Our Sweet Potato Casserole with pecan streusel topping is the ultimate holiday side dish. This classic recipe features a fluffy and satisfying sweet potato layer topped with a streusel topping that’s so crunchy and buttery. It’s so easy to make that this family favorite is sure to earn a permanent spot at your family’s table.
This is the best sweet potato casserole recipe I’ve ever tasted, so it is always served on our Thanksgiving menu alongside our Juicy Roast Turkey, an unforgettable Turkey Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, and Pumpkin Pie. In fact, we love it so much it makes an appearance at Christmas, Easter, and sometimes family meals throughout the year.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
Sweet Potato Casserole Video
Watch Natasha make this sweet potato casserole and you’ll see just how easy this is! If you make this recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’d love to hear about it.
The Best Sweet Potato Casserole
We are major sweet potato fans over here, and we can’t seem to get enough. This sweet potato bake is my sister Tanya’s recipe and the dish she brings every year for Thanksgiving.
Here’s why you’ll love it this holiday season—and all year around:
- So simple and easy to make
- Make ahead and freezer-friendly
- Easy to scale up or down for big or small parties
- Crowd-pleasing that doubles as a side dish and dessert in one
- Can be made vegan and gluten-free
- Customizable topping—including marshmallows!
Our sweet potato casserole recipe features the best Fall ingredients combined to make the ultimate comfort dish.
- Sweet Potatoes – You’ll need 4 lbs or 4 large potatoes for about 6 cups once mashed. Choose firm potatoes with dark, blemish-free and even-colored skin
- Egg, Sugar, Butter, and Vanilla – give the potato layer incredible texture, flavor, and airiness. It almost puffs like a souffle. See below for vegan substitutes
- Dried Cranberries – while optional, Craisins give the mixture a bit of tang to contrast the heavy flavors and sweetness.
- Brown Sugar – use light brown sugar for a more subtle flavor and dark brown sugar for a more deep caramel sweetness
- Flour – all-purpose works great, or swap with your favorite gluten-free flour substitute for gluten-free sweet potato casserole
- Butter – binds the streusel topping and balances the sweetness. Replace with vegan butter for dairy-free sweet potato casserole
- Pecans – adds great crunch, substitute with walnuts or they but can be omitted to be allergy-friendly, coarsely chop or leave whole
While fresh sweet potatoes taste best in this recipe, you can use canned yams. You’ll need 3 large 29 oz cans, but be sure to drain well and cut the butter in the filling to 3 Tbsp to account for the added moisture.
Try some of these easy swaps to make the casserole your own:
- Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole: Replace the eggs with 3/4 cup applesauce or you can omit them, but it won’t be as airy. Also, replace the butter with your favorite butter substitute.
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows: cover the streusel or replace the streusel topping with mini marshmallows.
- Adjust the white sugar to your liking. For example, make a less sweet filling by reducing sugar to 1/4 cup or replacing it with your favorite sugar substitute.
- Add a splash of maple syrup to the filling for a hint of maple flavor
- Change the texture: Leave the sweet potatoes in chunks for a dish similar to Southern candied yams, or on the other hand, try to whip the potatoes in a stand mixer for a more airy potato layer.
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
In just a few easy steps, you can make this irresistible recipe for sweet potato casserole.
Make the Sweet Potato Filling
- Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1″ chunks. Cover with water and boil for 10-15 minutes until fork-tender. Mash with a potato masher or use an electric hand mixer for super creamy potatoes.
- Preheat Oven to 350˚F. In a bowl, whisk together: 3 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk in 6 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 Tbsp vanilla. Stir butter mixture into sweet potatoes then fold in 1 cup craisins and spread into a 9×13 casserole dish.
How to Make the Streusel Topping
This is the easiest pecan topping for a sweet potato casserole and you’ll love the crunchy texture.
- Combine 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Add 3 Tbsp of diced cold butter and rub the butter with the sugar mixture using your fingertips until pea-sized crumbs form. Stir in the pecans. You can use a pastry blender to keep your hands clean.
- Sprinkle mixture evenly over sweet potato mixture and bake uncovered at 350˚F uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until hot and sweet potatoes start to puff at the edges.
For a sweeter flavor, bake the sweet potatoes. Simply wash the outside, pierce the skin with a fork several times, and then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Then remove skins before mashing.
The holidays can get busy so you’ll appreciate that this is make-ahead friendly and no one will know you prepped it early.
- Prep Ahead – You can make the sweet potato layer and spread it into the dish. Make the topping, but keep it separately in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When ready to bake, add the topping to the potatoes before baking.
- Refrigerate Leftovers – Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate for 3-5 days
- Freezing Leftovers – Cover with foil or in a freezer-friendly container, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- To Reheat – Bake in a preheated 350˚F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.
Yes, but we encourage you to consider cooking your own sweet potatoes since they taste that much better than canned. You’ll need 3 large cans. Also, don’t forget to drain the yams well and reduce the sugar to make up for the moisture and syrup.
If you’re wondering what’s the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, check out this explanation from Eating Well Magazine. The canned yams are actually sweet potatoes by the wrong name and are usually packed in a sugary syrup. Fresh sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium, and you control the sugar. Try using fresh! You’ll love the flavor and it’s so easy!
Absolutely. This doubles well, although you may need to increase cooking time. Just be sure the casserole is warmed all the way through.
We love the crunchy pecan topping, but here’s a trick if your guests are used to sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. Add about 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows on top of the streusel topping. The best of both versions! You can also substitute mini marshmallows for the streusel topping.
What to Serve with Sweet Potato Casserole
We make this casserole year-round, but it’s best known on holiday menus. Try serving it alongside these other delicious sides:
With its crunchy pecan topping and sweet spiced mashed sweet potato layer, our sweet potato casserole recipe is the perfect addition to your holiday table. Wow your guests with a scoop of this delicious dish at your next potluck.
More Sweet Potato Recipes
If you love this sweet potato casserole recipe, then you won’t want to miss these other sweet potato recipes.
Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
Easy Sweet Potato Casserole with an irresistible crunchy pecan topping. This recipe is so flavorful. The sweet potatoes are soft, smooth and puff up slightly while baking.
Servings: 10 as a side dish
How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1″ chunks. Add to a large pot with enough water to cover surface of potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered at a medium/low boil about until easily pierced with a fork (about 10-15 minutes). Drain and mash (mash with an electric mixer to make it even creamier).
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole:
In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Add butter and use your hands to rub the mixture together until pea-sized crumbs form. Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes and bake at 350˚F uncovered for 35-40 min or until hot and sweet potatoes start to puff at edges.
483kcal Calories75g Carbs5g Protein19g Fat