Our Sweet Potato Casserole with pecan streusel topping is the ultimate holiday side dish. This classic recipe features a fluffy and satisfying sweet potato layer topped with a streusel topping that’s so crunchy and buttery. It’s so easy to make that this family favorite is sure to earn a permanent spot at your family’s table.

This is the best sweet potato casserole recipe I’ve ever tasted, so it is always served on our Thanksgiving menu alongside our Juicy Roast Turkey, an unforgettable Turkey Gravy, Green Bean Casserole, and Pumpkin Pie. In fact, we love it so much it makes an appearance at Christmas, Easter, and sometimes family meals throughout the year.

Sweet potato casserole recipe with pecan streusel topping with serving spoon

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Sweet Potato Casserole Video

Watch Natasha make this sweet potato casserole and you’ll see just how easy this is! If you make this recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’d love to hear about it.

The Best Sweet Potato Casserole

We are major sweet potato fans over here, and we can’t seem to get enough. This sweet potato bake is my sister Tanya’s recipe and the dish she brings every year for Thanksgiving.

There’s nothing more comforting than the sweet smells, luxurious texture, and crisp nutty topping. It’s sweet enough for dessert, but not too sweet to be served beside Prime Rib Roast on Christmas

Here’s why you’ll love it this holiday season—and all year around:

  • So simple and easy to make
  • Make ahead and freezer-friendly
  • Easy to scale up or down for big or small parties
  • Crowd-pleasing that doubles as a side dish and dessert in one
  • Can be made vegan and gluten-free
  • Customizable topping—including marshmallows!
Sweet Potato Bake portion on a plate with a fork

Ingredients

Our sweet potato casserole recipe features the best Fall ingredients combined to make the ultimate comfort dish.

  • Sweet Potatoes – You’ll need 4 lbs or 4 large potatoes for about 6 cups once mashed. Choose firm potatoes with dark, blemish-free and even-colored skin
  • Egg, Sugar, Butter, and Vanilla – give the potato layer incredible texture, flavor, and airiness. It almost puffs like a souffle. See below for vegan substitutes
  • Dried Cranberries – while optional, Craisins give the mixture a bit of tang to contrast the heavy flavors and sweetness.
  • Brown Sugar – use light brown sugar for a more subtle flavor and dark brown sugar for a more deep caramel sweetness
  • Flour – all-purpose works great, or swap with your favorite gluten-free flour substitute for gluten-free sweet potato casserole
  • Butter – binds the streusel topping and balances the sweetness. Replace with vegan butter for dairy-free sweet potato casserole
  • Pecans – adds great crunch, substitute with walnuts or they but can be omitted to be allergy-friendly, coarsely chop or leave whole
Ingredients for the famous Thanksgiving side dish with sweet potatoes, eggs, craisins, pecans, sugar topping and butter

Pro Tip

While fresh sweet potatoes taste best in this recipe, you can use canned yams. You’ll need 3 large 29 oz cans, but be sure to drain well and cut the butter in the filling to 3 Tbsp to account for the added moisture.

Substitutions

Try some of these easy swaps to make the casserole your own:

  • Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole: Replace the eggs with 3/4 cup applesauce or you can omit them, but it won’t be as airy. Also, replace the butter with your favorite butter substitute.
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows: cover the streusel or replace the streusel topping with mini marshmallows.
  • Adjust the white sugar to your liking. For example, make a less sweet filling by reducing sugar to 1/4 cup or replacing it with your favorite sugar substitute.
  • Add a splash of maple syrup to the filling for a hint of maple flavor
  • Change the texture: Leave the sweet potatoes in chunks for a dish similar to Southern candied yams, or on the other hand, try to whip the potatoes in a stand mixer for a more airy potato layer.

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole

In just a few easy steps, you can make this irresistible recipe for sweet potato casserole.

Make the Sweet Potato Filling

  • Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1″ chunks. Cover with water and boil for 10-15 minutes until fork-tender. Mash with a potato masher or use an electric hand mixer for super creamy potatoes.
  • Preheat Oven to 350˚F. In a bowl, whisk together: 3 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk in 6 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 Tbsp vanilla. Stir butter mixture into sweet potatoes then fold in 1 cup craisins and spread into a 9×13 casserole dish.
How to Make Sweet potato casserole step by step photos

How to Make the Streusel Topping

This is the easiest pecan topping for a sweet potato casserole and you’ll love the crunchy texture.

  1. Combine 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Add 3 Tbsp of diced cold butter and rub the butter with the sugar mixture using your fingertips until pea-sized crumbs form. Stir in the pecans. You can use a pastry blender to keep your hands clean.
  2. Sprinkle mixture evenly over sweet potato mixture and bake uncovered at 350˚F uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until hot and sweet potatoes start to puff at the edges.
Sweet potatoes before and after topping

Pro Tip

For a sweeter flavor, bake the sweet potatoes. Simply wash the outside, pierce the skin with a fork several times, and then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Then remove skins before mashing.

Make-Ahead

The holidays can get busy so you’ll appreciate that this is make-ahead friendly and no one will know you prepped it early.

  • Prep Ahead – You can make the sweet potato layer and spread it into the dish. Make the topping, but keep it separately in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When ready to bake, add the topping to the potatoes before baking.
  • Refrigerate Leftovers – Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate for 3-5 days
  • Freezing Leftovers – Cover with foil or in a freezer-friendly container, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • To Reheat – Bake in a preheated 350˚F oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Common Questions

Can I substitute canned yams?

Yes, but we encourage you to consider cooking your own sweet potatoes since they taste that much better than canned. You’ll need 3 large cans. Also, don’t forget to drain the yams well and reduce the sugar to make up for the moisture and syrup.

Are canned yams and sweet potatoes the same?

If you’re wondering what’s the difference between sweet potatoes and yams, check out this explanation from Eating Well Magazine. The canned yams are actually sweet potatoes by the wrong name and are usually packed in a sugary syrup. Fresh sweet potatoes are packed with fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium, and you control the sugar. Try using fresh! You’ll love the flavor and it’s so easy!

Can I double the recipe?

Absolutely. This doubles well, although you may need to increase cooking time. Just be sure the casserole is warmed all the way through.

Can I add marshmallows?

We love the crunchy pecan topping, but here’s a trick if your guests are used to sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. Add about 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows on top of the streusel topping. The best of both versions! You can also substitute mini marshmallows for the streusel topping.

What to Serve with Sweet Potato Casserole

We make this casserole year-round, but it’s best known on holiday menus. Try serving it alongside these other delicious sides:

Sweet Potato Casserole in baking casserole dish

With its crunchy pecan topping and sweet spiced mashed sweet potato layer, our sweet potato casserole recipe is the perfect addition to your holiday table. Wow your guests with a scoop of this delicious dish at your next potluck.

More Sweet Potato Recipes

If you love this sweet potato casserole recipe, then you won’t want to miss these other sweet potato recipes.

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

5 from 186 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Easy Sweet Potato Casserole with an irresistible crunchy pecan topping. This recipe is so flavorful. The sweet potatoes are soft, smooth and puff up slightly while baking.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients 

Servings: 10 as a side dish
  • 4 lbs sweet potatoes, 6 cups mashed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup craisins, dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, or gluten-free flour substitute
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold, diced
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions

How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

  • Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1" chunks. Add to a large pot with enough water to cover surface of potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered at a medium/low boil about until easily pierced with a fork (about 10-15 minutes). Drain and mash (mash with an electric mixer to make it even creamier).

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole:

  • Preheat Oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 6 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 Tbsp vanilla. Stir butter mixture into cooked sweet potatoes then stir in 1 cup craisins. Spread sweet potato mix evenly into a 9×13 casserole dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup flour. Add butter and use your hands to rub the mixture together until pea-sized crumbs form. Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes and bake at 350˚F uncovered for 35-40 min or until hot and sweet potatoes start to puff at edges.

Nutrition Per Serving

483kcal Calories75g Carbs5g Protein19g Fat7g Saturated Fat76mg Cholesterol124mg Sodium699mg Potassium7g Fiber40g Sugar26135IU Vitamin A4.5mg Vitamin C85mg Calcium1.9mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
483
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
19
g
29
%
Saturated Fat
 
7
g
44
%
Cholesterol
 
76
mg
25
%
Sodium
 
124
mg
5
%
Potassium
 
699
mg
20
%
Carbohydrates
 
75
g
25
%
Fiber
 
7
g
29
%
Sugar
 
40
g
44
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
Vitamin A
 
26135
IU
523
%
Vitamin C
 
4.5
mg
5
%
Calcium
 
85
mg
9
%
Iron
 
1.9
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sweet potato casserole
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 483

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Liz
    May 6, 2024

    Can I leave out the craisins in the sweet potato casserole ? I love your recipes thank you so much for sharing them with us .

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 7, 2024

      Hi Liz! You’re very welcome. Yes, you can omit the craisins if you prefer.

      Reply

  • Joni S
    April 1, 2024

    Being able to prepare this casserole in advance of a busy holiday, and the fact that everyone loved it, made it a winner in my book! I baked the potatoes before mashing. The streusel topping was prepared separately, and I baked everything together the next day. Served it alongside my Easter ham, mac and cheese, broccoli salad and carrot cake.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 1, 2024

      Hey Joni! I’m glad to hear that it was a huge success! Thanks a lot for sharing.

      Reply

  • IG
    March 31, 2024

    After reading the reviews, I thought I would try this for Easter. I liked the idea of making early, even a day before, and just popping it into an oven for 20 minutes to heat up before serving. Unfortunately, although easy to make, I found the dish way too sweet and I boiled the potatoes. If i try the recipe again, I would cut out the 1/3 cup granulated sugar, or cup back to 1/4 cup and then cut back on the brown sugar. Only one of 8 people enjoyed the sweetness of this dish.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 1, 2024

      Hi IG, this is pretty traditional to how a sweet potato casserole is made for Thanksgiving, but that said, you can adjust the sugar topping to your preference. We also don’t love things overly sweet but you can can cut back even more.

      Reply

  • Linda Glashan
    March 30, 2024

    I’m serving this Easter, tomorrow. Should I refrigerate and cook tomorrow or cook now and reheat tomorrow?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 30, 2024

      Hi Linda! Both ways will work, whatever is your preference. See my make ahead notes above for instructions on both ways.

      Reply

  • karenf
    March 1, 2024

    Made this yesterday, served it today. It was stellar! Wish I could give it more points for being able to make it in advance. I did roast the potatoes.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 1, 2024

      That’s wonderful, Karen! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe.

      Reply

  • Mary Mehl
    December 26, 2023

    I made the Sweet Potato Casserole. It is so easy to make. Everyone at the table wanted seconds. This recipe is A+++…absolutely scrumptious!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 26, 2023

      Thank you for your wonderful review, Mary! I’m so happy you loved this recipe!

      Reply

  • Pamela Bates
    December 24, 2023

    Natasha,
    I wanted to let you know that I made your sister’s Sweet Potato Casserole today for our family’s dinner. It was a hit! I did add a little mini marshmallows on top of the streusel topping. Everyone needs to try this!
    Thank you once again.
    I LOVE your recipes.
    I even asked Santa for your cookbook.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 24, 2023

      Wonderful, Pamela! You are so welcome. Thank you for the feedback.

      Reply

  • Abby
    November 26, 2023

    We live overseas, and I hosted 30 people for a Thanksgiving dinner over the weekend. As we had over 18 nationalities represented (many of whom had never experienced Thanksgiving before!), I wanted a traditional sweet potato casserole and was recommended this recipe. Wow, wow, wow, it did not disappoint! Everyone was debating whether it was a side dish or dessert, but regardless, it was the only dish that had no leftovers!

    I substituted approx. 1 tbsp of orange zest for the cranberries (to keep the center smooth) and added about a 1/2 cup marshmallows to the top. Next time, I might reduce the granulated sugar to turn down the sweetness a bit.

    Thank you for the fabulous recipe. I’m already getting requests to repeat this dinner next year, and for sure this will become an annual staple!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 26, 2023

      That is wonderful, Abby! Thank you so much for trying my recipe. I’m so glad it was such a hit.

      Reply

  • Galina
    November 24, 2023

    I made it yesterday for Thanksgiving and it was amazing!! I also love that it doesn’t have marshmallows because I really don’t like them. Thank you for a great recipe!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 24, 2023

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Galina.

      Reply

  • Adrienne Hawkins
    November 24, 2023

    I made the Sweet Potato Casserole for Thanksgiving and it was a tremendous hit. I also got a lot of praises for the delicious, moist Turkey. It was my best one yet! Thanks for all your fabulous recipes.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 24, 2023

      You’re very welcome, Adrienne! I’m glad you’re loving the recipes!

      Reply

  • Patty
    November 24, 2023

    This casserole was a big hit my my house. I didn’t follow the recipe exact because a downsided it a bit. I also omitted the fried fruit and the nuts had to go because of an allergy. I did add some oats to the topping to help with a nutty flavor and vibe. I also roasted my sweet potatoes. It looked beautiful, presented will and tasted fabulous. I got a request to add this to our upcoming Christmas menu.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 24, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Patty. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

  • Pam
    November 23, 2023

    OMG Natasha, this is the best sweet potato casserole ever! My family loved it, said this is a keeper and to make it again. Substituted walnuts for the pecans (family allergy) and used a 1/2 cup of raisins instead of cranberries. Love all your recipes and your cookbook too!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 24, 2023

      That’s wonderful, Pam! I’m so glad you loved it.

      Reply

  • Katie S
    November 23, 2023

    Could I make this in a crock pot for an office potluck? Any tips on high/low or amount of time?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 23, 2023

      Hi Katie! I have not tested it in a crock pot. You can likely keep it warm with a crockpot.

      Reply

  • Elena
    November 23, 2023

    We tried this casserole a few of years ago and now it’s our Thanksgiving staple! (It’s been a few hours after the family dinner and I just saw my husband walking away from the fridge with a small bowl of this casserole leftovers and a spoon, lol). Thank you Natasha for yet another easy and delicious recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 23, 2023

      You’re so welcome! It always makes me smile to see good comments and feedback. I appreciate it!

      Reply

  • Brenda Lagnese
    November 22, 2023

    This is my first year where my kids are doing the entire Thanksgiving meal and they don’t cook!! I am making this right now to insure that I have a delicious dish that is edible:) I think you are adorable and I love your fun videos….I have made sooo many of your recipes and every one is a hit! Wish me luck tomorrow…I’ll be the one in the corner enjoying your delicious sweet potato casserole:) haha Happy Holidays!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 22, 2023

      I hope you love everything they make! Happy Thanksgiving Brenda!

      Reply

  • Patty
    November 21, 2023

    Can I prepare the sweet potato casserole on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 21, 2023

      Hi Patty, please see “make ahead tip” in the third paragraph of the post

      Reply

  • Janine
    November 19, 2023

    Wow this was excellent. I don’t like things too sweet so I wasn’t sure if I would like it but I was going to a pot luck and made it for others. I didn’t put any sugar in the sweet potatoes but otherwise made it as written. Wow I loved it and so did everyone else. It didn’t serve 10 it served 8 and they were fighting over the little bit left in the dish lol. This is a regular going forward. I might cut back a bit on the sugar in the topping for health reasons but it is delicious

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 19, 2023

      Good to know that iot was a huge hit! Thank you so much for this review.

      Reply

  • cristin coffman
    November 18, 2023

    I made this last year for Thanksgiving and it was just wonderful! It made a lot, but my husband and I finished it all~!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 19, 2023

      Hi Cristin, thanks for sharing. Great to hear that you both enjoyed it!

      Reply

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