This is a must have, melt in your mouth sweet potato casserole recipe that is a crowd pleasing side dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This dish will wow your guests, while taking just 10 minutes hands on time to make!

It’s the easiest side dish to make ahead for the holidays. Don’t skip this incredible classic sweet potato casserole.

A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.
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Let’s celebrate life with something sweet and savory, shall we? This easy sweet potato casserole is no secret, but it is one of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.

Inspired by a classic side dish at one of our favorite steakhouses when we lived in Kansas City, this sweet potato casserole is old-fashioned and incredibly delicious.

As a kid, I used to make a meal out of side dishes. I’m still not the biggest fan of turkey, but I am always thrilled to try each and every side at a Thanksgiving celebration! These sweet potatoes are not exception.

Bonus? My girls absolutely love them, too!

I treat my sweet potato casserole recipe a little like a sweet potato pie. We’re using a little vanilla, and creating a crunchy crust with pecans and brown sugar.

I’m obsessed with sweet potatoes. If you are too, you don’t want to miss my sweet potato gnocchi recipe, sweet potato fries, oven roasted sweet potatoes or smashed sweet potatoes), especially for fall! 

A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

This isn’t your grandma’s casserole, it’s a candied one – that even kids love! We call it a side dish, but it’s a dessert in disguise. If you love sweet and savory, this is the dish for you!

Why You’ll Love It

  • Sweet, but not too Sweet – Perfect balanced sweet and savory flavors
  • Simple Ingredients – So easy to throw together.
  • Make Ahead – This recipe is perfect to make ahead, and it feeds a crowd, too. It’s so easy to double or triple.
A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.

Ingredients and Substitutions

See printable recipe card for complete ingredients and instructions.

  • Canned Sweet Potatoes – Using canned sweet potatoes takes the work out of this recipe. You can also use roasted sweet potatoes here – any kind works as long as they are cooked. You’ll whip them in your mixer!
  • Sugar – White granulated works, but you can sub with brown sugar if you prefer.
  • Salt – To balance the sweet.
  • Vanilla Extract – It’s so easy to make your own homemade vanilla extract!
  • Eggs – Large size eggs, these help bind the casserole.
  • Butter – Salted butter works well, melted.

Topping

  • Brown Sugar – To help create a caramelized sweet topping.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour for binding the topping ingredients and creating the flavor of a sweet potato pie.
  • Pecans – These add the most delicious, savory crunch to balance all the creamy goodness of this sweet potato casserole!
  • Butter – Melted salted butter is what I generally what I have on hand, but you can use unsalted butter too.
Ingredients for a sweet potato casserole recipe laid out on a white countertop.

Variations

  • Use fresh sweet potatoes instead – simply peel, cube and boil until soft, about 20 minutes, before mashing.
  • Add marshmallows on top for a sticky sweet classic addition.
stand mixer

Tools to Use

How To Make

  1. Prep – Preheat oven as directed. Grease casserole dish.
  2. Combine first set of ingredients. Mix well. Pour into casserole dish. A copper stand mixer with a glass bowl, blending a sweet potato casserole recipe.
  3. Combine second set of ingredients and spoon on top of sweet potato mixture. A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.
  4. Bake – As directed, and allow to cool before serving.

Tips

  • Don’t skip the vanilla – it adds so much decadent fragrance to this dish.
  • The canned sweet potatoes in this recipe are the ultimate shortcut – nobody will ever know you used them!
  • Make it ahead! Simply bake when ready to serve.
A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sweet Potato Casserole?

I was first introduced to Sweet Potato Casserole at Ruth’s Chris. There are several copycat versions of their recipe with slight variations. This recipe includes canned or mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter and has a crunchy pecan topping made with brown sugar, flour, pecans and butter. It’s always a crowd pleaser!

Can you make this Thanksgiving side dish ahead of time?

You can make sweet potato casserole the day before and bake just before serving. It’s just one more reason to love that sweet potato goodness!

How long does sweet potato casserole last in the fridge?

For best results, make just a day in advance. You can store in an airtight container up to 3 days before baking and up to 4 days after.

Are yams and sweet potatoes the same thing?

At most grocery stores, they are sold as one and the same. However, in truth, they are entirely different. Authentic yams are a root vegetable most similar to yucca.

A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.

Serving Suggestions

A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – Don’t leave this sweet potato casserole out for more than two hours.
  • Refrigerate – store in an airtight container up to 3 days before baking and up to 4 days after.
  • Freeze – store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. You can make ahead and freeze before baking, or freeze your leftovers.
A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.

Leftover Ideas

  • Make sweet potato pancakes or waffles
  • Add it on top of toast for breakfast
  • Make sweet potato casserole muffins
A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.

Dietary Considerations

  • Make it nut free by eliminating pecans
  • Make it gluten free by eliminating or replacing all purpose flour in topping
  • Vegetarian

More Side Dish Recipes

A white oval baking dish full of sweet potato casserole.
5 from 10 votes

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

A must have, melt in your mouth sweet potato casserole recipe that is a crowd pleasing last minute side dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
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Ingredients  

  • 40 ounces sweet potatoes canned, strained 
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs size large
  • ½ cup butter melted

Topping

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease casserole dish.
  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and melted butter.
  • Pour into casserole dish.
  • In a small mixing bowl with a spatula, spoon or fork, combine brown sugar, flour, pecans and butter. Spoon on top of sweet potato mixture.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving.

Julie’s Tips

Tips and Variations

  • You can replace canned sweet potatoes with 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes.
  • This dish can be made ahead and baked when ready to serve.
  • Add marshmallows before baking for even more sticky sweet decadence! 

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – Don’t leave this sweet potato casserole out for more than two hours.
  • Refrigerate – in an airtight container for up to five days.
  • Freeze – store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. You can make ahead and freeze before baking, or freeze your leftovers.

Video

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 529IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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33 Comments

  1. Hi Julie, just found your blog and excited right try your recipes. I’ll be making today to take to family Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Thank you

    1. So nice to “meet” you! I appreciate you taking the time to say hello. Seriously, this recipe doubles as dessert. It’s SOOOOO good! Can’t wait to make it again myself tomorrow – we’re even skipping the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Julie, I made this yesterday for Thanksgiving. I must say that I thought it looked to easy to really taste that good but I was SOOO wrong! This recipe is really good and I will be making this each year from now on. Thanks so much for sharing! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving day!

    1. You could use a 9×13! Crumble the topping on top with your fingers. I typically use a 12″ round casserole dish.I can’t wait to have it again Thursday! Happy Thanksgiving!