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Published November 11, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious sweet potato casserole recipe, topped off with a pecan and marshmallow streusel, is the perfect holiday side dish.
Sweet potato casserole is one of my all-time favorite side dishes to serve up and eat for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It is a simple dish consisting of mashed sweet potatoes that are baked with eggs to stabilize it and then topped off with a pecan streusel.
Much like my creamy potatoes au gratin, this recipe is easy to pull off, and no joke will be the highlight of all those dinner table conversations.
Are Yams the Same as Sweet Potatoes?
Yams in their natural state are not the same as sweet potatoes. With that being said, most yams that you’re going to purchase from your local grocery store are really just orange-fleshed sweet potatoes. In addition, grocery store yams are often far cheaper than the red garnet sweet potatoes.
- Yams – these have a very rough outside skin that is brown in color with a dry, starchy white inside. Honestly, it’s kind of similar to yuca.
- Sweet Potatoes – these have a reddish-orange smooth outside skin with a sweet, moist orange inside. Yes, you can use grocery store yams in this recipe, as long as they are the orange flesh ones that look just like sweet potatoes.
Is It a Dessert or Side Dish?
I believe sweet potato casserole can be whatever you want it to me, a dessert or a side dish. I personally prefer it as a side dish because, with all of the salty, savory dishes that are served up over the holidays, this is a great sweet side dish additive to your dinner table spread.
This casserole is definitely sweet enough to be a dessert, so you may want to try it or just make my sweet potato pie recipe.
Pecan and Marshmallow Streusel Topping
The pecan and marshmallow streusel that goes on top of the sweet potato casserole just makes this recipe. It brings texture and a delicious nutty-sweet flavor to the mix.
- In a large bowl, cut some unsalted butter with a pastry knife or fork into some brown sugar, flour, and roughly chopped pecans until the butter is about the size of rice. You could do this portion in a food processor if you’re looking to save some time or don’t have a pastry knife.
- Next, simply add the mini marshmallows and fold them into the mix until they are incorporated, and set them aside until they are ready to use on top of the sweet potato casserole.
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole
1. Rinse the sweet potatoes using a colander.
2. Place them on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper or foil and bake in the oven at 375° for 60 minutes. The parchment paper or foil will make clean-up easy because the sweet potatoes secrete their sticky insides.
3. Remove them and simply pull the outside peelings off, discard them, and place the insides of the sweet potatoes into a large bowl. I suggest using gloves or a towel because the sweet potatoes will be hot.
4. Using a hand masher, mash the sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and eggs until completely mixed in and mashed.
5. Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes to a non-stick sprayed 10×5 casserole dish.
6. Evenly sprinkle on the pecan and marshmallow streusel, completely covering the mashed sweet potatoes.
7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the streusel is cooked and the marshmallows are browned.
8. Serve immediately!
Can You Make It Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can absolutely make this sweet potato casserole ahead of time, and here’s what you should do.
- Bake them, peel them and mash them in a bowl with eggs, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
- Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes to a casserole dish, top off with the streusel and then chill it in the refrigerator.
- For the day the sweet potato casserole is to be served, pull it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and then bake at 375° for 30 to 35 minutes.
Doing this will save you over 1 hour of cooking time.
What Do You Serve With Sweet Potato Casserole?
Sweet potato casserole is most often served up over the holidays and can be served up with all of these great dishes:
Reheating and Storage
How to Reheat: To reheat the sweet potato casserole, add your desired portion to a casserole dish or pan, cover it, and heat it up in the oven at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until hot. In addition, you can simply add them to the microwave and heat them until hot.
Storing and Freezing: The casserole can be stored in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen and covered for up to 2 months. Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before cooking and serving.
CHEF NOTES + TI
- You can use yams in this recipe.
- Feel free to skip the marshmallows if you are looking to cut back on the sweetness of the dish.
More Side Dish Recipes
- Cauliflower Au Gratin
- Oven Roasted Root Vegetables
- Creamy Polenta Recipe
- Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Potatoes Au Gratin
Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
For the Sweet Potatoes:
- 6 medium-size sweet potatoes
- 2 eggs
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
For the Streusel :
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Add the potatoes to a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper or foil and bake in the oven at 375° for 60-70 minutes or until tender.
- Remove the potatoes and pull the skin off and discard. Add the cooked insides to a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mash with a hand masher or electric hand beater until smooth.
- Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes to a 10×5 casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, cut together the flour, brown sugar, pecans, and butter until the butter is the size of rice.
- Fold in the marshmallows and then evenly sprinkle the streusel over top of the mashed sweet potatoes, completely covering them.
- Bake in the oven at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes or until the marshmallows are browned.