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Sweet Potato Casserole

Our Southern sweet potato casserole features a traditional pecan and brown sugar streusel topping rather than melted marshmallows. The classic sweet potato filling is creamy and smooth, with a hint of orange and vanilla.

We love Sweet Potato Pie, and when you want to take it up a notch, this Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect choice! You may consider Sweet Potato Casserole a dessert, but you'll find that most Southerners will serve this casserole right alongside the turkey and ham as a side dish.

DIFFICULTY:
MODERATE

YIELD:
12 SERVINGS

TIME:
2 HOURS

That just means you get to eat it twice!

Single serving of Southern sweet potato casserole on a white plate.

There are two versions of this delicious sweet potato casserole and generally two camps of preference: this version, with the nutty brown sugar streusel topping, and the other Sweet Potato Casserole, which features melted marshmallows.

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Lots of people prefer one over the other, but I've always loved both. However, if I had to choose just one this would be it! I love the crunchy topping on this sweet potato casserole, which contrasts so nicely with the creamy filling.

Sweet Potato Casserole is decadent and wonderful and no Southern holiday table would be complete without it!

Tips for Sweet Potato Casserole

  • This is a great make ahead dish for busy times. Don't spread the topping over the filling until ready to bake.
  • You can freeze the Sweet Potato Casserole, but it's best if frozen without the topping.
  • Use fresh sweet potatoes and not canned!

Helpful tools and ingredients:

  • Baking sheet - I have about 8 of these and use them almost every single day!
  • Potato peeler - inexpensive and has a guard.
  • Microplane zester - I cannot live without this thing! Great for garlic or nutmeg or even small amounts of cheese!
  • Mixing bowl - can you have too many? I don't think so!
  • Baking dish - I use this one all the time!
Measuring cup pouring milk into sweet potato filling.

Ingredients

Sweet Potato Filling

  • 5-6 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • Butter
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Orange juice
  • Vanilla
  • Heavy cream
  • Eggs
  • Salt

Streusel Topping

  • Brown sugar
  • Pecans
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt

Steps for preparation

  1. Roast the potatoes in the oven for about an hour, or peel, chop, and boil until tender. (Need more help? How to Bake Sweet Potatoes)
  2. Add butter, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, heavy cream, eggs, and a little orange juice.
  3. Mix the topping dry ingredients together and then work in the chilled butter with your fingers. Then stir in the pecans and mix well.
  4. Sprinkle topping over the sweet potatoes and bake.

Tip: Use all the topping and cover the sweet potato filling completely.

White casserole dish of baked sweet potato casserole.

Serving Suggestions

Sweet Potato Casserole is not just for Thanksgiving or other holidays! This is a great side dish to serve anytime:

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Southern Sweet Potato Casserole features a traditional pecan and brown sugar streusel topping rather than melted marshmallows.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

A creamy sweet potato casserole that's topped with crunchy pecan and brown sugar streusel.

Ingredients

Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 4 cups cooked sweet potatoes, about 5 medium sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • ½ cup milk

Topping

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Sweet Potatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 350. 
  2. Put cooked sweet potatoes in bowl of large mixer. Mash potatoes with fork or potato masher. Turn on mixer and beat potatoes on low.
  3. Add butter and mix until completely absorbed. If your potatoes got too cool then you can melt the butter first. Add salt, nutmeg, and sugars, and mix well. Add eggs, vanilla, and orange juice and mix well. Add milk and mix well.
  4. Spoon filling into buttered dish. Sprinkle topping over sweet potatoes. Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes.

Topping

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugars, flour, and salt until well mixed.
  2. Using your fingers, work the butter in until the mixture resembles large crumbs. Stir in the pecans and mix well.
  3. Do not over mix or your topping will turn mushy.
  4. Sprinkle all of the topping evenly over the sweet potatoes prior to baking.

Notes

If you want to substitute a marshmallow topping, just remove the casserole about 10 minutes early and spread a bag of mini-marshmallows over the top. Bake until marshmallows are melted and lightly toasted.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 514Saturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 390mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 3gSugar: 39gProtein: 4g

Update Notes: This post was originally published November 13, 2013, and on March 17, 2021, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

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Elle

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Hi - your article mentions adding orange juice, but the printed recipe doesn’t list OJ anywhere. Is it a substitute for the milk or what? I have been looking for a recipe that includes OJ!

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