Sweet Potato Casserole is popular for Thanksgiving and Christmas but delicious enough to have through all of fall and winter. Top it with marshmallows for a fun and festive sweetness that can’t be beat!
Why You’ll Love this Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potatoes are good for you but they’re also delicious! This recipe turns them into a casserole-style dish that’s mashed into a smooth consistency, sweetened with sugar, and flavored with fall spices like cinnamon. Adding a bit of butter makes it creamy and luscious!
You can make it just as described above, or sprinkle on some mini-marshmallows to sweeten it even more. Toasting the marshmallows gives a wonderful flavor and it looks just gorgeous.
Pecans add a welcome crunch, and while this ingredient is optional, we highly recommend using them as they also add a nice flavor contrast. They can also be added to just half of the casserole so your guests can choose which they prefer. (Another suggestion: Make these in individual ramekins OR have a bowl of toasted pecans next to the dish to be added individually).
What is Sweet Potato Casserole?
Sweet Potato Casserole is basically just mashed sweet potatoes that’s sweetened with brown sugar and a little cinnamon. It becomes a “casserole” once it’s put in a baking dish and has a topping, such as toasted pecans or mini-marshmallows (or both)!
It’s an extremely popular dish in the US for Thanksgiving, with good reason. Not to mention it pairs beautifully with roasted turkey and mashed potatoes.
Sweet Potato Casserole Ingredients
- Sweet potatoes -Look for smaller ones as they tend to be a bit sweeter.
- Brown sugar – White sugar will make this cloyingly sweet, so be sure to use brown (which also adds a slight molasses-like flavor that’s perfect with sweet potatoes).
- Butter – Just like with mashed potatoes, you’ll want to melt the butter first so you’re not adding cold ingredients to a hot dish. It’s not as crucial here, since you’re baking it after, but melting it first means it’ll get mixed in well, too.
- Cinnamon – Just a touch of cinnamon really elevates this dish. Add some freshly-grated nutmeg if you’d like, too!
- Heavy cream – This is optional and really only necessary if you feel the mashed sweet potatoes are too thick. Add a tablespoon or two at a time, stir, then add more as necessary until you reach the perfect consistency.
- Salt – This is crucial! Add about a half teaspoon of salt, then taste and add more if necessary.
- Mini-marshmallows – Use a fresh bag and don’t skimp! :) Mini-marshmallows distribute evenly better but feel free to use larger marshmallows, if preferred.
How To Make Sweet Potato Casserole
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and recipe instructions.)
Making the filling is very similar to making mashed potatoes: peel and slice the sweet potatoes, place in a pot of cold water, then simmer until just fork-tender. Drain the potatoes then put them back in the pot over low heat until all the water has evaporated and the potatoes are dry.
Once that’s finished, stir in the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, adding a bit of warmed cream if the mixture is too thick. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Pour into a baking dish, top with the marshmallows, and bake until the filling is hot and the marshmallows are nicely toasted.
- Add a couple tablespoons of good bourbon to the filling before baking.
- Instead of marshmallows, make meringue and pipe it over the top in a pretty, decorative pattern.
- Ditch the marshmallows and opt for a pecan-streusel topping instead (1 cup each pecans and brown sugar + 1/3 cup each flour and melted butter).
- Serve in individual ramekins, and mix the toppings so there’s something for everyone.
- Yams can be substituted for sweet potatoes but the flavor will be different. Despite popular belief, sweet potatoes are not the same as yams. Sweet potatoes are much sweeter and creamier in texture while yams are starchier and more similar to a potato. You can also probably skip the heavy cream as they already have a lot of moisture.
- Try mixing in chopped veggies like celery, corn, green onions or zucchini or fruit such as pears, peaches or grapes.
Make Ahead of Time
It’s a great dish to make ahead a day or two before, which is another reason it’s perfect to serve as part of a big holiday meal. Simply mash the sweet potatoes with the other ingredients as directed in the recipe, then refrigerate for up to two days.
Take it out of the refrigerator for about an hour before you’re planning on baking it. Spread it in your casserole dish, add the toppings, and bake!
How to Reheat Sweet Potato Casserole
Reheat it in the oven at 350℉, covered for about 20-25 minutes, just until heated through. Individual servings can be reheated just fine in the microwave. You can also freeze any leftovers then reheat in the oven straight from frozen.
Spread a layer of any leftovers on a turkey sandwich – trust me on this!
Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
This easy Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is a savory combination of sweet and creamy and perfect for Christmas, Thanksgiving or a Sunday dinner.
- 3 lb sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Up to 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed (optional and added slowly until you reach your desired consistency)
- 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans (optional)
- 2 cups mini-marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place the sweet potato slices in a large pot and cover with cold water (about an inch above the potatoes). Bring to a simmer, and cook just until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 20 minutes, depending on how thick the slices are).
- Drain the sweet potatoes well in a colander. Put them back in the pot over low heat until all the water has evaporated. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt to the potatoes and stir just until smooth. Add a bit of warmed cream if the mixture is too thick, a little at a time. Taste and add more salt (and pepper), if desired.
- Pour the mixture into a greased 11x7in baking dish. Top with pecans, if using, then the mini-marshmallows.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the filling is hot and the marshmallows are lightly toasted. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 182mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 5gSugar: 28gProtein: 4g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.
Find More Creative Ways To Use Thanksgiving Leftovers!
Try these other delicious holidays sides!
- Creamed Onions
- Creamed Corn Recipes
- Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes
- Green Bean Casserole with Blue Cheese
- Smoked Mac & Cheese
- Wild Mushroom Stuffing
- Cranberry Sauce
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