Sweet potato casserole with pecans and brown sugar topping just like grandma used to make! This mashed sweet potato casserole is a must for Thanksgiving dinner!
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecans
If you prefer candied yams with marshmallows (or without) I have a recipe for that too. Lucky for us grandma would make those and this sweet potato casserole with pecans so we never had to choose!
This dish is characterized by its smooth mashed sweet potato filling which puffs up slightly when cooked like a souffle.
The deliciously crunchy brown sugar topping is the star of the show, but there are a few options if you need to change things.
Options and substitutions:
This recipe is simple to make and easy to customize to your taste.
- Pecans: If your guests have nut allergies, leave out the pecans or substitute shredded coconut.
- Milk: I prefer the richness the evaporated milk brings (and maybe you have some leftover from baking pumpkin pies), but you can use regular milk or even non-dairy milk.
- Sugar: If you like your casserole less sweet, reduce the sugar or substitute your favorite sweetener.
The brown sugar topping also tastes really good with 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon!
You can also omit the brown-sugar pecan topping and use marshmallows instead!
And if you have leftover mashed sweet potatoes, try this winter squash feta flatbread. It makes a great appetizer for your gathering!
Can sweet potato casserole be made ahead of time?
Yes, and there are several steps where you can work ahead depending how much prep you want to do.
- You can make the complete casserole, cooked and all. Simply re-heat when ready to serve. This is not my preferred method since the topping gets soggy, but it still tastes good!
- Cook and mash the sweet potato. Refrigerate until ready to complete the filling. Prepare and refrigerate the topping. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the casserole but do not add the topping until ready to bake. This should be baked within 1-2 days since it contains raw eggs.
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes
- ½ cup evaporated milk (or regular milk)
- ½ cup white sugar (or brown)
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, well packed
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons cold butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13x9 baking dish, 2- or 3-quart casserole dish; set aside.
- Cut potatoes into eighths and place in a large pot. Cover with water and boil the sweet potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the topping:
- Combine the pecans, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and
pinch of salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers, until
butter is evenly distributed. Set aside.
- Drain sweet potatoes, peel and mash until smooth.
- Whisk together sweet potatoes, milk, white sugar, eggs,
butter, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Pour into prepared baking dish
and spread in even layer.
- Sprinkle with topping and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 162mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 18gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information provided is an estimate only. Please consult the labels of ingredients you use for more accurate results.