For all my sweet potato fiends, this scratch-made Sweet Potato Casserole is the side dish of your dreams! It’s loaded with roasted sweet potatoes, brown sugar richness, warm spices, and fragrant flair. The pecan streusel topping adds texture and crunch to this quintessential, holiday-staple side dish we all know and love.

sweet potato casserole with pecan topping in white baking dish

The best potato on the planet is the sweet potato. At least, that’s my personal opinion, ha. There are so many sweet potato-inspired recipes on this site that are all dedicated to my favorite spud. Sweet potato casserole is a coveted staple around the holidays and I’m thrilled to share my go-to recipe for it.

Sweet Potato Casserole 🍠

Yes indeed, y’all. This mashed sweet potato casserole dish is beaming with sweet potato goodness, perfectly sweet and rich, and full of flavor. A pop of cinnamon brings warmth, maple and vanilla add a lovely fragrant flair, and the pecan topping for the most scrumptious crunch! This homemade sweet potato casserole is super easy to make and oh so swoon-worthy, you’ll love it!

⇢ Whether it’s my Sweet Potato Pound Cake, this Sweet Potato Cornbread, or these dreamy Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls…I really love my sweetie p!

sweet potatoes with linen in white baking dish

Unlike candied yams, this sweet potato casserole is all about baked sweet potatoes that are then mashed and combined with a few ingredients to add depth and flavor. It’s like a rich and sweeter version of mashed potatoes! Just like candied yams, sweet potato casserole is another beloved staple of the American South. Sweet potatoes are delicious when used for savory recipes, however, sweet potatoes are divine in dessert applications! 👌🏾

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe Highlights

  • EASY & SIMPLE: That’s right, just a few ingredients are needed to whip up this signature side dish. Plus, it’s so easy to make. The main three steps are: Bake the sweet potatoes, mix all the ingredients, and then bake once more to get everything all toasty. Truly one of the easiest sides, ever.
  • HOLIDAY FAVORITE & VERSATILE!: Many of us know that sweet potato casserole is a mainstay on the holiday table come Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner time. And yes, while it is a widely known delicacy to enjoy around these specific holidays, this recipe is a delight for Sunday dinner, too. It always makes me laugh because these holiday-specific foods can be made and enjoyed on any old regular day as well, ha.
  • CRAZY-FLAVORFUL: This sweet potato casserole is perfectly sweet and rich without any cloying. There’s a nice depth of flavor and richness to this dish. It’s giving warmth and comforting goodness that everyone will love!
ingredients for sweet potato casserole laid out on beige surface

Ingredients Needed For This Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe:

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Sweet potatoes: The head honcho! I use about 5 lbs of sweetie p’s!
  • Brown sugar: Ain’t nothing like dat brown suga, molasses richness.
  • Butter: Adds some richness and flavor, #butterbeready 🧈
  • Cinnamon: Love the warmth and spice of cinnamon in this recipe, mmm.
  • Heavy cream: A little cream for richness and texture, chef’s kiss.
  • Vanilla extract: Signature vanilla goodness for fragrance.
  • Maple flavor/extract: I love this extra maple note for more depth, so nice.
  • & for the pecan topping: brown sugar, butter, pecans, flour, rolled oats, and cinnamon…this pecan topping is so delish + the perfect bite and crunch to complete this dish!

How To Make This Recipe- Part I:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wrap each sweet potato tightly in foil and place on a large baking sheet.
  • Bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour- or until the potatoes are tender. Then remove potatoes from the oven (do not shut off the oven) and set aside until they’re cool enough to handle. Reduce the oven heat to 350°F.
  • When ready, peel the skin off the potatoes and discard. Place the flesh into the body of a food processor, the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or inside a large bowl to mix using a handheld electric mixer. Process/mix the sweet potatoes until just mashed- careful not to over-process/mix. This step is a good measure to remove any stringy fibers from the baked sweet potatoes.
  • If you use a food processor, empty the mashed sweet potatoes into a large bowl. Then add in the brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, cream, vanilla extract, and maple flavor/extract. Use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients into the mashed sweet potatoes (or mix again) until well combined and silky smooth. Set aside.

How To Make This Recipe- Part II:

  • Lightly spray a large oven-safe baking vessel with cooking spray. Empty the sweet potato filling into the baking dish and use a spoon to smooth the filling until it’s edge to edge in the baking dish.
  • For the pecan topping: In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, melted butter, pecans, flour, rolled oats, and cinnamon. Use your fingers or a fork to stir the pecan topping until well combined. Then evenly sprinkle the topping over the sweet potato filling.
  • Bake the sweet potato casserole until the topping is golden and lightly toasted with bubbling edges, about 30-35 minutes.
  • Serve this sweet potato casserole alongside your favorite main entrees. Enjoy!
gloved hand sprinkling pecan topping over sweet potato casserole

Why Bake Sweet Potatoes Instead Of Boil?

Great question! Baking/roasting sweet potatoes allows for the potatoes to take on more flavor during the cooking process. The sugars break down and caramelize, leaving the sweet potato flesh that much richer. Oven-baked sweet potatoes are the best for this mashed sweet potato casserole, y’all! 😮‍💨

Can I Add Marshmallows To This?

Haha yes! If you’re a marshmallows on mashed sweet potato casserole fan, you sure can top the dish with ’em if you’d like. After step 7 in the recipe card below, sprinkle the mini marshmallows on top and broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the marshmallows are lightly toasted. Alternatively, after baking the dish, you can sprinkle the mini marshmallows on top and use a handheld torch to lightly toast them as well. Yay! Are you team no marshmallows 🚫 or team heck yes marshmallows on your sweet taters 👍🏾? It’s such a hot topic, ha. Lmk!

sweet potato casserole on small scalloped plate

Make-Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole

Let’s face it, holiday-specific cooking days like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter can be hectic days. To save time (and precious oven space), this recipe is clutch for making/prepping ahead of time! Simply follow the steps in the recipe card, steps 1-6. After step 6, cover the sweet potato casserole dish tightly with foil. Transfer it to the fridge and it will keep for up to 2 days. Let the casserole sit out on the counter to reach room temperature. Then follow steps 7-8 to finish the dish as directed.

Storing Leftover Sweet Potato Casserole

To store in the fridge: First, make sure the leftovers have cooled down to room temperature. Transfer the remaining portion into an airtight container and keep it stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. To reheat casserole: Reheat the casserole in the microwave until warmed through.

Freezing unbaked casserole: Follow all steps to prepare sweet potato casserole (minus the topping), but don’t bake it. Prep the pecan topping and put it in a separate container to freeze both elements separately. Cover the casserole tightly with foil (I’d do a double layer for good measure) and keep items in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and then let it sit out for at least 2 hours on the counter until room temperature. Afterward, assemble and bake as directed until warmed through.

sweet potato casserole on small scalloped plate with gold spoon

We all know Sweet Potato Casserole is one of the best things on the holiday table. It’s truly one of my favorite side dishes! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

Other BBR recipes you need in ya life:

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sweet potato casserole with pecan topping in white baking dish

Southern Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

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  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Southern
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Description

For all my sweet potato fiends, this scratch-made Sweet Potato Casserole is the side dish of your dreams! It’s loaded with roasted sweet potatoes, brown sugar richness, warm spices, and fragrant flair. The pecan streusel topping adds texture and crunch to this quintessential, holiday-staple side dish we all know and love.


Ingredients

Scale

For the sweet potato filling:

  • 5 lbs sweet potatoes (about 6 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon maple flavor/extract

For the pecan topping:

  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Place an oven rack in the center position, and then preheat the oven to 425°F. Wrap each sweet potato tightly in foil and place on a large baking sheet.
  2. Bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour- or until the potatoes are tender. Then remove potatoes from the oven (do not shut off the oven) and set aside until they’re cool enough to handle. Reduce the oven heat to 350°F.
  3. When ready, peel the skin off the potatoes and discard. Place the flesh into the body of a food processor, the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or inside a large bowl to mix using a handheld electric mixer. Process/mix the sweet potatoes until just mashed- careful not to over-process/mix. This step is a good measure to remove any stringy fibers from the baked sweet potatoes.
  4. If you use a food processor, empty the mashed sweet potatoes into a large bowl. Then add in the brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, cream, vanilla extract, and maple flavor/extract. Use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients into the mashed sweet potatoes (or mix again) until well combined and silky smooth. Set aside.
  5. Lightly grease a large 10×10-inch baking dish (or any similarly large oven-safe baking vessel) with cooking spray and set aside. Empty the sweet potato filling into the baking dish and use a spoon to smooth the filling until it’s edge to edge in the baking dish.
  6. For the pecan topping: In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, melted butter, pecans, flour, rolled oats, and cinnamon. Use your fingers (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) or a fork to stir the pecan topping until well combined. Then evenly sprinkle the topping over the sweet potato filling.
  7. Bake the sweet potato casserole until the topping is golden and lightly toasted with bubbling edges, about 30-35 minutes.
  8. Serve this sweet potato casserole alongside your favorite main entrees (it’s delicious paired with hearty mains like glazed ham, roasted chicken, or smothered turkey wings). Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Gluten-free needs? Swap the all-purpose flour for any gluten-free flour as a 1:1 ratio (we love Bob’s Red Mill gf flour!).
  2. Can I add marshmallows to this? Haha yes! If you’re a marshmallow on mashed sweet potato fan, you sure can top the dish with ’em if you’d like. After step 7 in the recipe card, sprinkle the mini marshmallows on top and broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the marshmallows are lightly toasted. Alternatively, after baking the dish, you can sprinkle the mini marshmallows on top and use a handheld torch to lightly toast them as well. Yay!
  3. Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.