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.
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.
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.
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.
Bake: Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve this sweet potato casserole with pecans alongside your favorite Thanksgiving recipes!
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:
- Best Homemade Rolls
- Easy, No-Fuss Thanksgiving Turkey
- Broccoli Casserole
- Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Sausage Cranberry Pecan Stuffing
- Sweet Potato Souffle
- Cranberry Fluff Salad
- Apple Cranberry Fruit Salad
- Triple Berry Pie
- Other pie recipes
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Sweet Potato Casserole
- 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.
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I originally shared this recipe October 2017. Updated November 2019 and November 2023.
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