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Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

This Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping is always popular on the holiday table. Kids and adults alike simply can’t get enough of this sweet potato recipe with amazing streusel topping. Bonus: you can prepared this dish ahead of time.

sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel in square dish
This sweet potato casserole is an all-time favorite holiday side dish.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel in White Dish
If you love crunchy pecan-brown sugar streusel, double the topping on your sweet potato casserole.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

It’s almost time for THE favorite sweet potato casserole gets to make its highly anticipated appearance on the holiday table.  This is one of those best recipes that receives heaps of compliments and requests every year.  Even people who don’t typically like sweet potato anything – even they will fall head over heels for this mouthwatering dish.

I myself wasn’t a huge sweet potato casserole kind of gal until I met this recipe.  Instantly converted.  This sweet side dish has graced both potluck tables and formal tables alike every year in our family ever since.

In fact, we originally shared this recipe several years ago and just had to bring it back for all y’all who missed it way back then. It’s that good.

Watch Sweet Potato Casserole, In Action

Sweet Potato Casserole in dish
Be sure to use the right kind of potatoes for your sweet potato casserole.

Your strategy for Sweet Potato Casserole

The first step is buying the right kind of sweet potatoes. If you want to buy sweet potatoes several days early, here’s how to store them correctly so your sweet potatoes stay fresh and flavorful.

We highly recommend roasting your sweet potatoes in the oven ahead of time, as that gives potatoes time to cool enough to handle without burning yourself. Having them roasted early also frees up your oven for that brined turkey or honey ham. It’s easy to roast a big batch of sweet potatoes and use the extras for a lovely sweet potato hummus.

Likewise, the nutty-crunchy pecan brown sugar streusel can be fully mixed together up to several days ahead of time – cover and chill until ready to sprinkle onto casserole. Tip: this streusel is so good, you may want to double it for a thicker layer of crunchy sweetness on top. You can also double the streusel recipe to use on this baked French toast casserole for an irresistible family breakfast.

Assemble everything the night before

The best low-stress tip is to totally be prepare this awesome sweet potato casserole the night before.  It’s a holiday lifesaver; just cover, chill, and bake the next day. On the day of the Big Meal, you can even bake it an hour or two ahead of dinner time and keep warm until ready to serve.

Leftovers are delicious the next day; we recommend heating it up in the oven uncovered so the topping can crisp up again. Or, if you’ve still got baking gusto left in you, try this sweet potato bread that specifically makes use of leftover sweet potato casserole so nothing goes to waste.

Sweet Potato Casserole in dish
Sweet potato casserole can be completely prepared in advance and baked later.

Sweet Potato Casserole
Commonly Asked Questions

Are yams the same thing as sweet potatoes?

Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same. Most of the time, when you see produce labeled as yams, they are actually sweet potatoes. True yams originate from regions of Asia and Africa.

What kind of sweet potatoes should I use?

You may notice a few types of sweet potatoes, in varying shapes and colors, at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Choose the bright-orange fleshed variety. You can read more about sweet potato varieties here.

Are eggs used in sweet potato casserole?

Yes, eggs are an important binding agent in most sweet potato casseroles.

Should you boil or bake sweet potatoes for use in sweet potato casseroles?

You can actually boil or bake your sweet potatoes prior to adding in a casserole, as long as the sweet potatoes are cooked until very soft and stringy skin has been removed. That said, we are partial to roasting/baking sweet potatoes, as this imparts a much deeper flavor.

Can I make sweet potato casserole ahead of time?

You can assemble the entire casserole, minus the topping, a day ahead. Wrap tightly in cling wrap and chill until you’re ready to sprinkle on the topping and bake.

What can I do with sweet potato casserole leftovers?

Aside from reheating and enjoying them again, we adore this sweet potato bread, which we created precisely for making the best use of leftovers!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Serving Spoon
Even the kids will devour this sweet potato casserole, with its crunchy streusel topping.

More to Eat

sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel in square dish

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

4.98 from 91 ratings
This Sweet Potato Casserole boasts a buttery, crunchy pecan topping that's jaw-dropping delicious.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 20


For Pecan Streusel Topping:


  • Do Ahead: Mix together brown sugar, chopped pecans, and cold butter in a small bowl until mixture is grainy and comes together. Cover and chill until ready to use. This can be done up to 3 days in advance.
  • Wrap each sweet potato in foil and roastat 400F for about 1 hour, or until potatoes are easily pierced by fork and very soft. Actual bake time depends on size of potatoes. Let cool enough to handle. Remove sweet potato skins, and mash potatoes well in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, beat eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Mix in the mashed sweet potatoes until smooth and incorporated. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a buttered 9×13 dish. At this point, you can wrap tightly with cling wrap and put in fridge until ready to use.
  • Sprinkle pecan topping evenly over casserole. Bake at 350F until casserole is set and topping bubbles. About 1 hour. Serve warm, and enjoy!


*I always choose to roast sweet potatoes in the oven because I really like the deep flavor it creates. You can also cook peeled, cubed potatoes in boiling water until very tender.
*Roasted sweet potatoes are typically quite sweet. If your roasted sweet potatoes don’t taste too sweet, you can add an additional 1/4 cup of sugar to the sweet potato mixture. 
* If you want, you can make extra crumble topping, for a thicker layer of crunch on top. Crumble topping can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in fridge until ready to use. 
*Here’s our favorite way to use leftovers: sweet potato bread
*If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡


Serving: 1g | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 16137IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Bake

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Recipe Rating


    • Swathi
    • 5 stars

    This sweet potato casserole looks delicious perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

    • Lindsay Howerton-Hastings
    • 5 stars

    This is so yummy!

    • Jamie
    • 5 stars

    I love the crumble topping, it’s so delicious!

    • Amy
    • 5 stars

    oooo pecan crumble! What a great idea for the holidays!

    • Kristina
    • 5 stars

    Love the pecan addition, it gave it a nice crunch!

    • serena
    • 5 stars

    So simple and I love the pecans in the crumble.

    • Audrey
    • 5 stars

    I got rave reviews on this dish over friendsgiving!

    • Angela
    • 5 stars

    Thanks for the great recipe! I am taking this to my family get together.

    • Emily Flint
    • 5 stars

    One of my favorite side dishes!

    • Tammara

    I am curious if this is super sweet, and how it would taste if I cut down the vanilla and maple syrup? I want to make this for Thanksgiving but our family isn’t crazy on super sweet. Thanks!

      • chewoutloud

      I would say it’s definitely sweet (vs. salty)… you can decrease maple syrup if you’d like it less sweet, but I’d keep the vanilla extract, as it doesn’t impart any sweetness. You can also reduce the brown sugar crumble on top, though that is the very best part 😉

    • courtneyscookingcorner
    • 5 stars

    I made this for Thanksgiving this year and it was a huge hit. I realized that i didn’t buy enough fresh sweet potatoes so I ended up buying a can of yams too. But everyone loved it and the crush was amazing. I also loved that I could prep it the night ahead and bake it in the oven. Just found your blog and your food looks amazing.

    • Drew Danielle
    • 5 stars

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m responsible for bringing sweet potatoes to Thanksgiving this year. I have never made sweet potatoes nor eaten them before. I like the bake ahead idea to keep the stress level down on Thanksgiving.

      • chewoutloud

      Yes, the make-ahead part is my favorite… besides eating this yummy dish 🙂 Enjoy, Drew!

        • Amber

        I’m a huge sweet potato fan – have you ever added marshmallows to this recipe? Thinking of trying it….

          • chewoutloud

          Amber, I typically don’t put marshmallows into this one b/c it’s so decadent already 🙂 But it’s the holidays, and time to indulge… go for it 😉

    • allyson

    If Using canned yams instead how much would you need?

      • chewoutloud

      Allyson, I’d recommend using the fresh yams and follow the recipe as written, for the best results. Canned yams will likely yield different results from the original here. However, if you really need to use canned, I’d stick with the same amount (roughly 5 lbs)… you can convert ounces into lbs, according to your can size. Hope that helps 🙂

    • T Pierson

    How many would this feed

      • chewoutloud

      The recipe is for a 9×13 pan, so that’s the amount you’ll be making. If you’re having lots of side dishes and a main protein, this casserole will go a long way… it has fed large parties when there are many sides to choose from. If this is the sole side dish, I’d say about 10-12 ppl. It really depends on how many other dishes you’ll be having along with this.

    • Tara

    Oh my that looks so good and I know it is as my friend brought it over for Thanksgiving. I am going to add it to my Mouth Watering Mondays post for this Monday. Come on over to see it at Cheers, Tara

      • chewoutloud

      I’ll definitely check it out! Thanks, Tara 🙂

        • Tara

        it is up, thanks so much for a delicious recipe!!

    • epicureantease
    • 5 stars

    We have a very similar recipe in my family! We call it “Hooch Potatoes” because Brandy is mixed in! 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      Can’t go wrong with that!

    • Conor Bofin

    Lovely. I would eat it for breakfast!

    • Tamara Leigh: The Kitchen Novelist

    Ooh, this looks yum! Thank you!

    • Liz

    Side dish or dessert, I am so totally trying this! Looks delicious!

    • thehungrymum
    • 5 stars

    Wow, this looks super good! In Australia we only ever eat sweet potato as a savoury dish but in the name of research I’m going to try this as a dessert. Thanks for a yummy post.

      • chewoutloud

      If you want it as a dessert, you can add more maple syrup or brown sugar to the mashed sweet potato, for extra sweetness…we’ve never done it as dessert, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy! 🙂

        • Patty Hoskins
        • 5 stars

        Your Sweet Potato recipe was a smashing hit. I cooked up the casserole, transferred it to a crockpot, sprinkled on the topping and took it to the party. Everyone loved it. You are so right about baking the sweet potatoes first. And no more marshmallow recipes for me. Thanks

          • chewoutloud

          Yippee, Patty, so happy to hear you guys all loved this recipe! It’s seriously our holiday favorite (and the first side dish to vanish every time!) 🙂 Thanks for taking time to come over and let us know. Enjoy the Christmas season!

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