This Sweet Potato Casserole is rich and buttery with a sweet crunchy pecan topping. It’s a southern classic that can pass as either a side dish or dessert at your next holiday dinner.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
This Sweet Potato Casserole with streusel topping is an absolute must at Thanksgiving. But, it’s such a family favorite that it also makes special appearances throughout the year. The creamy, rich sweet potato filling, flavored with brown sugar and vanilla, is paired with a sweet and crunchy pecan crumble topping.
Most often I serve Sweet Potato Casserole with crumble topping as a side dish, but it’s absolutely sweet enough to pass as a dessert. It’s also a perfect holiday recipe because the entire thing can be made a day in advance, or even frozen and baked at your leisure.
Ingredients in Sweet Potato Casserole
- Sweet Potatoes: You can use light-colored sweet potatoes, bright orange sweet potatoes or even a mix of them both. Just make sure you wash and peel them before cooking.
- Brown Sugar: This will give it a very rich and sweet taste. Either light or dark brown sugar will work great.
- Eggs: any type of large eggs will work. This helps to bind the casserole together.
- Butter: salted butter is great, but unsalted works too.
- Milk: I like to use whole milk or 2% milk, but any kind will be fine. You can even substitute coconut milk.
- Vanilla: pure vanilla extract tastes best.
Pecan Crumble Topping
- Pecans: use plain pecans without any seasoning or salt. It doesn't matter if they are whole or chopped because you will be chopping them anyways.
- Corn Starch: this helps hold all of the delicious butter in.
- Brown Sugar: Light or dark brown sugar works great.
- Butter: salted butter works great but unsalted work too.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel Topping Video Tutorial
How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble Topping
- Cook and mash the sweet potatoes. Add the diced sweet potatoes to a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes, then bring to a boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain, then return to the pot and use a potato masher to mash until they are smooth.
- Mix with other ingredients. To the pot with the mashed sweet potatoes, add the brown sugar, eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla. Stir and mash together until all ingredients are well combined. Pour the sweet potato mixture into a greased 9" x 9" pan and set aside while you make the pecan crumble topping.
- Make the pecan crumble topping. In a large mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, corn starch, chopped pecans, and melted butter. Mix with a spatula until combined and crumbled, then sprinkle evenly over the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, or until the pecan crumble topping is lightly golden brown on top.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to make this Sweet Potato Casserole ahead of time, prepare everything but do not bake. Cover well with aluminum foil and store frozen for up to 2 months. When it comes to time bake, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. The next day, pull it out to room temperature while you preheat the oven and bake as directed.
While both sweet potatoes and yams are root vegetables with very similar appearances, tastes and textures, they are not quite the same. In the grocery stores in the U.S., often times sweet potatoes are mislabeled as yams. However real yams that come from Africa and Asia aren’t super common in this country. They are a little starchier and drier than sweet potatoes.
Basically, if your recipe calls for yams, you can go ahead and substitute sweet potatoes.
If you would rather roast the sweet potatoes, you can do so by peeling and slicing as directed. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until tender.
Sweet Potato Casserole is a southern classic that can pass for a side dish or a dessert. It’s just sweet enough and just savory enough that it really works as both.
Storing and Reheating
- Make-ahead: follow the recipe as directed to make the sweet potato mixture and spread it into your prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight. You can make the pecan crumb topping and store separately in an airtight container in the fridge. To bake, remove the baking dish and crumble from the fridge while you preheat your oven. Sprinkle the topping evenly and bake as directed.
- Refrigerator: store leftovers covered with plastic in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: you can freeze your unbaked casserole by wrapping well with aluminum foil and storing for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then pull out the baking dish as you preheat the oven. Bake as directed.
- To reheat: to reheat leftovers, you can warm them in a microwave. Or, place the entire baking dish - covered with aluminum foil - into a 300 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through.
Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
- 3-4 large Sweet Potatoes peeled and cut into 1" pieces (about 1 ¾ pounds)
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- 2 whole Eggs beaten
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- ½ cup Milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pecan Crumble Topping
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- ½ cup Corn Starch
- 1 cup Pecans chopped
- ⅓ cup Butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the diced sweet potatoes to a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes, then bring to a boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain, then return to the pot and use a potato masher to mash until they are smooth.
- To the pot with the mashed sweet potatoes, add the brown sugar, eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla. Stir and mash together until all ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the sweet potato mixture into a greased 9" x 9" pan and set aside while you make the pecan crumble topping.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, corn starch, chopped pecans, and melted butter. Mix with a spatula until combined and crumbled, then sprinkle evenly over the sweet potato mixture.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the pecan crumble topping is lightly golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
More of the Best Thanksgiving Recipes
- Best Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
- Crockpot Turkey Recipe
- Whole Turkey For Thanksgiving
- Best Turkey Breast
- No-Bake Cheesecake
- Gingerbread Cookie Bars
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- More Easy Side Dishes
- More Holiday Recipes
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This Sweet Potato Casserole with crumb topping is an absolute must during the winter holidays. It's topped with a sweet and crunchy streusel made with pecans and butter.