Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
Posted November 3, 2023 by: Admin
Our Sweet Potato Casserole with a pecan streusel topping is the ultimate holiday side dish. This classic recipe boasts a fluffy and satisfying sweet potato layer crowned with a streusel topping that is irresistibly crunchy and buttery. It’s incredibly easy to prepare, making it a family favorite that’s bound to secure a permanent spot at your family’s table.
This is undeniably the best sweet potato casserole recipe I’ve ever encountered, and it consistently graces our Thanksgiving menu alongside our Juicy Roast Turkey, unforgettable Turkey Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, and Pumpkin Pie. In fact, we adore it so much that it makes appearances at Christmas, Easter, and sometimes during family meals throughout the year.
The Best Sweet Potato Casserole
We are serious sweet potato enthusiasts, and we just can’t seem to get enough. This sweet potato bake is my sister Tanya’s creation, and it’s the dish she brings to the Thanksgiving table every year.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as the sweet aromas, luxurious texture, and the crispy, nutty topping of this casserole. It’s sweet enough to be a dessert but not overly sweet to stand alongside a Prime Rib Roast during Christmas.
Here’s why you’ll fall in love with it this holiday season—and all year round:
- Simple and easy to make
- Can be prepared in advance and is freezer-friendly
- Adaptable for large or small parties
- A crowd-pleaser that serves as both a side dish and dessert
- Can be made vegan and gluten-free
- Customizable topping, including the option to add marshmallows
Our sweet potato casserole recipe combines the finest fall ingredients to create the ultimate comfort dish.
- Sweet Potatoes – You’ll need 4 lbs or 4 large potatoes, which will yield about 6 cups once mashed. Opt for firm potatoes with dark, blemish-free, and evenly colored skin.
- Egg, Sugar, Butter, and Vanilla – These ingredients give the potato layer an incredible texture, flavor, and airiness. It puffs up like a soufflé. See below for vegan substitutes.
- Dried Cranberries – While optional, Craisins provide a touch of tang to balance the richness and sweetness of the mixture.
- Brown Sugar – Use light brown sugar for a milder flavor and dark brown sugar for a deeper caramel sweetness.
- Flour – All-purpose flour works well, or use your preferred gluten-free flour substitute for a gluten-free sweet potato casserole.
- Butter – It binds the streusel topping and offsets the sweetness. Substitute with vegan butter for a dairy-free version of the casserole.
- Pecans – They add delightful crunch; you can replace them with walnuts or omit them to accommodate allergies. Coarsely chop or leave them whole.
While fresh sweet potatoes yield the best results in this recipe, you can use canned yams. You’ll need 3 large 29 oz cans, but be sure to drain them well and reduce the butter in the filling to 3 tablespoons to compensate for the added moisture.
Experiment with these simple swaps to customize the casserole:
- Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole: Replace the eggs with 3/4 cup of applesauce or omit them (though it won’t be as airy). Also, replace the butter with your preferred butter substitute.
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows: Either cover the streusel topping with mini marshmallows or substitute mini marshmallows for the streusel topping.
- Adjust the white sugar to your taste. For instance, reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup for a less sweet filling or replace it with your favorite sugar substitute.
- Add a splash of maple syrup to the filling for a hint of maple flavor.
- Modify the texture: Leave the sweet potatoes in chunks for a dish reminiscent of Southern candied yams, or whip the potatoes in a stand mixer for a lighter potato layer.
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
In just a few simple steps, you can create this irresistible sweet potato casserole recipe.
Make the Sweet Potato Filling
- Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 1″ chunks. Boil them in water for 10-15 minutes until they are fork-tender. Mash them with a potato masher or use an electric hand mixer for an extra creamy texture.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, whisk together 3 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in 6 tablespoons of melted butter and 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla. Combine the butter mixture with the sweet potatoes, then fold in 1 cup of Craisins and spread the mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish.
How to Make the Streusel Topping
This pecan topping for the sweet potato casserole is incredibly easy to prepare and offers a delightful crunch:
- Combine 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Add 3 tablespoons of diced cold butter and rub it into the sugar mixture using your fingertips until pea-sized crumbs form. Stir in the pecans. You can use a pastry blender to keep your hands clean.
- Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the sweet potato mixture and bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 35-40 minutes or until it’s hot and the sweet potatoes start to puff at the edges.
For a sweeter flavor, bake the sweet potatoes. Simply wash the outside, pierce the skin with a fork several times, and then place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, then remove the skins before mashing.
With the holiday hustle and bustle, you’ll appreciate that this recipe is make-ahead-friendly, and no one will even notice you prepped it early:
- Prepare in Advance – You can make the sweet potato layer and spread it into the dish. Also, prepare the topping, but store it separately in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When you’re ready to bake, add the topping to the potatoes before baking.
- Refrigerate Leftovers – Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate for 3-5 days.
- Freezing Leftovers – Cover with foil or use a freezer-friendly container, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- To Reheat – Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.
Can I substitute canned yams?
Yes, but we recommend cooking your own sweet potatoes as they have a much better flavor than canned yams. You’ll need 3 large cans. Also, be sure to drain the yams well and reduce the sugar to compensate for the added moisture and syrup.
Are canned yams and sweet potatoes the same?
If you’re wondering about the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, please refer to this explanation from Eating Well Magazine. Canned yams are actually sweet potatoes that have been mislabeled and are usually packed in a sugary syrup. Fresh sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium, and you have control over the sugar. Give fresh sweet potatoes a try; you’ll love the flavor, and they’re so easy to use!
Can I double the recipe?
Absolutely. This recipe doubles well, though you may need to increase the cooking time. Just make sure the casserole is heated all the way through.
Can I add marshmallows?
We adore the crunchy pecan topping, but here’s a trick for those who prefer sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. Add about 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows on top of the streusel topping. It’s the best of both worlds! You can also use mini marshmallows as a substitute for the streusel topping.
What to Serve with Sweet Potato Casserole
With its crunchy pecan topping and sweet spiced mashed sweet potato layer, our sweet potato casserole recipe is the perfect addition to your holiday table. Impress your guests with a scoop of this delectable dish at your next potluck.
Preparing Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
- Begin by peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Place them in a large pot with enough water to cover the surface of the potatoes, and bring it to a boil. Allow them to cook, uncovered, until they become easily pierced with a fork (approximately 10-15 minutes). Afterward, drain the potatoes and mash them. For an even creamier texture, you can use an electric mixer.
Crafting Sweet Potato Casserole:
- Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. In a spacious bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of sugar, 6 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla. Incorporate this butter mixture into the cooked sweet potatoes and then gently fold in 1 cup of craisins. Spread the sweet potato mixture evenly into a 9×13 casserole dish.
- In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/3 cup of flour. Add the butter and use your hands to rub the mixture until pea-sized crumbs form. Mix in 1 cup of chopped pecans. Sprinkle this mixture over the sweet potatoes and bake at 350°F, leaving it uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes become hot and start to puff up at the edges.