sweet potato casserole

When it comes to quintessential holiday dishes, a classic sweet potato casserole stands out as a beloved favorite. This rich, creamy dish, adorned with a crisp, golden-brown topping, is a staple on many Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. Here, we provide a comprehensive guide to crafting the perfect sweet potato casserole that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Ingredients for a Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

To create the perfect sweet potato casserole, you will need the following ingredients:

For the Sweet Potato Filling:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans

These ingredients combine to create the perfect balance of sweetness and texture, ensuring your casserole is both flavorful and delightful.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Prepare the Sweet Potatoes

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). While the oven is heating, scrub the sweet potatoes thoroughly under running water. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45-60 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Alternatively, you can peel, cube, and boil the sweet potatoes until soft.

sweet potato casserole

2. Make the Sweet Potato Filling

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked and cooled enough to handle, peel off the skins and place the flesh in a large mixing bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes until smooth. To the mashed sweet potatoes, add the granulated sugar, eggs, melted butter, milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and the mixture is creamy and smooth.

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3. Prepare the Topping

In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and softened butter. Use a fork or pastry cutter to mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped pecans.

4. Assemble the Casserole

Transfer the sweet potato mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread it out evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the sweet potato filling.

5. Bake the Casserole

Place the casserole in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is heated through. Let the casserole sit for a few minutes before serving to allow it to set.

Tips for the Perfect Sweet Potato Casserole

1. Choosing the Right Sweet Potatoes

Selecting the right sweet potatoes is crucial. Opt for medium-sized sweet potatoes with smooth skin and no blemishes. They should feel firm to the touch.

2. Adjusting Sweetness

If you prefer a less sweet casserole, reduce the amount of sugar in the filling. You can also experiment with natural sweeteners such as maple syrup or honey for a different flavor profile.

3. Enhancing Flavor

Consider adding a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice to the sweet potato mixture for a warm, spicy note. A splash of orange juice or a bit of zest can add a fresh, citrusy twist.

4. Making It Ahead

One of the best things about a sweet potato casserole is that it can be made ahead of time. Prepare the casserole up to the point of baking, then cover and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, simply add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

5. Alternative Toppings

While the classic pecan topping is delicious, you can switch it up by adding marshmallows. Add them in the last 10 minutes of baking for a gooey, toasted finish. Another option is to use a streusel topping made with oats, brown sugar, and butter for added texture and flavor.

Serving Suggestions

A classic sweet potato casserole pairs wonderfully with a variety of holiday dishes. Serve it alongside roast turkey, glazed ham, or prime rib. It also complements other side dishes such as green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and stuffing.

Nutritional Information

While a sweet potato casserole is undeniably delicious, it’s also important to be mindful of its nutritional content. Here is a basic breakdown of the nutritional information for a single serving of sweet potato casserole:

  • Calories: Approximately 290
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Sodium: 180mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 41g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Sugars: 25g
  • Protein: 4g

These values may vary slightly depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used.


Crafting a classic sweet potato casserole is a delightful endeavor that brings a touch of warmth and tradition to any holiday meal. With its creamy filling and crunchy topping, this dish is sure to be a hit with family and friends. By following our detailed guide and incorporating our tips and variations, you can create a sweet potato casserole that is both delicious and memorable.

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