For the Pecan Topping
- Brown sugar
- Butter, melted
- Chopped pecans
Are yams and sweet potatoes the same thing?
Actual yams and sweet potatoes are not the same; however, most varieties of yam you find at the supermarket are actually sweet potatoes.
True yams have tough brown skin that looks like tree bark, while sweet potatoes have soft, light brown to reddish-brown or even purple skin.
There are three kinds of sweet potatoes: white, orange, and purple. We use regular orange sweet potatoes for this dish. Select sweet potatoes without any blemishes or bruises for the best results.
🔪 How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole without Marshmallows
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Pierce sweet potatoes all over with a fork, then place on a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 60 minutes.
- Once cool enough to handle, peel and add them to a large mixing bowl. Whip with an electric hand or stand mixer until fluffy and smooth. You can also use a potato masher or fork instead for a coarser mash.
- Add sugar, eggs, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg to the sweet potatoes. Mix until combined.
- Add the mixture to a square, 9 by 9-inch casserole dish. Spread the potatoes out evenly.
- Add butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, and flour to a separate bowl, and mix well. Spread the pecan topping on top of the casserole in the dish, then bake for 30-35 minutes until heated through. Serve, and enjoy!
For full ingredient measurements and tips, keep scrolling to the recipe card below!
How do you thicken sweet potato casserole?
If you want to thicken your casserole a bit more, add an extra egg and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Why are there eggs in sweet potato casserole?
Eggs help thicken the casserole and keep it at the perfect consistency.
Make sure to let your mashed sweet potatoes cool down enough before you beat in the eggs, so that it mixes through and does not cook.
Is it better to boil or bake sweet potatoes?
For sweet potato casserole, baking sweet potatoes is the way to go. Baked sweet potatoes have a deeper flavor than boiling, and so make a much more flavorful casserole.
Can you make sweet potato casserole ahead of time?
YES! You can easily turn this into the perfect make-ahead sweet potato casserole by cooking your sweet potatoes and whipping them up ahead of time.
Store them in your casserole dish, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for a couple of days.
You can also make the topping ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator, separate from the casserole.
The day that you’re ready to bake it, spread the topping on top and pop it in the oven.
🥫 How to Store
Our casserole will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
❄ Does sweet potato casserole freeze well?
Yes! Prepare the potatoes as instructed, but make the topping on the day you plan to bake the casserole.
Prepare the mashed sweet potatoes, then allow them to cool. Place in a freezer-safe baking dish wrapped tightly with foil and plastic wrap, and label with the freezing date. Freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, remove the dish from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Prepare the pecan topping, spread it on top, and bake as instructed. Enjoy!
🥗 What goes with sweet potato casserole?
- Honey Sriracha Air Fryer Ham
- Instant Pot Ham Recipe with Brown Sugar Glaze
- The Easiest Honey Glazed Ham Recipe
It’s also a great holiday potluck dish or a side for any meal of the year, especially as a part of your buffet menu ideas. Try it with our Garlic Butter Turkey and a side of Portuguese Chorizo Stuffing.
You could even enjoy this dish as a dessert (it is similar to a sweet potato pie recipe, after all!). Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
📖 Thanksgiving Potluck Ideas
- Instant Pot Sage Sausage Stuffing
- Green Bean Casserole with Fresh Green Beans)
- Baked Creamed Corn Casserole
- Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
- Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes
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Southern Sweet Potato Casserole
- 4-5 sweet potatoes large
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 stick butter melted
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ stick butter melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Pierce sweet potatoes several times all over with a fork, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 60 minutes.Once cool enough to handle, peel and add to a large mixing bowl. Whip potatoes with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth. You need about 4 cups of whipped sweet potatoes.For coarser potatoes, or if you don't have an electric mixer, you can also use a potato masher or a fork.
- Add sugar, eggs, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg to the potatoes. Mix until combined.
- Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly in a 9 by 9-inch baking dish.
- Add butter, brown sugar, flour, and chopped pecans to a bowl, and mix well. Spread evenly on top of the potatoes. Bake for 30-35 minutes until heated through.
- Make it ahead of time: Turn this into a make ahead sweet potato casserole by cooking your sweet potatoes and whipping them up ahead of time. Store them, tightly covered, in a casserole dish in the refrigerator, for up to a couple of days ahead of time. You can make the topping ahead of time by simply preparing it and storing it to spread on before baking.
- Freeze it: Prepare the potatoes as instructed but make the topping on the day you plan to bake it. Thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight, and you are good to go!
Photography by Kristen King