Sweet Potato Casserole is a southern classic. With a rich, buttery taste and crunchy topping, this makes the BEST sweet potato casserole recipe as a side dish or a dessert!

Sweet Potato Casserole is a southern classic. With a rich, buttery taste and crunchy topping, sweet potato casserole makes a perfect side dish or a dessert. // addapinch.com

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Sweet potato casserole. Do you consider it a side dish or dessert? Or both? Because you know, sometimes when you find something that works for both, you just have to go with it. Right?

My Grandmother Verdie always served it during the holidays and I have to admit that it was always one of my favorite parts of the meal! Served alongside roast turkey and cranberry sauce, my plate was complete! While it makes the perfect dish to serve for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, Grandmother would also serve it for Sunday suppers and other special occasions.

Let’s talk about the basics of this delicious dish.

What is Sweet Potato Casserole?

A southern-style casserole that is a dessert-like side dish. It is made of cooked and mashed sweet potatoes combined with sugar, butter, vanilla, milk and eggs. The sweet potato mixture is then topped with a buttery pecan streusel topping and baked until golden brown.

How to Prepare the Sweet Potatoes

You will need about 5 to 6 medium sweet potatoes for a 9×13 casserole. When selecting them, look for potatoes that are free of any blemishes or bruises.

You can prepare your sweet potatoes for using in the casserole by baking or boiling them. The method is really based on personal preference. I will say that I love the deep flavor from baked sweet potatoes, but have used boiled sweet potatoes from time to time. Both are delicious!

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Preheat the oven to 425º F. Scrub the sweet potatoes until clean and place onto a baking sheet. Prick the potatoes 4 to 5 times all over and bake until the potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and peel.

Boiled Sweet Potatoes

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 2-inch cubes. Add the sweet potatoes to a Dutch oven or large pot. Rinse the potatoes and then add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain.

You can also follow the method described in my Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes as well.

Sweet Potato Casserole is a southern classic. With a rich, buttery taste and crunchy topping, sweet potato casserole makes a perfect side dish or a dessert. // addapinch.com

How to Make the Best Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Mixture

Preheat oven to 350º F. Mash the cooked sweet potatoes and sugar, butter, vanilla, milk, and eggs. If your sweet potatoes are very fibrous, you may prefer to use your hand mixer to make your sweet potato mixture light and fluffy.

Then, pour the sweet potato mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish.

Buttery Pecan Streusel Topping

Mix the brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter together and spread evenly over sweet potato mixture.

Cook for 30 minutes until the streusel topping has browned.

Remove your casserole from oven and serve!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping

If you are adding mini marshmallows to the topping, you’ll want to add them the final 10 minutes of baking.

How to Store It

We all know that preparing for special holiday meals can be stressful. This casserole makes a great make ahead side dish for those special meals since you can easily prep it ahead to bake fresh for serving or bake ahead of time to simply serve at room temperature.

Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole

Prepare sweet potato mixture and spread into casserole dish. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Prepare streusel topping and store in a zip top bag in the refrigerator.

When ready to bake, remove all from the refrigerator. Spread streusel on top of casserole and bake as directed.

Freezer Friendly

Prepare sweet potato mixture and spread into casserole dish. Cool completely, wrap tightly and store in the freezer up to 3 months.

When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Make streusel topping mixture and place on top of casserole and bake as directed.

How Long Does it Last in the Refrigerator?

If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, simply cover it well with wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve cold, room temperature, or reheat and serve.

Here’s my recipe for how I make my Grandmother’s Southern Sweet Potato Casserole. I hope you love it as much as my family does!

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Sweet Potato Casserole graces my family table every fall. With it’s rich, buttery taste and crunchy topping, sweet potato casserole makes for a perfect side dish, but is sweet enough to serve as a dessert.
4.91 from 54 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 12
Course Dessert, Side Dish
Calories: 288kcal
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cooked sweet potatoes mashed (about 5-6 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Scrub sweet potatoes and boil or bake in the oven until tender.
  • Cool, peel and mash the sweet potatoes. Stir in granulated sugar, butter, vanilla, milk and eggs, mix well. Pour mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish or individual dishes for serving.

For the topping:

  • Mix brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter together and spread evenly over sweet potato mixture.
  • Cook for 30 minutes until topping has browned. If using mini marshmallows, add them the final 10 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and serve.

Video

Notes

Make-Ahead Tips:
Prepare sweet potato mixture and spread into casserole dish. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Prepare streusel topping and store in a zip top bag in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, remove all from the refrigerator. Spread streusel on top of casserole and bake as directed.
Freezer Friendly Tips:
Prepare sweet potato mixture and spread into casserole dish. Cool completely, wrap tightly and store in the freezer up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Make streusel topping mixture and place on top of casserole and bake as directed.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 8275IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Sweet Potato Casserole is a southern classic. With a rich, buttery taste and crunchy topping, sweet potato casserole makes a perfect side dish or a dessert. // addapinch.com

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives, originally published 2010.

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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227 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Hello! I just made a DOUBLE batch of this and was wondering what you think my cooking temp/time should be?! Can’t wait to hear from you! Thank you!

    1. Hi Katelyn,
      I’m can’t be sure about the exact amount of additional cooking time needed – if your dish is more deep than the recipe instructions or if spread into a larger, flatter dish it will make a difference. You’ll want to be careful to overcook the topping.
      If I want to make extra, I always make an additional dish of it. It hope you enjoy it! xo

    2. I was never a fan of sweet potatoes around the holidays until I decided to take a chance on this recipe a few years ago for Thanksgiving. It’s gotten rave reviews from friends and family whenever I make it. The make ahead tips are so helpful and have definitely made my Thanksgiving a little less stressful. Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can use canned yams. It tastes the exact same as it does if you go through all the trouble to boil & mash frest sweet potatoes…I also add some mini marshmallows to the top for the last 5min of bake time…try it..its AMAZING!

  2. I used three 29 oz cans of sweet potatoes in light syrup for this recipe (mainly for convenience of saving time). I used half of a cup of granulated sugar since canned sweet potatoes are usually sweeter than fresh sweet potatoes because of the syrup. I purposely left out the pecans because I wasn’t sure if anyone had a nut allergy. It came out delicious and it was a major hit for Christmas. I was told to not change a single thing about the sweet potato casserole because it tasted the right amount of sweetness and it wasn’t overly sweet.

  3. I made this for Christmas and it was fantastic. My family loved it.  Two questions how many serving should you get and what would the serving size be?  I did it in 1/4 cup servings but maybe 1/2 cup is correct.  

    1. I make mine with out eggs, the crunch from the pecans make it delighful to bite into it.  I like to eat it cold the nest day as dessert I sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy sooo scrumptious my hubby and family love it!
      I used fresh sweet potatoes, not into canned stuff.

  4. For those who have made this, did you prepare it in a 9×13 dish? The recipe doesn’t say & it’s hard to tell in the video. Thanks so much!!

  5. This is such a wonderful recipe! I have made it many times now, and my family, particularly my parents, love it! For health purposes, I cannot do this, but they literally request it twice a week (or more!) and even prefer it over any dessert I make. I am not the hugest fan of sweet potatoes myself, but I liked this recipe and my favorite way to have it is with a double amount of the crust/streusel, which is the best part! Thank you so much for the recipe!

    1. Hi Michale,
      I’m so happy to hear that you and your parents enjoy this recipe so much! It’s been one of our family favorites for many many years! Thanks so much! xo

  6. Absolutely wonderful! I made this for Thanksgiving and got rave reviews. I put about 3/4 cup sugar (reduced amount) and cayenne pepper in the sweet potato mixture , added a bit of salt to the topping!

  7. Everyone loved it! I would make it again but I would modify it slightly to fit what my family prefers:
    – Next time I’d double the amount of sweet potato just to have a thicker layer.
    – My mashed potato was also a lot runner than in the video, possibly because I boiled the sweet potatoes rather than baked them. I omitted the milk and put one less egg and I don’t think it impacted the end result.
    – I would cut down on the sweetness – less sugar in the potato mash itself, and less in the topping. My family has a huge sweet tooth and the general consensus was “this is amazing – but just a tad too sweet for me!”
    – This is really good the next day, straight out of the fridge as a dessert 🙂

    1. Thanks, Shari. I’m so glad everyone loved the sweet potato casserole. It has been a family favorite since I was a little girl. I love it cold, straight out of the fridge, too.

  8. This is the BEST sweet potato casserole I’ve ever had! I love how you’ve given the instructions to make it ahead of time! It helped me so much last Thanksgiving and I know it will make it so quick and easy this year too!
    If any of your readers have not tried this yet, I honestly can’t recommend it enough!!! We all love it!!!
    Thanks!

  9. This is so similar to the recipe that my aunt gave me, which is a big hit every year. She uses fewer sweet potatoes though for some reason (her recipe reads “3 cups; about 2 lb”). And she made sure that I knew the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. She said “sweet potatoes look more white/pale, and yams are the more copper/orange ones.” It’s always a big hit! I should make one with yams and one with sweet potatoes some year and see which one everyone likes better.

  10. This is the best sweet potato casserole I ever had and made. I have been looking for this recipe for over an hour because I misplaced it. It was on an old phone. Believe me, it is worth the search 💕

    1. I’m so happy you enjoy this recipe. You can always use the search button either on the mobile or desktop version of my blog to find the recipe. Just enter the recipe you are looking for in the Search bar to bring up that recipe. Maybe you won’t have to search so long next time. Thank you.

  11. Hello, was wondering if you or anyone has tried making this in a gram cracker crust? I followed the recipe last year, and everyone loved it. Thinking about using a gram cracker crust this year.

      1. Okay, I think I will play it safe and stick to the original recipe. it was a big hit last Thanksgiving. 🙂 thanks for your responce. Have a wonderful thanksgiving.

  12. This is THE BEST sweet potato casserole ever. I made it last Thanksgiving and it has been added to our menu from now on. I love that I can make ahead of time and bake on Thanksgiving Day.

  13. This recipe has become a staple at my family’s holiday get togethers! I make an 8 x 8 with nuts and one with out. I add marshmallows to half of each 8 x 8 dish at the end. This way everyone gets the version they enjoy!

  14. Simply the BEST! Have been making for the past few years as it is a family favorite! Especially with my father-in -love! He always wants to take some home with him…but this year he asked for the recipe because he wants to make it (and he’s 82!). Thank you for sharing such deliciousness!

  15. Made two casseroles the day before (then warmed them on Thanksgiving) one for each table of guests. One table finished theirs and stole the remaining one from the other table. This was the first time I made sweet potatoes like this for this group of 24 family members and it was a hit! Only sad thing – no leftovers to eat cold the next day! I used fresh organic sweet potatoes from my CSA which I peeled, boiled, and drained well. Then I allowed them to dry out some in the hot pan to get rid of extra water so they wouldn’t be soupy when mashed. I did cut down on the sugars a bit, made extra topping, and added a dash or two of cinnamon as recommended by others. Will keep this on the list of “must haves” for future Thanksgivings. May also serve it as a dessert for other family get togethers.

  16. Love this! For a slightly smaller quantity that is a bit less sweet, I used only 3 very large sweet potatoes, and then halved all other ingredient, including the topping. I also added pumpkin pie spice to the topping. I baked it in a 2.5 quart casserole dish. It still made a large quantity that I think would serve 8-10 people and I appreciated that it was the littlest bit less sweet.

  17. I’ve been making this casserole for close to 30 years. The recipe was in a cookbook I gave to my mom when I was in high school and when I got married she gave the cookbook to me. The cookbook is getting worn so I decided to see if the recipe is online now, just in case, and voila, here I am!
    This casserole is such a hit with my extended family that I always have to make it to take to our Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings. In fact, I’m about to go put one together now. I have always used fresh sweet potatoes for this, and several years ago I learned how to cook them in my Instant Pot (best method!), but today I’m going to try using canned. I hope it’s as good as fresh, if not lesson learned. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Robin. This is the recipe my grandmother made when I was growing up. It is interesting to see how many people made this recipe so many years ago. Don’t you love how easy it is to bake the sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot?

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