This Easy Sweet Potato Casserole is the perfect, classic side dish at any dinner or holiday meal! It’s made with a deliciously creamy mashed sweet potato filling and is topped with a buttery brown sugar pecan crumble! 

This is a Thanksgiving  and Christmas dinner staple at my house! In fact, I’ll be honest and tell you that we make two different yams/sweet potato recipes for Thanksgiving dinner: this sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel and my Candied Yams. We love them both so much that we need both! Complete your Thanksgiving table with some Bacon Green Bean Casserole and some Roasted Baby Carrots and you have holiday dinner in the bag!

A white plate with Sweet Potato Casserole on it.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy sweet potato casserole. This candied sweet potatoes with pecans comes together quickly! While the potatoes are boiling on the stove, you can make the topping and cut the prep time down!
  • Sweet potato casserole NO marshmallows. Now, I know there are lots of people who like the sweet potatoes casserole with marshmallow topping (my husband is one of them!), but not everyone does. Which is why this sweet potato casserole with brown sugar topping is a total crowd-pleaser! Everyone loves this recipe!
  • Topped with brown sugar pecan crumble. If you love praline, then you will love this recipe! It’s essentially praline sweet potatoes! The brown sugar pecan topping is the perfect pairing with the mashed sweet potatoes! 
  • Easy to make ahead of time and freeze. My mom would always make a double dish of this easy sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving and freeze one to serve for our Christmas dinner. It was a great way to reduce prep for Christmas dinner!

Ingredient Notes

Easy Sweet Potato Casserole ingredients on a light gray background: orange yams, milk, butter, eggs, vanilla, and brown sugar.
Easy Sweet Potato Casserole pecan topping ingredients portioned into glass bowls on a light gray background.
  • Large Sweet Potatoes: In case your grocery store also sells the golden sweet potatoes, we want to make sure we use the orange-colored ones for this recipe. I recommend using fresh sweet potatoes and not canned sweet potatoes! 
  • Brown Sugar: Including some brown sugar in the mashed sweet potatoes themselves is genius! It’s a great addition so the brown sugar isn’t just on the top, but evenly flavored throughout.
  • Butter: Adding butter (and brown sugar) to the filling creates a complex flavor that is near caramel-like. Yum!
  • Eggs: The eggs are a binding agent for the casserole! 
  • Vanilla: Pretty positive everything in life could use a splash of vanilla. 😍
  • Milk: The milk added to the mashed sweet potato mixture helps give a creamier texture to the potatoes. If you want ultra creamy sweet potato casserole, you can use half and half or heavy cream. But I always use milk.
  • Chopped Pecans: You can swap out for walnuts if you are allergic to pecans, but if you aren’t, then I highly recommend pecans as the nut of choice! Feel free to omit nuts for allergies if needed. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cook the sweet potatoes. Add the cubed sweet potatoes to a large pot. Fill with water to cover all the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are very fork tender (about 20-25 minutes). Drain the water.
  2. Make the brown sugar pecan topping. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and flour to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir until combined. Stir in the chopped pecans. Let sit to allow the butter to harden. Then use your fingers to break the topping into clumps. Set aside.
  3. Mash the cooked sweet potatoes. I use a combination of a hand masher and a hand beater. Mash until completely smooth.
  4. Make the sweet potato casserole mixture. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.
Four photos showing how to make the best easy sweet potato casserole recipe: orange yams in a pot, mashed sweet potatoes in a pot, mashed mixture in a square baking dish, pecan crumble in a glass bowl.
  1. Place in baking dish. Butter a 9×9-inch casserole dish. Spread the sweet potato casserole mixture into an even layer in the baking dish. 
  2. Top with pecan crumble. Spread the brown sugar pecan crumble on top of the casserole.
  3. Bake. Place in an oven preheated to 350°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top and warmed through. Enjoy!
Two photos side by side of Easy Sweet Potato Casserole in a white square baking dish.

Recipe Tips

For a nut free sweet potato casserole, simply omit the pecans from the brown sugar topping. 

You may be curious as to whether you can use an 8×8-inch pan. Honestly, this recipe fills the 9×9-inch pan close to the brim, so an 8×8 would be too small. 

Be sure to boil the sweet potatoes until very soft (fork tender). The fork should slide into the potato with ease. If you undercook the potatoes you’ll have a really hard time mashing them thoroughly.

Speaking of mashing sweet potatoes, growing up my parents would use a hand mixer to “mash” the potatoes. I use a combination of a potato masher and a hand mixer.

Make sure to turn the light on in your oven and check the casserole at the 25-minute mark. Depending on how your oven cooks, you’ll want to make sure your pecan crumble topping doesn’t burn. If you notice the topping is getting too dark, you can cover the pan with aluminum foil and that will solve the problem!

You can use leftover mashed sweet potatoes for baby food! I wouldn’t recommend using the full recipe since it includes eggs, sugar, and milk (of which eggs and milk are common allergens). If doing this, be sure to have already introduced eggs and dairy to your baby and omit brown sugar or reduce to your liking. 

Before I forget, let me tell you another reason why this is the best sweet potato casserole recipe — it is a smashing hit with the kids! All my nieces and nephews always request a big helping of this on their plate. The crunch of the pecans and the sweetness of the brown sugar is the perfect disguise for kids to eat lots and lots of sweet potatoes! (Which are really healthy for you, so that’s a huge win in my book, friends.)

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

You can make this easy sweet potato casserole recipe ahead of time! It’s the perfect dish to make in advance because it freezes so well.

To freeze, follow the recipe to the part where you add the streusel topping on top. Instead of baking it, tightly wrap the whole casserole in plastic wrap then aluminum foil. Place in the freezer. The casserole will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Then remove and let thaw completely at room temperature. Then follow the instructions for baking. 

Store any leftovers covered or in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days. 

A large serving spoon scooping into a dish of sweet potato casserole.

Recipe FAQs

What is sweet potato casserole?

Sweet potato casserole is most commonly associated with a dish of mashed sweet potatoes complete with a sweet topping.   

Does sweet potato casserole need to be refrigerated?

Yes. You need to store the brown sugar pecan sweet potato casserole in the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for 5-6 days.

Can sweet potato casserole be made ahead?

Definitely! No need to spend so much time in the kitchen. Make the sweet potato casserole ahead of time and even freeze it if you’d like 👇🏻

Can you freeze sweet potato casserole?

Yes, you can! My mom would make the casserole ahead of time and freeze it, covered. Then, she would pull it out of the freezer to thaw and bake it the day of. You can’t tell a difference at all!

Does sweet potato casserole need to be refrigerated? 

Yes! It needs to be stored in the fridge since there is milk in the mixture.

Why do you put eggs in sweet potato casserole? 

This is a great question! The eggs serve as a binding agent for the sweet potato casserole.

Is sweet potato casserole vegan? 

No, since we add butter, eggs, and milk to the mixture.

Is sweet potato casserole gluten free? 

It is if you don’t add the pecan crumble. You add flour to the pecan crumble. So, if you need to adapt the recipe for a gluten-free option, just remove the flour from the crumble topping or use a gluten-free flour. Voila! 

How to reheat sweet potato casserole?

Simply preheat the oven to 350ºF and put the casserole in for 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.

A serving spoon scooping out Easy Sweet Potato Casserole from a white square baking dish.

More Thanksgiving Recipes

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a star rating and review or scroll below the recipe card and do so there. 

Stay up-to-date by following us on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Print Save Review
5 from 16 votes

Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

This sweet potato casserole is a holiday dinner must-have! Creamy sweet potatoes are topped with a sugary and buttery pecan topping.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • 4 large sweet potatoes - peeled and cubed (about 2.5 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar - packed
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk

Pecan Topping

  • 1/2 cup butter - melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans - chopped


  • Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover the potatoes. Bring to boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer and cook until potatoes are very fork tender, 20-25 minutes. Drain. 
  • While the potatoes are cooking make the topping: In a medium sized bowl mix the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and flour. Mix until moist. Stir in the pecans. Let the mixture sit. This will allow the butter to set and slightly firm up again. Once butter has set, break the topping into clumps. Set aside. 
  • Mash the potatoes. 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F, butter a 9×9 baking dish. Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl mix (or use hand beaters) to mix the mashed potatoes, butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk.  Transfer to the baking dish. 
  • Spread the pecan crumb topping over the mashed potato mixture.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden on top.   


This recipe must be baked in a 9×9 inch pan. Anything smaller and it won’t fit. 
You can make the casserole ahead of time! My mom would make a double one and freeze that. Wrap the entire casserole dish and freeze for 2-3 months. Remove and let thaw before baking.
Adapted from my mother’s sweet potato casserole recipe.


Calories: 515kcal (26%)Carbohydrates: 62g (21%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 29g (45%)Saturated Fat: 13g (65%)Cholesterol: 87mg (29%)Sodium: 380mg (16%)Potassium: 582mg (17%)Fiber: 5g (20%)Sugar: 34g (38%)Vitamin A: 19942IU (399%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 97mg (10%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Leave a star rating and review on the blog post letting me know how you liked this recipe! Take a picture and tag @saltandbaker on Instagram and Facebook so I can see what you’re making!