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.

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! Another favorite is Watergate Salad, with pistachio pudding, pineapple, and nuts—it’s a classic!

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


Sweet Potato Filling

  • 3.5 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 4 large or 5 medium sweet potatoes)
  • Butter
  • Nutmeg
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Orange juice
  • Vanilla
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Salt

Streusel Topping

  • Brown sugar
  • Pecans, chopped
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • 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. Mash potatoes and whip if you want them creamier. Add butter, salt, nutmeg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, milk, eggs, and a little orange juice to the potatoes. Mix well.
  3. Mix the topping dry ingredients together, then work in the chilled butter with your fingers. 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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5 from 2 votes

Sweet Potato Casserole

A creamy sweet potato casserole that’s topped with crunchy pecan and brown sugar streusel.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
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Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 3.5 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (8-10 cups cubed)
  • 10 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • ½ cup milk


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


Sweet Potatoes

  • Place cubed sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook about 20 minutes, or until fork-tender. Note: you can also roast the potatoes in the oven and then peel and mash.
  • Preheat oven to 350. 
  • Put cooked sweet potatoes in bowl of large mixer. Mash potatoes with fork or potato masher. Turn on mixer and beat potatoes on low.
  • Add butter and mix until completely absorbed. Add salt, nutmeg, and sugars, and mix well. Add eggs, vanilla, and orange juice and mix well. Add milk and mix well.
  • Spoon filling into buttered dish. Sprinkle topping over sweet potatoes. Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes.


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


Serving: 12servings, Calories: 514kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 4g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 390mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 39g
Course: Casseroles
Cuisine: American
Calories: 514
Keyword: sweet potato casserole
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!

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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About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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