Sweet Potato Casserole is a classic southern side dish made for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s made with sweet potatoes, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, and a crunchy pecan topping. This sweet dish is simple and delicious.
What is Sweet Potato Casserole?
This easy sweet potato casserole recipe is one of the best dishes found on the dinner table every year. The baked potatoes are soft while the pecans provide a crunchy balance. This isn’t your everyday Boston Market casserole. This is made from scratch with your friends and family in mind for a special holiday party.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped: Most grocery stores will have sweet potatoes all year round.
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar: Any brand of soft brown sugar will work for this recipe.
- 2 eggs: Use large A eggs for this dish.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract: Buy and use pure vanilla, not imitation vanilla in all your baking.
- 1⁄4 cup butter: Unsalted butter is best so you can regulate how much salt is added better.
- Pinch of salt: Use your judgment to add just a little bit of salt.
- 1⁄2 cup milk: 2% or whole milk is best in this recipe for its fat content.
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar: Make sure your brown sugar is soft and hasn’t hardened.
- 1⁄4 cup flour: Use all-purpose flour here.
- 1⁄8 cup butter, soft: Unsalted butter is best.
- 1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped: Chop the pecans to any size you want, but be sure they are all the same so they cook evenly and each bite is consistent.
How to make sweet potato casserole:
Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
1. Preheat the oven.
2. Boil the sweet potatoes in a pot of water until soft.
3. Mash the potatoes and then stir in the butter.
4. Add the sugar, vanilla, eggs, and salt to a large bowl.
5. For the crumb topping, mix the brown sugar with flour and salt.
6. With your fingers, mix in butter until crumbs form.
7. Pour potato mixture into a casserole pan. Top with crumbs and pecan nuts.
8. Bake at 180C/350F for 30 minutes.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best sweet potato casserole you've ever had.
- You can make this dish with yams instead of sweet potatoes. You can tell the difference between yams and sweet potatoes because yams have white flesh while sweet potatoes have orange flesh.
- If you are allergic to nuts, feel free to remove them. The casserole will still taste great with no nuts
- A classic topping is marshmallows. Feel free to add them to the top instead of the pecans for a fluffy topping.
- Some people like to add pineapples to their sweet potato casserole. While this recipe doesn’t call for them, you can definitely add them.
Can I make this sweet potato casserole in a crock pot?
Yes, you can make this dish in a slow cooker. Follow the steps through number five, spread the mixture in the greased bowl of a crockpot, and sprinkle on the topping. Set the lid on top and cook on high for three to four hours.
What other nuts can I use for the topping?
If you run out of pecans or want to try something different, there are some great other options. Try walnuts, sliced almonds, or hazelnuts instead. They will get toasted under the oven heat which will bring out rich flavors.
How can I make this dish healthy?
Sweet potatoes are inherently healthy. To make this dish healthier, leave out the brown sugar altogether or only add one or two tablespoons. Also, instead of ¼ cup of butter, you can omit it or bring it down to one or two tablespoons as well.
For the topping, sprinkle chopped pecans on top instead of making the crumble with sugar, flour, and butter.
How to store:
Store any leftover casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat it in the microwave with 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.
Can I use canned sweet potatoes or canned yams?
Yes, you can use canned potatoes, however, the texture will be much softer and could border on mushy.
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Yes, you can definitely make this dish a day ahead of time. Wrap it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake or reheat.
Can you freeze this casserole?
Yes, you can definitely freeze this dish. To freeze the entire casserole, wrap it in aluminum foil and then plastic wrap. Label it with what it is, how to cook, and the date. This will help you remember later. Remember that if you cook it from frozen, without thawing first, it will take longer to cook in the oven. Keep the foil on until the last 30 minutes of cooking so the top can brown.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 1⁄8 cup butter, softened
- 1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Boil the sweet potatoes in a pot of water until soft.
Mash the potatoes and then stir in the butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, salt, and milk in a large bowl.
For the crumb topping, mix the brown sugar with flour and salt.
With your fingers, mix in butter until crumbs form.
Pour potato mixture into a casserole pan. Top with crumbs and pecan nuts.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 238mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g