Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Creamy mashed sweet potatoes with butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and cinnamon.  Topped with a pecan topping made with butter, pecans, flour, and brown sugar.  This yummy side dish will be your favorite for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any special occasion!


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Welcome to My Kitchen Serenity!  The holidays are getting closer and I’m getting super excited about good food and good times with family and friends!  Sweet potato casserole recipes have been around for a long, long time.  There are many varieties from family to family.  However, we happen to think this is the best recipe 🙂


Is it a side dish or is it a dessert?  Well, it is a side dish, but it is pretty darn sweet!  The crispy brown sugar topping reminds me of a pecan praline.  For this reason, just a spoonful should be all you need 🙂 This casserole makes 9 servings, but with smaller portions, you could get a couple more out of it.


As mentioned above, there are SO many variations for this recipe.  Some have marshmallows and some have raisins.  Some have sweet potato slices and some have mashed sweet potatoes.  Some use fresh ingredients and some use canned.  So if you’re undecided about which one to choose, I highly urge you to give this recipe a try!


plate with serving of sweet potato casserole


What’s the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams

So, these two are totally different root vegetables!  First, the skins are quite different.  Yams have a dark, bumpy, tough skin while sweet potatoes have reddish-orange, thin, smoother skin.  The flesh differs as well.  Sweet potatoes have a smooth, sweet flesh while yams have a more fibrous non-sweet flesh.  For these reasons, I would not use yams for this recipe.


What’s the Most Popular Side Dish at Thanksgiving

Here in the south, potatoes are the number 1 side dish!  White or sweet potatoes are the most popular choice.  Other classic sides include Cornbread Dressing, Green Bean Casserole, Corn, Macaroni and Cheese, Squash Casserole, and Rolls.  Every family is different and all are fabulous.  Sometimes, my family eats Jambalaya for our holiday meal.  So, there’s no right or wrong.


I just so happen to have several easy and delicious side dish recipes:

Southern Cornbread Dressing

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Squash Casserole

Creamy Corn Salad

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole


sweet potato casserole ingredients


Ingredients for Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

please scroll down to the recipe card for detailed ingredients and helpful information

Sweet potatoes

Milk, Butter, Eggs

Vanilla, Sugar, Cinnamon




Light brown sugar, all-purpose flour



please scroll down to the recipe card for complete, step-by-step directions

  • Boil, drain, and mash sweet potatoes.cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • Add remaining ingredients and pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish.sweet potato casserole mixture in baking dish
  • Add topping and bake.creamy sweet potato casserole


This recipe can easily be doubled.  Use a 9 x 13 dish and bake as directed.


Make Ahead Sweet Potato Casserole

Make the casserole and the topping the day before you plan to eat it.  Keep the topping in a separate container.  Store both in the refrigerator.  Right before you bake the casserole, add the topping and bake as directed.


Freezing Baked Sweet Potato Casserole

Allow leftovers to completely cool off.  Place into an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.  When ready to eat, let the casserole thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Then, reheat in the microwave.


Storing Leftovers in the Refrigerator

Store leftovers in airtight containers for up to 3 days.  I like to use BPA-free glass containers with locking lids.  Check out this 18-piece set of glass food storage containers with locking lidsAvailable now on Amazon.



How to Transport Hot or Cold Casseroles

If you’re going to take your casserole somewhere else, try this Lasagna Lugger Combo by Rachael RayIt’s not just for lasagna 🙂  The set comes with 2 sizes (13×9 and 9×9).  Perfect for when you have 2 different size dishes to transport.  Available now on Amazon.

southern sweet potato casserole in blue dish

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Creamy mashed sweet potatoes with butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and cinnamon.  Topped with a pecan topping made with butter, pecans, and brown sugar.  This yummy side dish will be your favorite for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any special occasion!
3 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 9


  • pot for boiling sweet potatoes
  • potato masher
  • large bowl
  • whisk
  • measuring cup(s)
  • measure spoons
  • 8 x 8 baking dish
  • pastry blender (optional)


  • 3 cups hot mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 1 cup white sugar 1/2 c for less sweet. 1 c for very sweet.
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packed in measuring cup) see notes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Peel and slice sweet potatoes into chunks. Cover with water in a large pot. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until very tender.
    uncooked sweet potatoes and water in pot
  • Pour off water. Add butter and mash potatoes. Transfer to a large bowl.
    cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • In a large bowl, mix the hot mashed sweet potatoes with milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir well with a whisk and pour into 8x8 dish.
    ingredients in mixing bowl
  • Topping: Combine cold butter, brown sugar, and flour. Mix well with fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in nuts. (a pie plate works well for this step).
  • Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes.
    before baking sweet potato casserole with pecan topping
  • Bake uncovered at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until set.
    baked sweet potato casserole


Place brown sugar into a measuring cup.  Press it down with the back of a spoon.  Add more brown sugar and press down again.  Continue until the cup is full.
Need to make more?  Easily double the recipe and pour into a 9x13 dish.  Bake as directed.
This casserole can be made the day before you plan to serve it.  Follow recipe steps 1-3.  In a separate bowl, mix the topping.  Store separately in the refrigerator.  When ready to bake, pour the topping on top of the sweet potatoes and bake as directed.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mykitchenserenity or tag #mykitchenserenity on Instagram!!

If you try this recipe, let me know.  I’d love to hear from you!



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