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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

This Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping is a delicious holiday side dish or dessert.  The creamy sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar pair perfectly with the crumbly streusel topping!

close up of sweet potato casserole with pecan topping

Every year when Thanksgiving rolls around my Mom says that we are going to cut back on the amount of food we cook.  “We’re only going to have our favorites!”  Smoked turkey (duh), mashed potatoes (with two kinds of gravy) (also duh), homemade rolls (obviously), my grandmother’s Southern Style Cornbread Dressing (double-obviously), with a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie for dessert (of course)!  

But it never stops there.  We might as well have Aunt Debdeb bring her famous mac & cheese, for the kids (right… the kids…).  What about my Homemade Creamed Corn?  How could we leave out the sweet potato casserole for goodness sake?

Annnnnd just like that all of our favorites are there safe and sound; all of the things we make year after year. I can’t imagine Thanksgiving without a single one of them. (Okay, I could for sure survive without the giblet gravy.)

mashed sweet potatoes

I tried a Sweet Potato and Rice Casserole years ago, though my family typically goes more for the candied sweet potatoes with gobs of butter and fistfuls of mini marshmallows.  My husband loves them but I can take ’em or leave ’em. Candied sweet potatoes are typically cut in wedges (Hard. Also, time consuming.) and can be a bit temperamental when it comes to getting the syrup to thicken up the way it should.

Sweet Potato Casserole on the other hand, differs in that it typically has pecans and may or may not also have marshmallows. The pecans are either mixed in or used to make a streusel. (Streusel is a crumbly topping of flour, butter, and sugar that is baked on top of muffins, breads, pies, and cakes.)

Consider me officially converted because I love this Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping. The sweet potatoes are velvety and creamy, almost like a mousse or souffle or thick pudding.  The streusel adds sweetness without being cloying (which I sometimes feel candied sweet potatoes are) and the pecans bring a soft crunch to balance the textures.

Pretty sure we are going to have to make room for this one on our Thanksgiving table! 

mashed sweet potatoes spread in a dish

What’s in Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping? 

This simple sweet potato casserole has two components: the sweet potato mash, and the pecan topping. For the sweet potato base, you’ll need: 

  • Cooked sweet potatoes
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Eggs

And to make the sweet potato casserole topping, you’ll need: 

  • Brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Chopped pecans
  • Unsalted butter
pecan topping for sweet potatoes in a yellow bowl

How to Make Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping 

This Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole with pecans is so easy to make!

  1. Add the cooked, mashed sweet potatoes to a large bowl.
  2. Stir in granulated sugar, butter, vanilla, milk and eggs. Mix well. 
  3. Pour mixture into a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
  4. Make the pecan topping for the sweet potatoes, then sprinkle evenly on top. 
  5. Bake until the topping has browned. 
baked sweet potato casserole with pecan topping in a white dish

Can You Make Sweet Potato Casserole Ahead of Time? 

Yes! This simple sweet potato casserole with pecan topping can be prepped in advance. 

  1. Prepare the sweet potato mixture and spread into the casserole dish. 
  2. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to five days.  
  3. Prepare the streusel topping and store in a zip top bag in the refrigerator.  
  4. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator, spread streusel on top of the casserole, and bake as directed.
scoop of sweet potato casserole in a metal spoon

Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Casserole? 

Yes! Prepare the sweet potato mixture and spread into the casserole dish.  Cool completely, wrap tightly, and store in the freezer up to 3 months.  (Don’t make the streusel topping at this time.)  

When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Make the streusel topping mixture, sprinkle on top of the casserole, and bake as directed.

sweet potato waffles topped with leftover sweet potato casserole

Leftover Sweet Potato Casserole? 

If you happen to have leftovers you MUST make my Sweet Potato Waffles.  It takes my favorite homemade waffles + a scoop of this leftover sweet potato casserole to make the most delicious fall breakfast treat.  I freeze the extra waffles and we are always sooo sad when they’re all gone.

Tips for Making Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole 

  • Follow this recipe for Pressure Cooker Sweet Potatoes (which offers two different methods) for the easiest way to cook sweet potatoes.  They’re ready in less than thirty minutes and perfect for mashing!
  • I kept this Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole super simple, but you could also add ground cinnamon and / or nutmeg to the sweet potato base for even more flavor. 
  • I prefer using a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream in this sweet potato casserole. It makes the casserole ultra rich and doesn’t thin it out too much! 
sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot

More Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes: 

close up of sweet potato casserole with pecan topping

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

4 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 396kcal
Author: Emily Grace

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cooked sweet potatoes , mashed (about 5-6 medium sweet potatoes)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs

For the Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Add the cooked, mashed sweet potatoes to a large bowl.
  • Stir in granulated sugar, butter, vanilla, milk and eggs, mix well. 
  • Pour mixture into a 9×13-inch casserole dish.

For the topping:

  • Mix brown sugar, flour, pecans, and butter together with a fork until slightly clumpy.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the sweet potato mixture.
  • Cook for 30 minutes until topping has browned. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 274mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 8340IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @GraceGoodEats or tag #graceandgoodeats!
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Recipe Rating




Andrea Howe

Monday 17th of December 2018

This is an amazing twist on a classic! So good!

Tawnie

Saturday 27th of October 2018

Can’t wait to make this! Thank you!

Susie

Friday 26th of October 2018

That looks so good! This might have to be added to my Thanksgiving menu. My mom is the same at Christmas every year... we are going to cut back on gifts but then it is an enormous pile every year ?

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