Traditional sweet potato casserole recipe with a wonderful crunchy pecan topping will become a family favorite. A classic holiday side that will have them asking for the recipe.
Editor’s Note: Originally Published December 3, 2011. Updated and Republished with refreshed and expanded discussion and photos.
When families come together for a holiday, traditional dishes from all sides of the family help make the event special.
This is a recipe brought into our family from my son-in-law’s family for our first Thanksgiving together and has been a staple ever since. Enjoy this classic Sweet Potato Casserole.
A strong five all around. My daughter makes a triple recipe for leftovers.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes for Sweat Potato Casserole
The recipe is for about eight servings, and you will see pictures for a triple batch. There are only three adults eating today. My daughter was cooking for leftovers.
Sweet Potato vs. Yam
The debate rages on. Are they the same? Are they totally different? So the answer is yes to all those questions. True yams are mostly grown outside of the US and are much less commonly sold here.
In the US, firm varieties of sweet potatoes are frequently called sweat potatoes while soft varieties will be called yams. This goes back to African slaves called the soft sweet potatoes yams because they resembled the true yams from Africa.
Unless you specifically search for yams, you are probably eating sweet potatoes in the US. If you truly want yams, then you perhaps need an international market.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires labels with the term yam to be accompanied by the term sweet potato.
Can I top with marshmallows?
Sure toss a cup or two of mini-marshmallows on the top with or without the pecans.
Can I make ahead?
Yes but… The “but” is I’m not a big fan of uncooked casseroles with egg setting for a long time. According to foodsafety.gov, you have 3-4 days.
Leftovers are good for 3-4 days refrigerated.
Scrub and bake sweet potatoes. You will need 3 cups so 3-4 potatoes. Bake at 375 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until very soft.
Allow to cool and then peel. You may refrigerate at this point until needed.
In a large mixing bowl beat 3 cups sweet potatoes until smooth.
In a separate bowl beat together two eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 stick melted butter, 1 1/2t vanilla, 1/2 cup milk. Beat well.
Add to sweet potatoes and mix well.
Place into a well oiled (Pam or butter) oven-safe bowl.
Mix topping in a medium bowl. 1 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 stick melted butter and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
Add topping to sweet potatoes. You may cover and refrigerate at this point for 3 days maximum per the FDA.
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Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole
- 3 cups sweet potatoes - bake
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick butter - melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup pecans - chopped
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 stick butter - melted
- Scrub and bake sweet potatoes. You will need 3 cups so 3-4 potatoes. Bake at 375 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until very soft.
- Allow to cool and then peel. You may refrigerate at this point until needed.
- In a large mixing bowl beat 3 cups sweet potatoes until smooth.
- In a separate bowl beat together two eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 stick melted butter, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup milk. Beat well.
- Add to sweet potatoes and mix well.
- Place into a well oiled (Pam or butter) oven safe bowl.
- Chop pecans. Mix topping in a medium bowl. 1 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 stick melted butter and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
- Add topping to sweet potatoes. You may cover and refrigerate at this point for 3 days maximum per the FDA. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
- Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and 165 minimum internal temperature.
- Precook the sweet potatoes the day ahead.
- You may substitute mini marshmallows for the topping if you want. 1 1/2 to 2 cups should do it. Cook to nicely brown with at least 165 internal temperature which should be about the same amount of time.
- The FDA says three days refrigerated is fine. I would prefer to cook and mash the potatoes and mix the topping ahead. Then assemble just before cooking.
Nutrition is generally for one serving. Number of servings is stated above and is my estimate of normal serving size for this recipe.
All nutritional information are estimates and may vary from your actual results. This is home cooking, and there are many variables. To taste ingredients such as salt will be my estimate of the average used.
Originally Published December 3, 2011