The Ultimate Sweet Potato Casserole


This classic sweet potato casserole is spiced with traditional Fall spices and topped with a pecan crumble plus gooey marshmallows!


Perfect for gracing your Thanksgiving or holiday table, this sweet potato casserole has all the classic flavors you love, plus warming Fall spices, pecan crumble, and gooey marshmallows!

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole, perfectly seasoned with Fall spices and topped with a pecan crumble and gooey marshmallows.  Perfect as a traditional or make-ahead side dish for Thanksgiving! #Thanksgivingrecipe #sweetpotato #casserole #sidedish

I’m still in denial that we’re into November, but I need to get it in gear, since we’re coming up on one of my favorite holidays… Thanksgiving!!  This year we’re hosting for my extended family, and I’m SUPER excited about it!

MY LATEST RECIPES

There’s one dish that I look forward to EVERY year… sweet potato casserole.  By all accounts, it’s practically a dessert (which is probably why I like it so much), yet it’s served as a side dish.  Sort of a pre-dessert item!  So creamy and sweet, and generally topped with some kind of crunchy topping or marshmallows.

Sweet potato casserole in white baking dish

WHAT IS SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE?

Sweet potato casserole is a classic American side dish, normally served on Thanksgiving.   Sweet potatoes are mashed with plenty of sugar and spices, then topped with either pecans, a crumble, or marshmallows.

My version, which I’ve been working on for a while, is perfectly spiced in both the topping AND the sweet potato layers.  Warm cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves compliment the natural sweetness of the mashed sweet potatoes!

Also, my version is a little over the top, in that it has not one, but two toppings!  A spiced pecan crumble AND gooey mini marshmallows.  Of course, if you’d prefer, you can leave the marshmallows off… I know some people don’t like them on there, but if you’re open to it, I’d try it at least once the way it’s written.  The creamy potatoes, crunchy topping and gooey marshmallows create a fabulous texture and flavor!!

Spoonful of sweet potato casserole recipe

Now for the question that’s on everyone’s mind….

CAN I MAKE THIS SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE AHEAD OF TIME?

I totally get it… it’s Thanksgiving, and you probably have about 4 other things (at least) to make that day, so why add one more?  Good news… this casserole is easily made 1-2 days ahead of time!

  • Assemble mashed sweet potato mixture and pour into pan.  Cool completely, cover and refrigerate 1-2 days.
  • Make pecan crumble topping, place in resealable bag and refrigerate.
  • To bake, set casserole out on counter for 30 minutes or so, uncover, then top with crumble and bake at 350 F degrees for 40 minutes.  Add marshmallows as directed.  If pecan crumble starts to get too golden, cover loosely with foil.

Sweet potato casserole on white plate with fork

PRO TIPS FOR MAKING SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE:

  • Be careful dicing the sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are denser than traditional russet potatoes, which makes them harder to cut.  Make sure you sharpen your knife and watch your fingers!
  • In a pinch, canned sweet potatoes can be used, but I haven’t tested the recipe using those, so I can’t guarantee the results.
  • Watch the marshmallows when broiling.  They’ll go from perfectly toasty to burnt VERY quickly.
  • Make more of this sweet potato casserole than you think you’ll need… it will go quickly with guests wanting seconds!  I see it happen year after year in our family.

This sweet potato casserole certainly isn’t diet food… but as a holiday indulgence, it’s SO worth it!  I’m making it for my family on Thanksgiving again this year, and I can’t wait to see them all come back for seconds!

MORE THANKSGIVING SIDE DISHES:

HELPFUL TOOLS:

  • Food Processor – if you don’t have one, and have an open budget, this one has lasted over 10 years of HARD use, and is still going strong!
  • Hand Mixer – I love this mixer just as much as my stand mixer, which is saying something!
  • Pastry Cutter – no food processor, no problem… this pastry cutter is sturdy and will make making the crumble easy!

Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole | Mashed sweet potatoes are spiced with warm Fall spices, then topped with a crunchy pecan crumble and gooey marshmallows.  Perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday! | The Chunky Chef | #sweetpotato #sweetpotatocasserole #Thanksgivingrecipe #sidedish #casserolerecipe #holidayrecipe
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5 from 10 votes
Spiced Sweet Potato Casserole
8 - 12 servings
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 

This classic sweet potato casserole is spiced with traditional Fall spices and topped with a pecan crumble plus gooey marshmallows!

Calories: 439 kcal
Author: The Chunky Chef
Ingredients
SWEET POTATOES:
  • 4 lbs sweet potatoes (with orange flesh), peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
PECAN CRUMBLE TOPPING:
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
MARSHMALLOWS:
  • mini marshmallows (I buy a 10 oz bag and only use 1/3 -1/2 the bag)
Instructions
SWEET POTATOES:
  1. Add sweet potato pieces to large stockpot or dutch oven and cover with water.  Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat and cook at a high simmer for 12-15 minutes, until extremely fork tender.  Drain in a colander, shake gently to remove excess liquid, then transfer cooked potatoes back to the pot you boiled them in.  Let them sit for a few minutes, and this will help remove any excess liquid in the potatoes.

  2. While potatoes are boiling, preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Spray a 3qt baking dish (like a 9x13 pan) with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

  3. Transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl.  Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, half and half, melted butter, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and eggs.  Beat with a hand mixer until fluffy and smooth.  Small lumps are okay.

  4. Transfer potato filling to prepared baking dish and set aside.

PECAN CRUMBLE TOPPING:
  1. To a food processor, add pecans and vanilla extract, pulsing a few times, until pecans are evenly chopped.  Add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cold cubed butter.  Pulse several times, until crumble mixture looks like it has pea-sized crumbs.

  2. ** If you don't have a food processor, use a knife to chop pecans, then add remaining ingredients and use a pastry cutter, two forks, or even your hands, to mix until mixture has pea-sized crumbs. **

  3. Spread crumble topping over sweet potato mixture in an even layer.  Bake casserole in preheated oven for 30 - 40 minutes, until golden brown.

MARSHMALLOWS:
  1. Remove baked casserole from oven and spread mini marshmallows over the top in a single even layer.  Bake for 5-10 minutes, then if desired, broil to toast the marshmallows.  Broil only for a minute or two, they'll burn quickly!

Recipe Notes

TO MAKE AHEAD:

Assemble mashed sweet potato mixture and pour into pan.  Cool completely, cover and refrigerate 1-2 days.

Make pecan crumble topping, place in resealable bag and refrigerate.

To bake, set casserole out on counter for 30 minutes or so, uncover, then top with crumble and bake at 350 F degrees for 40 minutes.  Add marshmallows as directed.  If pecan crumble starts to get too golden, cover loosely with foil.

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Classic Sweet Potato Casserole, perfectly seasoned with Fall spices and topped with a pecan crumble and gooey marshmallows.  Perfect as a traditional or make-ahead side dish for Thanksgiving! #Thanksgivingrecipe #sweetpotato #casserole #sidedish

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21 comments on “The Ultimate Sweet Potato Casserole”

  1. I made this for Thanksgiving this year. It was delicious. It didn’t even need the marshmallows and everyone still loved it. Good amount of sweetness without being too sweet. The pecan crumble was so yummie. I have tried different sweet potato casserole recipes but this one was perfect.  Thank you! It’s a keeper!

  2. My family has nut allergy. Can I leave out the pecans from the crumble topping?

  3. This is my favorite holiday dinner side dish ever! Always with marshmallow topping!

  4. It’s not Thanksgiving without a sweet potato casserole!

  5. Oh my goodness, looks insanely delicious! This will quickly disappear in our house!

  6. My family and I absolutely LOVE sweet potato casserole — we have it for Thanksgiving every year without fail, and this looks so delicious! Definitely trying this soon

  7. Oh my goodness, this looks so yummy! I love all the flavors going on, need to make this immediately!

  8. This sweet potato casserole looks great and how wonderful to prep ahead of time!

  9. Love that I can make this ahead of time! I don’t think anyone wants to miss out on this amazing holiday dish!

  10. This is a great Holiday casserole! Love the flavors you have in it!

  11. I made this for Christmas and it was amazing! I actually put the marshmallows on only a fourth of the pan, only because I knew it would go over better that way for my family. But seriously these are the best sweet potatoes I’ve ever had. In fact my 97 year old grandma kept saying how good they were, and my sister who doesn’t even like sweet potatoes actually liked them! When you can impress a sweet potato loving woman who has been eating them for almost 100 years, you know you have a great recipe! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! It’s absolutely wonderful!

  12. Those toasted marshmallows look delicious! I am gonna try!Thanks Amanda for this amazing recipe!

  13. Hi Amanda…! this looks amazing and soooo yummy. i can’t wait try this recipe. and i like your photography. Thanks for sharing….!

  14. Yes please! I love a good sweet potato casserole!

  15. This looks so good! I love how you toasted the marshmallows!

  16. LOVE those toasted marshmallows on top! 🙂

  17. As if this dish needed something better! That crumble sounds fabulous and takes it over the top!

  18. My kids are all about the marshmallows, so they would love this!

  19. Can you believe I am not a fan of marshmallows on my sweet potato caserole. But this picture may just convince me to try again. They look so perfectly golden.

  20. I have to be honest, I’m not usually one for sweet potato casseroles but your pictures are making me reconsider. Plus, why would I want to miss a pre-dessert item?!? This looks incredible!