This easy Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is topped with a brown sugar pecan toppings, and always steals the show on Thanksgiving. Best part is you can be prepared in advance for an easy make-ahead holiday side dish.

Want more Thanksgiving recipes? Try my Easy, No-Fuss Thanksgiving Turkey, the Best Homemade Rolls, Thanksgiving Stuffing, or our Perfect Pie Crust!

A piece of the best Sweet Potato Casserole recipe being lifted out of a rectangle pan to serve.

Why I love this casserole:

  • The Topping – The topping on this casserole is made with butter, pecans, flour, and brown sugar. It’s so much better than the marshmallow topping on sweet potato casserole (in my opinion!).
  • Make-Ahead – Want a stress-free Thanksgiving day? This whole casserole (as well as more of my Thanksgiving recipes) can be made a day or two in advance. Check out my Make Ahead Instructions at the end of the post for details!
  • Crowd Pleaser – This is a HIT with family and friends every single year. The potatoes are creamy, and the topping adds the perfect crunchy texture. It will become a new staple on your Thanksgiving table!

How to make Sweet Potato Casserole:

Cook Sweet Potatoes: Place sweet potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to the pot to cover the potatoes a little more than half way. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer until fork tender. Drain, and place on a cutting board to cool. Once they are warm enough to handle, remove the skins and place them in a large mixing bowl.

Someone peeling the skins off of sweet potatoes on a cutting board.

Make Filling: Add eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, sugar, salt, and butter and mash everything together until smooth. I start with a potato masher, and then use an electric mixer on low speed, for about 45 seconds, to get the mixture smooth (without over-mixing). Smooth into casserole dish.

Two images showing the process of making the filling for homemade Sweet Potato Casserole, before and after it's mixed.

Add Pecan Topping: Combine the topping ingredients– butter, chopped pecans, flour, and brown sugar–and sprinkle all over the top of your mashed sweet potato mixture.

Two images showing a homemade pecan brown sugar streusel in a bowl, then it being sprinkled on smooth and creamy sweet potatoes.

Bake: Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve this sweet potato casserole with pecans alongside your favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

A Sweet Potato Casserole with pecan topping, golden brown and ready to serve.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows:

To add a marshmallow topping instead, simply top the casserole with a layer of miniature marshmallows and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the marshmallows are puffy and browned.  You could also prepare this dish half and half with half pecan crumble mixture and half marshmallows.  For this method, cook with half of the crumble for about 15 minutes first, then remove from the oven, cover the other half of the casserole with marshmallows and continue baking.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing Instructions:

To Make-Ahead: You can prepare this easy sweet potato casserole recipe 1-2 days in advance. First make the filling and smooth into your baking dish. Make the topping, but store seperatly. Add topping before baking. Here are some other great Make-Ahead Thanksgiving recipes.

To Store: Store sweet potato casserole covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

To Freeze: Prepare the sweet potato casserole completely, but don’t bake it. Cover with a double layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature for 30 minutes on the counter before baking.

More Thanksgiving Staples:

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Recipe

A piece of the best Sweet Potato Casserole recipe being lifted out of a rectangle pan to serve.
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 55 minutes
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Ingredients
 
 

  • 4-5 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk , or substitute cream, or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter , melted

For the topping:*

Instructions
 

  • Cook Potatoes: Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot.  Add enough water to the pot to cover the potatoes a little more than half way. (You will need at least 3-4 inches of water but the water will not completely cover the potatoes!) Bring the water to a boil and then turn the heat to a medium simmer.  Cover and simmer until they feel tender when poked with a fork. It may take 20-40 minutes to cook your sweet potatoes depending on the size of the potatoes, but you don't want them to be mushy.
  • Peel Potatoes: Drain water and place sweet potatoes on a plate or cutting board to cool down.  Once they are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin from the potatoes and place potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix: Add eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, sugar, salt, and butter and mash everything together until smooth. I start with a potato masher, and then use an electric mixer on low speed, for about 45 seconds, to get the mixture smooth.
  • Pour mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish. Anything around the size of an 8×11'' , 9×13'' or even a deep dish 10'' pie pan will work.
  • Make Topping: Add flour, brown sugar and pecans to a mixing bowl. Add butter and cut in with a fork or pastry blender until well combined. Sprinkle topping over sweet potato mixture. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Notes

Topping: To add a marshmallow topping instead, top the casserole with a layer of miniature marshmallows and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the marshmallows are puffy and browned. 
Nut Allergy: Omit the nuts, or add about ½ cup rolled oats instead, for texture.
Make-Ahead Instructions: You can prepare this easy sweet potato casserole recipe 1-2 days in advance. First make the filling and smooth into your baking dish. Make the topping, but store seperatly. Add topping before baking. Here are some other great Make-Ahead Thanksgiving recipes.
Freezing Instructions: Prepare the sweet potato casserole completely, but don’t bake it. Cover with a double layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature for 30 minutes on the counter before baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 4gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 197mgPotassium: 396mgFiber: 3gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 13106IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 1mg

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I originally shared this recipe October 2017. Updated November 2019 and November 2023.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this wonderful recipe for Thanksgiving. It was such a HUGE hit that I’m making it again to serve with my prime rib Christmas dinner! Such a fantastic recipe!!

  2. Hi! I’m excited to try this recipe! If I bake the potatoes instead of boiling, what temperature would you recommend, and for how long? I’ll be using 5 large sweet potatoes. Thanks!

    1. I would do 400 degrees for about an hour, or until they’re fork tender. Be sure to poke them with a fork before cooking them.

  3. How did my guests describe it??
    Superb!! I did the half and half topping with condensed milk. I actually was able to bake it all together for same time withoit covering…just got lucky I guess. I actually cooked in the ine remaining aluminum pan. The mini marshmellows came out perfect. I really enjoyed it myself and prepared before so that I just needed to make topping add topping and bake. Mucho convenient, my new Thanksgivinf staple!! Love it thanks!!

  4. A huge hit in our home on Thanksgiving day!! My husband said it was the best sweet potato casserole i have made by his words and actions

  5. Hi. Making this for a potluck at the office. Just wondering if there’s a reason you don’t peel them before boiling?

    1. 5 stars
      Omg. The best thing I think I have ever made. I never do this first time making a recipe, but I did not add the 1/2 C sugar, and it was just amazing.

  6. 5 stars
    I never leave comments but this recipe is too amazing to ignore!

    So delicious, the kids kept going back for seconds! This will definitely be on rotation in our household, especially during the winter months!

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