The Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

In my family, the Best Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is one that’s served up sweet and salty with a delicious, crunchy streusel topping! You’ll love this mashed sweet potato recipe and the nutty brown sugar crunch on top!

For more holiday side dishes, don’t forget the Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole, and of course Pistachio Salad!

Sweet potato casserole baked in a white dish.

Why this Recipe is Best

Every family has traditions, and in most cases, you can’t shake things up. Ever.

For instance, Thanksgiving. You are either a plain sweet potato or a mini marshmallows topped sweet potato family. There is no middle ground.

For years, my family was divided. Depending on who hosted Thanksgiving dinner, we either were served gooey, sweet marshmallow sweet potato casserole….or a sweet potato casserole with a little butter and brown sugar.

Those were the only choices. Until now.

Now I host Thanksgiving myself, and it’s my turn to determine how I want to serve my sweet potatoes. And while I love marshmallow topped, and brown sugar…today’s streusel topped sweet potato casserole are hands down, my favorite.

If you’ve ever been to a Ruth’s Chris restaurant you’ll recognize these potatoes!

  • Sweet and creamy mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Topped with a brown sugar crumble with a crunch for salty pecans.
  • One of the best things about these sweet potatoes is that you can have them prepped ahead of time so that you only need to bake them on Thanksgiving. 

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for sweet potato casserole with pecan topping.

Sweet Potatoes. Choose fresh sweet potatoes that have no root growing off of them.

Sugars. You’ll want sugar for the mashed sweet potato and brown sugar for the pecan topping.

Vanilla extract. These candied potatoes are almost like a dessert. Using real vanilla extract (or try my homemade vanilla extract) gives even more flavor.

Eggs. Helps the casserole fluff up to a delicious texture.

Unsalted butter. If using salted butter, omit the extra kosher salt in the recipe.

How to make Sweet Potato Casserole

Step by step photos showing how to make sweet potato casserole.

Start by cooking your sweet potatoes.

Bake. You can bake them in the oven (my preferred method), at 400 degrees F for an hour.

Stove Top. Or you can peel and boil potatoes in a large pot of water (for about half an hour).

Microwave. The third way would be to poke them with a fork and microwave the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes. 

Instant Pot. OR you can pop them in the Instant Pot! Cook them tender by using my Instant Pot Sweet Potato recipe!

Mash the sweet potatoes.

Once your potatoes are cooked, combine them in a large bowl with the sugar, salt, vanilla extract, eggs, and melted butter. Using a mixer, beat them for about 4-5 minutes until fluffy and smooth.

Bake. Pour this into a 2 qt casserole dish and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.

Make the topping. While the potatoes are baking, make your streusel topping. Combine brown sugar with flour, chopped pecans, and melted butter. Stir together with a fork and set aside.

Once your sweet potatoes have cooked, top with streusel (and extra pecans on top if desired) and return to the oven to bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

Big spoonful of mashed sweet potato casserole from a white baking dish.

Making ahead of time

There is nothing worse than trying to figure out what goes in the oven, and when. Fortunately, this sweet potato casserole gets it’s “BEST” rating because of the flexibility. 

First, you could bake as written above, if oven space is not an issue.

Or, you could bake the 25 minutes, top with the streusel and refrigerate until the next day. Then you would only need to pop it back into the oven for about 20 minutes.

You could also bake it as directed for entirety and allow to sit on the table for about 30 minutes (covered with foil to keep hot). This gives you time and space to warm up some dinner rolls and get the rest of your food heated and ready.

Side Dish recipes for Thanksgiving

Looking for a Classic Stuffing Recipe? My dressing is made with day old bread, vegetables, apples and mushrooms! Easy to make ahead of time too!

This Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole recipe is true comfort food. Made with frozen hash browns and plenty of cheese, I can guarantee your family is going to enjoy this one!

A sweet, fruity side dish, this Frozen Cranberry Orange Salad is great for the holidays. This recipe can be made days in advance!

A classic, easy 7 layer Salad recipe served in a trifle bowl. So many options for the seven layers, you choose what you love. Perfect for potlucks!

Don’t forget the Green Bean Casserole! Everyone loves the creamy mushroom soup with the crispy fried onions!

Thanksgiving Dessert recipes

While you’re here, how about we take a peek into my dessert archives? I’ve got some of the best Thanksgiving treats you could ever want!

Delicious layers of homemade Spice Cake with a Pecan Pie filling. This Pecan Pie cake is topped with a creamy Brown Sugar frosting! Drooling yet?

Smooth and decadent, French Silk Pie is a chocolate lovers dream! You’ll love the flaky pie crust, topped with smooth and silky chocolate!

Easy to assemble Turkey Rice Krispie Treats decorated for Thanksgiving! Loved by kids and adults!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake: two layers of delicious pumpkin cake with a creamy cheesecake center. Frosted with cream cheese frosting!

Look at those beautiful layers in this Pumpkin Magic Cake! This is a must make recipe for the holidays!

Apple Crumble. The comfort of home in an easy, no pie crust recipe!

The best (and easiest) Pumpkin Pie recipe you’ll need this holiday season. Make Thanksgiving dessert in no time at all with this delicious pie recipe!

Sweet potato casserole recipe served in white bowls.

Serving Suggestions

So many dinner ideas pair nicely with these sweet potatoes. Here are a few of my favorites!

Yield: 12 servings

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

In my family, the Best Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is one that’s served up sweet and salty with a delicious, crunchy streusel topping! You’ll love this mashed sweet potato recipe and the nutty brown sugar crunch on top!


For the Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

For the streusel topping:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted


  1. Cook sweet potatoes in desired manner, until soft. See notes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 2 qt baking dish with nonstick spray (I use coconut oil spray). Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cooked sweet potatoes, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and melted butter. Beat with an electric mixer for about 4-5 minutes, until fluffy and smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared dish. Bake for 25 minutes.
  5. While baking, prepare streusel topping by combining brown sugar, flour, pecans, and melted butter in a small bowl. Mix with a fork and set aside.
  6. Sprinkle the baked sweet potato mixture with streusel and return to oven for about 10-15 minutes until crumble is lightly browned. Serve immediately or cover with foil and serve in 30 minutes.


For the sweet potatoes you can cook them your favorite way. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for one hour. Or pierce with fork and microwave for 15 minutes (or more depending on size). Or peel and boil them for 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 359Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 226mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on November 27, 2019

Comments & Reviews

    1. I am not Aimee but have a suggestion. The baking time is dependent on the size of the dish being baked. How thick is the determining factor. So if you have twice as much but in a larger dish the baking time is the same all other things being equal. It is the surface area and the thickness that matters. One quart of ingredients in a one quart casserole is about the same as two quarts of ingredients in a two quart casserole. See what I mean? Remember that the casserole dishes would need to be made the same so that the ingredients have the same surface area to volume ratios.

    1. Enjoy! You can double it, making sure you have a dish large enough. I would also add some time to the baking to make sure it’s heated through 🙂

      1. Question, going to bake my sweet potatoes as you mentioned. Do I need to wrap in foil or pierce with a fork before baking? I usually boil but heard flavor is better when you bake them?!

  1. Just made this. Omg… so delicious! I am allergic to nuts except almonds so just replaced the flour with almond flour and pecans with almonds. Delicious!

  2. Hi! This looks great! I am lactose intolerant…do you think this would still work with a high quality margarine instead of butter?

  3. My family loved this!! I did screw up and added a stick of butter to the topping. Threw it under the broiler for a few . Other than that it was a huge success. Will make a again. Those who ate it said this is our new holiday dish

  4. This absolutely lives up to its name — it’s exactly what everyone at the table called it. Stephanie posted above (on 11/28/2019) that there were too many nuts, but I thought it was perfect. I baked it in a round dish, and it would have better in a rectangular dish so the sweet potatoes were more spread out. I also added about 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and a pinch of salt to the topping. It is sweet, so could even be a dessert. This will definitely be on the permanent list! Thank you!!

    1. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter which is indeed 1 stick of butter for the topping. I just made this and the 1 stick of butter made the topping thick and wet…not like a streusel at all. I think maybe 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup of butter would be the right amount. I plan on trying to add more flour and sugar to it for (hopefully) a more streusel-like crumbly topping.

      1. Ruth’s Chris streusel is not dry, it’s more like a cookie dough on top, if that makes sense. You can use less butter if desired to make a more dry crumb topping.

  5. This is a really delicious recipe no doubt, but this is the first time I made it w/ the pecans & I think I like it better without. That could be tied into my dislike for pecan pie, but 1 cup of chopped pecans is a lot for a 2qt casserole dish. So folks, unless you’re a true nut lover, I would use 1/2 cup or just sprinke them on top of the coating as you wish. If you go in for the full cup, it’s going to taste like you just ate a handful of them with every bite.

      1. We eat it cold with whipped topping and we use walnuts instead of pecans. Add a dash of nutmeg to the potatoes to add a depth of flavor. Good hot or cold

      1. Clarification on this: would you bake the sweet potato part or just assemble and bake when serving, then add topping and bake longer?

  6. This recipe looks great 🙂 I also noticed there is no milk listed in this recipe…just want to make sure there is no mistake. You do not use milk, correct?

  7. This was great. Roasting the yams whole in foil for an hour or so depending on the size of your yams gives awesome flavor instead of boiling… The family gobbled this up!!!

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