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Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

5 from 2 votes
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posted: 11/18/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Sweet Potato Casserole is a sweet potato lover’s dream. An easy sweet potato casserole that is perfect for the holidays or a weeknight dinner!

sweet potato casserole with pecans in a white casserole dish on a wire rack with a blue towel in the background

Today, I’m sharing with you the perfect holiday side dish. If you aren’t confident in the kitchen but want to contribute something to the holiday meal, this is a great choice. This casserole is very easy to make.

If you are like me and have to travel for Thanksgiving where you love to bring something to add to the meal and are obsessed with sweet potatoes, then you are definitely going to want to buckle in for today’s recipe.

This Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe is full of delicious flavor that will capture the heart of sweet potato lovers and non-lovers alike. In addition to that, it can be made almost completely ahead of time, making it perfect for the traveling holiday goers.

And before we jump into the Marshmallow vs. Pecan debate, I just want you to know that toppings are something I hold near and dear to my heart. So I have you covered either way.

Reader Review

This is possibly one of the BEST special side dishes, ever. I have made it almost every holiday the last couple of years, and it was requested again this Thanksgiving. It is not only delicious, but very simple!

sweet potatoes, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, vanilla, milk, marshmallows and pecans on a. counter top - ingredients for sweet potato casserole

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

  1. Boil diced sweet potatoes. For this super easy Thanksgiving side we start with boiling sweet potatoes. While this loses a small amount of sweet potato flavor, it does cut time. Read below under Using Roasted Sweet Potatoes for other options.
  2. Hand mash the sweet potatoes. Just like in my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, I like to hand mash before bringing in the big guns.
  3. Stir in butter, sugar, and spices. We want the hot potatoes to melt the butter, so toss them in before your milk.
  4. Add in the milk and then blend. Use a hand mixer to blend until everything is smooth.
  5. Transfer it all to a casserole dish. And now you must make the life altering decision of appeasing to the pecan lovers or the marshmallow lovers.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

Please note that the recipe in the recipe card at the bottom of the post is for a sweet potato casserole with pecan topping. Here are instructions for marshmallow lovers.

  1. Follow the instructions through #3.
  2. Pour the potato mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  3. Remove the casserole dish from the oven, top with 3 cups of mini marshmallows (about 8 ounces).
  4. Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes or until the marshmallows are golden brown.

How to Cut Sweet Potatoes

The other day someone asked me if I have any tips to cut sweet potatoes. It’s true, they are so tough and can be really hard to cut. Here are a few tips to make it easier.

  • Use a large sharp knife.
  • Put a wet paper towel under your cutting board so it doesn’t slip.
  • After peeling, quarter the potato. This will give you smaller pieces to work with.

With these three tips, hopefully you will find them a lot more manageable.

Or, you can skip all of the dicing by using roasted sweet potatoes or slow cooker sweet potatoes. You can roast the potatoes the day before, store them the refrigerator and then put the casserole together the day of, adding five extra minutes to the baking time.

close close up of a sweet potato casserole that has been topped with pecans, butter, brown sugar, and flour and is in a white casserole dish where a scoop is missing

Using Roasted Sweet Potatoes

You absolutely can use roasted sweet potatoes for this recipe! It is a great way to lock in all the potato flavor that can be lost with the quicker boiling method.

Another great option would be to make them in the crock pot. You can find instructions for that in my post Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes.

When using roasted sweet potatoes or crock pot sweet potatoes, skip the boiling the potatoes and start with just blending the potatoes with the other ingredients.

Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes

These Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes are the easiest way to make baked sweet potatoes in the crock pot. You’ll never make them another way again!
fork digging into a crock pot baked sweet potato with sour cream and green onions
a close up of a spoonful of sweet potato casserole topped with pecans

Making Sweet Potato Casserole Ahead

Of all the Thanksgiving side dishes, this might be the easiest to make the day before. It requires little hands on time, so do it while you prep other things if hosting, or do it while packing if you are traveling.

  1. Follow the recipe instructions up to making the topping. Stop before adding pecans or marshmallows.
  2. Wrap the casserole dish well in aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator. When it is time to bake, you will need five more minutes extra baking time because the dish is cold.
  3. Top with the pecan mixture and bake for 35 minutes, or bake for 35 minutes and then top with marshmallows and bake for 10 minutes more.

FAQ

Can you freeze sweet potato casserole?

Yes! You can freeze it both before and after baking. Please note that if you freeze it before baking, do not add the topping until right before baking (after thawing the casserole in the refrigerator).

Can I make sweet potato casserole ahead of time?

Yes! This is a great dish to make ahead of time. Please see my instructions above.

side view of a sweet potato casserole that is topped with pecans that has some of the dish scooped out, sitting on a wire cooling rack

Other Great Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Looking for more Thanksgiving sides to round out your table? Don’t miss my:

If you make this Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment! I love hearing how it turned out!

side view of a sweet potato casserole that is topped with pecans that has some of the dish scooped out, sitting on a wire cooling rack
5 from 2 votes

Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves: 10 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
This Sweet Potato Casserole is a sweet potato lover's dream. An easy sweet potato casserole that is perfect for the holidays or a weeknight dinner!

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter cut in pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg see note
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whole milk

For Pecan Topping

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Bring a large dutch oven filled with water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain very well.
    3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • Pour the potatoes into a large bowl. Mash by hand with a potato masher. Then stir in the brown sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla. Finally add the milk and blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Transfer to the baking dish.
    1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup whole milk
  • In a bowl combine the ingredeints for the topping. Sprinkle over the potato mixture. (Read here for instructions how to make a Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows.)
    1/3 cup all purpose flour, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven, serve and enjoy.
Serving: 1cup Calories: 305kcal (15%) Carbohydrates: 48g (16%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 12g (18%) Saturated Fat: 6g (38%) Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 26mg (9%) Sodium: 203mg (9%) Potassium: 483mg (14%) Fiber: 4g (17%) Sugar: 23g (26%) Vitamin A: 464IU (9%) Vitamin C: 5mg (6%) Calcium: 22mg (2%) Iron: 5mg (28%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
side view of a sweet potato casserole that is topped with pecans that has some of the dish scooped out, sitting on a wire cooling rack

did you make this

Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Lisa Barger says

    I am going to make these for my family this Thanksgiving! I know you say 10 servings, but is that 10 people or how much is 10 servings? Thank you!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Lisa, you are FAST! I was just entering the nutritional information. So 10 servings is a 1/2 cup per person. That’s a decent amount. I think that if this is one of 4 or 5 sides it will stretch a lot further than 10 people.

  2. Valerie says

    I would cook the sweet potatoes in their skins, in the microwave, then scoop them out.
    Because I love short cuts.????????????

    • Lisa Longley says

      Me too. Great tip Valerie!

  3. Kelly Higgins says

    I make something like this, but if you want to really go all-out add very well drained crushed pineapple and layer the pecan (or walnuts) AND the marshmallows. A triple treat – almost a desert.

  4. Colette says

    5 stars
    I figured it was time that I rated this recipe and commented. This is possibly one of the BEST special side dishes, ever. I have made it almost every holiday the last couple of years, and it was requested again this Thanksgiving. It is not only delicious, but very simple! I was worried for a while when my MIL asked me to make this and we haven’t seen sweet potatoes in the grocery store for many months…but last week they had them and now I am all set to make this recipe. Thank you! :)

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and leave this glowing review! It means so much to me!

  5. clarissa says

    this dishes look jum jum.thank. HappyThanks giving.

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