Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
530 Calories
36g Fat
50g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 530
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 248mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 36g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 8mg 38%
Calcium 107mg 8%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 318mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The classic sweet potato casserole is a holiday staple on most American tables. It's the perfect cross between a side and a dessert. The sweetness of the potatoes and the crunchiness of the pecan topping make a great accompaniment to savory turkey and gravy.

Although this recipe typically is made only a couple of times a year, there is no reason why you shouldn't make it more often. Our recipe brings you Southern flavors with easy instructions and it's ready in just one hour from start to finish. Why wait until Thanksgiving? Make it to accompany your Sunday dinner menu or serve it any day of the week along with pork chops or fried chicken.

This sweet potato casserole calls for cooked and mashed potatoes. You can use leftovers or bake, boil, or microwave the spuds—you'll need three or four. The classic recipe is easily doubled or halved depending on your needs. Or make it in two separate trays and freeze one for later use, adding the topping before just baking. If your family prefers a different topping, such as the classic marshmallows, our potato filling is great to use as your base.


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"As a Southerner, I have strong opinions about sweet potato casserole. This marshmallow-less version is perfect. It’s not too sweet and has a great amount of nuts." —Renae Wilson

Sweet Potato Casserole Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Potato Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon butter, for greasing the casserole dish

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes, cooled

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Pecan Topping:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sweet potato casserole
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 2-quart casserole or baking dish.

    Butter dish
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. In a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes with the brown sugar, milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly and spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

    Mashed sweet potatoes
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. In a different bowl, combine the topping ingredients: chopped pecans, brown sugar, flour, and melted butter. Mix to combine.

    Sweet potato casserole
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Sprinkle the pecan topping mixture over the top of the sweet potato filling.

    Sprinkle pecan topping
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Bake the casserole for 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling is hot, does not jiggle when you shake the dish, and the topping has browned. If the casserole browns too quickly, tent with foil.

    Sweet potato casserole
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Glass Bakeware Warning

For premade casseroles or leftovers that are in a glass baking dish and have been refrigerated, do not place directly into a hot oven as the glass can shatter. Instead, place any cold glass bakeware into a cold oven to warm up while it preheats. Or, allow the bakeware to rest outside of the fridge for 30 minutes to reach room temperature while the oven preheats.

How to Store and Freeze Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Leftovers can be kept in the fridge, covered, for up to five days. Reheat in a 275 F oven or microwave gently until warmed through.
  • The casserole is also great for freezing. Simply transfer to a freezer-safe dish, cover well, and place in the freezer for up to two months. To reheat, thaw overnight and bake in a 275 F oven or microwave gently until warmed through.
  • If making ahead, make the filling and topping and refrigerate separately. Bring the casserole to room temperature before baking.


To make the cooked, cooled, and mashed sweet potatoes:

  • Peel 3 large or 4 medium sweet potatoes, cut them into 1-inch slices, and put them in a saucepan. Cover them with water, bring to a boil, and lower the heat to medium-low.
  • Cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender.
  • Drain, mash, and let them cool slightly before using them in the recipe.
  • You can also bake the sweet potatoes or microwave them.

Recipe Variations

  • Canned Yams: You can make this recipe using drained canned yams (although home-cooked sweet potatoes are better). You may want to adjust the sugar since canned yams tend to be sweetened.
  • Marshmallow Topping: Bake the topping-less casserole for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and top with 3 to 4 cups of mini marshmallows. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the marshmallows are lightly browned.
  • Pecan and Marshmallow Topping: Reduce the pecan topping ingredients by half and sprinkle it around the edge of the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Take the casserole out of the oven and add 2 to 3 cups of miniature marshmallows in the center. Continue baking for 10 more minutes, or until the marshmallows are lightly browned.
  • Nut-Free Topping: If you're craving a crunchy topping but have to cater to nut-allergies, use roasted sunflower seeds or pepitas, as they are flavorful and provide the bite you're looking for.

Are Canned Yams and Sweet Potatoes the Same?

In America, sweet potatoes are often called yams, sometimes to separate white or light orange-fleshed sweet potatoes from dark orange varieties (often called yams). Cooked, canned sweet potatoes are usually called canned yams. However, sweet potatoes and yams are totally separate vegetables, with the yam commonly used in African cuisine. Unless you're in an international grocery store, chances are anything labeled as a yam is actually a sweet potato.

Why Are There Eggs in Sweet Potato Casserole?

Eggs help make a sweet potato casserole fluffy and moist and helps it hold together when served.

Is It Better To Boil or Bake Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes can be boiled, steamed, or baked. When making a mash or making a casserole, any method works well. Baking sweet potatoes takes longer but tends to be more flavorful and less watery.